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Journal Entries

Reflective Journal Chapter 2

How do stage theories help me to understand the different developmental levels of the students I am observing or teaching?

Theories are generalizations of how children develop and learn according to that development. It is helpful to know these, because while they may not always apply fully, they help to be aware of how children will handle what they are presented with.

Reflective Journal Chapter 3

What role does social development issues (e.g., friendship) play in the academic success of my students? How much time can I devote to social issues without taking away from academic time? What role can I play as a teacher in promoting the social interactions of my students?

The social development of a child can be very detrimental in their academic success. If the child has very low self esteem, he will not feel the need to succeed in school, and do poorly because of lack of interest. On the other hand, if a child is happy, then he will not be so flippant about his education and desire to learn. A happy child may also have no desire to succeed in school, but considerably less than that of a depressed child. As a teacher, I can promote social behavior in my class by implementing participatory activities, like games or exchanging novelties on holidays. I should also promote joining extra-curricular activities that the students would enjoy.

Reflective Journal Chapter 4

How do I define intelligence? How does this definition affect my approach to instruction and my beliefs about learning? How does this definition affect my beliefs about the assessment of intelligence and learning

Intelligence is a student's aptitude for learning. Intelligence does not measure how much a student knows, or is capable of knowing, rather how much he is capable of handling in a period of time. I like to think this way because I would not want to sell a student short because of what an intelligence test may say. I believe that all children are capable of succeeding in class, and that some children need less instruction and some need more. I have always believed, and probably will always believe that intelligence testing is useless, the only good they may show is how capable a student is of learning, and time spent instructing the child will tell you the same thing as well as tell you more about the actual child.

Reflective Journal Chapter 5

What steps can I take as a teacher when I notice that students are not fitting in with others due to differences in culture?

I think that including the parents in every step the child takes in the classroom is extremely important. Therefore, I believe that the first and most important step is to have the parents talk to the child about his culture and how it should not be a hinderence to being social with those who are different than he is. As a teacher, I should have a multi-cultural classroom, promoting aspects of all cultures in the classroom, and especially out of the classroom. There are more than enough scheduled "months" or "days" devoted to different cultures, and those are a perfect oppertunity to take taim out of class for a demonstration of that culture, either with a speaker, food, a video, or a presentation of objects from that culture.

Reflective Journal Chapter 6

1. What are my beliefs about ability grouping? What do I see as the benefits and costs of ability grouping? If I find myself in a school that utilizes ability grouping, what can I do to ensure that I maintain high expectations for all my students no matter what ability group they fall under?

I am a believer of ability grouping. I think that students who excel above the average expected should be set aside to be challenges to their potential. In the same way, I believe that children with learning disabilities have special needs and should be placed in an environment where he will get the attention he needs. If and when that child shows signs of being able to hold his own in a more advanced class, that child should be moved accordingly. In the event that the children are merely grouped, and not seperated, it is important to make sure that each child gets the attention he needs. It is also good to promote class participation, or peer tutoring.

Reflective Journal Chapter 7

3. My students learn from observing me as well as from observing their classmates. What steps am I taking to ensure that my students are learning appropriate behaviors in my classroom? How can I use social learning to enhance desired behaviors and reduce undesired behaviors? As a teacher, I must be aware of every action I make and how it can be interpreted. It is important to be as real as possible with students, so they learn that it is okay to be frustrated, but how you handle that situation is what is important, or that it is okay to be silly sometimes, but how you are dealing with that and your surroundings makes a difference. By not being artificial, I mean that a teacher should hide any emotions from the students, but be sure to deal with them properly

Reflective Journal Chapter 8

1. Thinking back on your elementary, middle school, and high school education, what are some pieces of specific information that you have learned and are still able to retrieve (for example, the Pledge of Allegiance, the state capitals, mathematical formulas)? How did you learn this information? Why are you still able to retrieve this information? How do your responses to these questions relate to information-processing theory?

I have learned many "lists" like, state names, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and so on, by setting them to music and memorizing them. I can sing you a list of of 38 prepositions that I learned in 6th grade without hesitation on the spot because 1) the repetition and association with music made it SO easy to memorize and 2) It's darn tootin' fun!! Our class had a blast dancing down the hall to the pronoun mambo, and our teacher had even more fun teaching it. A lot of this is technically learned by rote, and from every education class I've taken so far, it's safe to say that instructors today think that rote is BAD, but how many of you can say each of the fifty states in alphabetical order in under a minute? I can... =)

Reflective Journal Chapter 9

2. How would I describe the levels of interaction that occur in the classroom between students? How would I describe the levels of interaction that occur in the classroom between the students and myself? Are the students getting adequate opportunities to share their perspectives on class content? What can I do to enhance both small-group and large-group discussions?

The classroom that I am observing has much interaction between students and student/instructor interaction. Because it is a band that I am observing, I have a good oppertunity to see students helping students with such things as intonation and rhythm. The teacher interacts with them on an instructional as well as social level, making references to football games and other things that various students participate in outside of class. The students to have a chance to comment on their own performances, and it is highly beneficial, because their own criticisms help them to understand what they need to practice, and also a chance to know what they have done well. Discussions during class time isn't very beneficial, because rehearsal time is for rehearsal, but there is some encouragment of discussion in the time before class ends, when the students are putting their instruments up. It is not very necessary to encourage, though, because they are eager to discuss.

Reflective Journal Chapter 10

5. Many approaches to teaching can be useful to me as a teacher. How can I use technology to further support my instructional approaches? How can I incorporate technology into the classroom in ways other than as a reward or a word processing mechanism?

For the sake of reflection, I will pretend that I am teaching in an ideal school district with unlimited funding for internet capabale computers in my classroom, and any software my little heart desires. In said classroom, I would definitely have an assignment that required research on the internet. Even if Internet wasn't a possibility in the classrrom, there are many software programs available to aide instruction, even for music, especially for music theory.