Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Miss Read's Big Day

Hi everyone! Today was the day that I was scheduled to teach my lesson on estimating time to the second graders at Ash Elementary. I was so nervous! Throughout the past few days, I studied the Xeroxed copies of the teacher's edition, took notes, and wrote out a script on index cards. I practiced teaching the lesson, working on the kitchen chalkboard at my house and using my dogs as stand-in students.
But even with all that practice, this morning I was so nervous, I could have puked! I thought seriously about calling in sick. Mrs. Jones would have to give me a new lesson to do, and this time I would really, really, really practice and study! To top things off, last night I couldn't fall asleep until one in the morning because I was so nervous. This morning I woke up at 5 and couldn't fall back asleep. So, running on four hours of sleep, I was sure I would fail! I had to talk myself into going.
The day started off poorly when I got lost on the way to Ash Elementary. I don't know how! It was the first time I had tried to drive there without checking my Mapquested directions. (I am horrible, horrible, horrible at directions, by the way! Even with Mapquested directions, I frequently get lost going to unfamiliar places.) I thought I remembered having to go down one main road and turn on a certain back street... and the back street did connect with that main road... but I was supposed to drive further down to the second main road. So... yeah. Luckily, I had left early, so I still made it on time!
Then, Mrs. Jones asked me to make copies of worksheets for a whole unit of math. This involved taking about ten double-sided worksheets and making single-sided copies of them, and then putting the whole thing together and making 92 copies of them, in four groups of 23, one for each second grade class. Of course everything went wrong... first I punched Collate instead of Group, so the first 230 pages came out in an A, B, C, A, B, C pattern instead of A, A, A, B, B, B. Rather than separate all of the pages into piles I just threw the whole thing away and started over. Then the machine ran out of paper, and then it got jammed about 90 times, and then people kept coming in and asking if they could use the machine for just a minute, and one person changed it back to Collate, which I forgot to check when it was my turn again, so the copies came out ABCABCABC again and I had to throw that group away, and then more paper jams, etc, etc, etc... So it took me about an hour and a half to make the copies! I was sure Mrs. Jones would think I was a total loser!
Then, after snack time, it was my time to give my lesson. Mrs. Jones said she'd leave it up to me to get the kids' attention (they were all eating snack and taking a conversation break.) I nearly died on the spot!
I decided to stick with Mrs. Jone's method of getting attention by saying, "Ready, set?" Sure enough, they chorused, "We're the best!" and quieted down.
They had to do a warm up exercise where they had little fake clocks, and I would say, "Show me what time you get up in the morning," and they would put the correct times on the clocks and hold them up. I was walking around the room to check, but I was so nervous, I was barely looking at their clocks! I was shaking!
Then I launched into my lesson. I started out by telling them a story. I drew a large clock on the board, and said that when I was a kid, my brother and I had a clock like that in our room, but my little brother broke the hour hand off the clock. I erased the hour hand. I asked them, "Do you think we couldd tell the time with just the minute hand?"
They shouted, "No!"
I told them, "You're right! We would know it was something-fifteen or something-thirty, but we didn't know what! Then my mom fixed our clock for us, so we had our hour hand back. (I drew it back on.) But guess what my little brother did then? He broke the minute hand off of our clock! (I erased the minute hand.) Do you think we could tell time with just the hour hand?"
"Actually, there is a way we can tell. We can estimate the time, using just the hour hand," I told them.
And I won't give you a whole script of the rest, but I went through it pretty easily. Even though I was shaking most of the time. I had to go through estimating time using just the hour hand, estimating to the nearest five minutes using both hands, and writing in digital formation.  I called on kids (even though I didn't know half of their names and had to say, "Kid in the stripes!" and things like that), got everyone involved, and made sure to call on Kristie a few times. (She actually seemed to be paying attention this time, maybe because having me up at the board instead of Mrs. Jones was a strange and new occurence.)
I was so glad when it was finally over! It was like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders!
After the kids went to lunch, Mrs. Jones showed me the notes she had taken, and she said she was very impressed! She told me that, if I did this well when my professor came to observe me, I'd blow him away! She really loved my story about my little brother breaking the clock, because she said it drew all the kids in and made it relatable to them. She was glad that I tried to involve Kristie. She said I seemed very nervous at first, but that the kids didn't notice. (Isn't it weird how little kids just assume adults know what they're doing?)
I also worked with small groups on Tell Time Quizmo, which is just like BINGO. I would show them a card with a clock on it, we'd all look at it and figure out what time it said, then they'd see if they had the matching time on their BINGO card. It went really well, and by the end, the kids were really impressing me with how quickly they were figuring out the time. (The kids who I work with are the kids who are way  behind the rest of the class in learning time telling.) Kristie was in my group of course, and even she did pretty well! They keep asking if there are going to be prizes if they win. Luckily (or unluckily) nobody ever gets BINGO because there are about four million calling cards and only four or five kids playing!
So... that day is over! I am so proud of myself for actually going, and getting through it, instead of calling in sick. :)

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