March 19, 2016: Day 1

After a three hour drive from Corpus Christi, I was delivered to my host home in Houston Texas.  I will be teaching in at De Chaumes Elementary School in a Math and Science 4th grade classroom.  I am beyond excited, and grateful for this experience (and maybe a little nervous).

I arrived to my host home around 2 o’clock.  There will be two other UNI students living here too, but they won’t be arriving until tomorrow.  My host, is very kind.  I have my own room, and a dog Lela to bond with.  We enjoyed watching the March Madness games.  For supper we ate at a fabulous Mexican restaurant called Pappacito’s.  I had tacos trio.  This was a beef, shrimp, and chicken taco with rice and beans.  They brought out chips and salsa, but also a greenish sauce that was very good.  We had fried ice cream to end our dinner.  I have a very kind host to show me the gems of Houston and what it has to offer.

March 20, 2016: Day 2

Today began by picking up one of the UNI students from the Airport.  The weather is beautiful, with a nice brick wind.  After picking up the UNI student, we got to see the school that we will be working at for the next week.  It is a PK-5 school and is very huge. I look forward to adventure that awaits.

We then enjoyed breakfast Tacos at a restaurant called Happy Donut.  They had donuts with bacon, cereal, and of course sprinkles on them.  It was a like a Scratch Bakery but with Donuts.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing watching basketball and movies :).

March 21, 2016: Day 3

My first day in at the school went well.  I woke up at 5:30 AM to make it to the school a little before 7AM.  It was a 30 minute car ride through Houston Texas.  5:30 definitely hit me hard, but maybe someday I could get used to it.  Our day started getting familiar with the school.  I was introduced to my classroom, with Uribe.  There are two different classes that flip with the next door teacher.

The teacher I am with teaches Math, Science and Social Studies and the other teaches Language Arts and Writing.  Due to the STAARS testing being next week, we spent the majority of the time prepping the students for the big tests.  Below is the schedule of the day I experienced.

8:00 AM: School began and students began two hours of writing composition to brainstorm, rough draft and final draft a paper.

10:15 AM:  Students finish their practice assessment and have a bathroom break

10:25 AM: Math Practice on Dot Plots

10:45 AM: Classroom Switch with the other class

11:00 AM: Lunch

11:30 AM: Two hours of writing composition

1:20 PM: Axillary

2:00 PM: Math Practice with Frequency and Dot Plots

3:00 PM: Students are dismissed

The day was definitely long for the students, as they prepared for their testing.  As a teacher, I was able to see the climate change of the two classrooms.  I enjoyed being able to recognize the different personalities.  The school offered a large diversity, so that was a change for myself compared to my experience in Cedar Falls.

What did I learn?

-The elementary school is a model school for Houston

-Management Technique:

1: I need a pencil

2: I need a Kleenex

3: fingers crossed: bathroom

“Tackling Expository and Summary Writing”

Students wrote book covers for a book

March 22, 2016: Day 4

My second day was a hoot.  We woke up at 5:30 AM to leave at 6:10 to head to school.  My day started with my first set of students and we began with creating graphs, and writing conferences on their writing from yesterday.  I had the chance to call students back and work on improving their writing.  This included having proper topic sentences, no repetition, and proper nouns.  The students then went back to their seats to re-write their composition.

We then had lunch and switched to get the second class.  With the second class, we focused on specific math problems and also did writing conferences.  I had the chance to teach and review a math problem with them.  The students responded well, and I was able to successfully get through the problem.  Going from one class to the next, I knew I had to give clear directions, so that students could re-write their papers successfully.

After teaching, we were taken to China Town.  I greatly enjoyed it.  I felt that I was right back in China with the food and culture.  We went to Fufu Cafe were we had Chinese food.  We all tried squid, that looked like little tiny octopus.  It honestly wasn’t bad.  After going to the restaurant, we went to a shop and then to a tea shop were they had tapioca, which like little squishy balls they put in your drink.  I had peach tea.  Very tasty.  We then used Uber to get back home.  We stopped at the pizza place to get a gift certificate for our host family.  Day 3 is underway tomorrow.

March 23, 2016: Day 5

Today I start to teach more in the classroom.  I took students to the bathroom and other daily activities.  Today was an early out, and the students got out at 1 pm.  Due to this, students only focused on their writing.  Each class had a composition to write in 2 hours.  As they wrote, I walked around and looked at what they wrote along with answering any concerns they may have.  

After school, there were school wide conferences.  I had the chance to sit in on the conferences and see how they were run.  It was very interesting to see.  I enjoyed that the teachers did it together instead of individually.  I would like to do conferences this way in my future school.  I think it is very beneficial.  

Following the conferences, I attended a bridal shower at the school.  They had food and cake to celebrate the occasion.  I was told that they do this for everyone who is celebrating.  Such as baby showers, and wedding showers.  This helps to bring the whole staff together.  

After the party, all of us student teachers headed out to explore City Center.  We got the chance to walk around and explore.  We went to check out Yard House, and we enjoyed what they had to offer there.  After walking around, we went to the movie, Miracles From Heaven. This movie theater, had a menu and service, were you ordered a meal to eat while you watched to movie.  I enjoyed a chips with salsa, queso, and guacamole combo.  The movie was very good, but definitely tugged at your emotions.  We were all crying within minutes of the movie.  We then took a Uber home, and I planned my materials for our final day in the classroom. 

March 24, 2016: Day 6

Today is our final day in the classroom.  It is a very strange feeling.  I am that much closer to getting my teaching license, but my time in Houston is coming to and end.  It is sad to think.  I can honestly say that this is my best experience in the classroom while attending UNI.  I have truly gotten to know the students and had the chance to teach.  My supporting teacher, was amazing along with the school and the community they had.  I easily could have cried by the end of the day, but I kept my composure and left with a smile on my face.

Today, I was left free to teach the whole day.  Ms Uribe jumped in when necessary, but I even 

had the chance to plan my own activity.  I had the students get into 5 groups.  Each group was assigned a question and they created “posters” to then present to the class.  They were able to use pictures and words and I explained that they were the teachers for the class.  Some were excited while others weren’t.  I then taught math problems and had students come to the front of the room to show their thinking and reasoning.  I truly enjoyed the day.

The students also had a treasure hunt.  The school contains PreK-5th grade.  Each grade had 10,000 eggs to hunt for.  The students enjoyed it greatly!

The end of the day ended successfully.  I am somewhat uneasy that I will not be returning.  I have truly enjoyed the experience for all it was worth and have enjoyed my time in Houston, TX.  Following the school day.  The principle, along with our host families took us out for supper.  We enjoyed craw fish and its messy goodness.  I truly enjoyed it.  We then went and got shaved ice for dessert.  Following the dinner, a couple teachers plus us UNI students went karaoke to end the night.  Houston is truly a beautiful city.