Friday, July 13, 2012

Normal Park Museum Magnet Schools "Great Start" Program

Hello All!

Yesterday, I attended my first Professional Development Meeting with Hamilton County.  Our mission: to observe the works of the different teachers at Normal Park Museum Magnet Schools "Great Start" program. This program was designed to help students who needed a little extra push, as well as transitioning new students into the school.  Since I will be teaching 3rd grade, I was assigned to observe the third grade class with Ms. Hassler.

To begin the day, the students jumped directly into working on the Daily Five.  Now, I have had heard of the Daily Five before, but had never seen it in action.  This was outstanding!  The students had a choice of several things to do while in the rotation (read to self, read to someone, writing, word work) before working with Ms. Hassler in a Guided Reading setting.  The teacher had posters posted throughout the room to guide the students during the Daily Five rotation.

After this rotation, the students went to snack.  Well, I didn't bring a snack, so I decided to snoop around the school and observe all of the amazing projects that were on exhibit.  The first thing my colleague and myself stumbled upon were Mathematical Folktales presented in the Auditorium.  Although I could not get a sufficient image of one of the folktales (they were huge!), I was able to get an overview picture to share:


Below is an example of one of the explanations of a folktale that a student created:


After being a little snoop for a few minutes, we went back to class where the students began working on Math. During the Math lesson, Ms. Hassler worked with the students on Subtraction/ Subtraction with regrouping.  In this lesson, the students did journal writing in their journal with a word problem created by the teacher.  Then, the class met on the carpet and worked on using base ten blocks and a mat to work on subtraction problems.  This only lasted several minutes and the students went back to their seats to work on a worksheet of addition and subtraction for several minutes.

Then it was time for Module.  During Module, the students work on what they are going to be doing for Exhibit.  Since Normal Park is a Museum Magnet school, they often do exhibits to showcase what the students have been learning and working on (During the school year, this happens every 9 weeks).  The students in the Great Start program were working on finalizing their projects because exhibit was the next day.  In the 3rd grade class I was observing, the students had been learning about the swamp lands. Each students had an exhibit project along with an explanation of their project.  Here are some examples of what the students had finished at this time:




This exhibit was on the alligators that live in the swamp lands.





The cypress tree is a natural element of the swamp lands:





This exhibit was about Lily Pads in the swamp lands:




The Red Tail Hawk is one of the organisms that lives in the swamp lands:




This is part 1 and 2 of a swamp diagram made by two students in the class:
While the students finished Module, I decided to walk around again.there were so many projects throughout the school, I could only get pictures of some of the collections.  The two collections that struck my eye the most were the Metamorphosis exhibit and the Civil War exhibit:

Metamorphosis Exhibit:





Civil War Exhibit:








Overall: It was an awesome day! I learned so many new things and saw many different projects that could be adapted to a 3rd grade level.  Our schools may be different, but I believe all children have the ability to create while learning.  The "Great Start" program seemed to be a success, and I was able to gain so much from this experience.

Talk to ya next time!
-AR

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