Educational Experiences

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     Before I came to Moravian College in the fall of 2010, I was an activities coordinator at my church's Vacation Bible School. When I was activities coordinator, I had general guidelines of what I should be doing with the kids, but was given a lot of choice with what I wanted to actually do. We played many different games and crafts which incorporated what the kids already knew and the ideas that the kids were expected to learn from the given curriculum. I had so much fun being able to help children learn more and the experiences I had as an activities coordinator at my church's Vacation Bible School made me realize how much I wanted to be a teacher.
                        


                             church
     When I first came to Moravian College, I had intentions of studying to receive a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, so my first two field experiences were with younger students. My first field experience took place in a LVCC Pre-Kindergarten classroom. These students were fantastic and always willing to learn. The students in this class were aged three to four and were learning their colors, letters, patterns, and how to correctly spell their name. Everyday, the students came in and began working on a worksheet which included the word or letter of the day. As the students worked on this, they individually went to the teacher and wrote their name to "sign in" for the day. When all the students finished "signing in", we went over the worksheet, then as a group moved to the carpet and listened to a story which was read by my cooperating teacher. After that, we talked about the story, then broke up into two groups. One group played silently, while the other group worked on an activity with the teacher (which was most often me with the assistance of my cooperating teacher). After this, the groups had snack and then switched activities. After the groups switched, my time in the Pre-Kindergarten class was over and I went home.
     After being in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom, I learned the importance of repetition in a classroom and the importance of visuals in a classroom. In just ten short weeks in this classroom, it was easy to see how much the students had improved and how much the students were advancing and becoming their own unique learners.







          LVCC
     My next field experience was in Fountain Hill Elementary School in a Kindergarten classroom. Everyday when I went to the classroom, the students began with their morning songs which included the days of the week, the current date, their classroom jobs, and the alphabet. Then, either my cooperating teacher or myself read a story to the class. We would ask questions about the book and ask what the students thought was going to happen next in the story. Then the students went to sit at their assigned tables and began working on "student-teacher" writing. With "student-teacher" writing, all the students are given a prompt, then instructed to draw a picture, and finally write an explanation of what their drawing is. Next, the teachers go to each student and have the student read their individual writing, then assist the student to correct any words or punctuations they had written incorrectly. After each student was finished with their "student-teacher" writing, they worked on a worksheet until it was time for them to go to specials. After the students left for specials, my day was over in the Kindergarten classroom.
     On my last day in this Kindergarten classroom, my cooperating teacher allowed me to use the whole day to do my own lesson and activity. First, I read the students a story about a seed which floated around the world and planted itself and helped other people. After reading the story, I gave each student a popsicle stick and instructed them to write their name on it. Then, I asked each student, one at a time, to come and plant their own seeds into individual small pots of soil. I allowed the students to put the soil into the pots themselves, put the seeds into the pots themselves, and lastly water their seeds themselves as I guided and helped them when necessary. This was a very hands on lesson which all of the students enjoyed and was a very memorable experience for me.
     In this classroom, I also learned how important repetition is and how important it is for students to work with each other as well as individually with the teacher. This classroom also helped me to learn that maybe Elementary Education wasn't necessarily the right track for me. After this semester, I switched my field of interest from Elementary Education, to Middle Level Secondary Education.















fountain
                hill elementary school
     Currently I go to field experience in Clearview Elementary School. Everyday when the students come in, I observe a Social Studies class. This school doesn't have a lot of funding, so they incorporate reading strategies into their Social Studies class. So, instead of only focusing on Social Studies topics, they focus on improving the students reading levels and improving basic skills one needs in order to become more focused when reading a given passage. Then the students switch classes and then I observe in one of my cooperating teacher's reading classes. My cooperating teacher had told me that this particular class is her lower level reading class. This class works a lot on PSSA preparation packets and worksheets which is a good experience for the students as well as for the me.
     This field experience is completely new for me, because I have never been part of an upper level classroom. I really enjoy working with the older students and helping them improve their skills and helping them create new ones. In this field experience, I get to work a lot with individual students and have a individual relationship with various students. I look forward to having more field experiences and eventually teaching in my own classroom.






     clearview elementary school


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