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					                                      Jen Perry



      Throughout my week of observation an abundance of questions stewed in my

head – many were answered happily by my mentor teacher, others I did not dare

pose. A question that I have continually reflected on is how can I effectively teach

with a partner student teacher? The question is one that has really made me think. I

had absolutely no idea I would be co-teaching, and both my university facilitator and

mentor teacher did not explicitly state the expectations surrounding co-teaching. I

obviously want to get the most out of this opportunity – and by the most I mean that

I want this experience to prepare me for my teaching career. Although I will be

working with other teachers, I want to be capable of working independently.

Questions that were generated from my reflections include how much co-teaching

should we do? What if our teaching styles are incompatible? How will the students

respond to having three teachers in the classroom? How do we plan for the lessons

(especially when I hardly know the person I am planning with)? And probably the

most important question of all: How can we create an atmosphere where co-teaching

will benefit the students? I feel that I will benefit immensely by developing an

action plan with regards to co-teaching; not only will this action plan better prepare

me for my student teaching experience, it will also prepare me for future

collaborative experiences.



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      A second question that I have been reflecting on is: How can student learning

be maximized through the arrangement of reading groups? Reading is a central

instructional focus in my classroom, and as an elementary school teacher I feel that

it is my professional responsibility to develop a strong knowledge base in this area.

The school I am in is a balanced literacy school and the reading program is highly

regimented with a specified time for silent reading, along with guided reading

practice in homogeneous groups, and limited one-on-one reading with the teacher.

Although students do benefit from ability level grouping, they can also benefit from

a wide variety of different types of grouping. I would like to explore these

different types in my student teaching practicum. Furthermore, I feel that

different types of grouping may not only positively influence academics, but may also

create a social-constructivist learning environment.




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