Posted in Miscellaneous

TESOL Minor and TELL Student Teaching

When I was starting classes in the Elementary Education program, the TESOL Minor was required. That has since changed and it is no longer required, but I wanted to share my TELL student teaching experience and how it prepared me for my internship.

Once I had finished all the TELL courses (TELL 400, 410, 420, 430, 440, and 450), the last thing I had to do to earn my ESL endorsement was complete my TELL student teaching (TELL 477R). I completed it the spring term before my internship. I honestly had no idea what to expect with TELL student teaching, so here’s a sneak peek!

Since I had just been hired as an intern in Jordan District, they placed in me in a Jordan District school to complete my TELL student teaching. I was assigned to Riverside Elementary School in Mrs. McAllister’s 2nd grade class with another BYU student. I had previously been placed in 1st grade for K-2 practicum experience and 6th grade for my 3-6 practicum experience, so I had never really worked with 2nd graders before. It was great to have an idea of the age and abilities of the students in my class, especially since I was pondering what procedures I would put in place in my own classroom in a short month or two. Mrs. McAllister actually taught one class in the morning and another class in the afternoon as part of the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program at the school. I had the opportunity to work with many native Spanish speakers! I had one case study student who I worked with in a guided reading group. We had so much fun! We used Coyote and Rabbit as a readers’ theater script. The students recorded themselves at the end… they loved it!  

As you learn in TELL courses, especially TELL 440, Multiple Simultaneous Diverse Learning Activities (MSDLAs) are learning activities that integrate content and language instruction. Part of TELL student teaching is creating a set of MSDLAs for a specific unit in the class you’re working with and then using them! My partner and I created MSDLAs for Mrs. McAllister’s unit on the Night Sky.

They were a lot of work, but it was a great learning experience! We made changes from day to day as we used them to teach two different classes. My partner and I learned a lot about what 2nd graders can do and we have both used them to teach our classes as interns. My TELL experience taught me not only how to work with English Language Learners and their families, but it taught me how good practices that are good for all learners!

Posted in Miscellaneous

Christmas in the Classroom

Merry Christmas!

Christmas in 2nd grade was so much fun! I was not quite prepared for all the Christmas festivities that take place in a classroom before Christmas, but it was a blast! I was really grateful for the members of my grade level team and their willingness to share their tried-and-true Christmas ideas with me.

Parent Gifts

We made these festive wreath ornaments with a couple simple ingredients, including Ditalini pasta, Bowtie pasta, rubbing alcohol, green cardstock, hot glue, red ribbon, and lots of Elmer’s glue! We put this year’s school pictures in the middle. Students wrote their first name and the year on the back in green Sharpie (in their cute 2nd  grade handwriting!).

They included a handwritten letter to their parents with the ornament. We packaged them in brown paper bags that we decorated to look like reindeer and little gift tags. My students were so happy with how they turned out!

Christmas Around the World

Part of the Social Studies core in 2nd grade is learning about traditions. So, during rotations time (gym, art, computers, music) the two weeks before Christmas, students got to visit several different countries in a Christmas Around the World rotation. This year, students visited Hungary, Sweden, Italy, Mexico, and Austria!

Polar Express Day

The 2nd grade team puts together a whole day of Polar Express activities connected to the core. Students wear their pajamas and bring a stuffed animal to school. They get their own Polar Express ticket that gets punched at each “stop”. They also received their own bell. At the end of the day, we had a hot chocolate bar (put together by one of the parents) and watched the Polar Express movie. Students loved it!

Christmas Assemblies

There were many school-wide Christmas festivities, as well. There was a 4th grade program, a sing-a-long, and a Christmas program where each grade performed a Christmas song. The teachers prepared a flash mob dance to Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe” that we performed at the final Christmas program. It was so much fun!

What holiday traditions will you have in your future classroom?