Friday, January 16, 2009

Update: One down, 15 to go

Ok, so if you couldn't figure out, I'm talking about weeks of school (there are 16 in the average semester). I think this semester is going to be good, but busy. We'll see how it goes. Matt and I are waking up insanely early to work out together, but I'm so glad we are. It is pretty much the only time we get to spend together. Matt has a new job at work; it requires a lot more time at work :( But, it is ok, I have evening classes anyway, so if he was getting home early, it would just be in time for me to leave for class. So I guess in a strange way it works out.

Let me tell you a little about my classes:

Reading to Learn Across the Curriculum-This class is every Tuesday from 4:20 to 7:00. It looks like it will be an interesting class. I'm going to learn how to do DRAs (Developmental Reading Assessment) and other such fun things. I think I'll get a lot of "tools" to put in my reading "tool box".

The Child and the Family- Now, this class I think will be my favorite. It is all about family interactions, and with such a large family, I think I will have a lot to learn. One of the things we have to do is make a "genogram" or in other words, a family tree. When I heard that, I got excited, but she finished by saying that it would start with the grandparent generation. What? Only the grandparent generation? Man, we have our family history back way more generations than that! :) I'm glad I have siblings that have already "done the work" for me.

Classroom Management/Advanced Practicum- This will be the most challenging class of the semester. It is really two classes combined into one. The good thing is, we only have to pay for one class. But there's more than enough work for two classes. Along with a 150 hour practicum, with all the paperwork, journaling, and time that goes with that, there is a lot of work for the classroom management class portion. It will be tough, but I'll make it.

Children's Literature Across the Curriculum- This is a library science class, taught by a librarian. We are going to end up reading 40 children's books by the end of the semester, and critique them all. I'm looking forward to reading all that literature. Seriously, I am.

Well, that is about it. Now, about my week at the Child Development Center, where I'm doing my practicum at the moment. Let me tell you, I have a lot to learn. They subscribe to a discipline plan known as the 101s, or 101 Positive Principles of Discipline. I recommend everyone look through them. The three major ones we use in the three-year-old room are "the choice principle," "the incompatible alternative principle," and "the timer means its time principle." For example, with the choice principle, we ask the children, "do you want to go potty now or in one minute?" or "do you want to put it away or do you want me to put it away for you?" If they refuse, we say it again, and then say "you choose or I'll choose." It works like magic. Also, the timer is almost like a god to these children. They know that when it goes off, that is the last word. It is hard sometimes to remember not to tell the children "no" but instead give them a choice. Of course, if they are doing something dangerous, you really do have to tell them "no," but you can tell them in a nice way.
Anyways, I'm getting the routine down, I know all the kids' names, and I feel a lot better about today than I did Monday. I feel more confident. Those kids love everyone, as long as you're nice. I just need to keep that in mind.

Anyway, this turned into a longer blog than I intended. Sorry about that. I'll let you know later in the semester how I really feel about the classes. I hope I love them all.

Talk to you later.

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