Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ms. Metcalf

Today I started substitute teaching for a second grade class. I'm long term subbing for a teacher who is having a baby. So essentially this class is mine until the end of the school year! Maybe four of the kids can actually say my name correctly- so the majority of the day is spent repeating my name. But I am so excited to get to do something like this so soon after student teaching (and to make a little money)! This class already has a lot of fun stuff planned- I'm sure a lot of my posts over the next month and a half will be about these 7 year old munchkins : )

Monday, April 18, 2011

Intraramural Champions!

This season my intramural team finally won the top women's division championship! I didn't play my first year down here because I tore my ACL. And last year my team lost in the championship. It's still a sore subject. But this year- this was a great year! We finally had a perfect combination of ball handlers, post players, defense, inside/outside game. I had so much fun each week playing with these girls, The Bed Intruders... yes that's our team name : )
The Bed Intruders

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Many Faces of 3rd Grade

My third grade class had an art exhibit that they had to display in the gym on the same day as the science fair. My third grade teacher that I did my second placement with asked if I would come up with some sort of art project for the kids to do. The only thing I could remember that wasn't horribly messy from my Art 4000 class were these masks. Some kids were really creative with there's : )

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dixie Cup Art

Another "Adventure List" item checked off! My roommates and I went to a freeway overpass and put cups all in the fence. The hardest part was figuring out what we should write- everything we thought of was inappropriate ; ) In the end we went with PURP HOUSE which is an abbrev. for Purple House, the nickname that was given to our home. Then Marli and I decided to put up a heart for good measure.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

London Bridge is Falling Down

So I know that it has been an embarrassing amount of time since I have posted about my summer back packing trip through Europe- but it still needs to be done! So be prepared to read all about when Lindsay and I were in London, England (last May).

Now if you read about my adventure in Dublin and how much of an adventure it was to take the ferry over to Wales then you would understand how happy we were to make it to Holyhead.
 once we made it to Holyhead, Wales we hopped on the rail and rode through Wales and into England. After riding through the Welsh countryside I was so sad that we didn't schedule time to stay and visit. We saw some of the most amazing scenery!
 This is Dunster Castle which is nestled right into the side of a hill. I was completely blown away when I saw it! Seeing this and the rest of the Welsh countryside made missing our original ride and sleeping in a ferry terminal the night before worth it (otherwise we wouldn't have been able to see this in the daylight!) 
 We stayed at St. Christopher's Hostel. This was the one location the entire trip where Lindsay and I actually shared a room with complete strangers. At first I was a little skeptical about who we would be paired with (in our all female dormitory) but we met the sweetest old Polish ladies.

These were our roommates. They were retired school teachers who were nannying in England and wanted to take a trip out to London. And for the record my experience was nothing like any of the horror stories people told me...

Here is Lindsay enjoying another one of our many meals. I'll admit we splurged a little with the Pringle's. But buying a loaf of bread and tub of peanut butter and making sandwich's every day saved us a ridiculous amount of money!

Here I am at Trafalgar Square standing with one of the famous lion statues. 
Above is Big Ben- and I learned that Big Ben is just the name of the bell inside that chimes, not the entire clock tower. It had so much more detail on it than I ever imagined it to have! I loved it!!!

 Lindsay and I in front of Buckingham Palace. The queen was inside so we weren't able to take a tour of it... but we met some of the nicest guards :)
 So all of the pictures before this were of our first two days in London. We had originally planned to do a bike tour where we would get to see most of the sites- but missing that ferry threw us off a day. Fat Tire Bike Tours was amazing and let us hop on a different tour the next day- but it wasn't the tour we'd planned for. We ended up getting to do the Royal Parks Tour which took us through several of London's ginormous parks! I'll admit that we wouldn't have taken the time or effort to go through the parks as extensively as the tour did so I'm glad we were able to get switched to that tour.
 Westminster Abbey (on the bike tour)

 After the tour was over there were still a few things we wanted to see that we hadn't gotten to yet- like Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye
 We also went through the London Tower. This is Tower Bridge. Now let me explain the pose. I stupidly thought this was London Bridge.... you know, London Bridge is falling down? So I'm holding it up. Then about 12 seconds after I take the picture I realize that this is Tower Bridge. So I took a normal picture. But this one is more fun :)
 The next morning we took a train ride out to Dover (note the white cliffs above) and the a ferry across the English Channel to get to Calais, France where we planned to take connecting train to Lilles and then to Paris.
This is us on top of out boat on the ferry ride over to France. The ride took about 2 hours and we later found out that the English Channel (from where we traveled) is only 20 miles wide!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

First Graders

These are my first graders. My favorite little bunch of 7 year old's! For all of January and half of February this was my class. I student taught for Mrs. Sauceda's class at East Elementary. This was the biggest crash course in teaching I have ever encountered. And I would like to think that my experience with these children could rival many. I learned quickly what I needed to do to be an effective teacher-having crazy little kids to instruct puts your methods to the test immediately!
Some of these kids I fell in love with instantly, and others it took a bit longer. But in time I grew to love them all! How could you not? They say the most sincere and hilarious things. But this class was very difficult. The school I am at is Title 1, which essentially means it is extremely low income. Because of this (and it's just a fact) the learning level is lower than it should be. More than half of my class has tested at below grade level (some even below what a Kindergartner should be at). But then there are also some students who are up to a 3rd grade level in some subjects. Figuring out how to reach all of these students and get the to learn everything that they need has been one of the hardest challenges.
But let me tell you what the most difficult part of this class has been: observing. As a teacher you become aware of each student's home life. I have come to find that many of these kids face harder obstacles at home than at school. Too many of my students don't get 3 meals a day, have parents that don't speak English, have been abandoned, or come from broken or abusive homes. Each individual child is a special circumstance, and there is only so much that can be done as an educator. It is pure toture to see what goes on and be unable to do anything in most cases!
Working with these kids has reminded me why I've been spending the last five years of my life pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. Although it breaks my heart to watch them leave each day to go home to a place that holds so much negativity, I love what I get to do with them! I know that each day- regardless of what goes on at home- they get into come to my classroom and feel love. Sometimes it's difficult for me to put aside my own mood about the crazy day, but I always think about how important it is for them to see a smiling face. After seeing what these students go through on a daily basis I quickly made it a point to get to learn each of these kids individually. I tried each day to talk with as many of my kids as possible, to let them know that I cared about what was going on in their life and that I loved them, so they knew I wasn't interested solely in teaching them how to read or subtract. I have gotten to know each of them, their lives, their likes/dislikes, and dreams. I can honestly say that I love this group of kids and feel so honored to have been able to teach them. For a very small, maybe insignificant, moment in their lives I was able to see them- 8 hours a day, 5 days a week- and I hope that I was able to in some way make a positive impact because I know that I will never forget everything that they taught me. I already miss them so much!
Here is one of the projects my teacher and I came up with for our students to do. This is a bulletin board in our classroom and it was entitled "100 acts of kindness".
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day we learned all about what MLK did for this country. But first graders can't fully grasp the concept of race, hatred, and inequality. We explained Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream as being about wanting for everyone to be kind to each other regardless of what they looked like.
For this project we told the students that they had until Valentine's Day to reach 100 acts of kindness, if they did we would have a pizza party. They were to have parents, family members, and friends write down if they did a random act of kindness. They would then bring that in to class and we would read it out loud and pin it to the board. The kids surpassed their goal and loved it so much they asked if they could keep doing it even after Valentine's Day. I'm so proud of all that they did and of how aware of other people they are starting to become!

Friday, April 8, 2011

SUU Pride

It's hard to feel involved in campus events when you're student teaching. But one thing I have not been lacking in is school spirit! I have been to almost every home basketball game, gymnastics meet, and baseball game that we have has this Spring. One of my friends is a photographer for the school- this is me cheering at the SUU/UCLA gymnastics meet (we won by the way). If you can't spot me in the sold out crowd I'll give you a hint- I'm sitting right next to the guy with the sign (my friend Tylar)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Couch Sledding

A little while ago we had quite the snow storm. Rather than let yet another blizzard get us down we decided to embrace it! My friend's neighbors had the most incredible idea that I'm sure glad they followed through with. They took an old couch and screwed skis to the bottom of it. That may look like that's all it is in this picture but there's more. They then attached a chain around it and hooked it up to the hitch of a pick up truck! We hopped on and rode around the freshly powdered (deserted) streets of Cedar City for as long as we could stand the cold :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kim and Alex's Wedding

Over Spring Break my roommate Kimberly got married to Alex. They are two of the kindest and most fun people I know! Bot of them are from Vegas, so Tela, Marli, and I made a little weekend road trip down to go to their reception!The usual construction near the strip...
Their first dance
Tela, Marli, Kim, and me at the reception
Kim lives about a block from the temple so after the reception we made a little trip to the temple grounds.
Tela, Marli, and me at the temple

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sadie Hawkins Dance

Marli, Dan, Ben, and Me

A while ago we had an institute Sadie Hawkins dance . I asked out Ben Hermansen, a boy in my ward, and my roommate Marli asked out his brother Dan. It was a western theme and as you can see, some of us got a little more into it than others! We had dinner before and the dance was afterwards. And although they played a slow song every two songs, it didn't go unapreciated by me or my date ; ) It was such a fun night!

Ben and me when we got to the dance...

Partying in Cedar City

One of the many things that I have found to entertain me in Cedar City has been parties. This will probably be part of what I miss most when I graduate. It's such a fun way to meet new people and just have fun with the friends you know! This is how I spend about every other weekend, and occasionally some week nights :)
Rock Star party- where we dressed up and had Rock Band and Sing Star competitions! I think dressing up was my favorite part.
At a dance party with Marli, Caitlin, Jaz, and Cash.
On our way to the "Black and Yellow" dance party. Hailey, Marli, and Kylie are my teammates/ party regulars.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Family Home Evening

Recently FHE has been a ton of fun to attend. I'm sure it can be attributed to that fact that the majority of them have been combined with the entire ward (instead of small groups) and that Tela and Ben have been in charge of planning the activities... Here are a few of the things we have done:
Glow in the dark volleyball
Crab soccer