Monday, December 12, 2011

Wrapping it all up :) :(

Today was our last day at the Dwight School but first some adventures from the weekend.

This weekend I had the privilege of going to visit my great aunt and uncle who live in Saratoga Springs, NY. I took the Amtrak train out of Penn Station and rode the train up nearly four hours. It was such a nice ride and I made sure to sit on the correct side of the train (left). I was told that it has some of the best views and it didn't lie. The hills and water was such a nice way to go through city after city. While in Saratoga Springs I was able to visit a national park that use to be an old battlefield, walking down Central, visiting Saratoga Spa State Park, visiting the Scribner house (aka their old home). Currently the president of the nearby college and his wife life there, and of course we took a walk around the campus too! It had a small feeling to it which is similar to Gustavus.



                                         Water from the geyser that smells and tastes like rotten eggs

                                           Great water that people fill gallons and gallons full of it

                                 Skidmore College President's Home (Former house of my great aunt and uncle)

Now to the main reason why we love New York. We like to think this sums up our experience! The bagel toppers that we have for breakfast every Monday. This past Friday, Martin, the wonderful breakfast man, made a couple just for us because he knew they were our favorite. All it includes is a bagel, egg, cheese, bacon and or sausage. It is delicious!!!

                                           Martin with the three of us and our bagel toppers!!!

While at school for our last day the kids continued to remind us of how sad they were going to be when we left. This did not make the day any better for us. In first grade all of the kids continued to give numerous hugs throughout the day. At the end of the day the kids presented to me two New York books. One of them being an ABC and the other a 123. They were all letters or numbers from NYC. The students also created a poem book about myself. It started out Ms. Rossow is.... The students then wrote either a metaphor or a simile about me. It was the sweetest thing ever!!! The students continued with more hugs and said they were never going to let go of me. I seriously am going to miss them like crazy!!! 

We truly will miss New York!!! We have been able to learn a lot that we are excited to bring with us back to Minnesota and wherever else it may lead us to in the future!!! 


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Last Friday in NYC

Happy Friday Everyone! Hope you all have a great week, and are ready for another weekend! I know we all are.
Hard to believe but in just a few short days we will be back in the great state of Minnesota. I know feelings are mixed with all of us about returning home. We are all excited to see our family and friends but we also all aren't ready to leave just yet and say goodbye to our students.
Today was a great day in fourth grade. The students had a Dress Down Day because they participated in a fundraiser for donating food to a local food shelf. So because of that, the students didn't have to wear their uniforms. It was so fun to see them in different clothes, it definitley let you see more of their personality.
One of the girls in my class came to school in suspenders, a plaid shirt and green pants. She looked so cute! And I loved the uniqueness of her outfit. Today in seeing the students in their various outfits, I questioned the pros and cons of uniforms. On one hand they do look nice, and the students look mostly the same. On the other hand it really takes away their individuality in expressing themselves through what they wear. I am very torn on if I like uniforms or not. I also wonder how the students feel about it. My guess would be that the younger students may not care as much but as they get older it may become more of an issue. Hm just something to think about.
Anyway back to the classroom...
This morning the fourth and first graders got together with their reading buddies and made a cute winter craft. They made snow flakes, then wrote a metaphor such as Winter is like....
The students all had a lot of fun making these crafts and it was fun to see them in a more of a leadership role when working with the first graders. I can tell there are some future teachers!
Here are some pictures:

The rest of the day was pretty much a normal Friday. The students did turn in their club houses that they were working on earlier this week. The students all  did such a fantastic job on these and they look so cool! Here are some pictures as promised!

After school, we attended a baby shower for Betsy and we all really enjoyed having some time to hang out with the staff at Dwight. The party was an absolute blast!
After that, Heidi and I headed to MoMa, and Megan went to Barnes and Noble to hang out for a bit. Here are some pictures from MoMa!

Well thats all for now, hope you enjoyed the pictures!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Are your senses working to read the blog?

Here in first grade we are working on senses and the students have already learned a ton and are looking forward to more that is on the way. During a lesson I taught today I wanted to find out some questions that the students have about our 5 wonderful senses. The questions they came up with were very insightful and meaningful to them. These are also questions that there is no simple one-word answer. They are questions that require thought, research through experiments and readings. Some of the questions that the students had today included the following: How do you get your sense receptors? How are the senses connected to the brain or how is the brain connected to our senses? I was very impressed as the students said things they still wanted to learn and things they have already learned. We also love doing tons of experiments to learn especially about senses. Even though stations can get a little crazy that's exactly what we did today. The students moved about the classroom completing different tasks as they learned about each sense. One of my favorite stations included the tasting. I had three different cups of water with one being regular water, one with salt, and one cup with sugar. The students needed to describe what it tasted like and put on the map of the tongue where they felt each flavor. All of the stations make the students realize their senses are an important part of their body. They notice their senses outside of school more then ever before. This is perfect and exactly what we hope to achieve! It is nice to have the students become excited to learn that they want to take the learning home with them! 

Highlights for tomorrow include:

Dress down day where all of Timothy House can dress in clothes not normally found at school. This means we are allowed to wear jeans! This applies to teachers and students. 

Betsy is having a baby shower after school!!

Going to Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) 

Going to look at the ten-dollar purses in Times Square! 


Low-points for tomorrow include:

One less day to be spent with our teachers and students :(

Happy Friday! Heidi 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What do we need? What do we want? (As thought by 3A.)

The unit of inquiry that third grade has just begun focuses on "Basic Human Needs."  To start off Monday's class, the only direction my third grade class was given was to work independently to brainstorm things that were important to them.  (If you look on the pictures below, each student is represented with a different colored paper.)  Some students easily filled three pages of paper with lists while others had only five or six items after ten minutes.  After a brief class discussion on needs versus wants (and a video clip from the website "Brain Pop") the students worked on their own to separate their items into piles of things they think they need and things that they want.

On Tuesday, students collaborated with their table mates and compared needs and wants piles.  They were given three blank poster papers and combined their strips to create collages of needs and wants.  Here was the end result of one table after Tuesday's lesson:  

Today, students participated in a "carousel conversation" where they had an opportunity to share their group's posters with three other peers.  It was intriguing to walk around and hear the conversations between my third graders:

***Do we need love to survive?

***Not everyone around the world has a school.  But if I didn't have a school, I think I would die because I wouldn't be getting smarter.  Should I move school to the need poster?

***Are religion and holidays a need or a want?

***Why did you put parents under needs?  My grandma is dead but my mom is still alive.

***Do we need a house to keep us safe?  What if we lived in Africa under a tree?

***If we didn't have clean air, but had dirty air instead, how long would we survive?

It's intriguing to see what my students cherish and what they feel is necessary for life.  When students are given such an open-ended assignment, there is the opportunity for engaging and higher-level discussions that stem from their interests and passions.  I look forward to continuing this discussion with my class as we move onto Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Only a week left?!?! Didn't we just get here yesterday?!

I can’t believe we are down to our final week in New York, and only 4 days left at Dwight with our students. I still remember our first day when we were late getting to school because of the shuttle, ferry and subway. My how times have changed since then! Now we are pros at the ferry and subway, and we can’t even imagine going back home and having a car again where we can get where we are going in 5-10 minutes if we want to. And we are even friends with a lot of our shuttle drivers. We all can’t believe how time has gone by so fast! We all have learned so much in our time here at Dwight. We are looking forward to our last couple days, teaching and spending more time with our students.

First 2 announcements:

First of all, I would like to congratulate Heidi on winning a VP position in Delta Phi Omega for the Spring! I know she is very excited, and I know she will do a great job!

Secondly, all of us girls in New York would like to congratulate Sam Broderius and her boyfriend David on their Engagement! So excited for them and wishing them all the best! We also all can’t wait to hear the details at seminar!

Recently in math, my fourth graders have been working in a unit of inquiry on measurement. As a part of this unit of inquiry, the students have been working on finding area and perimeter. Instead having a quiz or test on this information, for the student’s summative assessment the students have been creating their own club houses. They have to create an irregular shaped club house (so not just a rectangle or square), and then they have to find the area and perimeter of this club house while also following the guidelines they have been given.

After they draw out their club house and find the area and perimeter they can spend time on the design and adding things to their club houses. Some ideas that I have heard the students talk about is a pool, tennis court, a slide or playground, pets, pool tables (the list goes on and on). I think this project is such a great way for the students to get creative, while also showing what they know about area and perimeter. In a way this project also ties into their architectural unit of inquiry they just completed shortly after I got here. I really like how Dwight tries to cross connect subjects and content with each other. I think this helps the students really link with previous knowledge with new knowledge that they are learning about.

I’ll post pictures of the final products later this week!

Well that’s all for now.

Enjoy your evening, and check back tomorrow for another exciting blog about our adventures in NYC!

Monday, December 5, 2011

One more Monday to go

After today we only have one more Monday here in New York. It’s so strange because it doesn't feel that long ago when we first arrived in New York. It's sad that it is coming to an end but we are all excited to take what we have learned and bring it back home! 

Today Sarah was excited because she was able to go observe a second grade classroom and will be observing more classrooms this week. It is a nice perspective to see other grades and other teachers ourselves. 

Today after school at the Timothy House the teachers were able to meet with their peer teacher. These past few weeks the teachers have been paired up with each a certain grade and a specific grade. They were required to observe that specific teacher in action as they taught. Today the teachers had a chance to meet with each other and talk about things they observed that went well and things that they may have still had questions about. I love that Dwight has something set up for their teachers allowing them to observe others. They are able to do this because there is already two teachers in the classroom so while one leaves to observe the other is in charge of the classroom. The way they were paired up with was with the grade level below or above their current grade. This allows them to see where students are currently at and where they need to be the next year. It is definitely something all the teachers are able to learn from.     

Be ready for next Monday's post - definitely will sum up our experience here in New York! BE READY! 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

It won't hit us until we're back in Minnesota

For starters, I want to say congratulations to Heidi for completing her first New York run!  The Jingle Bell 5K raised money for people with arthritis.  Coming in around 38 minutes, Heidi did a fantastic job!!!  Watch her as she finishes up the race (with the best cheerleading section, hands down!)

After Heidi's race, we decided to split up and head our separate ways.  Heidi and Sarah hopped on the Gray Line bus which brings them on different tours around the city.  They chose to do a tour of Lower Manhattan and Upper Manhattan (with the intention of catching the Brooklyn and Holiday Lights tours tomorrow.)  Because the weather was so gorgeous (60 degrees and sunny), I took off on a tromp around Manhattan.  Starting at 125th Street, I began the long journey on Riverside down to the base of Manhattan, pit stopping where I found various attractions.

There are numerous parks lining the river's edge where families were playing on playgrounds and in the grass.  This particular park was dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt.

A memorial dedicated to sailors and soldiers everywhere.

The most memorable part of today's trip included St. Paul's Chapel.  This chapel stands near the 9/11 site, and as the plaque states, has survived numerous devastating events.

When volunteers first arrived at the 9/11 site, they worked for hours picking through the rubble and searching for survivors.  Especially during the first three months after the terrorist attacks (and for a couple of years afterwards), the chapel opened it's doors to volunteers and provided a place for them to rest on cots such as these.

Piled high were badges belonging to victims of fire departments, police forces, or other rescue teams.  Along with their badges are a number of insignia from volunteers that visited and assisted after the attacks.

We are down to one more weekend here in New York.  I know for myself, it still doesn't feel like reality!  Like the title mentions, it won't be until my feet are back on Minnesota soil that I will realize our experience here in NY has come to an end.  Here's to the best nine days of our lives!