Children’s literature has taught me so much about the literature of elementary students in addition to different skills, techniques, and materials that will help to make me the best teacher I possibly can be. I loved learning and interacting through hands on interactions with the literature. My favorite part about this course was the classroom experience I gained. I would love to see each one of you have just as much success in Shaye Miller’s class, therefor you must follow these six objectives.
Beginning this course, I was very discouraged. I went through high school checking my grades every day. This was part of my daily routine. I loved staying in touch with where I stood in every class. I was concerned when I learned that this course is done through what is known as contractual grading. This means that you will not receive a grade for the course until the end. I was terrified. My first thought was, how am I going to know if I am succeeding and meeting the requirements or not? Now that I am bringing the ends together in the last week, I am confident that I have accomplished a very high grade. I want to tell you to keep an open mind in the idea that you will be trying many new things throughout this course. Some may be odd, and slightly concerning however I promise you will achieve nothing but greatness if you stay confident in your work.
Mrs. Miller does a wonderful job making this step easy. The amount of information and things that need to be accomplished each week can be overwhelming. I’ll let you in on a secret, organization is your best friend. Each week the module will end with a check list. Use this check list to your advantage. I bought a binder which I split into each module. I then printed the checklists off which I made sure to complete. Not only will they provide a way of showing if you achieved each part of the assignments, but they will make your life much simpler come midterms and finals. Trust me, the five extra minutes each week will save you five or six hours come the deadlines for the course audits.
What I loved the most about this course was the continuous schedule. You will have work due throughout the week, however the assignments and their corresponding day will never change. I enjoyed never having the feeling of forgetting to do an assignment for I always knew which days they were due on. For example, you will have a blog post due on Monday’s, one due on a day of the week of your choice, and everything else is due Sunday evening. It gets better. These posts can be done ahead of time and scheduled to post on a specific day. This helps those ambitious enough to complete work in advance.
The library will become your best friend. I felt as if I was a part of this place for I spent more time there this semester than I did in my own home. (That may be a slight exaggeration, but I spent many hours a week here.) To put this course into perspective, I read over 300 children’s books this semester. You will be spending four hours of each week reading children’s literature, therefor it is important to find books that you will not only enjoy but could see yourself using in your classroom. Many of the librarians are more than happy to help you find the best of books. my favorite part was focusing on different authors and seeing how their pieces were similar. I also enjoyed reading the books in the different displays in addition to providing ideas to the librarians on the next possible displays.
You will set may goals throughout this course. Of all the goals, I have set for myself in my lifetime, I have only fully accomplished a few of them. In this course? You will succeed in all your challenges. I promise you that you will achieve all your goals. When setting goals, it is important to make sure they are SMART goals. This means they are, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based. If you follow these five topics, you will have the most achievable challenges.
This course consists of at least nine hours a week of work the first few weeks, I did all the week’s assignments during the weekend. Not even a third of the way through the semester, this honor roll student was at her breaking point. I wasn’t sure it was possible to keep doing all this work in this short period. I then decided to change my way of doing work before I was burnt out for the rest of the semester. I began to do a piece of the weekly assigned work each night. This would then leave me with only about two hours on the weekend and more free time. Through this class I learned the importance of spacing the work out and pacing myself each week.
There is no doubt in my mind that you will have nothing but success if you consider the six points above. If I were to take this course over, these would be the tips I would take to heart as I completed the semester. I wish all the future students the best of luck!