April 1, 2008
I attended a meeting early this morning. In this meeting, the principal discussed SATP Remediation. All students in
the general education curriculum would participate in this remediation every other day. All students in exceptional education
would participate in a different form of testing at these times. I feel that these remedial courses and several forms of assessments
administered to the students are very much beneficial to them. It is only through testing students that educators can identify
their problems and make the proper diagnosis.
The morning was very dark, rainy, and gloomy, which had negative effects on the students. Only about half of the students
were present in each of my classes. I assumed it was partly because many of them walk to school and did not want to walk in
the rain. Also, the weather affected the attitudes of the students. Many of them were tired and constantly laid their heads
on their desks. They were easily agitated and frustrated. However, I explained to them that there will be many rainy days
and that they can’t just “shut down” when it rained. So eventually the students became motivated and completed
their assignments. They defined new terms, read in groups, and completed a 4-square model. This model provided preparation
for their essay writing activity.
April 2, 2008
Today my students took a test on the current chapter. Based on their
work samples and my observations, the students appeared to have a thorough understanding of the lesson. During my planning
period, I learned how to do an IEP re-evaluation. After filling out several papers, I had to fax them all to the school’s
case manager. Then, I contacted the school’s psychometrist to schedule a meeting with the parent of the student.
Additionally, I noticed that a student of mine appeared to be acting
very differently today. Usually, it would be extremely difficult to keep her focused and on-task. However, today she was focused
and I only had to redirect her a few times. I noticed that her social behavior had changed as well. She was communicating
with her classmates and laughing, something I had never seen her do. After talking to her, I found out that her medication
had been reduced. She had been taking three different types of medicine. As a result, she appeared to be a zombie. To me,
it is so sad that students are getting so “doped up” on medicine that it alters the way they behave. The medicine,
to me, is doing more harm than good. The students are less focused and attentive and are learning less as a result. This girl
was able to learn much more when off of medication.
April 3, 2008
One of my student’s parents visited the class today. He was concerned
about his son’s behavior. I explained to him that the boy was extremely lazy and always complained about having to do
work in class. I also explained to him that he seemed very immature and that I constantly had to tell him to stop playing
with another classmate. The parent took the boy outside of the classroom and disciplined him verbally.
Later on in the day, a boy came to our class for the first time this
year. I had no idea what level this boy was on cognitively. I knew I had to administer an assessment to him to find out what
he was capable of doing. I was assisted in doing so from the information in his IEP.
In my last period class, a boy walked out of the classroom without
permission. I had warned him in the past not to ever do that again. This time, he did not come back. So I wrote a referral
for him. I wrote down exactly what he had done. This student was over the age of 18 and he had recently expressed that he
didn’t have to obey the school rules. After turning the referral in to the assistant principal, I waited to see what
would be done on this issue.
April 4, 2008
Today, our students were testing in another classroom. During this time, my supervising teacher and I worked on a teacher
summary form for a new student from out of state. Before filling out the information, we had to gather as much information
on this student as possible, since we had never met the student. We collected his schedule, his IEP and work samples and tracking
forms from all of his teachers.
After gathering and analyzing all this information, we began to complete the teacher summary. It was still quite difficult,
because we did not have all the required information to complete the summary. We had to look at benchmarks and compare them
with the student’s skills. We also had to look at the Mississippi Curriculum Framework to see where this student should
be academically. Lastly, we had to start on a behavior plan for this student because of his current behavior.
I learned a great deal of information pertaining to completing teacher summary sheets. I learned to collect as much
information on the student as possible. I also learned how to analyze the data and make the proper diagnosis.
April 7, 2008
There was no school due to the severe weather.
April 8, 2008
Today we began a new chapter on how to be a good citizen. Students learned about the purpose of their social security
cards. They also learned that good citizen voted, participated in community service, served on juries, and paid their taxes.
Students were allowed to complete practice voter registration applications and applications for social security cards. They
also had practice in completing W-2 tax forms.
Another student showed up for the first time this year today. Fortunately, he was respectful to his teachers and peers.
Also, he appeared to be a very hard worker. He completed all his work and participated verbally in the lesson. Even though
he is diagnosed as having a bipolar disorder, he did not show any alternating mood changes or episodes today. Hopefully, he
will continue to behave as he did today in the future.
April 9, 2008
I completed a least restricted environment (LRE) form for a new student from out of state. I learned how to make sure
students were in the least restricted environment as possible. This student would be placed in special education classes for
about 60% of the day and in general education classes for about 40% of the day.
We discussed how to make the decision to vote for someone before voting. One way was to listen to debates from the
candidates. To better explain what a debate was, the students were allowed to engage in a debate. One student discussed reasons
for voting for Hillary Clinton as president while another student discussed reasons for wanting to vote for Barak Obama. The
students really were interested in the activity. They expressed to me that they would definitely listen to the debates of
the candidates before voting.
April 10, 2008
I attended an IEP workshop today. In this workshop, I obtained a plethora of information. Some of the information was
very familiar to me, while some was novel. For example, I already knew that an individualized education program, or IEP, was
a written statement for a child with a disability. I also knew that IEPs describe the student’s performance, they must
be realistic, they must be specific, they must be measurable, and they must be reviewed and revised annually.
On the contrary, I wasn’t really familiar with creating individual transition plans. In the workshop, I participated
in a group activity in which I helped to create a transition plan for two students. In doing so, I learned that all transition
plans must include five essential elements including the following: higher education, employment, residence, transportation,
April 11, 2008
My supervising teacher was out today because of illness. Unfortunately, a substitute teacher was never contacted so
I had the challenge of teaching and supervising the class unaccompanied. Although is was much similar to having the teacher
in the classroom, some students tried to misbehave when they noticed their teacher was gone. I quickly explained to them that
they will respect me and continue to obey the classroom rules. Afterwards, I went on with my lesson and had very few problems.
After completing the lesson review, the students took a test. It was a little difficult to create different assessments
for each of the student’s unique abilities. For example, the students who had specific learning disabilities had to
write their test in essay/short answer format (since they were capable of doing so). Students who were considered edgicably
mentally retarded (EMR) were allowed to take their test in multiple choice format. Those couple of students who were trainable
mentally retarded (TMR) had a much simpler test altogether. In fact, one girl was allowed to complete her test verbally.
April 14, 2008
Today, the students on the B-day schedule took
their test. The test was pertaining to how to be a good citizen. Most of the students had very few difficulties with this
chapter. I noticed that many of my students had drastically improved in reading and writing complete sentences. I praised
them all for doing so and encouraged them to keep up the good work.
After the test, we began the next chapter. In
this chapter, the students learned about different traffic signs and their meanings. They were allowed to draw some traffic
signs that they were familiar with on the board and explain why they thought they were important. We also discussed laws that
bike riders must abide by. The students were surprised to find out that bike riders had to obey all the same laws as cars.
April 15, 2008
continued our chapter on traffic laws. The students were allowed to search through the Mississippi Driver’s Manual Booklet
to find some traffic laws to discuss with the class. Many of the students found the Driver’s Manual Booklet very informative
and interesting. This is probably due to the fact that many of my students are preparing to get their permit and/or licenses.
One boy wanted to study the booklet for the entire class period. I was glad that he was so actively engaged in the lesson.
also discussed accidents in this chapter. The students learned what to do in case they ever experienced an accident. Most
of the students said that they would call the police immediately after having an accident. They were shocked to learn that
the very first thing one must do if see if anyone is hurt, and if so, contact an ambulance.
last part of the chapter pertained to jaywalking. This word was new to most of my students. After explaining the new term
to them, the students admitted that they did it all of the time. After learning that they would have to pay a fine for jaywalking,
they decided to stop doing it and to cross the street at crosswalks and corners.
April 16, 2008
Today I reviewed some IEPs to familiarize myself
with them. Soon, I will be completing one without any assistance. Also, I sent notices out to three parents concerning a revision
of the IEPs for their children. IEPs must be reviewed and/or revised annually. I also had to send a notice to a parent for
a boy who needed a re-evaluation of his IEP.
During my planning period, I attended a workshop
that was conducted by a local bank. This workshop provided helpful hints on how to keep your check book balanced and even
how to invest. I learned about the several types of savings accounts including club accounts, money market accounts, and certificate
of deposits (CDs). I left the workshop well-informed of how to invest and properly manage my finances.
April 17, 2008
The scores from an exam that the students took
came back and the results were surprising. Many of the students had shown a regression in reading and language. This was so
surprising to me because in the classroom, several of my students have shown progress in the areas of reading and language.
However, no one test shows the complete potential of a student and these test results may not have been 100% accurate.
Many factors could have played a role in the students’ results. For example,
there were several students taking the test at the same time and many of them were playing and not really staying focused.
This could have caused a distraction to other students, thus negatively affecting their scores as well. Also, the room temperature
could have had an impact on their results, along with the noise level in the room while they were testing. I suggest a re-test,
April 21, 2008
worked on completing their portfolios today. Inside their portfolio were the following items: a résumé, cover letter, job
application, voter’s registration form, references, social security application, personal data sheet, class work samples,
and much more information. A transition plan was placed in each of the portfolios as well. The transition plans included future
employment, education, housing, transportation, and recreational activities.
noticed a lot as I observed my students on today. One girl, who is diagnosed trainable mentally retarded (TMR), could read
much better than she could in the past. She could also verbally express her thoughts using complete sentences. One boy, who
is diagnosed edgicable mentally retarded (EMR), improved in reading and in writing sentences. A girl, who is labeled EMR showed
progress in reading and following directions. She also improved in spell words correctly.
April 22, 2008
morning, I attended a meeting concerning state testing. After the meeting, we had remediation, which helped prepare students
for the state test. In my first period class, several students had to make up their test because they had been absent. I realized
then how a teacher’s plans can go completely in another direction. Since so many students had missed the test, I allowed
them to make the test up. Afterwards, I began to teach the lesson for the day and almost ran out of time. The students had
spent so much time on their test that I had to rush through the lesson. Tomorrow, I know I will have to reiterate what I taught
today to make sure all students my have a clear understanding of what I taught them. I learned that if students have to make
up a test to allow them to do so after school or during a time that won’t take away valuable class time.
addition, I completed an IEP for a student. It wasn’t that bad, since I was familiar with IEPs. I also set up a few
meetings with parents concerning an annual review of their child’s IEP, their child’s progress, and their behavior.
Moreover, I obtained practice in completing a social behavior plan for a student. This particular student had shown some progress
in the area of staying in his assigned area. However, he hadn’t shown any progress in staying on-task.
April 23, 2008
We went on a field trip to the Horses for the
Handicap. It was such a wonderful experience for me! There were handicapped students from schools all over Mississippi in attendance. It was my first
time being around so many severely handicapped individuals for an extended period of time. While on the trip, I assisted in
serving drinks to the students. It warmed my heart to be able to give them all cold drinks after playing in the hot sun. I
knew that they appreciated my services. There were handicapped adults there as well. They were all so precious to me.
Also during the trip, many of our students volunteered.
For example, some students assisted in riding the horses with the severely handicapped children. Other students acted as tour
guides for other schools that would arrive. Still other students played games with the handicapped individuals.
Students of ours who had more severe disabilities
enjoyed themselves as well. They played games, rode horses, and socialized with friends. They enjoyed the opportunity to meet
I really enjoyed this trip. It allowed our students to reach out to the community and
provide their services to those who really needed it. This trip was a great experience for us all.
April 24, 2008
Today, my supervising teacher gave the students
who were well behaved during the semester a mini party. The students were pleased to have been awarded for displaying appropriate
behaviors. We had such a good time. We ate, socialized, and discussed certain issues among one another. Also, I took several
pictures of my students so that I could remember my fantastic student teaching experience. What's more, my students prepared
a graduation card for me. After they all signed it, I read it and it almost brought tears to my eyes. It really blessed me
to know that I really made a difference in these young people’s lives.
Later in the day, I completed an IEP for one
of my students. Then, I met with the parent of my students for an annual review of his IEP. We discussed the boy’s current
level, his new address, his attendance, and plans for him receiving extended school year services. The conclusion of the meeting
was that the boy would be transferring to another school- a school that was in the district that he resided in. Also, the
parent agreed to encourage her son to come to school regularly and complete all of his assignments to the best of his ability
to enhance his grades.
April 25, 2008
After discussing services for disabled individuals
in the community, we had a guest speaker to come in and talk to the class. This man was an entrepreneur who visited different
schools across the nation speaking to students concerning different issues. For example, he talked to the students about having
a positive attitude, not giving in to peer pressure, and treating others as you want to be treated.
In addition, he told jokes, asked questions,
and provided treats to those who could correctly respond to his questions. The students were very interested in what this
man was saying because he talked to them on their level and made them laugh. The treats kept their attention as well. Lastly,
he performed exciting demonstrations. These demonstrations had meaningful values. The students learned a great deal from this
man. He definitely had an impact on the students. He will be invited back to our classroom in the future.