Students & Learning Environment
I had the pleasure of making an appearance in a grade 1 classroom with an equal mix of about 25 boys and girls. Three children seemed to be high needs and the rest of varying learning levels. I was introduced and after a sentence or two of sharing that I am both mother and grandmother I asked if anyone had a question. Over half the room raised their hands. I had a feeling I felt like Julie did when visiting a class in Nunavut and having a good number of students asking questions. The questions directed to me were statements of the classroom rules and what they do in some lessons. It was cute. One child did ask me if I ever was in grade one. I chuckled and said, “why yes and it was a very long time ago in the 1960’s”.
I met the librarian first thing as she came into my host teacher’s classroom when I first arrived. The janitor came in during this time as well but I was preoccupied with the teachers at the point. My host teacher is very experienced with Ed students at the 100, 300 and 400 level so she had me participate in everything, including teaching. I was a bit nervous about this but did the best I could. I think I did ok. I will need to make sure I introduce myself to the janitor in the coming weeks. I spent recess with the children outside. Though they did not ask me questions they showed me what they were interested in be it collecting rocks or noticing others bad behaviours – a teaching moment for me. One little girls said she wanted to talk to me the whole time and held my hand as we walked about.
The learning environment was very crowded but seemed to be well equipped to ensure a variety of learning opportunities. There were lots of bins of books – a whole row of them that stretched the length of the classroom. I was impressed. I only remember rows of desks in my early grades, quite different from the table groupings that were in this classroom. I expected to feel a bit claustrophobic but did not. I will take note next time of why this is. Between activities or when being dismissed for recess or home the children are encouraged to put their heads on their desks and not say a word. However, during teaching time it was often noisy. The teacher, this day, introduced 3 new activities so the high needs children were a bit unravelled. We did texture colouring – picture included, math centres – subitizing was introduced at one of the stations and it is new to me too, and gym was a freeze game as well as a game of trees stand still of you are tagged.
I enjoyed my time. It is a new experience, especially with so many different children.
The two images below were taken in the classroom. The pumpkin texture colouring is one of the students' creations.
Saturday, 15 October 2016, 4:13 PM
by Mary-Anne B
It sounds like you had a fun time. I had a student ask me what year I graduated high school. He said "whoa" when I replied 1998 which is 9 years before he was even born.
Sunday, 16 October 2016, 8:20 PM
by Julie Machnaik
Grade One...such a precious year. I know you'll not only enjoy your time but will do well with whatever the teacher asks you to do. Just go with it and have fun. This is a time for you to 'try on being a teacher'! The little ones are so honest and ask priceless questions. I remember telling my students a story years ago about my grandma and one little boy just blurted out, "Boy, SHE MUST BE VERY VERY OLD!" You will always be guaranteed of days full of smiles and laughter when you're with grade ones. Your classroom sounds full of diverse individuals - you'll learn so much, Ms. Weller.