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Volunteering

This semester I’ve decided to up my responsibilities and volunteer 3 mornings a week in a 1st grade classroom at a local elementary school. So far I’ve been volunteering for about a month and it’s been a really great for me to get involved helping students in my community. Since I already have experience with my own classroom it’s a little strange not to be the one “in charge”, but I’m just taking it as another learning opportunity. Mrs. G, The teacher that I am working with has been dedicated to teaching children for over 15 years so I feel that this is the perfect way to spend my mornings while I am in graduate school. I am getting the most out of seeing how her classroom works- her classroom management strategies as well as her curriculum frameworks.

I work in the classroom during the students’ language arts period. I like the way that Mrs. G has set up expectations with the students so right when they come through the door at 8:00 they know what is expected of them.

Typical Morning:

  • 8:00 Welcome to School!
  • 8:00-8:15 Finish any old work in LA folder
  • 8:30 Morning Meeting
  • 8:45-9:45 Language Arts (This could consist of a number of different lessons or activities that the teacher has decided on for the period). When students are done with an assignment and don’t have anything else to do they know that they are supposed to be completing DEAR (Drop Everything And Read).

The classroom has a nice balance of new lessons, predictable activites (such as comprehension assignments and “build-a-sentence”) and Mrs. G teaches through thematic units, which something I have never seen in action before but am very interesting in learning more about. So far, this experience has been very helpful for me as a teacher, and also as a graduate student. I am excited to continue with this opportunity and look forward to the new ideas I will learn.

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