Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Pictures of Week 2 @ St. Michael's


A "1,2,3,4 let's all do this some more" moment.

"Scarves away, scarves away... gently put the scarves away"

Bryann picked an appropriate time to use the "Magic Finger up High" trick technique.

"Magic Fingers up high, Magic Fingers down low"

The children all waited patiently for Miss Bryann to use her beautiful singing voice to match pitches with them.

Week 2 Achievements Recap

Bryann's Notable Accomplishments:

She matched pitches with the children during hello and goodbye time
(even though she is still learning names!)

She gave assistance to children numerous times during class.
(especially Katie)

She volunteered to take children one by one to the bathroom as needed. (without my prompting!!! ---she is brave!!) Bryann overcame her fear and took 3 children to the restroom by herself, assisting them in hand washing, drying and coming back to the circle. This was a big help to me.

She helped lead a circle dance with and without the scarves

She passed out the rhythm sticks and collected them (some of the children even tried to get more than 2, but Bryann wouldn't allow it!) --good job!

Week 2 (continued)

Somebody took THREE rhythm sticks.... And it
was Grayson. :) Bryann Handled the situation

She caught on right away, making sure he had the right amount of rhythm sticks to play with. In our training session, we worked on the same scenario and discussed this exact situation. Practical. Yet, hands on learning is taking place here, for both teacher and student.

Here is Bryann, guiding Katie to form a line with the other children.
(on her own, without my prompting)

Carnival Parade Circle March
(Bryann does a great job with this activity)             

Finally, I wish there was a picture I could have snapped of Bryann's face when she told me, 
"I got it." This was after she bravely and assertively responded to a child by taking  his hand, leading to the restroom, and guiding him through the steps, even down to washing and drying hands!

I followed her out to the hallway just to be sure, remembering how apprehensive she was to even the IDEA of it.  That's when she turned to me and said "I got it. I'm good"

I often believe that obstacles are there for us to simply overcome and feel good about our achievements. Ironically, we had just talked about how scared she was about taking a child to the potty. I later asked her what came over her and she replied, "I thought about my confidence."

Bryann took THREE children to the bathroom that day, which was a great help to me. 

Week 1 and 2 Pictures

First Kindermusik Class @ St. Michael's: Week 1

 In these pictures, Bryann is assisting Katie, who is new to Kindermusik and younger than some of the other children. Bryann initiated helping Katie on her own, without prompting.

During class, I asked Bryann to pass out the sticks to the children. She bravely did this on her own!

Most of the children took 2 sticks......

.... Exploring different ways to play with the rhythm sticks...
 Bryann confidently placed the lid on the box after passing out the rhythm sticks, maintaining control as we previously worked on in our training session.    

Here we are, playing our rhythm sticks to the beat of the Carnival music. 

Week 2 Journal Entry: Training @ Forest Lake

September 22, 2009

My Goals for Bryann this week:
For Bryann to lead a circle dance with scarves
Lead the hello song/matching pitches w/ each child

Focus: Giving positive reinforcement/verbal encouragement to the children during activities done in class.

During this training session, we worked on many aspects of teaching. We sang the hello and goodbye song together, worked on matching pitches as before, we talked about the importance of time out, and talking children to the bathroom.

One issue that Bryann was hesitant and nervous about was discipline. "What if they don't listen to me, or do what I tell them to do?" And this is a very valid issue, I believe, for any teacher who is starting out.

I addressed these issues in the following ways, beginning with simply finding ways to attain their attention. Once we get the child's attention, then we can re-direct. We talked about how those two aspects follow hand in hand and how to react in certain situations.

I. Discipline
   A. Step 1: Getting their Attention
        1.  Physically getting down on the child's level, engaging in eye contact, hand on shoulder
        2.  Turning off the lights and counting to 3
        3. "Magic Fingers up High, Magic Fingers down low"
        4. "Put your hands in your lap"
   B. Step 2: Redirecting their behavior
        1. "Instead of running, let's use our walking (running, skipping, jumping, dancing) feet. Can    
              you show me your dancing feet?"
        2. "Instead of screaming, let's use our inside voices. Can you whisper like me?"
        3. "Instead of hitting, can we give each other a hug?"

We acted out most of these ideas, roll playing me as the teacher, then her as the student. And even incorporated some imaginary students as well into the mixture.

We worked on different ways to pass out the rhythm sticks, followed by introducing the song or activity. We also switched back and forth, me being the student, her being the teacher--and ended up being quite hilarious. But, it's a very good learning technique and I'm sticking to it!

I asked Bryann if she felt comfortable in assisting/ supervising the children in the bathroom one at a time. She greatly hesitated and wasn't too wild about the idea. She was also a little apprehensive about the children getting out of control in the class. Both of these are very good issues to be able to have talked about with her and all the more to overcome them.

I reminded her of the "life's a dance" country song, and how it's exactly the same way with teaching. Sometimes you lead the children, and sometimes you follow their lead.

"Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry about what you don't know
Life's a dance. You learn as you go"

I encouraged her to have courage, and step out... and that's exactly what happens in Week 2 of our
St. Michael's application class.... to be continued...

Week 1-Application class @ St. Michaels, Wednesday 9:00-10:30

September 16th, 2009

Today was our time to apply what we had gone over in our first one on one training session, which was yesterday. I am happy to say that our first day went very well at St. Michaels. We are working on classroom set up and positive, verbal encouragement with the kids as we do each activity.

I found that Bryann just jumped right into introducing herself to the children. She got down on their level, bending down and greeting them.During class, she actively participated in every activity and was a great role model to the children.

Bryann encouraged the children to have fun and participate by being an excellent, participating role model for the children. I was also very impressed with how she verbally addressed the group, on her own,  during a circle dance, by saying "Good job, everyone! And remember to have fun!"

And even though we had to take the children to the bathroom during the middle of the class, Bryann helped me in the hallway by singing songs with the children. They loved it! (We give extra time tacked onto the end of the class if we have to take a potty break for the children.)

I am happy with our beginnings this week.

Week 1- Journal Entry: Training @ Forest Lake 1:00-2:30

September 15th, 2009

We discussed classroom set up, clean up and put away. I found out she is highly allergic to Lysol spray, which I depend on all the time to clean the air and my instruments. I think I'm going to switch to Clorox anytime surface spray for her benefit.

We went over the "hello" song and roll played scenarios of children sitting in the circle with us, singing hello and asserting different responses. We discussed how to sing hello by matching pitches back and forth together.

We talked about problem solving. For example, time out issues--when and how to send a child to time out.  Bryann seemed a little concerned and even sad that we would even have to send a child to time out. I assured her that  time out isn't a bad thing, but necessary for re-direction for each child as needed.

We played with the scarves and Bryann and I roll played me being the teacher, then her being the student, and vise versa. --worked well. We went over how to give verbal encouragement to each individual child during an activity, particularly a scarf circle dance.

Bryann clearly has a love for teaching and for children. Her very warm and inviting attitude was readily welcomed by he children on her first day.