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About Me

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Hello my name is Addie Krantz!  I spent most of my life in a small town in Montana called Polson.  Polson is on the south end of Flathead Lake!  I have one sibling, a sister, that is 9 years younger then I.  I have spent a lot of my time teaching her and being a good influence to her.  After graduating high school I moved to Spokane where I started school at Spokane Community College in the professional baking program.  After a quarter of that I decided I really wanted to be a teacher!  My parents are both teachers so I guess it is just in my genes!  I love the idea of making a difference in a child's life.  I am in my Junior year of college and getting excited that I'm closer to being a teacher every day that passes by. 




New York Times - Education

ABC News - US



Unschooling Article/Refelection

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I choose to read an article from the New York Times called , Home Schoolers Content to Take Children's Lead.  Here is the link to it   . 

 I also read a blog of a mother that is actually unschooling her children right now.  I guess what I get from the articles I have read is that Unschooling can be a good thing if it is done right.  For children to have the social aspect that they would get from public school classrooms the parents must take their children to social gatherings.  One aspect I did like about unschooling that I read about in the article was the children were given an allowance and they were able to buy something with that.  The money was also put into checking accounts and they were able to understand how the banking system worked.  I am very lucky that my parents had me practicing money management at an early age but that is one thing I think that public schools lack.  Lots of my friends have had trouble understanding how to write a check or that money gets taken out of the account and you must have enough money in the account to not get an overdraft fee.  I think that unschooling could provide some real world aspects that public could not but I think that public school also has a lot to offer.  One aspect of unschooling I wasn’t sure about was what children do after they turn into adults.  Yet in the article they referenced to a 27 year old man that was unschooled who went on to college and gained a degree.  I believe that it is strictly up to parents to decided what type of education is right for their child.  To me any kind of education that is successful in teaching children a love of learning so they can instill that into their offspring is amazing.  I really enjoy the idea of unschooling schools!  I think this is a brilliant idea because it brings the socialization of public school but brings an independent way of education to the students.  The Sudbury Valley School website had tons of good articles as well to read.  I remember when I was in school I thought that I should have been able to choose what I wanted to learn and often times I thought why I would use the information I was getting out of the classes.  So my opinion on the Unschooling subject is that I think it is the parents’ choice and the students’ choice and where ever and how ever the child can learn is the way to go.  I am glad that I did go to public school because I pushed beyond my limits.  If I was left to decide what I wanted to do when I was young I think I would not have learned as much as I did at public school.  I am glad that I learned about unschooling I had never heard of the term before.  I think it is very interesting and I wouldn’t mind being part of one of these schools. 

Reflection #1

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Addie Krantz

Intro to Early Childhood Ed

Reflection #1


All educators are important in the lives of children but early childhood educators have the ability to spark a love of learning in their students.  Certain factors can either influence or discourage how the child will learn and succeed in education.  The setting of the class room is a huge factor as well as the programs that are used, the philosophy of the teacher and the overall way the teacher teaches.  These are all major topics you must address when planning on being an early childhood teacher.

Being an Early Childhood Educator is a very important job.  It means being involved in a human beings most critical time of development during their lives.  At this time you are not only able to teach them multiple academic subjects but you are able to teach them respect, responsibility and self worth.  You may also be able to identify a potential problem that a child is having therefore intervening and getting him/her the help that they require.  Early Intervention is very important for making their educational life a productive and exciting time.  Sometimes the setting of the classroom can make a huge impact in the way a child learns.

Many people have a hard time figuring what program is the best for early childhood education.  I think that any program is good if it has these aspects.  Lots of self teaching areas where they can play with objects, read books, and explore new things.  It would contain a teaching staff of knowledgeable individuals. Group Projects so they can learn from each other, practice sharing, and interact socially.   A great setting and a motivating/ atmosphere would enhance the program as well as parent and community involvement.  Slavin quotes from Vandell “The NAEYC and other advocates of developmentally appropriate practice recommend extensive use of projects, play, exploration, group work, learning centers, and the like, and a de-emphasis on teacher-directed instruction, basal readers, and workbooks.”(Slavin,73)  I actually got this information from my psychology book.  I really like the idea of more group interaction, stations where they can learn from them selves and projects that help them understand certain concepts.  A teacher of a second grade classroom that I volunteered at was very hands on, very group oriented and had many projects that helped the kids learn concepts in fun ways.  This is the way that I would like to run my classroom some day.

It is important to be an intentional teacher.  This is a new term for me since I just learned about it this last week.  It amazed me how important it is for a teacher’s pedagogy to be intentional.  To be an intentional teacher means to vary instructional methods to get the children to understand, reflecting on outcomes of lessons that they give and seeing how they can make them better, using criticism/suggestions in a productive way and attending workshops to increase your knowledge of being a teacher.  Being an intentional teacher will improve your lessons therefore helping your students learn more in the time that they are in your classroom. 

My personal philosophy would include the following:  I believe all my students will learn and enjoy learning.   My student will know I love them by my fairness and firmness in the classroom.   I promise to always come prepared to give all that I can give everyday.   As a teacher I will develop and bond with my students and their parents and make them an extended part of my school classroom.  I will provide all the necessary tools and methods for their learning to be maximized.  My students will be viewed as individual learners, each with a unique learning style, encouraged to be the very best they can be.

I am very happy that I am planning on being an early childhood education teacher.  I think I am up for the challenge and hard work it will take to make my students time at school a fun, educational and interactive environment.  I look forward to everyday being a day closer to my career of being a TEACHER!


Slavin, R. E. (2009). Educational Psychology. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Reflection #2

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Addie Krantz

Reflection #2

October 29, 2008


Alternative Schooling pops up in many conversations about where your child should go to school.  There are so many alternative schools other then public and private that have given parents and children many different options.  The problem is which school do you pick, and is that school the right one?  Chances are when you start researching your options you will find that most information you get is very bias and advocates that their approach to teaching is the best.  In reality only the parents and the child know what will be the right school for them.  I think the abundance of alternative schools plus the many public and private schools are great for finding the right type of education for your child.  Alternative schools give children a way to learn that could fit their learning style and make them love learning.  I think that alternative schools are good for certain children and parents.  But just like everything there are pros and cons for going to that kind of school but it is ultimately the parent’s choice on where they think their child will get the best education that they can get.  But I do believe that it is the parent’s responsibility to do their research and make an educated decision on the type of school that they will have their kids involved in. 

Alternative schools could be a great thing for some children and a horrible thing for others. I think that alternative schools are a great way for some children to be educated.  I feel this way because everyone learns differently and everyone requires different circumstances in their life to become a successful human being.  If a child is to be educated in an alternative school(as well as public or private schools) I think it is very important that their parents be very involved in every part of the learning process. 

I read an article by Meline Toumani called, The School Visit: What to Look For, What to Ask.  This article gave parents an idea of what to look for in a school and what to be asking the schools employees when visiting them.  Toumani says, “A school visit is an invaluable way to learn about whether a particular school is the right place for your child … Even after a short visit, you'll have a much richer sense of the school's strengths, challenges and approaches toward teaching and learning.”  (Tourmani, 2008)  I thought that this article really compliments my feelings towards choosing schooling for a child.  It is not just a simple decision that will not affect them in any way.  The decision of what school to send them to weather it be alternative or traditional will impact the way that child looks at learning for the rest of their life.

My advice to parents and even people who are not sure about weather alternative or traditional school is the way to go them I would tell them to make an educated decision.  Look into visiting a potential school, meet the staff, talk to them about their goals in teaching children, make sure the atmosphere is one you are comfortable in and most of all ask around.  Word of mouth is very powerful and if you get the same results by asking which schools that random parents would recommend then I would suggest going to that school and finding out what they are all about.  I try not to get stuck in the attitude that “one way is the right way” because it is not like that for everyone.  One thing that works for one child may not work for another.  So before you either say no to alternative or traditional school make sure you know what they are all about and make sure you aren’t just making a decision because you have not done your research!





Tourmani, Meline (2008,May). The School visit: what to look for, what to ask . Retrieved October 29, 2008, from great schools Web site:


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This is the link to my article: 

My artifact was an article I found on the web site .  This article was about childhood and culture and how important it is for teachers to bring culture into their classrooms.  The article talked a lot about being a good teacher.   Being a good teacher means learning about your student’s culture and understands how their culture impacts their leaning.  There was an example of how you could use the families’ cultural background to help your student learn.  Teacher teams would go to houses of their students and ask their family members about the highest level of education they had and how they learned the skills for their job (if they had one).  They also talked to the families’ about literacy, parenting styles, and attitudes towards school.  When the teachers were done interviewing the families they gathered all of their information and found that many of the parents have skills and knowledge that they could share with the class.  This lead to the example of a Mexican candy activity that helped bring the culture of a student whos family moved to the United States from Mexico.  The teacher passed out a variety of Mexican candy for the students to try and had them decided if they really counted as “candy” (some of the Mexican candy was salty).  The next day the teacher had the students hypothesize what ingredients were in the Mexican candy and what ingredients were in American Candy.  After they hypothesized they looked at the ingredient lists on the candy and found that the Mexican candy had a lot less ingredients and less artificial color than the American Candy.  The next day the teacher had one of the Mexican Immigrant mothers come and show them how to make the candy and talked to them (through a translator) about some of the major differences of Mexican and American Food.  The last day of this Mexican candy activity the children individually wrapped the candy that they had made the day before, priced it, and made posters to sell the candy at their school talent show.  I thought that this article was really neat because it showed a sample of a way to bring culture into the classroom.  This article told me that even if we have culturally diverse students in our class that doesn’t mean that we have enough culture in our classrooms.  To make your classroom a comfortable environment for all your students you have to bring all their cultures together and make them feel that you care about who they really are.  I believe that culture is very unrepresented in schools and that we as future teachers must understand that and make a difference.       


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The first thing I noticed when looking up information on the candidates was that john McCain’s information was much less than Barack Obama’s information.  Obama and Biden had many ideas on increasing funding for head start programs.  In my education psychology class we studied the effects of head start on the overall success throughout a child’s educational career.  Children who had head start were found to have a much higher achievement level than children who had no head start and were involved in preschool.  Obama wants to put in what is called a “zero to five” plan that will give young children and their parents support with early childhood care and pre-schooling for young children.  Obama and Biden hope to make Early Learning Challenge Grants to will help states have universal preschool.  The other topic Obama and Biden is Head Start and Early Head Start they want to increase funding to make the programs that much better.  They say they also will help working families get affordable high-quality health care.  They want to put 10 billion dollars into early childhood education.  

McCain said that education does not need any more than the $59 billion that they already get.  They are not proposing and new funding what so ever for education.  McCain said that he would require federal programs to put most of their time on focusing on Head Start and school readiness programs.   Head start programs with a record of excellence will get $200,000 annually to make their programs expand out city and state wide so the programs that have been proving to be the best will be expanded to include more children. 

I’m very glad that Obama has been elected because of the promises that he has made for education.  It’s very important for educators to understand the stance of representatives on educational issues.  If educators aren’t informed they might not make the right decision and they might not help in making the issues known to other voters.  Voters are the only people who can vote for children who have to way to voice their opinion in issues.    

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Project Approach

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Project Approach

We used the web site to get our information.

Historical Background/key people: The approach is based in part on the work of the American educator and philosopher John Dewey along with his wife and his colleagues they developed the project approach over seven years.  A colleague and student of his William Kilpatrick popularized the approach as the project method.  Sylvia Chard  is co-author with  Lilian G. Katz of the book, Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach.   Dr. Chard has also written two Practical Guides for Teachers on project work published by Scholastic (1998) The Project Approach: Making Curriculum Come Alive and The Project Approach: Managing Successful Projects.  Sylvia Chard helped create the website that we got all of our information from. 

Educators are:  Teachers should have the children conduct investigations, invite experts into the classroom, do drawings from memory, construct pictographs, venn-diagrams and flow charts.  They make sure that they are accenting the children’s interest.  Communication with the children is very important.  The teachers will teach without telling the children the answers so they can learn for themselves.  Teacher use the strategy known as EKWQ, E= Experience K= knowledge W= Wonder Q= Question. 

Environment: The environment would include; a rug for group meetings, walls covered with findings, areas for writing, reading, listening, computers, art work, science experiments, and real world objects for exploration.

Space: Areas for many different kinds of work, furniture should be laid out in a fashion that promotes flexibility and comfort.  There should be areas for finished work.  The space should be very welcoming and it should promote learning. 

Content Is:  The project approach uses 3 different phases to teach the children.  Phase 1 starts with the selection of a topic, which I explain further below, and the introduction of a broad topic to the children.  Phase 2 is where the children choose their own activities pertaining to the topic that was chosen in phase 1.  Phase 3 is when the children gather their findings and present it to other students, parents and the teachers.

 A teacher must find out what the children are interested and make that into a topic.  I found a checklist for choosing a good topic so that all the children are engaged and learning.  I got this list from the project approach website. 

Criteria Checklist

Some criteria for choosing a good topic from the Projects-L Listserv April 10, 1996:

  1. How interesting is the topic for the children?
  2. Is it a real world topic?
  3. Is there a certain amount of personal experience they already have with the topic?
  4. How easy will it be for them to have hands on, first hand experience (field work)?
  5. How dependent will they be on adults or books for information?
  6. Who can come in and tell about their first hand experience with the topic?
  7. Will there be many different questions the children will want to ask about the topic?
  8. Will there be opportunities for the children to investigate their own questions actively?
  9. Will there be many different ways the children can be helped to represent their findings?
  10. Will there be opportunities to take roles in dramatic play?
  11. Will there be any large constructions for the children to build and play with or in?
  12. What will there be to count, measure, and compare?
  13. How are shape, color, texture, or size significant variables in a study of this topic?
  14. What expertise can I draw on from among the parents of the children?
  15. If the topic is of short-lived interest is there a natural follow on for a new project?

This list emerges from watching projects and analyzing with teachers what seems to attract and sustain children's interest for a substantial period of time. One overriding principle seems to be that children's interest can most easily be developed and sustained when topics have direct connections to local people, places and events. (From the project approach website)


Learning Resources: They include real world objects, informational books, aids for observation.  Convenient access to these resources, examples of techniques, lists of routines and responsibilities, suggestions for work procedures, signs of frequently used words.

Primary sources:  people, places, real objects, events and processes.

Secondary sources: books, posters, magazines, videos, libraries, museums.

Assessment:  The children are not assessed in a way that children being instructed under a systematic Instruction would be assessed.  The children are able to do individual or collaborative review of the work that they have done.  This way they are able to share with others the information that they found out about that certain subject.  This is the way the children are assessed they look back at all they have learned and present it to other children, parents and teachers.     

Time:  Time is individualized for each child and each subject. 

Historical Information:

1590-1765- the beginnings of project work at architectural schools in Europe. 

1765-1880- The project as a regular teaching method and its transplantation to America.

1880-1915- Work on projects in manual training and in general public schools. 

1915-1965- Redefinition of the project method and its transplantation form America back to Europe.

1965-today- Rediscovery of the project idea and the third wave of its international dissemination.

Important People:

John Dewey- An American philosopher/educator whose main goal was the reformation of public education.  With the help of his wife, Alice Chipman, and fellow colleagues they developed the project approach over seven years.

William Kilpatrick- Kilpatrick first met Dewey in 1898.  He was so impressed by Dewey that he decided to make philosophy of education his specialty and took all of his classes.  Their ideas mainly founded Benningon College in Vermont. 

Sylvia Chard- Taught various level of school in England. 

She wrote two guide books for teachers on the project approach. 

Developed a website about project approach.  

She has taught many classes on interdisciplinary learning is the US and Canada.

Lilian Katz- President of the Naitonal Association for the Education of Young Children.

Author of over 100 publications about early childhood education, teacher education, child development and parenting.

Has lectured in all 50 states and 43 countries about early childhood education.

I found that the project approach seems almost like the unschooling approach where you let the children pick the topic that they want to learn about.  The difference is that the main topic is decided by the teacher but then the student picks a topic from that main topic and does their own investigation of it.  Since I have not observed a preschool with the project approach my idea of the classroom would be lots of chaos since each child is doing what they want.  In my mind you would need to have plenty of teachers to keep them on track.  The preschool classrooms I visited its hard to keep 8 children on task while doing activities.  The project approach seems like it would be a great way for children to learn if it was organized and all the children were engaged the whole time.  I think that if I ever had the time or opportunity to observe a project approach classroom I would love to do it.  One thing learning about the project approach will help me in my personal pedagogy is that children may need an opportunity to pick the kind of learning activity they would like to do.  I know that when I was a student I loved being able to pick from a couple worksheets.  When I am a teacher I am going to set aside some days where I will have multiple activities for the children to pick out of.


Revisit to the Marilyn Fleer Article

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After reading the Marilyn Fleer for the second time I had a very different view on the article.  Marilyn Fleer explains, “In order to move forward, we need to look back and analyze what we have inherited.” (Fleer, 2003) As I though about it, we have fallen into a rut of what we think is acceptable and right in teaching children.  One aspect is that we sometimes as a society seem to treat children like they are incapable of many hard tasks.  Yet little do we know many children are very capable and would do a good job.  Children must be placed more in the world and more in an area where they can observe and learn by observation. 

Society has turned into a very ‘get it done’ type of thinking.  I find that many times teachers, parents and others take over when a child isn’t doing something the right way or is doing it at a slower pace.  We need to allow time for doing.  Since we are such a ‘doing’ culture maybe we should make time for the doing and not rush it along.  Fleer says, “Early childhood education is grounded in a belief that ‘doing’ is very important.”(Fleer, 2003)  Doing is a big part in learning but observing can be huge as well.  I believe that children can learn just as well by observing than being taught.  As for me I am a very visual learner, if I see something done I can most likely emulate it.  Even with children who are not visual learners it can broaden their knowledge base because they might have to work harder to understand the concept, just the same as I do when I must be taught orally. 

One of the things that we have inherited from society is asking a lot of questions.  When I hear someone ask a child too many questions I feel as if they are talking down to them since they don’t think they can understand questions that aren’t obvious.  Yes, some children are only going to be able to answer the questions that are obvious but what is wrong with challenging their thinking.  When I did my observations I found my self asking a lot of questions so I stopped my self and let the children explore for themselves and just observed them while they do it.  When children are ready or curious they will ask you more questions and that is the time when you can ask them more questions. 

Culture is also another part of the article that really stood out in my mind.  Fleer says, “We need to give a voice to cultures other than those from ‘Western’ communities…With these new cultural tools we can think differently and begin to see other ways that early childhood can be enacted, being to acknowledge the diversity of approaches to learning that children and their families bring with them to our centers.” (Fleer, 2003)  Culture can be a great resource for our classrooms, for one it will make the children in your class with different cultural backgrounds feel more accepted and it will give your students a view of what the real world will look like. 

Overall there are many aspects of the Marilyn Fleer article that will affect my future teaching style.  I was glad I was able revisit the article since the first time around I did not catch all the information that she was trying to get across or what I though see was trying to get across.

Fleer, Marilyn (2003).Early Childhood Education as an Evolving 'Community of Practice' or as Lived 'Social Reproduction': researching the 'taken-for-granted'. Contemprary Issues in Early Childhood. 4, 64-79.

Who am I in the lives of children

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Many thoughts being to churn in my mind when I think about who I will be in the lives of children.  Will I be a child’s favorite teacher?  Will I even be a good teacher?  How will I even know I am affecting their lives in any way?  How can I better my self for future effectiveness? I guess the main thoughts are of who I soon hope to be in their lives.  

The first aspect that I will be in the lives of children is a teacher.  I hope not to be just a teacher but an intentional teacher.  Slavin defines intentionality by, “doing things for a reason, or purpose” (Slavin,2009).  By being a teacher you must make tons of decisions every day.  If you don’t make a good purposeful decision on a lesson, teaching strategy, how to handle a situation, or the way you communicate with a student you could loose your intentionality.  Hopefully throughout my schooling, student teaching and by trial and error I will be able to become a very intentional teacher.  Through being an intentional teacher I will become a great teacher by critically thinking and problem solving, reflecting on every lesson I complete, being knowledgeable in the subjects I am teaching and getting to know each and every one of my students and their needs.  Being an intentional teacher is one of the main aspects that comes to mind being in the lives of children.  Yet there are many more I hope to explore.

I hope to become a mentor, a good influence/role-model and a friend to the children that I will teach.  Since more and more households become single parent homes there will be children who will come to school not having some of the main needs that they must have to grow.  To children I hope to mentor them and be there if they need advice.  I want to be a good influence/role model since every child needs that in their life to help them reach for higher goals.  Last of all I want to be their friend, I want to seem real to them and let them know that I am a person too.  To many times I have had teachers that I felt wouldn’t care if I succeeded in their classes, yet I have had some teachers who made me feel like they really cared about my achievement and made me feel as if I was their friend and they wanted to me to feel comfortable.  As a teacher I hope I will be a welcoming, understanding and motivating teacher/friend.  I know how much a teacher decision to not do their work well can affect a student. 

I had a math teacher who sourly ruined my understanding and will to learn math.  Often when I would ask questions during class he would simply say, “You should have been listening when I explained.  Now you must figure it out on your own.”  The fact is that approach might work on a child you simply know is not engaged and has their attention on something else.  But for me, a student who has always had tons of trouble in math, that was the simple way of allowing me to fail.  Now looking back I understand it wasn’t always my fault for not understanding the math but it was my teachers fault for not being what he was supposed to be, a resource to my learning.

What a wonderful opportunity to be a resource in the knowledge of a child that will one day become an adult and possibly transfer that knowledge to another child.  Being a resource to a child means providing information to broaden their knowledge.  As a teacher I hope to be a personal resource as well as have many other types of resources available to my students.  My resources would include books, posters, computers, students, professionals of certain subjects, real world objects and much more.

All in all being a teacher simply means you will be part of many children’s lives.  And by being part of children’s lives you have the opportunity to be positive and to spark a love of knowledge into them.  I’m sure for years to come I will find that I am many things in the lives of children and that is the best part of becoming a teacher.        


First Observation

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Observation #1

I completed my birth to age 3 observation at the Herzog Family center which was the same place I observed 3-5 year olds.  These classrooms were a lot different from the classroom with the 3 and 5 year olds.  Even though these children are learning as well it is a very different type of learning it is a lot of language, sensory exploration, socialization, meals, and quite/nap time.  While I was there I had the impression that sensory learning is the most important at that age.  They are able to touch, feel, bite, and move arms and legs.  Some of the sensory objects used are blocks, mirrors, objects that make noise, and different materials with lots of different texture. 

After going to observe I went home and looked up sensory learning and why it is so important.  Ultimately I found that children use their senses to learn and apply learning to their everyday lives.  Since the learning is sensory, it is hands on and young children learn it in context.  The environment that it was set in was least constrictive as possible when possible.  All the really little children had cribs to lie in.  When they were able to get out of their cribs they would and be able to interact with other children.  Another important part of learning for small children is interacting with typically developing children such as them selves.  Another way young children learn is by action.  They must play and explore for them selves to be able to learn.  I noticed the teacher(s) asking the older of the little ones that could talk “why?” and “what is that?”.  These questions I am assuming is to get the young children thinking about the knowledge that they just found. 

One aspect I was a little disappointed and it could have been the day, is I thought there should be a lot more story telling, songs, rhymes sung and told to the children then there were.  I think that if I was teaching young children that age I would incorporate a lot of singing, reading, rhymes, and interactive games the children could participate in. 

I found that no matter what type of learning facility you send your child or work at the biggest factor is the teacher you are or that they have.  Teachers must be actively getting children involved with activities, making activities that can ultimately be explored themselves, and creating a social environment that promotes learning. 

If I was able to go back and ask a few questions it would be how they assess the students and what kind of report do they give back to the parents (if any).  Another question would be is how do you deal with children who are sick or missing their families.  Since the children are so young I’m sure there are instances that the child misses their parents or  physically sick while at school.  Many of the children were so open and friendly and they were happy that I was there.  No matter who left the room the children would get a little sad if they were not involved in something else.  So I was wondering how you would deal with that.        

I was happy to be able to observe this classroom but personally I would never want to teach this young of children.  Even though there are many activities to do with them I don’t think I would be the right person for the job.  Young children take a different type of teaching which reminds me a little of baby sitting.

Observing in a class like this will help my personal teaching pedagogy by the simple fact that each age group of children require a different way of educational teaching.  This could help me in the long run since when you get a teaching job it might not end up being the age group that you really wanted so you may have to adapt to the age of the children.       


Second Observation

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Observation #2

I visited the Herzog Family Center on the south hill for my first observation.  My experience at the Herzog Family Center was really great and made me feel like this was a kind of place I would want to work or send my child.  I had a picture of what the preschool would look like in my mind and when I got to the school my assumption was very wrong.  To get into the building parents and teachers know a code that unlocks the door into the center so only approved people are able to be inside.  I had to knock on the door until the director could come and answer the door.  The vibe from inside was amazing so many children playing, learning, and exploring. 

I was greeted by the owner and director of the Herzog Family Center she simply told me that instead of me just being here to observe she wanted me to an active participant in all the activities that were going on.  I was happy when she said that because I wanted to interact with the children as much as I could.  The class that I was an active participant in was a class with a mix of three and five year olds.  This class of children is then split up into three different groups.  Each group went to a specified area in the center.  I was luckily able to move about to the three different groups of children to experience what they were doing.  While I was there the children got to do show and tell, math, reading, Spanish, free time, lunch, and nap time.

 I was really interested in the way teachers were interacting with the children and the way the students were learning.  I noticed that no matter the subject that the teachers were teaching there was always many different choices that the children were to pick from to explore and learn from.   

 I am really glad that I was able to go and be involved in this preschool center.  One aspect of visiting the preschool that will help my own personal teaching pedagogy is the fact that it is really hard keeping all of their attention.  They are so busy and having them all engaged in a lesson you are teaching is hard work.  The one thing I know I will need to work on is strategies to keep children in engaged and excited on lessons that I am teaching. I had the most fun with this age group of children.  I had never been around 3-4 year olds this much and it really surprised me how extremely smart they are.  I know that sounds horrible but I never thought they would know so much and have such intelligent conversations with me!  I had a really fun time hanging out with this group of children.             

Third Observation

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Observation # 3

            I did my observation in or above a second grade classroom.  I observed at Reid Elementary a couple of times.  To me I feel that observing their gives you a more “real” observation of what a classroom would be like.  I think that when you are observing a class while the teacher and students know you are there, their personalities and ways they would interact with each other is not the same.  I have observed in other classes as well but while I’m in the observatories at Reid I feel that I see the problems that I most likely will have.  I feel that my time observing is more looking for ways that I could better my own personal teaching pedagogy.       

My biggest concern of becoming a teacher is that I will not be able to pay attention to what all of my children are doing, while I am teaching a lesson.  I know this is a worry that I will not be able to fix but I hope to be able to find some kind of strategies in making sure I have good view of all the children in my classroom.  In the classroom I observed there was an instance when the teacher had the children all come to a mat on the floor which is surrounded by waist height cabinets.  The class gathered and the teacher started to teach, yet little did she know two of her students were behind the cabinets and she was not able to see them.  It wasn’t that they were doing horrible things they just weren’t involved in the lesson at all.  One boy was tying his shoes and they other playing with his pencil.  After a while they both began to interact with each other mean while the lesson was still going and the teacher still unaware of the two students in the back. 

I thought to my self I hope I am able to pay attention to all my kids and never have instances that my children are completely disengaged in the lesson that I am teaching.  But then I realized that is nothing that I can help.  Children are children and now and then they may be disengaged.  So I came to the conclusion that my concern should be directed towards making fun and engaging lessons that are going to ultimately get the kids excited in the first place that way I could at least lower the number of children who would be like the two students behind the cabinet.

I’m hoping that this kind of observation is satisfactory since I feel that it is the most ultimate way for me to observe a classroom.  Yes, I like to interact with the children but when you are observing from up top its almost like looking at your self years from know from an above view.  Yet when I become a teacher I might have a better insight of what I should do to fix some of those problems that could be going on by ultimately fixing the opportunity for the situations before they even happen.  I am starting to volunteer at an elementary school in a second grade classroom.  I know that my volunteer experience I will gain during this time will also help my personal teaching pedagogy for years to come.