February 2008
Vol 5 No 2

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.2
February 2008
Cover Story:
Rethinking Homework
By Alfie Kohn
Daily homework is the rule in most schools. Why not make it the exception?

Coaches Are More Effective than Mentors
Sources for Below Grade Level Reading
To Promote Responsibility, Elicit Rather Than Impose
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five for February
Filtering the Web: Mission Impossible?
Hot Tips to Stay Healthy; High Speed Sub Plans

Fighting "February Slump"
Make That Presentation a Winner!
Sports Done Right
Celebrate Dr. Seuss with Read Across America
Maslow - Alive and Well in the Classroom
25 Ways to Obtain Children's Attention
The Year of the Earth Rat - The Chinese Zodiac

Featured Lessons: February 2008
The Lighter Side of Teaching
Book Review: Three Cups of Tea
Video Bytes: NCLB, Whiteboard, and More
Creative & Critical Thinking Activities
Editor's Pick: Travels With Music
Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers
Teachers.Net Craft Favorite: Picasso Faces
Today Is... Daily Commemoration for February 2008
Live on Teachers.Net: February 2008
Chatboard Poll: Do schools need to change, and how?
Preparing for Your Student Teacher
Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


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Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Editor in Chief

Columnists & Writers: Alfie Kohn; Harry & Rosemary Wong; Cheryl Sigmon; Dr. Marvin Marshall; Barbara & Sue Gruber; Marjan Glavac; Dr. Rob Reilly; Barb S. HS/MI; Ron Victoria; Brian Hill; Leah Davies; Susan Rismiller; Hal Portner; Karen Hawkes; Emmy; Tim Newlin; Chuck Brickman; Barb Gilman; Grace Viduna Haskins

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Collective Wisdom

Teachers.Net Community

Preparing for Your Student Teacher:
The First Day and Beyond

Sound Advice from the Teachers.Net Trenches
Teachers.Net Community
Regular Feature in the Gazette
February 1, 2008
When a teacher posed the following question on a Teachers.Net chatboard, ideas poured forth. Ideas we believe worthy of sharing...

"What have you done to make student teaching successful for the future teacher in your classroom?"

Posted by A in Ark:
I welcome her with her own small desk or area in the classroom. I put a small basket with stickers, pencils, pens, and candy on her desk and make a name tag sign on the computer to tape on the front of her desk. I have a printed daily schedule, a list of the students' names, and the current week's lesson plans. I love having student interns.

Posted by Jill:
All of A's ideas are great!!! I'm a first year teacher and actually started student teaching on Jan. 2 last year. I had one AMAZING experience and one difficult one. Both teachers were good...I just really clicked with one. The thing that I most appreciated was the teacher letting me DO things right away instead of being forced to watch. Even if I was just running copies or helping with journals or whatever, it was better than sitting at a desk doing nothing. I also appreciated that she gave me her cell phone number right away. She was so great about encouraging me and making me feel like she cared about me as a person, not just as a student teacher. It was a great experience!

Posted by Nora:
Have a specific place for her, perhaps a small table or desk for her to work on. I provided a rolling cart so that she can take materials/center activities etc. to and from the classroom, returnable as soon as her internship is over.

Keep current with what the University/program is asking her to do. There are to be no worksheets of any kind with our student teachers in our district.

Be ready to be available after classroom hours via e-mail/phone so that she can submit lesson plans, etc. that you may have to review. Co-teach with her at first instead of her just observing you. I usually start the lesson and then she joins me and we teach the lesson together.

Do not ask her to do clerical work for you as she is not a paraprofessional. Mine has done center activities that she can use with the classroom and then take with her when she is through with student teaching so that she has the beginning of her own personal professional materials collection.

Allow her to access your materials, computer lessons, and manipulatives at all times. This is a professional. It works because you care. It is work but very professionally rewarding.

Make her aware of your testing standards and have her observe you test as the lesson plans need to revolve around those standards.

Be ready to have other students and her University Professor/Evaluator in your classroom at any hour of the classroom day.

Make the lesson comments to her as positive as possible. Many of their first teachings are "new" but they do grow and if they feel confident and comfortable, they will grow in large leaps.

Mine has even asked if I could help her with quizzing her on her Professional test and we have made a 10-20 minute slot after school doing that.

It is wonderful to have a student teacher! Ours go through two semesters as Intern 1's and Intern 2's with them taking over your classroom totally for 30 days with minimal intervention on the 30 days so it is good idea to co-teach with them as much as possible and as early as possible.

Posted by treetoad:
I have a binder ready with a personal letter about myself, what time I like to arrive and leave and why, a little about my family situation; a brief description of the other teachers in the group; daily schedule; specials teachers list; name badge for the first week with "Student Teacher" on it; necessary recess duty items; and a spiral stenopad that we both journal in - questions to ask and responses etc.

It really helps at the end of the day when we visit. I include a brief description of her schedule so she can begin developing her theme or unit of teaching for the end and an observation assignment the first day, such as "Determine who you think is the oldest boy & girl and youngest boy and girl," "Who appears to need individual help?" etc. Confer at the end of the day. I make a point of introducing her to everyone, sometimes during the first day.

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