Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Key to Domesticity

It's all in a day's work.

Some days I feel super wife-ish. Other days, not so much. But today is a super wife-ish day! I am making homemade gravy with biscuits and bacon. Maybe some eggs in there, too. Tyler has this super huge engineering exam and I want him to know that I support him and love him and want him to do well on this thing! I've posted little notes everywhere and cannot wait until I make him breakfast and send him off for a wonderful 9 hour test. (Prayers are truly appreciated!)

In doing this preparation, I have come to the conclusion that as a woman, I am wired this way. I desire to show him how I care and how I feel through baking or crafting or something of that nature. Weird, I know. It's like the Lord gave me some maternal instinct or an "insta-wife" button. Seeing as how before we got married, I didn't really feel prepared to be a wife. Of course, there are still things that I need to work on (and there always will be!). But it's neat to see how the Lord has prepared me to take these responsibilities and enjoyments on! No longer do I see making dinner a "task," rather I find joy in doing it--MOST days!

I praise the Lord for being good and providing me with the energy and desire to serve my husband daily! I have realized that when I wake up in the morning, I not only think about myself anymore. I think about Tyler and the ways that I can make his week easier. It's really quite fun, because I can see him trying to do the same for me! =) Marriage has really shown me how selfish I can be and how grateful I am for my husband and for the everlasting love I receive from the Lord. How crazy is it that I had to learn about my selfish ways by being married?! The Lord has put up with that for how long now?! Regardless, I am glad that he has taught me this, and it's a continual work in progress.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Teacher Worries

Well, I know that I'm not suppose to worry for the Lord tells us not to and we are to cast all of our anxiety on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

I'm having some issues with that. Not with the verse. But with the fact that I can say that I can cast it all on Him, but then the actual act of doing so is tremendously difficult!

As of late, Cohort K has been receiving our placements for next semester. Most girls already know where they will be and it's somewhat stressful not knowing yet. I have had experience with PK-1st grade, and now I'm looking to be with the older students so that I can test the waters and see what age group the Lord wants me to be with in the future. I requested 3rd grade. I understand that it is a TAKS grade. I just want experience, to stick my feet in the water. I don't know how it will turn out. Heck, this could show me that I am meant to be with the babies...kindergarten. I don't know.

Not many 3rd grade teachers want a student teacher because it IS a TAKS grade. However, I did find one...and she's pregnant. She's due in mid-March. She wants a student teacher and I want to be in her classroom. If we get approval, then I could possibly stay with the class by myself and get paid for it! Which doesn't sound like a bad idea. If that were to happen, I could also be considered being a long-term substitute by the district if she chooses not to come back after she has her baby.

I daily check my emails to see if I have received more information about being approved or not.

Looking this over, I sound like a fool. Maybe this is something that I want so badly that I'm shoving aside what the Lord has for me. Is He trying to tell me something? Am I just that stubborn that I don't want to truly hear from God? I want to cast this on Him, but I also selfishly want to know where I will be next semester and who I'll be with so that I can meet the students and indicate to the teacher that I'm serious about this. I know that He is in control of all things. I know that He is Lord of my life. I know that He has a plan and will for me. Now, if I could only find a peace in that and rely on the truth that He has lavished upon me.

I trust in Him.
I know that He is sovereign.
I don't want to worry or stress about where I'll be next semester, for I know that He is in control.

This just in: I WILL be in a 3rd grade classroom this coming semester! The Lord took care of everything and I'm so grateful for Sheri Crossett!, I need to get my booty in gear for older kids lessons and centers and the like! =)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crazy Mixed Up Numbers!

Math Blog #3: Understanding a Student’s Number Sense

• Today, I worked with Michael and Luis (referred to as Student A and B) during centers. We played this game called "Crazy Mixed Up Numbers." I gave both students a ten-frame and took them from the classroom and into the 1st and 2nd grade pod. The counters were already on the table and both students instantly began playing with the counters.

Mrs. Sanders had told me that Student A was very low in mathematics; whereas, Student B is quiet but she thinks he's got it going on in mathematics. I did not know what to expect when working with these students for I haven't really worked with them one-on-one before; however, I had assumed that the students would not have any difficulty working with the lower numbers and representing them on the ten-frame. Numbers above six or so, I imagined they would have difficulties.

Both students have seen ten-frames before, and they are accustomed to seeing them in their math books and on the Landmark and Benchmark tests. Therefore, I didn't feel that this activity would be too foreign for them to fully comprehend.

I began the activity by asking them if they had ever seen a ten-frame before. Student A said yes, but B didn't say anything at all. I explained that when we use ten-frames, we begin on the top left and count all the way to five and then back to the bottom left and begin with six. They seemed to comprehend the set up of the ten-frame.

The first number I said was four. The boys responded by putting a marker on the fourth box, not filling it in or anything. The next number I stated was six. Again, the students merely put one marker on the corresponding box. When I looked down, each student had two markers (one in the "4" box and the other in the "6" box) on their ten-frame. I do not know if this case was due to the fact that they didn't understand what I was asking of them or if they just didn't grasp the concept yet. I asked them how many I needed from four to get to six. Both had to count each square in the ten-frame to know that six is two more than four.

I then decided that I should demonstrate what my ten-frame would look like if our number was seven. I asked them to do the same. Student A began looking over at my ten-frame, as well as Student B's. He seemed baffled by the idea that either of us would fully fill in our ten-frames to represent a number, rather than just placing a counter on the said box.

I asked the students to show me what fourteen would look like on a ten-frame. At that point, Student A wiped off his board and then counted out all fourteen markers and dumped them on his ten-frame. Student B began where he left off (at seven) and counted on to fourteen. Rather than dumping the rest that didn't have a box on the ten-frame onto the table, Student B scooted four counters over in the last four boxes and made room for each counter. The last four boxes contained two counters each. I asked Student B why he decided to represent it in such a way and he just shrugged and said, "There wasn't enough room. I had to make room." I also participated in this ten-frame and showed them my way of doing it. I told them that they were correct in counting out all fourteen counters; however, I asked them how many boxes were in a ten-frame. Both students cleared off their boards and began to count each square until they answered 10. With that, I asked them how many fourteen was away from ten. Both students stared at me. I asked them to pull out fourteen counters again and fill each square and count the counters they have left over. Student B stated that he had four more than ten. Student A still tried putting all the counters on the one ten-frame I had given him.

The students surprised me in many ways, but I did learn a lot about number sense in the first grade.

• Student A, throughout the lesson, tried to speak for Student B. Honestly, he kept playing with the counters and trying to stand on his chair. I didn't realize that he had such a difficult time focusing on one activity. Often times, I noticed that he would begin counting, look over at Student B's ten-frame, and then seem to forget what he was doing. I continually had to ask him what number he was trying to represent because he just kept putting the counters all over the ten-frame. Student A needs help with basic number sense because he can count correctly, but he has a tendency to rush things and mess up. There were a few times that I had to slow him down and ask him specifically how many markers did he have on the ten-frame. To count one and two more, Student A had recognize where the first number ended on the ten-frame and compare it to where the second one ended on the ten-frame. This was extremely difficult for him to do because he couldn't remember what the first number was once I asked him to represent a new number to me.

• Student B, with some prodding, can do this. He is a smart student, but both my CT and I believe that he has some learning difficulties. Student B has the ability to count on and he has a basic number sense. He can correctly identify more than, but struggles with the concept of "less than." (However, both students did.) When I asked the students to represent six and then three, both students had to wipe off the boards completely and then count on three from zero. Seeing that made me realize that subtraction is difficult for both boys. Student B did not understand that six minus three is three. His number sense is magnificent with adding, yet deficient in subtracting. With more practice, Student B can correctly work with ten-frames. Student B merely needs more one-on-one attention throughout the school day. He is struggling in other subject areas, and there 17 other students my CT is monitoring.

Student B also needs some practice with oral activities. He can correctly represent numbers on the ten-frame, but was hesitant to orally explain how he came up with his answer. When I would ask him questions, he would squirm in his seat or look to Student A for help--Student A would then try to speak for him. I am suspicious that this has been happening for a while now for Student B. Maybe he is not confident in his speech or explanations and then lets other students speak for him.

• Why is it that in the beginning of the activity, the students both only placed one marker on the corresponding ten-frame place? Did I explain the activity correctly? Do they struggle with number sense? I find it interesting they did this because once they continued on with the activity, both students seemed to better represent numbers on the ten-frame.

Although they have seen the ten-frames on tests and the like, both students need a better understanding of a ten-frame. On a test the class took, the question asked, "How many are there?" and it showed two ten-frames put together and the students had to circle the answer with the correct number represented. I found this to be very easy for the students, simply because they merely counted the squares with markers in them. Aside from that, the students need exposure to ten-frames.