Water, water everywhere! It turns out that about 14 million gallons of water are extracted from the Sonoma County Water Agency every day. That's a lot of H20!
The education program that hosted our field trip was fantastic! We got to test the water by going to the Russian River, looked through microscopes to check out microorganisms, and also saw the water plant where the water is pulled from the earth. It was a fun day and such pretty place to go.
A few new vocabulary terms from today:
Several of my students were so excited about the science fair at our school after a bit of an introduction to chemistry. They had learned that combining baking soda and vinegar results in a chemical reaction, so we found an experiment online that involves gummy worms. In the experiment, the kids tried soaking the worms in various amounts of baking soda and water to see how the worms would react to then being put in vinegar.
It turns out that this experiment works best with a 2-part water, 1-part baking soda solution to soak the worms in, and the skinnier the worms are cut, the better. The one on the far right was immediately covered in bubbles and danced up to the surface of the vinegar. It goes to show that an experiment can always be altered slightly to hypothesize about varying results.
I'm now student teaching with a 3rd grade class, and I did my first grammar lesson with the kids on abbreviations. I found this anchor chart on Pinterest, as well as a "Go Fish" activity. It was great to be able to use a game they were already familiar with to get them excited about learning something new. (Plus, when one group got bored or skipped a turn by accident, I could easily turn in into a matching game at their table...so the moral is that flexible activities are always good.)
When I first started student teaching, I found that one of my biggest hurdles was staying focused on the class while also attempting to follow my printed lesson plan. As a nervous new teacher, I found myself meticulously laboring over every little detail as I wrote up my plan. When I stood in front of the class, I then had to scramble to find the important bits of my plan, such as the page number I wanted students to turn to in their text books. I figured out that in order to be prepared to teach, I need to have a cheat-sheet that actually works in order to remain in control.
The important bits:
I realized that my outline needed to remain as brief as possible. The more brief it is, the easier it is for me to refer to. I'm now striving to find the balance between planning and remaining flexible to what my students need. After all, it's impossible to "script" the dialogue that is critical for learning. The plan should be to facilitate learning rather than plan every detail of it.
I've whittled my long Taskstream lesson plan, which is the formatting tool required as part of my credential program, down to a simple one-page, two-column format that I could print and follow as I teach. Now, all of my lessons, no matter the subject, are written in this format. I may further adapt it over time, but for now, I think I've hit on something that works for me, and what's more, my students are now familiar with my lesson sequence. My lessons are as fun and engaging as possible, but there's a continuity that makes my teaching as much of a routine for them as it is for me.
Download my lesson plan format >
Sample lesson: Math Lesson Unit 3, Lesson 12 >
Hi, my name is Alexis Markavage. I'm a student teacher and a Multiple Subject Credential candidate at Dominican University of California. I graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design, but now I'm continuing my education to work in education. I hope to work as an upper elementary school teacher.