Valentine’s Day, Field Trips, and Dr. Seuss! Oh My!

MattCabinMatthew Wolfert is an Elementary Education major (PreK- 8th grade) with minors in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Music major.  Matt is teaching in Milwaukee, WI at the end of January with the UW System’s Institute of Urban Education (IUE) 

Time has flown by since I began student teaching, and I have been enjoying teaching 4th grade at Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School very much. As of this upcoming week, I will be teaching reading, math, science, and social studies. I enjoy “digging deeper” in content with my students and pushing them to think more about the “whys”, “hows”, and “what ifs” in all of the content areas.

On February 14th, I felt admired by all 15 of my students, as I had received the most Valentine’s Day gifts than I had in a while! We had a little fun on Valentine’s Day doing crossword puzzles, eating cupcakes, and discovering if we had any secret admirers or not. Along with our mini-Valentine’s Day Party, we have been having fun learning about animal adaptations at the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Great Lakes at Discovery World, and we are soon to experience a performance at Lincoln Center of the Arts.

Along with going on field trips throughout the city of Milwaukee, we also had a visitor in our classroom this past week. His name was Sheldon and he was a Wisconsin box turtle, visiting from the zoo. We expanded our knowledge of animal adaptations and learned that because Wisconin’s prairies are shrinking, Sheldon, and the remaining box turtles, have become an endangered species of turtles. Learning about animal endangerment due to unhealthy animal habitats led into my introduction of teaching ecology. The students have been doing a great job learning how to better treat the earth in order to help protect the Great Lakes, Wisconsin’s prairies, forests, and other habitats.

Lastly, to tie in what students have been learning about regarding ecology and celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, I will be introducing Dr. Seuss’s, The Lorax to students when I teach reading. We will talk about The Lorax’s main idea(s) and how details and examples supported the main idea (preserving the earth’s natural resources).

I have been enjoying creating and teaching my creative lessons, along with challenging myself to think “out of the box” to meet all of my students’ learning styles. Student teaching has been teaching me a lot of things. It is very different from learning about how to teach in the college classrooms; however, I find myself using every skill and technique I learned about at UWO to be successful at teaching my fourth grade students.

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