Urban Arts Academy: 4.5 hours, Katie
Whittier School: Thursday, Jane Swatosh, 14 hours
The Monday morning meeting planned with Krista was cancelled due to the snow, the only other day they could meet was Wednesday afternoon, which did not work for me. I will be meeting with Krista soon to go over what was discussed!
I went to Urban Arts Academy this Monday, they needed somebody to help out in the Pre-K classes, as their substitute cancelled that day. I went there for the first hour or so of my day. They were a lot more chaotic than the group I am usually with—and much smaller! The class functioned similarly to Katie’s, in that they were encouraged to work on an arts project, but if they didn’t want to, they could work on other things, like puzzles.
When I went back to Katie’s class, we were about to head down to drumming and dancing, which many of the students were uninterested in participating in. The ones who did, however, had a lot of fun. Afterward, we went back upstairs and the students continued working on creating parks or working on their accordion books.
I spoke with Katie about the lesson plan I started, outlining what I wanted to teach and asking which days would work. I will be teaching next Monday and the Monday after. She told me that she feels like doing it with only the first group would be a good idea, as they’re usually far more focused and would be more likely to participate and listen to instructions.
I gathered my materials this week and created my examplars. I will be working with the students on creating a relief print pattern out of cut sticky back foam. They will be prompted to discuss patterns they see in their everyday lives and how they feel it influences them. I will ask them to create a pattern out of things they see everyday and find important to them. We will then make books (the week after) with the prints as the covers. The students will be encouraged to write and draw in these books.
I went to Whittier school this Thursday, Ms. Swatosh asked me to come early so we could go over things one more time before starting. I helped her set up a bit for the day, and we discussed ways I could assist her in the classroom, as well as some of the general things students are and are not allowed to do. She showed me how to use the copier, so I could help her out with printing a few things throughout the day.
When the students got there, a lot of them seemed very confused about me, but during the classes morning meeting, I introduced myself and answered some difficult questions, including, “Do you draw anime” and “have you ever drawn anime”. I asked them about some of the arts projects that were displayed through the room, including one from the MCBA (Minnesota center for the book arts). They told me they all really enjoyed story telling and illustrations.
Because I was with the students the entire day, I got to see how the class functions as an entirety. Ms. Swatosh and I discussed how some students who are usually more well behaved are more jittery this close to Spring break. There were a few tense moments and issues with concentration, but Ms. Swatosh handled these issues well, responding directly and according to each student’s needs. I spent a lot of the day going between tables and sitting with the students, asking them what they were working on while trying to keep them on task. (At lunch, I asked what the best way for me to be involved in the classroom would be, and was asked to interact and assist the students). It was a busy, exhausting day, but it went a lot faster than I expected!
I am going tomorrow (Friday) again! Ms. Swatosh will not be there, she told me today and said that I do not still have to come in if I don’t want to—however, I think it is important to interact more with the students regardless!
I went to Whittier school again today! There was a substitute named Mrs. Comeaux. I assisted her with the class in a similar way to Ms. Swatosh—assisting the students with their assignments and moving from table to table to help keep them on task. They were, of course, rowdier because their usual teacher was out. Many of the more excitable students were trying to help Mrs. Comeaux by telling her what they did everyday, which was sweet. There were some issues with volume, participation, and just being boisterous in general; however, the students interacted with each other similarly—just a little more than the day before.
I spent some extra time working with one of the students who often gets off task, instead of asking him to put his book away, I asked him about what he was reading. I talked to him about it for a minute, and then asked if I could try to help him with his division and he finally started to concentrate on doing his work.
There was an incident with a student who had to go to the nurses office because she hit her leg on the table. However; She may have just needed some attention—she spent the entire walk to the nurses office telling me how she hurt her leg and none of her friends even asked her what was wrong. It seems like she is a student who requires more attention than most in order to feel recognized.
I’ll be going back to Whittier in April to finish up my shadowing and to teach my lesson!