Monday, March 31, 2008


Well, it's happening!! I finally decided to be bold and, like Nike says, just do it! I will be living in Provo just for the summer. I am going to be living at The Elms apartments. I know lots of you have lived there in your time so if any of you know of good places for me to work, nows your chance!! Anyway, I am taking that leap of faith hoping everything will work out as it should!! Now I just cant wait for this semester to be over and my summer to begin. Happy Valley here I come!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Watch out for this craziness!

At our Easter get together yesterday at the Niederhauser's, my Dad gave all of the girls these watches! These are Franck Mueller watches that he got while on his trip in China! Look at the numbers! Insane huh? It will change the hour correctly, but will skip several spaces to get to the right hour since the numbers aren't in their usual order. The minutes are the same a normal watch. I think this is a very cool idea! Thanks Dad, I love it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Clinical-Some Final Observations

A big thing that I learned while doing my clinical hours, is that I might have many students with learning disabilities. Since lots of our classes are hands-on, these are places that students advisors might put them in because there is not a lot of reading or writing involved. Mrs. Dazley had several students in her classes that could only read on a 3rd of 4th level. To help with this problem, Mrs. Dazley would have them sit near a friend of theirs that could help them when they did have to do a reading assignment, their friends could help them and nobody else in the class had to know that they couldn't read well. I liked the way that she did that.

Talking with Mrs. Dazley about this really opened my eyes to that. I never really thought about FACS classes having the students with disabilities but it makes total sense that they would be there. Mrs. Dazley even teaches a Cluster Class to a class of disabled students to teach. I think this is a great idea since one of the main goals of teachers for these students is to help them be functional adults who can care for themselves.

As a student in Secondary Education, we are all required to take only ONE class that helps us to teach students with disabilities. It was a general course and covers everything from dyslexia and ADHD, to blind students or students with Downs syndrome. Obviously, I don't think one course is sufficient for me to have a knowledge on how to teach the variety of students I will get, but I think those types of things come with practice and time. The teacher for the cluster class was very cooperative with Mrs. Dazley as they tried to think of things to help these students learn what will be important to them.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Clinical Observation Hours 22-30

I finished my clinical hours on Thursday! It was a fun day because all of Mrs. Dazley's CTE classes were cooking in the lab, so it was really great for me to see how she ran the kitchen. They didnt actually 'cook'. They were to make sugar-free strawberry shakes. I liked this right off because that sounds really good and its sugar-free so its pretty healthy, so you could talk about that later in modifying recipes to be healthy!

To start with she had the whole class come back and watch her as she explained what they were to do and all the parts of the blender etc. She took about 10 min. explaining and had to hurry since they are only in her class for about 45 minutes. When she was finished it was the kids time to cook! They all seemed really excited about this, which is good!! I am glad they like lab days as much as I do. Each group had to first assign out who was doing what job, since at the end they also had to give each other a grade to make sure that everyone was doing their part. She had 3 classes of CTE and they are all right in a row and the first 3 periods of the day, she she had to keep organized and clean. Most groups did a good job cleaning up, especially since they would be marked down if they weren't. There were only a few that needed some extra tidying up!

Today, I also brought in my 'bulletin board' or poster that Mrs. Dazley had me do. Her Teen Living class has been talking about stress so I made a poster withs some different ways to relieve stress. She used it in her class and they went through each of the different ideas and talked about how they could use that in their life and if it would be helpful to them. I feel like the bulletin board turned out well!

Today I also had a glimpse into all the time it takes to set out and prepare for each classes lab, and the amount of laundry you get to do as a FACS teacher!! I took the liberty of switching out the laundry and folding them all for her and I realized that is just one of the 'little details' you forget about! Of course the laundry doesn't wash itself! She does have teacher aides and she told me that she usually had them fold and switch them over, so she tries to use them as much as possible.

DISCIPLINE: As far as discipline this day, she did a good job of managing the students especially in the labs. She has some very large class sized so she had 6 in a group for most of them. She doesn't like having that many, ideally she said she would prefer 4 to a group but she did what she could to work with it.

TEACHING TECHNIQUES: One of the techniques she used today was that she made each of them assign out what they were to do BEFORE they began cooking so that way everyone participate and everyone had certain jobs they were responsible for. She also had them grade each other which kept most of them in check to do their assigned jobs. I thought this was a great idea.

MANAGEMENT: I feel that especially in middle school settings, the students need to be reminded of what they are supposed to be doing in order to be on schedule. As I walked around to the cooking groups, I would remind each group that once they had measured their ingredients and put them in the blender, they could start to wash the majority of their dishes. Most groups would all stand around the blender and watch but in order to finish on time they needed to get going!! They just needed a push in the right direction! Not everyone needed to stand around and watch it 'blend'. If they learned to multi-task like this, the groups were cleaned and finished on time!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Clinical Observation: Hours 16-22

Today was another great day at Union Middle! I got to talk a lot to Mrs. Dazley about teaching, her likes and dislikes and discussed with her the differences between middle and high schools. She told me that when it came down for her to decided where to teach, she liked the high schools a lot but was raising a family as well so it was important to her to be able to be home after school. With many High Schools they have after school activities such as FCCLA and she didnt want to have to deal with that when her children were home, so that played a big factor in where she was to teach. I had never thought of things that way, and she made a great point.

Today when I arrived, I helped Mrs. Dazley put the students into their new seating arrangement. She had them choose a color square and that correlated to a table where they were to sit. So, in essence, they chose their seats but it also gave enough variety and mix up. Today her CTE classes began a new unit on Foods so today they went over food safety so tomorrow they will be able to cook in the lab! I am excited to see that tomorrow. I graded her Child Development classes study guides for unit 4 and it took a while! It took me 2 full periods before I finished. I also got to take roll for her classes and I input all the scores after I graded all the assignments. Today was the day I presented a motivator to her Child Development classes. I found a cute story online that was called 'The First Date'. It was a story about a date and you read it from both the girl and boy's perspective. After the story I talked with the students about dating and expectations and things we need to be looking for in a mate someday. Mrs. Dazley gave me a worksheet to give to them to fill out about what they look for in a mate and what they are doing now in their lives to be a good spouse and parent. It was fun. They really listened as I read the story and seemed to enjoy it.

DISCIPLINE: One way Mrs. Dazley disciplines her students is with her seating charts. She moves them everytime they start a new unit so that helps cut down on the noise level. Some of her classes are too noisy and the students would get up and move around to sit by their friends so she lets them pick where they sit sometimes. If the noise level got out of hand, she would threaten to get the seating chart and put them back. I kept hoping she really would do it so they would know that they werent empty threats but she never did.

Time Management: Mrs. Dazley gets to the school around 6am to get things ready for the day. She told me that FACS teachers and CTE teachers in general will spend the most time out of all the teachers because not only do we have to grade papers and get those things done but we also have to buy many supplies such as the food, fabric, art projects and many more things. One of her classes was ahead of the other so in order for them to both end in the same spot she stalled a bit by having them go around the room and tell the class on thing on their lists for mate selection. I think it is important to have you same classes end in the same place so it is easier for you to remember if both classes have covered all the same material. Things can get out of hand if one is always ahead of the other, and she didnt want to just have them sit around if they finished early.

Teaching Techniques: Mrs. Dazley has a varitey of things she uses in the class. Today when she had the students draw their own seats was definitely a teaching strategy. She also has things she calls 'hot seats' in which she uses to call on the students, that way participation is fair. She also has letters up on the board that spell QUIET. For each letter she takes down when they are being noisy, she will remove a letter. If all the letters are removed, the class has to spend time after class. She did keep 2 girls after class today and the knew she meant business.

Thats the Show!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Clinical Observation Hours 8-15

A few random tidbits I would like to share with you before I get down to the real "stuff".
#1- Very rarely do I see a student with a backpack. And certainly no girls have them. If a student does have a backpack it is a boy. All the girls use these cute little side bags that are really more cute purses than anything and most boys use a big folder/binder that zips all the way around. I found this interesting.

#2- Knowing that you have 5 minutes to get from class to class just doesnt seem enough. Now, they play Jack Johnson on the loud speaker for all the school to hear when you have 1 min. or less to be to class. I think this is weird but fun. I can definitely see how this cuts down on tardies.

A rundown of todays activities:
When I arrived this morning Mrs. Dazley asked me if I would present the food demo to her 6th period class and that I could count that as my mini lesson. I was excited/nervous for this because I hadnt planned on it, but I gladly jumped on board. She let me make a batch ahead of time of the recipe so I would know what I was doing.

After that I took the liberty of looking at how she organizes her kitchen labs and the sewing lab. I went around to all the indiv. kitchens and saw what she puts in each of them for the students to use and also the big things like ingredients she needs for the entire class to use.

The mini lesson went really well I thought and it was fun for me to do. It was for what she calls her 'Cluster Class' which is a class of handicapped children and their peer tutors. While I presented I made a point to ask them what abbreviations were for a tablespoon or had them point and show me what a teaspoon was since they had been working on their measuring abbreviations. We also went over why you would use a liquid vs. a dry measuring cup. It was a lot of fun!

Management: Today I got to input the roll into Mrs. Dazleys grading system. She uses a system called 'Powergrade' that she uses to organize not just attendance but also all their grades and citizenship etc. She also manages her classes by color coding their assignments as I have seen a lot of teachers do. Then, since her class isnt one that gives homework, they all have folder that they keep in the room so that way nobody is unprepared. They come in, get their folders and can get to work. I thought this was a good idea.

Discipline: Today was a big change from yesterday. They were a LOT more attentitive toward their teacher than they were on Monday. Maybe just getting off the weekend really did have a lot to do with it. I also think that Mrs. Dazley did give them more things to work on and do today. She would remind them to be on task and what they were supposed to be doing.

Time Management: Mrs. Dazley always is prepared for every class. This is very important especially since she has no free period and teaches every single class. Not even during her lunch time was she getting things out, she already knew ahead of time what they were doing and the items they would be needing for the day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Clinical Observation, Hours 1-7

Well the first day is over with! I got there this morning and classes began! I felt so old being back at my old stomping ground. For once, I felt tall :)

Mrs. Dazley teaches every single class period! She doesnt have a free hour because they had some extra boys they needed to put into a class so she stepped up to the challenge, so she had no prep time. Impressive!

Her classroom is very nice and the technology in it. I was surprised! She has 2 classrooms for the CTE classes. The sewing room and the foods room, which both have classroom space with desks in the front. They are connected kinda like hotel rooms that connect are, with doors in the middle to connect one to the other. She teaches 3 periods of CTE classes and today they talked about nanotechnology and different textiles. She then has 2 Child Development classes and a Cluster Group of some resource/handicapped kids. The last class of the day is Teen Living, which is composed of the 15 boys and 2 girls.

DISCIPLINE: As soon as her classes arrived, she would call them to order and get going with some review from previous classes and what they were to do for the day. The listened to her at the beginning, but the longer she talked, the less they listened. Once they worked on the assignment/activity for the day, the class became quite loud and chatty. This didnt seem to bother her so much and she told me on Monday she doesnt push it too much because it is hard to get their attention after a weekend, however, I thought it was quite noisy and the students could have been better at staying on task. Her Child Developement classes were probably the most distruptive of all the classes.

TEACHING TECHNIQUES: When I walked into her classroom this morning, it was filled with all sorts of different things. Her desk area and closets were filled with so many resources and she has lots of neat and fun ideas for her students. If I were a teacher to inhert all those, I would be one happy girl! She does try to start out classes with bell ringers (motivators) and did incorporate games into her lessons. Today she had them play games, watch a powerpoint, read articles as a group and present an overhead to the class among other things. She definitely uses a variety of methods and is creative with it. She created the reading groups by calling out their sewing maching numbers and I had asked her if she had heard of a website called she had not. I told her it was something I had been taught and it was helpful in creating different numbers of groups and she seemed excited about using it. I was glad I could be of help in that way!

MANAGEMENT: As far as time management goes, she definitely uses it well, especially with having no free period to prepare. She said that she gets there around 6:15 in the morning to get things done for her classes. Some of the students hadnt finished all their sewing projects so she told them she was available before and after school for them to come in and finish, and I thought that was very gracious of her. She told me that she does a new seating arrangement every time they move on to a new teaching unit. She tries to not have any open seats because the kids will move and sit by their friends if there are any open seats by them. Keeping them on task and in their seats seemed like something that could use a bit more work. I did like how she had the class set up, and that she makes them rotate often and always be changing in new groups.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

CLINICAL: Expectations

*Note to all of my blog readers. As a part of my major, I get the opportunity to do 'Clinical Hours'. This is where I spend 30 hours in a Family and Consumer Science classroom and have certain assignments like teaching a mini lesson, a bulletin board, helping with classroom management etc. I have to post my observations and the things I see on my blog for my Professor to see, thus why I am putting it up here. Feel free to read and enjoy, but just know, that is why im posting this!


I start my clinical hours tomorrow morning at Union Middle School. I am excited/nervous about going. I will be working with Mrs. Dazely. This will be fun for me because Union is where I went to middle school, so it will be fun to go back to my middle school and view things from a teachers point of view. In speaking with Mrs. Dazely on the phone, she has told me that they will be doing some food labs during my time there. I am excited about this because foods is something I am really interested in teaching so I am interested to see how she makes it all work! She seems very laid back and excited to get a clinical teacher from Utah State! I believe tomorrow I will just observe or grade papers and things and just kinda get the understanding of what all goes on in the different classes she teachers. After that we can sit down and discuss what she would like me to teach about and what bulletin board she would like me to make for her classroom. Anyway, wish me luck! Ill let you know all about it tomorrow afternoon!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

You got me trippin oh, STUBLING...

My newest find these days is something called 'Stumble'. It pretty much has changed my life. I surely helps to pass the time at work. What it is, is a website that will find new and creative websites it thinks you would like. When you sign up, you are given a list of various interests/hobbies/activities and you click on what you are interested in. Then a new toolbar is added to your internet, each time you want a new page, just click 'stumble'. Some things I get are completely insane, other I really enjoy and bookmark for later use. I love new and exciting websites so I though you might too! Oh, and pretty sure you have to use it on Mozilla Firefox....sorry, not internet explorer! But make the switch anyway, Mozilla all the way :) Enjoy!

My newest Craft Venture!

Ok, so this is my newest craft idea!! I have actually been wanting to make one for a long time now but I think the time is finally here! Not only is this frame cute and fun, but its functional! Doesnt get much better than that does it? All you need is a frame, plastic mesh, scissors, and glue and you have it! You could also use tool (no idea how you spell it!) fabric for the backing as well.

Me and my SIL Becky have decided since we both have quite the array of dangly earrings and not the greatest spot to put them, this is the perfect solution! Just thought it was so great, I had to share!