The entire R2P process as a whole has been an entirely incredible experience. I feel as if I have grown so much as a person and as a future educator. There are so many new skills, and a new found confidence for blogging that I ill carry with me into my professional career.
Over the course of this class as a whole we have been provided with so many experiences to observe children. Most of my observations were driven from my Field Placement in a Pre-K Counts classroom. I really dove into observation in my second R2P post where I spoke about the creativity crisis, if you want to read those observations click here. We also were given the amazing opportunity to observe a hands on activity that we got to create and lead and Eshleman Elementary school. We were able to see first hand what worked, what didn’t, what we needed to change for the next group, and so on. If you want to read more about our project or experiment at Eshlemen you can click here! I think at first I would overthink the whole observation part of this, but in reality you just need to watch them. So many children will act and do different things, and all of these actions will drive many different questions.
I think the questions were one of the easier parts to this process, I was able to observe and see so much from all of the children in my placement. My first question was driven from the idea of creativity in the classroom. I always knew classroom teachers had to be creative and have cute decorated rooms but it wasn’t until this semester that I really understood what that meant. I am currently taking ERCH 316 which is the class for creativity, it has lead me to so many interesting discoveries and new found passions, creativity in general being one of them. If you want to read my post about creativity you can click here! I truly believe that my favorite question was introduced during the group project and posts for Eshleman Elementary. We did a crazy experiment with elephant toothpaste and asked the children, what will happen when we mix these materials together? If you want to read about our experiment and how we came up with the questions click here. I feel like my questioning didn’t really grow or evolve much during the process but it definitely was put to the test in Eshleman which is what I enjoyed most. I just enjoyed being able to see something I liked or was concerned with, then question it, and research the solution.
Over the course of this process I found researching got easier and easier. I used to absolutely dread research projects or papers because I just didn’t think I was good at it. But after these posts and the process of doing these steps over and over I really grew to enjoy researching. I think I mastered the ability to find quality research articles, and I think I was able to incorporate them very well. We also had a lot of fun researching the elephant toothpaste experiment… I think honestly all of the members in the group learned a little bit about chemical reactions and chemistry. If you want to watch our experiment in action the youtube video is linked in Felicia’s post.
I think that reflection was one of the more difficult parts of the R2P posts. It was hard to reflect on the ideas and methods because we weren’t able to put any of the methods to the test. For example in my creativity post I spoke about what you can do to create a more creative environment, but I wasn’t able to try that or see it in my placement so it was harder to write these sections. I found this to be the case as well with my post about movement in the classroom, I couldn’t try these activities out and reflect on how it went, but I plan too in the future! I really don’t even know if I did any reflections besides in the post we did dedicated to reflecting on our Eshleman experiment. Which was an extremely successful day for our group so it made the reflection a bit easier!
I personally chose to write blogs, and I stuck with my decision all throughout the process. Even our group posts we did as blogs, and that was honestly based off of the convenience of being able to all write up and add our information to the blog. If we had chosen to create a video we all would have needed to get together and set time to film a video and create a script for it. I personally really enjoyed using MU Blogs, and I plan to continue blogging after this project is done. I think once I worked out some of the logistical and technological issues after the first post I really blossomed and found my voice.
If you were to experience the R2P project again, what would you do differently?
I think if I were to do this all over again I would challenge myself to try a different medium, maybe a video. I have always enjoyed watching youtube videos, and at times I’ve considered creating a channel, so maybe that could have been my chance.
What are you taking away to your future teaching practice from this R2P project?
I first off am taking away the skill of being able to blog, I plan on using blogging as a method of communication with my students parents and families. I probably would not have considered this if it wasn’t for this project. I also am taking away the incredible research, methods, and experiments that I can implement in instruction day to day for my students.
What advice would you give to the next ERCH496 students about the R2P project? What advice would you give to Tatiana for the next iteration of the R2P project?
I would tell the students who have the project next semester, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, use your personality, and let it shine through your posts.
I would tell Tatiana to keep up the incredible work, I think the project, while it was hectic at times, really benefited each and every student who participated. I truly enjoyed this experience and will remember so much of what I have learned for years to come. I am especially excited to keep on blogging.