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Jade Tallon ELED 508 February 11, 2018

Exit Ticket Week 4: My New Schema


The moment I changed my graduate program from secondary education to elementary

education, I had already prepared myself to be hit with a ton of new information, tools, and

resources to apply in my future elementary classroom. Obviously, I already knew I would be

working with a different age group, but what was most shocking is realizing how ineffective I

was as a teacher in all aspects of the classroom.

Our first focus in ELED 508: Analysis of Elementary Education was to compare past

classroom expectations to the present. During my time as an elementary student, I can recount

the boring days of just listening to the teacher, memorizing what we learned, and facing the

consequences from our parents if were not performing according to teachers’ expectations.

Familiarizing myself with the expectations of today, I can only dream of being a young student

again. Students want to learn. Levin and McCullough (2012) informs teachers what students

expect from them - like them and enjoy teaching. Connect lessons to their individual lives so

that they gain a deeper understanding to apply outside the classroom. Be open and fair and

praise them when they put forth their best efforts.

We now experience a different family dynamic today from the past. This includes single-

parent, two-working parent household, etc. Because of the change in modern families, “there is

an increasing demand on teacher’s time” (Levin & McCullough, 2012, p. 7). As teachers, we are

asked to teach topics such as sex education and skills relating to home economics. With such

requests, we must dedicate extra time to help students in areas parents may not have the time for.

We also reflect on our comprehension strategies. Unfortunately, I was a victim of fake

reading; in other words, reading quickly without actual thinking. This was a habit created during

my time throughout elementary, middle, and high school. We read the text, answer questions at

the end of the reading, and move on. Today, we strongly promote real reading – students think
Jade Tallon ELED 508 February 11, 2018

as they read. Successful reading allows everyone to activate prior knowledge, make inferences,

question, visualize, determine importance, and synthesize (McGregor, 2007). Using these

reading strategies, it is crucial that we model and practice them, with the inclusion of concrete

experiences. In this course, we have even created an anchor chart defining what real reading

means for us. The example I set was, “Reading with our minds and thinking with our hearts is

our R&R” (Real Reading). I incorporated a lesson of my past to share with students – listen to

your heart.

Based on my assumptions about Common Core State Standards, they are overwhelming

and confusing. No, it is not! I must admit that I based these assumptions on teachers’ opinions

without learning the facts on my own. Fortunately, watching “Common Core Standards for ELA

and Literacy” on the Teaching Channel website changed my view of CCSS. Using the Word

cloud tool, I can post this on my classroom wall and remind myself why it is so important. It

helps prepare our students to think critically and deeply, taking ownership of their learning, and

preparing them to research accurate sources for reasoning.

I was unaware that the strategy I mainly used in my high school classroom failed to

prepare my students for critical and deep thinking. The strategy of Shared Reading was only one

of many strategies in the Balanced Literacy Program, the framework for instilling a love of

reading and writing to become lifelong learners (Levin & McCullough, 2012). I have learned

that by using multiple strategies, I am able to reach all types of learners in differentiated

instruction.

As I have mentioned earlier, I failed to learn the Common Core State Standards’ true

purpose. I became a bigger supporter of CCSS after watching “Beyond Right Answers: Math

and the CCSS” on the Teaching Channel website. The information provided by Sarah Brown
Jade Tallon ELED 508 February 11, 2018

Wessling reminds us that we may let go of the unessential content and focus on the essential. In

other words, “Going deeper actually creates more freedom” (Wessling, n.d.). CCSS provides us

a detailed guide to follow, making it less overwhelming because we know what to focus on.

By implementing the standards, we may focus on the proper techniques in setting high

academic expectations for our students. Lemov (2010) provides us five popular techniques to set

such expectations: No Opt Out, Right is Right, Stretch It, Format Matters, and Without Apology.

Understanding their key ideas, along with reading and watching examples in clips, reaches every

teacher who are different learners themselves. I, for example, am a visual learner. I can

visualize as I read, but with the addition of media, helps me gain a better understanding of the

technique. I was not aware of these techniques prior to becoming a secondary education teacher,

explaining why I was the ineffective teacher. On the first day of my practicum at R.M. James

Elementary School here in Portales, New Mexico, I had the opportunity to see one technique in

action - No Opt Out. Mrs. Lillie Garcia called on her second-grade student to answer her

question. When her student said, “I don’t know”, she called on his peer to help him out. When

the peer provided an answer, Mrs. Garcia asked him the question again and this time, he

provided the answer. Seeing how success this technique was, I imagine how even more effective

my classroom will be when I use all the techniques when appropriate.

Reflecting on classroom management, I did not realize how much valuable instructional

time I was losing because of my lack of establishing good habits for effective classroom

management. Watching the videos titled “Classroom Management During Centers” and

“Informational Texts: Reading for Inquiry”, I realize how crucial it is to establish great habits for

effective classroom management, specifically transitions. I am put at ease when we can allow

time to practice procedures, helping me to stay accountable and consistent. I have also learned
Jade Tallon ELED 508 February 11, 2018

the importance of how the classroom is set up to maximize learning. It comes down to personal

choices, but important that the room designates the following areas: class library, corner areas for

whole-group and small-group instruction; clear pathways for easy transitions; and a closet for

materials (Bambrick-Santoyo, Settles, & Worrell, 2013, p. 35). Unfortunately, I had a bad habit

in changing the classroom set up many times and I see why it has frustrated students. They need

and want a routine to follow so they may focus on their learning. A valuable lesson I have taken

from all this is to prepare and practice on my own so that I may be comfortable in passing it on

to my students. My two mantras as the weeks go by is, “Preparation is key” and “Practice,

Practice, Practice!”
Jade Tallon ELED 508 February 11, 2018

References

Bambrick-Santoyo, P., Settles, A., & Worrell, J. (2013). Great habits, great readers: A practical

guide for K-4 reading in the light of common core. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Brown Wessling, S. (2013). Beyond right answers: Math classrooms and the CCSS. Retrieved

from https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/teaching-math-ccss#video-

sidebar_tab_video-notes-tab.

Lemov, D. (2010). Teach like a champion: 49 techniques that put students on the path to college.

San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Levin, F. A., & McCullough, M. A. (2012). Guide for alternate route teachers: Strategies for

literacy development, classroom management, and teaching and learning, K-12 (2nd

ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

McGregor, T. (2007). Comprehension connections: Bridges to strategic reading. Portsmouth,

NH: Heinemann.