Friday, April 29, 2011

Rachel K. Lynnwood

I’ve been observing and teaching at Lynnwood Elementary School for the past week. The commute is long; the school is in Snohomish County, about 15 miles north of Seattle. I wake up in the morning and grab a bus over to Interbay where Elisabeth kindly drives me up to Lynnwood with her. She is a really nice girl and it’s been fun having chats with her during our carpooling time. She has been observing in a 5th grade classroom and I have been in Mr. W’s 3rd grade classroom with my peer coach, Aimee. A peer coach is someone who I work with one-on-one for the rest of the block, which ends on June 10th. She helps me by observing my lessons and looking for specific things I can improve upon that I designate. She’s not a critic so much as a partner in crime. 

The Classroom: The Neatest Place on Earth
  The third grade classroom is large and very well decorated by the veteran teacher. He has been working at Lynnwood for 27 years and told me that one of the 2nd grade teachers at the school used to be in his class – “and she’s not young, either.” There are 27 students in the class from very diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, which is extremely exciting for me since I am interested in international teaching! Hurrah!
Who says math isn't Hi-Laaarious?

 For our first week at Lynnwood, we are focusing on the elements of lesson design, which we’ve been learning in class. The teacher is extremely thorough with his lesson plans, which makes for a nice observation experience.
And the plants were measured, and there was much rejoicing.
 On Friday, Aimee and I taught a cooperative lesson on finding averages. The learning target was to have students be able to find a mathematical average for their plant heights. To find the average, they were to use centimeter block manipulatives instead of simply doing it numerically, which they will learn next year. It was a bit bumpy because Aimee and I have very different teaching personalities, but overall I think it was a fine first lesson for us. It will be good to work together in the future with a focus on how we can cue each during a lesson. Furthermore, it will be challenging but rewarding to focus on how we can each help each other grow as a teacher and utilize our respective strengths and passions in the classroom.
I learned about so many sizes of milk!
 Next week we’ll be back on campus and learning more about psychology and development. I’m looking forward to seeing all the grown ups again and to wearing jeans!