My Student Teaching Experiences
I completed two eight-week student teaching experiences from January 2010- May, 2010 within Blue Mountain School District (BASD), Orwigsburg, PA. During my time at Blue Mountain Elementary East, I student taught five sections of 5th grade Science, Reading, and Writing (120 students), and one section of 1st grade Mathematics, Reading, Spelling, Social Studies/Science (28 Students).
Fifth Grade Science Placement
I completed eight weeks in a fifth grade science classroom with a great co-op driven to teach me everything I need to know to become a terrific educator in today's society. During this placement I performed a variety of functions both in and out of the classroom including: assisted in the planning, preparation, and implementation of class projects and lessons; developed and taught a two week unit on ecosystems and environments using the PA Department of Education Standards Aligned System (SAS) as a reference and created an interactive bulletin board center to expand student learning; utilized resources and technology to adjust lesson plans to fit school's ability grouping plan and worked with other 5th grade teachers in a team-teaching environment; studied and implemented the inquiry-based Learning-Focused Foss Curriculum; participated in various professional development hours and training in Learning Focus and the Foss Science curriculum; incorporated technology through an interactive SmartBoard virtual owl pellet dissection; and served as a Science Fair advisor for 4th and 5th grade students. In addition to the team-teaching among myself and other 5th grade teachers, I also had the pleasure of working with paraprofessionals and participating in Individualized Educational Program (IEP's) meetings. Despite how highly I prize Bloomsburg University for its effort to provide an excellent curriculum and instruction guideline within their educational courses, I have learned many useful things during this field experience that I just could not have learned while sitting in a college classroom. For this, I am grateful for the diverse field experiences that Bloomsburg University requires in order to become a distinguished graduate. Among these experiences, I have learned how to differentiate the various learning styles to accommodate diverse learners and adjust my lesson plans accordingly to meet the needs of each ability group. I have also worked outside the school with administrators, parents, and community as a Science Fair advisor at Blue Mountain Elementary East. This is a great expression of my commitment to bridging the home-school connection. Additionally, I have gotten the opportunity to work on developing my own classroom management and discipline plans that I can carry with me throughout my teaching experiences. My most enjoyable experience during this student teaching placement was using all of the great ideas I have been exposed to while at Bloomsburg University, and bringing in my very own ideas and lessons to customize them into a two and a half week unit focusing on Ecosystems and Environments!
First Grade Placement
Beginning March, 2010, I moved to a 1st grade classroom at Blue Mountain Elementary East. I taught all subject areas during this time including: Reading, Mathematics, Spelling, Social Studies, and Science. I further worked on improving my classroom management and discipline skills, as well as establishing a good rapport with both the students and the community. I utilized block planning, completed my second interactive bulletin board, and composed a unit of my very own. During this placement, I performed a variety of functions both in and out of the classroom including: assisted in the planning, preparation, and implementation of class projects and lessons; worked on establishing a positive classroom management plan to carry with throughout teaching career; worked and assessed 1st grade students using the DIBELS framework; participated in more parent-teacher conferences, as well as IEP's; promoted the learning focus approach into my own lessons and incorporated numerous interactive bulletin boards. It was during this placement that I truly came out of my shell and became engulfed in the EXCITING life of a teacher! I was able to utilize my resources and materials and add on my own creativity to make an ever-lasting impression in the lives of my students.