Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Day in the Life of Our "Away Schooler"

I've been itchin' since we started Jefferson in 'away' school ("Mooom!  No one calls it that - why do you do that?") to go in for a day and torture the teacher with my presence and beady-eyed stare observe.  It's been a while since I've been 'in' school myself and although I have a good feel from Jefferson for how things go at 3rd grade in Dayspring Christian Academy, I just wanted to see how things flowed.

I was quite pleased (but not surprised) at how well Mrs.3rd Grade Teacher interacts with her students and keeps them in control.  There was not one wild or rambunctious child and only a couple whom were even slightly distracted (and these she dealt with quickly, firmly, and discreetly - wow!).  Her instructions were always clear and well-followed with room available for any questions.  These kids obviously respect her but aren't afraid of her - great balance, I'd say! 

But my favorite thing about this class is not the academics or even the wonderful behavior of the students, but the obvious faith of Mrs. 3rd Grade Teacher.  She has prayed with me at parents meetings and she prays with her students each day, as well as pulling out her guitar and playing praise music with Mrs. Teacher's Aide (also the school music teacher).  This warms my heart and puts any doubt (yes, the enemy still tries to get under my skin about Jefferson even being at away school) at ease.  She stays in constant communication with the parents, works hard to stay prepared for each day, and obviously cares for her students!  Isn't that what a parent wants for their child in school?


So, no more blabbering.  On to today's poorly taken summary notes agenda in 3rd grade...
  1. As day starts, students finish uncompleted items, leftover work, or corrections quietly at their desks.
  2. Students pledge allegiance to God's Word, the Christian flag, and then the U.S.
  3. Mrs. 3rd Grade Teacher prays
  4. Praise music and then devotions
  5. Math -> verbally walk through word problem sheet (teacher & class together) with plenty of room for questions; timed practice sheets; lesson of the day; more time on word problem sheet with teacher help (Saxon 3 is the math program)
  6. Spelling ->buddy system spelling practice (today no lesson or new words)
  7. Recess & snack (poor Mrs. 3rd Grade Teacher barely had time for her own snack as she prepped for reading)
  8. Reading -> lots of options today (literature discussion circle w/ Mrs. 3rd Grade Teacher; group meets & discusses questions w/ Mrs. Teacher's Aide; student voice records a reading passage to improve their fluency; work on comprehension worksheet; work on AR book); students worked quietly and Mrs. 3rd Grade Teacher's multitasking talent came through as she met their needs
  9. English -> using Shurley Grammar 3 students work verbally w/ Mrs. 3rd Grade Teacher to diagram sentences together allowing for any questions & plenty of class participation; students worked on their 'persuasive' paragraphs & had time to discuss their progress with the teacher
  10. LUNCH!  (I have to admit that I really felt the need to stretch by this point.  The kids accomplished a lot in the time just before lunch but it still seemed like a long time to me!  Must be the 'homeschool' in me - lol!)
What a great lesson for me today in Jefferson's 3rd grade class!  I felt like I learned a ton about teaching just by watching a talented teacher do her work.  It was as exciting as it is for me at home just because I love to see kids learn!  And someday Jefferson will hopefully find it interesting to look back at a day in the life of his 3rd grade year!



Becky @ BoysRuleMyLife said...

WOW! I need some lessons from that teacher! I think she covered more before lunch than I do in two days! LOL! Granted, I've only got a 1st grader. :)

We don't have any private schools locally. I'm thrilled that you guys have found an option that works beautifully and that you got to experience a day first hand. What peace of mind! :)

joyful mama said...

Oh Andrea, The school sounds just like your style!!!! I'm so happy it's just what you were looking for!!!! May God bless and encourage J while he is there!!!!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

What a wonderful answer to prayer! So thankful it is going so well.

argsmommy said...

She does sound like a wonderful teacher! Hmm... maybe I should go observe at my daughter's away school too.