My cadet teacher was KA, a senior from Arapahoe High School in Littleton Public Schools. K worked in my fifth grade classroom Tuesday through Friday from 7:30-9:30 am. Since my students did not arrive until 8:30am K had the opportunity to observe and be a part of daily preparation for a classroom. I believe this was a valuable experience for her to see what is involved in getting ready to teach a classroom of 27 fifth graders. During this time she helped grade, prepare for reading lessons, assist with playground supervision and attended our PLC and staff meetings. After the students arrived, K had the opportunity to be a part of reading instruction.
When K began in February the students were beginning a historical fiction book to coincide with our study of the Early European Colonies in social studies. I gave her a copy and she read along with the students so that she could guide book discussion once a week with a small group of students. I gave her guiding questions to help lead the discussion and she took it from there. As the book wrapped up, I assisted K in planning a lesson that had the students compare and contrast two characters from the book using a Thinking Map and moving to writing a paragraph. K did an excellent job putting together the materials and lesson for the students.
March moved the class into the TCAP testing window, which brought a change to my instructional schedule so K had the opportunity to help with an Interact Simulation on Colonization of the New World. The students are very engaged in this simulation and provided K the opportunity to observe a more active instructional setting with kids working in small groups to tackle the challenges of colonists traveling across the ocean to the New World and establishing successful colonies. K was a great help guiding student through some of the group activities and troubleshooting with the students as conflict arose in the some of the small group tasks.
K created a Power Point presentation on a lesson teaching the students how to recognize Primary and Secondary sources of information. I provided some resources and she did an excellent job creating a lesson that incorporated a Google Template for the students to complete on their Triple E computers and shared with her through Google Docs. The final weeks K helped some of my struggling students navigate through nonfiction reading strategies of their social studies and science textbooks. Having her presence in the classroom was a great help and the students had some much needed small group assistance at the end of the school year.
K is not sure that teaching is going to be her final career choice and if she does choose teaching it will be at the secondary level but I hope that by spending time in my fifth grade class she left with a better understanding of the teaching profession and can make an informed decision as she begins her college instruction in the fall. The students loved having her in our classroom and were quick to notice if she was not there. K was a great help and it was fun to watch her grow in her comfort level with working with a variety of students.