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UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT JUAN PONCE DE LEÓN JR. HIGH SCHOOL PRACTICE CENTER

DAILY REFLECTIONS

JOANY MORALES FIOL XXX-XX-5346 DR. ANÍBAL MUÑOZ PRACTICE SUPERVISOR JANUARY-MAY 2014


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

JANUARY 17, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #1

This week I assisted to my first orientations as a Practice Teacher. The orientations where given at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao by Dr. Aníbal Muñoz Claudio, my practice Supervisor. In the orientation we discussed the roles of the practice teacher, the cooperating teacher and the practice supervisor. We also discussed the projects and all the forms we must fill out as part of the administrative part of our practice teaching. We started organizing our professional notebook with all the documents we will need for our practice. The last day of the orientations we were given our practice center and our schedule. The next day, I went to my center to introduce myself to the school personnel and the students. I also talked to my cooperating teacher Mrs. Sara Troche and we discussed general aspects of my practice teaching because they will be discussed on depth the next week. This week was a little hard for me because of the transition from being at home all day with my son to waking up early and prepare my son for school and assist early to the orientations. It was a week of transition in orders for me to adapt myself to the new routine I am going to encounter through this entire semester. I am very glad that my practice center in in Humacao because it is near home. I had also been hoping that the Juan Ponce de León Bilingual School would be my practice center because I studied there and I knew how good the school was. At the beginning of the orientations I felt anxious because of all the information that was given. Then I realized that the projects and all the works I have to hand in on my practice


teaching will help me in the future as a teacher. All of this will help me be an organized teacher that is important in order to facilitate the education to my future students. I am glad to be assigned a seventh grade. I already meet them and they seem very good students. The teacher told me I had a good group which heir is no student enrolled in the special education program. I would have liked to have at least one in order to have the experience because in the majority of the schools in Puerto Rico there are at least on special education student per group. Even though there are none in my group enrolled I must be aware of any situation in order to identify any problem a students may have. Once again I am thrilled that my practice center is the Juan Ponce de Leon with such a great cooperating teacher. I know I will have the best experience this semester and I am ready to start this new journey.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

JANUARY 24, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #2

This week was my first one at my practice center. I have been observing Mrs. Troche and the performance of my practice group. I also have been observing the facilities of the school and interviewing the personnel. First I interviewed the Director Mrs. Nydia Vega. She welcomed me and my practice teaching partner at her office. We asked her about the schools needs and how could we help to improve them. She told us that the school has everything they need because the teachers work hard in order to give an education of excellence to the students, but they are lacking of a place where the students can go to do their homework and where the teachers can go to prepare their lessons. She told that the Library was closed due to the fact that the Regional Superintendent Mr. Julio Iglesias didn’t assign any Librarian for the school because of the lack of funds. The Director also told us that they needed a photocopier. The photocopier is very important because in this school most of the materials used by the teachers are from internet or made by them. Because this school has students that are engaged with their studies, the teachers create lessons with higher expectations, therefore the materials given by the Department of Education are useless. After interviewing the Director, I thought that for our special project we could fix the library into an appropriate place for the students to do their homework, but then I realized that it wasn’t possible because there wasn’t an adult that could keep an eye on the students while it was opened. I also thought on how we can raise the money to buy a photocopier for the school. They


are really expensive but the Mrs. Sara Troche gave us some ideas. That is in agenda for the following month when we finish our first two projects. We also interviewed the Social Worker Elvira Ortiz and the Special Education Professional Rebecca Gonzålez. They both gave me information on the procedure in order to select a student for the Case Study. The Social Worker oriented us on the procedure of talking to the parents and interviewing the child. The Special Education Professional oriented us on the process the students passes through in order to be part of the program and the special accommodations they have in the classroom. This week I also had the opportunity of substituting my cooperating teacher with two groups. Mrs. Troche had to go with the school Director to a meeting at the Department of Education and asked us if we could assess the student’s oral presentations by asking them questions and giving them an evaluation. I was thrilled but nervous at the same time, and accepted. The students behaved very well and I felt very comfortable with them. It was a very good experience. Even though I was not prepared, I could deliver the lesson effectively. This week was very important for me because I learned some useful information that will help me throughout my practice. I got to know meet the people that could help me on my projects and I also have known my students. I have learned the majority of my student’s names. I believe I am on right track in my practice teaching. I think I am ready to start creating lesson plans and teaching the students.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

JANUARY 31, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #3

This week at my practice center I started to teach my assigned group. I was really nervous because I didn’t know how the students would react. I prepared myself and planned so many activities in order to show the students how creative I am. Then I relaxed and thought everything again. I decided to start the unit with the narrative paragraph and making them connect it with a paragraph they had written a week ago on their Christmas vacations. They understood it very well. The students work really fast. Now I know I always need to bring more activities in case they finish early. I also made them pass through the writing process in the classroom by giving them feedback and individualize instruction. After they had their paragraphs well written, they draw a picture related to the paragraph. In order to make the sharing of the paragraph more dynamic, I decided to move the tables and let them sit on the floor making a circle. They were very enthusiastic because it was a new experience for them. After this activity, I realized that the student responded very well with the new activity. They all were willing to participate and share their paragraphs. After this experience, I decided to do an activity each time I finish a topic. This will help me enhance diversity and creativity in the classroom. I will also be addressing Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Approach because I will be working with different activities for each topic. This will also get the students involve because they will never predict what activity will the teacher create next.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

FEBRUARY 7, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #4

This week I started discussing the descriptive paragraph with the students. I gave them a piece of candy for them to write a paragraph describing it. Then I made them do a Venn diagram for them to see the difference between the narrative and the descriptive paragraph. As the assessment for the descriptive paragraph topic I decided to challenge the students and give them a list with some classroom work they would be able to do such as board cleaner, table leader, material distributer, and more. The students had to select their top two choices and write a paragraph for each one by telling me why are they good for the job describing themselves. I gave it for homework. I asked them if they understood the assignment and they said they did. I can’t wait to start reading what they will write. I decided to do this activity because I want them to work for points. They will have to earn every privilege such as pizza, candy, parties, etc. This will enable social transformation because they will learn that in order to receive something they have to work hard to get it. This is a lesson they should remember for the rest of their lives. This week I also helped on the Spelling Bee activity. I participated as a judge in the activity. It was a very enriching experience. I learned how to organize the activity and all the effort a person should put on an activity like this one. I am really thankful because my cooperating teacher Mrs. Sara Troche and the other English teachers from the school permitted me to be involved. I had the opportunity to give definitions and examples of the words in a sentence when the students needed it. It was a very good experience that helped me on my development as a professional.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

FEBRUARY 14, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #5

This week I had to reteach a lesson for the first time. I felt sad because when I was correcting the assignment on the classroom works in which the students had to write two descriptive paragraphs on why they would be good for those two jobs, I realized that some of them only wrote a sentence for each choice or they did not described themselves at all. Then I decided to give them ten points for doing the assignment if the answer was coherent and well written. I gave each student an image which they used to write a descriptive paragraph. After they wrote this last paragraph I noticed that they did understand how to write a descriptive paragraph. This week they also had their first exam with me. It was a very simple exam. The majority of the students did very well, but they got 100% with some points they had for bonus on a previous activity. After thinking on the results of the exam I decided that the exams should be more challenging because they did it really fast. They are in a level that I could be expecting more from them. I am considering giving them a test on the whole unit and not divide it in half. This week I also received my first practice teaching evaluation from my practice supervisor and cooperating teacher. I was really upset because the students did not behave like they used to, they talked too much. I noticed that their misbehavior was because I assigned them a project in which they will report on a situation of their community and they will have to record themselves. After talking to my cooperating teacher, I realized that they had never been assigned to a project like this one. They are used do simple works that doesn’t require that much creativity and integration with their community. I considered at the moment that I would not try to give


them projects like this one again. After talking to Mrs. Troche I changed my mind. I will give them as many projects as I can in order to give them those meaningful experiences so they can apply what they have learned in a creative way. I just hope that the students will be able to do the project correctly and not like the one of the descriptive paragraph. We’ll see!


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

FEBRUARY 21, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #6

This week the students were assigned to do a creative video in which they would share their expository paragraphs on a situation that had occurred at their community. At first I was frustrated because they were not excited with the assignment. On Tuesday I saw their excitement. They came into the classroom and saw what I had prepared for them. I organized the classroom as if it was a news studio. They had a microphone and a desk decorated. I saw the students that did not wanted to do it on a video all dressed up very professionally. The students were very engage in the class. They were very quiet listening to the videos and wanting to know what happened in their classmates communities. At the end of the presentations I was relieved. I felt very proud of myself because I had created that. I organized the activity and the students responded very well. From this activity I learned that even though the students don’t believe in their selves and complain on the creative activities assigned, they still will do what the teacher is asking them. I also learned that in the elementary level, teachers don’t develop the students’ creativity while integrating themselves with the community. They were afraid because it was the first time a teacher assigns something different for them to do. I am glad they had to experience it for the first time with me. Now I know at during the semester the students can have new experiences that will help them to internalize the skills being taught. I am considering giving a creative project for each unit taught. This will get the students used to facing different learning environments. The planning is difficult, but our reward is enormous.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

FEBRUARY 28, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #7

This week we discussed how to write a persuasive paragraph. The students had an idea of it because they all agreed that it was used to defend their opinion. I asked them why should they learn how to persuade others? They had no clue. I started discussing with them some of the problems that Puerto Rico is passing through thanks to the lack of tolerance. After we discussed each problem I asked them what all of them had in common. They told me that each problem started with persons arguing. Then I made them reflect on how learning to persuade someone in an effective manner will diminish any violent argumentation. I made this exercise because the students need to know how to use what they are learning. They should know how to respect other’s opinions in order to have a more tolerated society. I feel very good because I at least tried to make them reflect on something that it is being a big issue in Puerto Rico. I want them to be different and to think before they act; to use what they have learned in class while they integrate with society. At this point of my practice teaching I acknowledge how important the teaching profession is. It is not merely to facilitate the learning of English skills; it is to get the students to understand how those skills will help them to build a better future. If teachers should take time of their classes to explain to the students why they should learn each skill and not emphasizing on learning for the tests. It is a lot more work but it is what they are getting paid for; facilitating the students learning and ensuring they are acquiring the skills to implement them when interacting with society.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

MARCH 7, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #8

This week I went for the first time to a field trip with the students. It was a field trip organized by the Spanish teacher of the school. The majority of my students were going, so I decided to involve myself in this new experience. The field trip consisted in visiting the Centro de Bellas Artes de Guaynabo to see a play named “Crónicas de una muerte anunciada”. I got to sit with my students at the bus. It reminded me of those days when I has a student. He had a lot of fun, but it was also a big responsibility because we were in charge of the students. I realized that organizing a field trip is very hard. The teacher should have an educational base for the field trip, and then organize for where and when the field trip is going to be. Then the teacher will have to decide how many students will participate and how much it will cost. During the field trip the teacher is responsible for the students. Planning a field trip and planning lessons at the same time could be exhausting. At the end of the day I looked at the teacher and all I saw was satisfaction in her face. That was the only thing that motivated me to wanting to organize a field trip with my students in a future. Also this week I have been discussing metaphors and similes with my students. I thought it was going to be easy for them to understand similes because it is a direct comparison. I found out I was wrong. The students were confused with the word “like”. They thought every sentence that contained the word like was a simile. It took me another day with examples and explanations to get them to understand. Also, teaching metaphors was really hard. The students did not understand well what metaphors were. I decided to use similes and convert them to metaphors so


they could see how it was comparing two things like the simile. It was frustrating but I managed it very well.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

MARCH 14, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #9

This week I had a behavioral situation with my students. I was trying to start a class in which we were going to play a game to review metaphors and similes. I tried for 15 minutes to start the class but the students acted as if I wasn’t there. I got mad and decided to suspend the activity and give them a quiz. They were very surprised by my reaction and did what I said and quickly. I told them to put away everything and I gave them a blank piece of paper. I told them to write 10 examples of metaphors and 10 examples of similes. Some of them were frustrated because they still didn’t understand well how to write metaphors and similes. Others were mad because they were behaving and they were punished because of the actions of others. I felt kind of bad because I know there were students that didn’t deserve to be punished, but I had to in order to make them understand that not because I like to play with them means that the class is not important. After the group left, I sat down to correct the quiz. I got a little frustrated because some students didn’t understand how to write a metaphor. There were all kinds of grades. The next day, I asked my students why I decided to give them a quiz. After they reflected on their actions I gave them their grades. Some of them were very disappointed. I told them that I was going to keep with other topic and if someone had a doubt I was available at lunch hour. Even though the quiz was a punishment, it served me to know if they understood or not in order to keep with something else.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

MARCH 21, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #10

On Thursday there was a basketball tournament between the girls of the five groups of the seventh grade of the school. Because of this activity I decided to not give classes that day so the students that were going to play would get affected. Because of my decision, the girls asked me to go dressed with a blue shirt just like them in order to support them. I also went in sneakers because I wanted to watch the game. I also decided to take with me some short pants in case something happened and they needed me to play. Such was my luck that two of the students were absent that day and the team was incomplete. The girls of my group asked me if I could play with them. I said yes because it was a perfect way to get involve with them directly. Even though I go really tired and that the next day I could barely move, I played. This helped me build a more effective rapport relationship with my female students. I thought it wouldn’t affect the males but it did. The boys that were always misbehaving on my class were talking to me of how well I played. I even saw them on the bench the day of the game telling me what to do. It was a very enriching experience. Not only I got to involve with my students, but I got known by the rest of the school students. Now I am not invisible. The students know that I am the English practice teacher. I also felt really good because there were teachers who went to the game just to see the teacher who was playing with the students. Some of them were telling me that they were really proud and that they envied me because of what I did. At this far of my practice this has been one of the most rewarding moment of all; one that will be part of me for the rest of my life.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

MARCH 28, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #11

At my practice teaching this week I have been working with my students individually helping them on their creative video special project. It has worked really well to set a date and time to help each group individually because they have responded really well. Even though I have helped them on their video, they are the ones selecting songs, images, examples, etc. I am really happy that the students are responding and did not complain with this special project. I believe that the key for the success of this project was giving the students options for them to select what best suits them. I also gave them more time because they asked me and because of what I had seen, I decided to give them a few more days. Also in this week the Honor Roll was celebrated. It was very emotional to see my students receiving their awards for their academic success. I also helped my cooperative teacher to help the parents register themselves and seating them. It was a lot work. I realized that the teacher that is in charge of all of the activities such as this one has many work and stress. The teacher should have vocation in order to deal with all the work and then the complains of the parents because they are never conformed. But all of this is rewarded by just looking at the students face. The students’ joy and satisfaction is a teacher’s reward for so much work. I know that it is a lot of work, but if I am asked to organize and activity like this one I would definitely accept. I was also very emotional because the director of the school presented me in front of everyone at the Honor Roll as a successful student that had been in the same position as the students ten years ago at the same school. She told the guests of the activity that I was an


example to follow because I was product of the school’s success. I felt very proud of being part of the students’ achievement and that the director recognized me in such a way.


UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO AT HUMACAO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT EDPE 4006- PRACTICE TEACHING SECONDARY LEVEL JOANY MORALES FIOL 842-08-5346

APRIL 4, 2014 WEEKLY REFLECTION #12

This week the students presented their creative videos. I could describe their work with only one word OUTSTANDING! The students were really creative. They all selected different songs and presented their video in different ways. The best of all was that the majority of the students handed in on time and well done. I am really proud of them. The difference from the first project to this one is huge. In the first one the students complained for everything and did not made it with a lot of effort. In this project, I saw that they worked really. But the best thing is that I made this possible. I plan that special project and they did it. Also, working on their project helped them understand very well the concept of figurative language because the majority had perfect on the test. After this, I could only say that I am doing a good job with these students. Now I am also realizing that my practice experience is soon coming to an end. I can’t imagine my life without these kids that I have learned to love as if they were my own children. They are going to be part of my life forever. They have taught me so many things that on courses of the university I would have never learned. Because of them I have also growth as a person. What I have only left is to give the best I have in these last weeks in order to leave a mark in them as they have left one in me. It has been a very sacrificing experience but all I have to say is that it has been one of the best things that have happened in my life.

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