Middle School Observation

By Jessica Rodriguez

Check out this 5 min video of me talking =D

I planned on doing a video reflection for this project, but the website I used only offered a five minute video as the free trial. I love to talk, so my original video ended up being about fifteen minutes long and I had to cut several good parts out! The end product, which is only 5 minutes long, is available for viewing by clicking the link above!

John Marshall Middle School

This is the 6th grade language arts class I observed at Marshall! The teacher, Mrs. Knutson, loved animal print (obviously) and offered some great advice on getting started as a teacher. She also recommended I watch The Ron Clark Story. . .


Because my video was only allowed 5 minutes, I didn't get a chance to talk about the excellent game of TRASHKETBALL I got to observe at Pleasant Valley Middle School! In Mr. Fisher's 8th grade Social Studies class, Trashketball is a great way to quiz the student's on what they've learned throughout the week and/or chapter they've been studying. The class splits up into two teams, and each team takes turns answering questions related to the content they've been studying. If a team answers correctly, one team member is allowed a chance to shoot the trashketball (a colorful tennis ball) into the trash can (which is sitting on a desk) from a designated spot in the classroom; 1 point shots are made from a desk-length away, 2 points are made from two desk-lengths away, a 3 pointer is made from behind the podium, and 5 pointers are made from underneath the flag at the classroom entrance. Check out the video below of Mr. Fisher scoring a 5 pointer for the boy's team!
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Take Home Goodies

Several of the teachers at Pleasant Valley Middle offered up teaching strategies, and let me peek at some of the kid's assignments to demonstrate the various organizing charts they use in class. Here is a picture of the R.A.F.T. method, a reading comprehension strategy teachers use to get student's engaged in their reading assignments. R stands for "Restate the essential question", A stands for "Answer the question", F stands for "Find support in the Text", and T stands for "Text connections and Tie it all together). The highlighting is a fun way for the student to follow their own work, while each step spells out what the student should be looking for in the text as well as how to answer comprehension questions presented to them.

Middle School It Is!

I'm approximately 90% sure that I want to teach middle school. I say 90% because I may change my mind after doing my high school observations, but I very much doubt that I'll stray from this path. I am SO EXCITED to finally have a grasp on where my future is headed, and I cannot wait to play an active role in the classroom! THANK YOU DR. G!
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