Friday, September 17, 2010


Today I lost my first student.

Okay, thats sounds bad... A student in our class is going to go to a different school starting monday. It is very weird to think that this group of learners, that is just starting to feel like a family, will be loosing one of its members.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


There is one student in my class who really threw me for a loop today. I felt astounded.
The past week and a half this student has not been able to accomplish ANYTHING. Reading, writing, math, spelling, social studies. Every task was most difficult. This student moped through their day, including recess and free time. While reading this student could not even read the word, "the." Spelling, this student could not spell, "we." In math, this student could not even follow along on the board with me next to them.
Today we had a 20 min long workshop time. This student had the task of writing down the spelling list, just copying it down from the board. They got one letter down in 20 min. My cooperating teacher was very frustrated and pulled this student to the hallway to speak with them.
"This has got to stop." My teacher said. "You need to be able keep up with the class. If you don't start completing your work, you will stay inside for lunch recess with Miss. Roer and I,"
"Ok Mrs. K." the student replied.
After this, the student went into the room and completed all 10 spelling words in two minutes. Their whole demeanor reversed. They became engaged and energetic, and even read a book for free time.

This student had been faking it since the first day of school.

I was so frustrated. All of the worry of how to differential tests and lesson, all the extra work of keeping on eye on them. Every part of me felt useless. I was so unaware.
How did Mrs. K know!? What will I do when I am a teacher? How will I know?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Working Together

Today made me think a lot about the adult side of teaching. The joys and hardships of having co-workers and fellow staff members who are stuck in the same building that you are.
Hopefully these people are a support network one can turn to for encouragement and ideas, as well as fellow workers with the same goals. It amazes me the huge community that is within the walls of this school building. The teachers and staff are very supportive of one another, and good at working together. I always wondered, as a student, what the teachers talked about in the teachers' lounge during lunch. I always hoped it wasn't about us students! Well now i know... it is! Teachers talk about students in the lounge all the time. Sometimes it is to vent frustrations, sometimes to praise accomplishments, other times to seek out helpful strategies. I feel that every healthy teaching community should have a place to do these things. The teachers' lounge not only keeps sanity, it also provides a place where each staff member can feel loved and a part of something bigger than themselves.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting Started

Today finally felt like a "normal" day in 2nd grade. Students were more engaged with their work, and things ran a little smother than they have in the past few days.
Everyday I get the chance to observe my cooperating teacher's strategies, lessons, transitions, and constant time with the children. I get to see every interaction, every activity, every transition. I get to hear every command, every complaint, and every joy. It is both enjoyable and intimidating to watch this. I am learning new things every day. Little phrases to say, easy ways to avoid trouble, shortcuts and ways to improve learning. But at the same time the joy of all this learning is making me realize how much I still don't know!
The community of my school is amazing. I believe that if I got a job working in a community like this one, even the things I didn't know how to do, I would be able to ask for help from others at the school.
I am so excited to keep learning more about teaching, about my students, and about myself.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have found it very hard to discipline the students in my classroom. There are always times when a class becomes very noisy and everyone begins to talk, but this class seems to be very bad. Students need constant reminders to be quiet, and even then, they continue to talk. I do not get extremely frustrated with this, but rather, feel fairly defeated. I don't automatically fight for their attention, I usually let them continue to talk over me.
My cooperating teacher has to keep reminding me that I have the power to reprimand my students. I do not know why I constantly forget this. I am working on my "teacher glances" at certain students, and this does gain the attention of some. I have called the name of disruptive students, as well as repositioned them. These tactics are beneficial but not completely effective.
I suppose I need to continue to work on this aspect of teaching. Perhaps my cooperating teacher can help me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Morning Reading Time

My favorite part of the day, is morning reading time. Every day after snack recess, the children come in and i invite them to gather on the rug. I proceed to read to them a selection of picture books.
The reason this is my favorite time, is twofold. First, it is SO FUN! Second, it is so beneficial!
The students and I enjoy the books we read together. Reading time provides the students daily exposure to print, as well as modeling of reading strategies. The camaraderie between the students and I helps deepen our relationships with one another.

Today we read the book, "Diary of a Worm."
This book was so great! The students loved the jokes and funny instances. Also, we had the chance to talk about diaries and what they are. All eyes and ears were on me while reading, the fun facts included in this book interested students, and the layout made it easy for me to read with much expression.
I would highly recommend this book for any lower elementary classroom!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Are You a Lion?

Today was our first full day, and we definitely heard about it. The students were always asking, "How much longer till we get to go home?" But we made it through. I got a chance to connect to some more of the students on a personal level during recess. The girls kept asking me what my name was;

"What's your name again?"
"Miss Roer."
"Oh yeah! Raaaaaawrr!"
"Like a lion!"
"Yes, Roer, like a lion."
"Yeah, but what's your real name?"
"My real name? You mean my first name?"
"Yeah your first name."
"Carissa. Carissa Roer."
"No! Whats your real name?"
"That is my real name; Carissa Roer, Miss Roer."
"Are you a Lion?"

You have to love second graders. It seems slow moving right now, but I think I know about 6 of the 21 new names. The students seem stuck in the middle of first grade when it comes to reading and writing. Though, each of them excelled in math today compared to yesterday. We started a unit on whales today. I read to the children after morning recess, and I lead two of the reading comprehension groups in the hallway in the afternoon. All went well. I think I look forward to having this schedule for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day Jitters

Today was my first day of Student Teaching. Thank goodness it was only a half day. My feet and body are already tired, I hope I get used to this routine relatively fast.

I am Student Teaching in a second grade classroom at a Christian elementary school. We have 21 students in our room, 11 girls and 10 boys. I have so many names to learn!

Today we read the book, "First Day Jitters" by Julie Dannenberg. This book sums up my experience perfectly. I was very nervous for my first day, not knowing what to expect. I think the majority of the students felt the same way, as they were very quiet and slow moving. But by the end of the day we all were starting to feel more comfortable with each other, and with our classroom.

I look forward to learning more of the routines of the classroom, and the names of all my students, so we can all feel comfortable, have fun, and learn together.