I'll get right into it. Yet again, I did not work on this throughout the week. Ugh.
Monday, 3/12 - In World History, we continued our unit on Latin America. Mon/Tue lesson was on how culture spreads from one civilization to another. We talked about the Olmec and how scientists are arguing over their of influence on subsequent civilizations. We read, "Mother Culture, or Only a Sister?" - an article from the NY Times. We then switched to learn about the Maya who may have been heavily influenced by the Olmec. We talked about things they already knew about the Maya and things they may want to know about that great civilization. We then started to watch a movie on the Maya from Time Life's Lost Civilizations series - The Maya: The Blood of Kings.
Tuesday, 3/13 - Same lesson in World History. Worked on lesson prep for future lessons during my down times.
Wednesday, 3/14 - I really liked how my lesson in World History turned out today! We finished watching the movie on the Maya. It gets pretty graphic at certain points, so it was difficult for me to watch it three times, but I made it through. :) Luckily, I was able to work on some other things while watching. After the movie, we summarized some major characteristics of the Maya on the board - in one circle of a Venn diagram. Then the students got into pairs - half the students read a the section in the textbook on the Aztec and half read the section on the Inca. They jotted down notes of the characteristics of each civilization. When they finished, they switched to be partners with someone else who had read about the other civilizations. With their new partner, they described their civilization and then discussed any similarities and differences between the two. We all came back together as a class and completed the Venn diagram - we moved some characteristics around that the Maya shared with one or both of the other civilizations, and then we filled in more info with what they discovered on the Aztec and Inca.
Thursday, 3/15 - Same lesson in World History. I'll have to say that during this lesson on Wed/Thu, there was such a positive energy in the classroom. The students were really engaged in the lesson and had lots to contribute. Even my quieter classes were much more active. Yay! This was the last week before Cultural Field Experience (CFE) more on this next week and Spring Break, so I won't be seeing these students in class for two weeks! I was surprised at the engagement level of the students during the week - considering the beautiful weather and the upcoming break. It was nice to see they were still engaged and not distracted.
We also had parent conferences Thursday evening. I got to participate in these as well. It was really interesting to get another perspective on the student. I only know what I see in the classroom, but this was an opportunity to get their parents' perspective on what was happening as well. Most of the parents that came were of students that were doing really well, but there were a few of some students that were struggling. Until I was sitting with the parents, and looking at the grades, sometimes I hadn't realized just how poorly the student was doing. It was good to be able to make a plan for those students on what we each could do to encourage better performance.
Friday, 3/16 - No school for the students. Parent Conferences for my Mentor Teacher. Me? I had to go to another clinical practice seminar. I would have much rather been anywhere else. Not because I don't think the seminars are useful or interesting, but rather because the people I sit with do not. We were assigned to be in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) at the beginning with others in our same licensure. None of these other future social studies teachers can see the benefits of these seminars, so instead of being able to enjoy the presentations and activities, I get to listen to things like this for six hours:
Is it time to go yet?
This is pointless. Why do we have to be here?
This is stupid.
This is just busy work.
Why are they requiring this?
I'm just going to leave.
How much longer?
Why are we doing this?
If they did the schedule differently, we could be done by now. Why do we need breaks and an hour for lunch?
Is it over?
Repeat ad nauseum. For SIX FULL HOURS!!
I always leave these seminars so frustrated. It is difficult to be around such negative people for so long. Plus, it really bothers me that these are the people who will be teaching the future leaders of the world.
They are so unprofessional, and I hate to admit, that their rude behavior makes me feel all vindictive - wishing the worst students on them. I know I shouldn't, but I think it's only fair. A dose of their own medicine, if you know what I mean.
Ok. Enough complaining about that.
It's St. Patrick's Day! I'm running a half marathon in just over an hour! I'm essentially off work for TWO WHOLE WEEKS! Though I am still going to try to be very productive during these two weeks, so I won't have as much to do in the evenings the last few weeks of CP.
What are your weekend plans? Running any races?