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    Standard A Standard A Document Transcript

    • Standard A:Planning Curriculum and InstructionTeacher Candidate: Jill CameronFirst Lesson PlanSecond Lesson PlanUnit PlanReflective Essay No. 1Observation No. 1 (PDF file)
    • First Lesson Plan:Instructional Plan –Observation 1 Date: 1/21/13School: The Peirce School, Arlington MA Grade: 1Class:PhonicsTopic: Glued Sounds & The Suffix -sClass Composition: The class is made up of students, between the ages of 6 and 7 who come from the surroundingneighborhood. There is limited racial diversity and some ethnic/theist diversity with no language barriers. The socio-economic profile is roughly flat and there are varying degrees of academic readiness. During the two weeks that I’ve beenable to participate or observe, I’ve noticed that a lot of the disparity comes from varying attention spans; consequently, thelesson will incorporate a lot of movement so as to provide students with a mode through which to channel some energy.STANDARDS:Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Language Arts, p.20. 1. RF 2:Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes). a. Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words. b. Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends. c. Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words. d. Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Language Arts, p.21. 1. RF 3: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. a. Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs. b. Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words. c. Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds. d. Use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word. e. Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables. f. Read words with inflectional endings. g. Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.Understanding Learning Goals/Instructional Objective:Essential Questions: Learning Goals: Students will learn how to add the suffix –s to an –ng base word. Students will learn to read –ng base word with suffix –s fluently Essential Questions: How do I use what I already know to figure out how to spell a word I don’t know? How do I use what I already know to figure out how to read a word I don’t know?
    • The Learning Experience/Task/Challenge:lesson overview and task description: Thursday’s lesson will introduce “s” to the end of words containing last weeks“glued sounds”. The sounds are: ank, onk, unk, ink, ang, ung, ong, ing. The “s” suffix will first be introduced on the rug;we will practice together, tapping the sound out and using the white board/easel to create new words from base wordssuch as “fang”, which will become “fangs” (Word of the Day, WOD). Students will then help class come up with 5-10new words and sentences using our blends and the suffix –s and we will review how to mark the word up. We will thendiscuss the word of the day (fangs). Students will go back to their desks to enter the WOD into the phonics notebook,mark up the WOD and write one sentence. Students will then use their cookie sheets to practice making word wall wordsas I check notebooks. If we are short on time, students will use their white boards to practice word wall words. We will doa dictation and review before cleaning up..Work products generated: Students will produce written practice in their phonics notebooksattached any worksheets:N/AMaterials and Technology to Support Teaching & LearningMaterials and quantities: 23 of each: pencils, erasers, green phonics notebooks, cookie sheets or white boardsTechnology- ID if and how technology will be used to support learning:N/APhysical Space- describe arrangement of physical space: Students will begin on morning meeting rug and movethroughout the classroom to and from their clustered desks during the duration of the lesson. See photographs.Instructional Procedure Identification and/or Purpose Time Teacher Role/Key Things to Student Role/Response of Teaching/Learning Phase Allotment Remember/Prompts, Questions & Anticipate the full range of Probes student thinking and responses Phonics Chant: to review 2-3 Limited- I will prompt this weeks Student will pick up pointer and previous work and prepare minutes phonics helper (class job) to come lead class through an oral students minds for upcoming up to the front of the morning exercise/chant. Vowels, specific lesson meeting rug and lead the chant. It digraphs, glued sounds and new should be student directed from words will be reviewed. If there though I may need to prompt student cannot remember the student when confronted with the chant, his or her classmates new word wall words generally chime in. May need prompt from teacher. Word talk/Review yesterday’s 2-5 Teacher lead. I will lead students Students will participate by WOD (kings, winks) students. minutes through a quick review of last weeks repeated the words, discussing Purpose: identifying the base glued sounds. I will lead them in what is special about the words word "tapping out" the sounds with their (glued sounds cant be separated) hands so as to help them identify and then using their hands to tap the base word verbally, audibly and the sounds out together. physically before introducing a suffix. We will build new words using the consonant blends + suffix –s, use in sentences
    • Word Talk/Introduction of the 2-5 I will repeat the last step, this time Students will repeat the lastsuffix "s" to glued sound minutes including the extra sound (s). exercise, introducing the new“ang”. We will build new words using the sound (s) and thus new hand consonant blends + suffix –s, use in motion. The purpose of the hand sentences motion is to make them stop, think, and feel the difference between the words (like honk vs. honks) They will suggest new words, discuss marking them up, and use in sentencesWritten practice 5-10 I will dismiss students from the Students will be responsible for minutes morning meeting rug and theyll retrieving their notebooks, which retrieve their green phonics should be routine. They will need notebooks. I will instruct them to to tap words out as a group and open to the vocab page and enter copy them down in their the WOD into the space provide, notebooks. Students will then tapping it out if needed and they will mark up their words, providing be instructed to mark up the base further support visually. Students word and complete one sentence will be instructed to give me a for the WOD. I will go around and nonverbal cue (thumbs up) when provide support and check work as finished students finishExtension: use of cookie 2-5 The students will finish at different Students will need to be semi-sheets to practice sight words minutes rates. After I checked their work, self-directed at this point. Thoseand build new words (or white they will be allowed to grab their that finish early will have theboards) cookie sheets (used for their chance to get more practice with magnetism) and practice adding the consonant blends and suffix suffix –s to word wall words (use white boards if short on time)Review 2-3 We will review the WOD, blends and Students will return their folders minutes suffix –s. We will use our white (if not done already) to their boards (or cookie sheets) to write cubbies and put their cookie dictated words. We will then clean sheets or whiteboards away, we up and return to the rug to start a will review as a group. When new lesson. complete, students will return to the rug for Workboard (new lesson)Assessment N/A I will be sampling the class using a thumbs up thumbs down strategy throughout the lesson. Additional chances for evaluation will come while the write (as I will be circulating the room providing support). The accuracy and pace at which they finish will help me to assess myself as well and inform me as to what I need to revisit, whether I need to slow down, and who may need additional resources
    • Equity, Diverse Learners & Culturally Relevant Instruction:My instruction will stay consistent with Mrs. Hurley’s current practices because I think that consistency is key whendealing with any age group, specifically because it means that expectations are clearly understood and students know whatthey need to do to be successful. Additionally, students are following a set program and do need to stay on track.Instruction will include many opportunities for movement; the movement from rug to tables notwithstanding, the“tapping” out of sounds will help provide support for students who happen to be more kinesthetically inclined.Additionally, chanting will provide support for the audio/linguistic students and the written work is not only being donebecause it conforms to tradition, but because it provides visual support and “marking” up words (example- circling thebase word and underlining the suffix) help students with preferences towards spatial organization orient themselves to oldpatterns in new materials.Differentiation: one student has difficulties with fine motor skills; he and his para will have white boards for the writtenportion as well as larger lined paper with which to workLiteracy and Communication:Phonics instruction is designed to provide the very foundation for literacy. This instruction will help students expand theirwritten and spoken vocabulary and provide them with additional tools which they can use while in the classroom (thephonics notebook is a great tool for students stuck on words when reading on their own). The discussion on the WOD willalso provide them with the opportunity to display their knowledge or expand it through conversation.
    • Second Lesson Plan:Instructional Plan- Observation 2 Date: 2/6/13School: The Peirce School, Arlington MA Grade: 1Class: ScienceTopic: Life Cycle of PenguinsClass Composition: The class is made up of students, between the ages of 6 and 7 who come from the surroundingneighborhood. There is limited racial diversity and some ethnic/theist diversity with no language barriers. The socio-economic profile is roughly flat and there are varying degrees of academic readiness. During the two weeks that I’ve beenable to participate or observe, I’ve noticed that a lot of the disparity comes from varying attention spans; consequently, thelesson will incorporate a lot of movement so as to provide students with a mode through which to channel some energy.STANDARDS: Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Life Science (Biology), grades PreK – 2. p.44. #1: Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Life Science (Biology), grades PreK – 2. p.44. #3: Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Informational Text, grades PreK – 5. p.18. #1: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Informational Text, grades PreK – 5. p.18. #2: Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Writing, grades PreK – 2. p.31. #3:Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Speaking and Listening, grades PreK – 2. p.37. #1-3: o Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.  Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).  Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.  Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. o Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. o Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
    • Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Language, grades PreK – 2. p.42. #2: o Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.  Capitalize dates and names of people.  Use end punctuation for sentences.  Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.  Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.  Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.Understanding Learning Goals/Instructional Objective:Essential Questions: Learning Goals: Students will understand that penguins go through stages called a life cycle. Students will know the basic details of the stages in a penguin’s life cycle and be able to describe them both verbally and in writing. Essential Questions: What are the stages in a penguins’ life? What happens at each stage?The Learning Experience/Task/Challenge:lesson overview and task description:This lesson will have 3 main parts: the introduction, practice through movement, and a more standard, written practice. Iwill first review the previous lesson (students learned where penguins are found) then I will introduce the new lesson,stating the goals clearly for the students and myself. As a part of the introduction, we will read a piece of a nonfictionstory that discusses the life cycle of a penguin. We will then discuss what we got out of the story and use chart paper toorganize our observations into 4 categories, these categories will be similar, or exactly the same, as those on the life cyclewheel worksheet. After organizing out thoughts and while still sit on the rug, I’ll introduce the main activity of the day.First, because they have been sitting for a while, we will do an art project (the coloring and assembling of the life cyclewheel). Then, for traditional practice, I’d like the students to write four sentences that will tell the reader what the lifecycle of a penguin is. At the end of the lesson, around 2:00, we will review what we learned as a class with studentsvolunteering to read one of the sentences they wrote about the life cycle of a penguin. I’ll collect their work and post inthe classroom for them to see/play with..Work products generated:Students will produce a list detailing the stages of the penguins’ life cycle and a life cycle wheel.Attach any worksheets:(See picture at end of lesson)
    • Materials and Technology to Support Teaching & LearningMaterials and quantities:1National Geographic Readers: Penguins!National Geographic Readers: Penguins! Paperbackpublished by National Geographic Childrens Books (2009)23 pencils, erasures, crayon boxes, glue sticks, brass fasteners, scissors, penguin worksheet 1, penguin worksheet 2Technology- ID if and how technology will be used to support learning:Great suggestion for home support: National Geographic Kids video: Emperor Penguin Familieshttp://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/animals-pets-kids/birds-kids/penguin-emperor-parenting-kids/Physical Space- describe arrangement of physical space:Students will begin on morning meeting rug and move throughout the classroom to and from their clustered desks duringthe duration of the lesson.Instructional Procedure Identification and/or Time Teacher Role/Key Things to Student Role/Response Purpose of Allotment Remember/Prompts, Questions & Anticipate the full range of Teaching/Learning Phase Probes student thinking and responses Review 2-3 minutes Remind students about our lesson Students will be seated on the on where penguins live. Review morning meeting rug and important points (they south of the participate verbally. equator, they don’t always live where it’s cold, they must live near water). Introduce today’s topic 3-5 minutes State learning goals (penguins’ life Students will be expected to cycle and the stages in the life cycle) listen and are encouraged to ask Read non-fiction about penguins’ questions if/when needed life cycle. Review topic 3-5 minutes Teacher lead- brief discussion about Students will be expected to offer the content of the story being read. verbal participation. They will talk Together we will talk about the about what they learned from stages in the penguins’ life cycle. I the reading. Their suggestions will write stages on chart paper will go on the chart paper (broken up into 4 boxes, 1 per stage) Modeling 3-5 minutes I will show the students a finished Students will be expected to copy of the activity I have planned repeat the instructions and show (penguin life cycle wheel and writing understanding before returning practice.) We will review the to seats. Paper passer will pass expectations (write 4 sentences out first sheet (with lines for first, then, when approved, move on writing). to “fun” part, coloring and cutting).
    • Practice- 10-15 I will monitor the activity and Students will write four minutes provide support where needed. sentences describing the life Daniela and I will each “Ok” the cycle of a penguin. They will be sentences, allowing the students to encouraged to look to the chart go on once their papers are paper for help, or ask a teacher approved. for clarification. Once their sentences are OKed, they will be allowed to get the next worksheet (on the share chair) and start on the life cycle wheel (color & cut, glue. Teacher will assemble with bracket) Sentences should include this basic info (ties into recent math lesson on place order): 1. First…Penguin lays eggs 2. Second….father keeps egg warm 3. Third…egg hatches 4. Fourth…chick grows into penguin.Work while you wait 5-10 minutes I will provide extra activities Students that finish early will be (located above cubbies) for expected to work on extra students that finish early activities while others finish their workReview/assessment 3-5 minutes At the end of the lesson, I will Students will share what they review the stages with the students. learned verbally. This will be a whole class activity. Students will be asked to volunteer one sentence per life cycle stage. I will collect the completed activities as a self-assessment.
    • Equity, Diverse Learners & Culturally Relevant Instruction:Instruction will include many opportunities for movement and collaborative work. The goal of this movement anddiscussion is to help support those children who learn through discussion or are kinesthetically inclined. Additionally,introducing this with a book I am providing opportunities for an audio/visual representation of the lesson.Differentiation: students will work at varying paces on this project. There will be extra work provided for the studentswho work at a faster pace and I will be able to assess those that go at a slower pace during the initial activity. Studentswill also be supported by being able to use the sentences and vocabulary words written on chart paper during ourintroduction activity. Those who can expand on the conversation will be invited to do so. Our IEP student will not be inthe room for this lesson.Literacy and Communication:This lesson is designed to help students hone written and verbal skills, specifically retelling, summarizing andcooperation. They will need to cooperate at the rug and their seats (there will be a lot of movement), listen and providefeedback. Students will also have the opportunity to practice retelling and sentence structure skills during the writtenportion of the lesson.Work Product:
    • Unit Plan:Curriculum Unit Plan Date: January 31, 2013- February 28, 2013School: The Peirce School, Arlington MA Grade: 1Class: ScienceTopic: PenguinsPart 1: Establish the Learning Goals & Essential Questions: A & B: The Understanding Goals, Big Idea, and/or Concept-Content and Technical Skills: a. Enduring Understandings: i. Penguins are animals. They live near water and only in the Southern Hemisphere. Penguins have a life cycle and characteristics that help them adapt to their environment. Specifically: 1. Students will activate prior knowledge about penguins 2. Students will set goals for their own learning. 3. Students will learn where penguins live. 4. Students will be able to identify continents. 5. Students will be able to identify oceans. 6. Students will understand that penguins go through stages called a life cycle. 7. Students will know the basic details of the stages in a penguin’s life cycle and be able to describe them both verbally and in writing. 8. Students will investigate the way blubber keeps penguins warm 9. Students will activate new knowledge about penguins 10. Students will review and evaluate their learning goals b. Key Terms: i. Penguin, Antarctica, Southern Hemisphere, Krill, Blubber, Continent, Ocean, Life Cycle, Habitat, Shelter c. Technical Skills: i. Students will be able to identify the stages in a penguin’s life cycle and apply that knowledge to other creatures. Students will be able to identify continents and oceans on a map (general, not specific). Students will make predictions and will participate in age appropriate critical thinking discussions. d. Relevant Frameworks:  Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Speaking and Listening, grades PreK – 2. p.37. #1-3: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. o Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). o Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges. o Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.  Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.  Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
    •  Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Life Science (Biology), grades PreK – 2. p.44. #1: Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water.  Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Life Science (Biology), grades PreK – 2. p.44. #3: Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.  Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Informational Text, grades PreK – 5. p.18. #1: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text  Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Informational Text, grades PreK – 5. p.18. #2: Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text  Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Writing, grades PreK – 2. p.31. #3:Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.  Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Language, grades PreK – 2. p.42. #2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. o Capitalize dates and names of people. o Use end punctuation for sentences. o Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series. o Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words. o Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions  Original Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Science Standard #8, Prek-2, p.119 Observe and discuss animals in their natural habitats. Choose an animal and provide students with a list of its habitat needs. Allow the students to imagine that they are that animal. Can they find what they need to survive (i.e., food, water, shelter/space)? e. Identify relevant school/district learning standards: N/A. Arlington does not have separate standards.C. Habits of Mind (from BPS Site http://www.missionhillschool.org/classroom/habits-of-mind/ ): a. Evidence:How do we know what’s true and false? What evidence counts? How sure can we be? What makes it credible to us? This includes using the scientific method, and more. b. Connections/Cause and Effect: Is there a pattern? Have we seen something like this before? What are the possible consequences? c. Conjecture: Could it have been otherwise? Supposing that? What if…? This habit requires use of the imagination as well as knowledge of alternative possibilities. It includes the habits described above
    • D. Essential Questions: a. What knowledge do you bring to the topic: penguins? b. What do you want to learn about penguins? c. Where do penguins live? d. What is a continent? e. How many continents are there? f. Where are the oceans? g. What are the stages in a penguins’ life? h. What happens at each stage? i. How does blubber keep penguins warm in Antarctica? j. What did you learn about penguins? k. How did what you learned compare to what you wanted to learn?Part 2: Establish Evidence of Student Learning- Summative A. Performance of Understanding- Starting with the first mini lesson, students will produce the following work products: KWL chart, a life cycle wheel, a descriptive essay, and a color coded world map B. Identify Relevant MCAS items: First graders do not take MCAS, however, a close approximation can be found in the 2012 ELA test at the third grade level: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/2012/release/g3ela.pdf a. Reading and Literature Items:2 (standard 8), 9 (standard 4), 11 & 12 (standard 12)Part 3: Propose a scope and sequence of learning experiences:This unit takes a surface level look at penguins, their life cycle, their habitat and the adaptations that allow them to inhabitsome of the harshest environments on earth. The unit will follow a very structure sequence designed such that each topicbuilds on and supports its predecessor. We will begin with a KWL mini lesson, the goal is to prepare students mentally,and I’d like it to serve as an informal assessment which will help me establish what knowledge and misconceptions thestudents are bringing to the class. From there we will learn about what penguins eat and what their life cycle looks likefrom a high level (e.g egg, chick, adolescent, adult), and establish where they live. Our culminating lesson will be anexperiment that will help the students understand how specific attributes of penguins allow them to live in the coldestclimates.Part 4: Identify resources to support learning & teaching:A. Digital:Students: N/ATeaching: I utilized National Geographic’s website (http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/) to support my contentknowledge and I used Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/ ) and TeachersPayTeachers (http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/ )to find applicable worksheets and project ideas. All work was completed on a laptop.B. Community Resources: I used the library to gather books that the class could use during their free reading time.
    • Unit Lesson Plan1:Date: 1/24/13School: The Peirce School, Arlington MA Grade: 1Class: ScienceTopic: Introduction to Penguins- mini lessonClass Composition: The class is made up of students, between the ages of 6 and 7 who come from the surroundingneighborhood. There is limited racial diversity and some ethnic/theist diversity with no language barriers. The socio-economic profile is roughly flat and there are varying degrees of academic readiness.STANDARDS: Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Speaking and Listening, grades PreK – 2. p.37. #1-3: o Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.  Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).  Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.  Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. o Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. o Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.Understanding Learning Goals/Instructional Objective:Essential Questions: Learning Goals: Students will activate prior knowledge about penguins Students will set goals for their own learning. Essential Questions: What knowledge do you bring to the topic: penguins? What do you want to learn about penguins?
    • The Learning Experience/Task/Challenge:lesson overview and task description:This lesson will start on the morning meeting rug. I’ll introduce the topic to the students and then introduce the KWLchart (on large chart paper). We will discuss what each column on the chart stands for and then I will pass out sticky-notesto each student with the instruction that they go back to their seats and write down one thing that they already know aboutpenguins. When they finish, they will be expected to come back to the rug and post their note on the chart under the “K”column before taking a seat. When every student has had a turn to post a sticky-note, we will begin a class discussionabout what they already know. We’ll point out similarities and differences between different posts and discuss whether weagree or disagree with others. Once this discussion ends, I will hand out a second round of sticky-notes. This time, thestudents will go back to their seats and write down one thing they’d like to know or learn about penguins. When theyreturn to the rug, they’ll post this note under the “W” column and take seat before we begin a discussion about whatthey’d like to know. To close the lesson, I’ll remind them that we will be learning about the animal over the next fewweeks and let them know that at the end of those weeks, we’ll post something to the “L” or “learned” column and reviewthe chart again. Science is their last class period before the end of the day, so I will close the lesson with a Tacky thePenguin story for fun.Work products generated:KWL on chart paperattached any worksheets:N/AMaterials and Technology to Support Teaching & LearningMaterials and quantities:Chart paper, markerTechnology- ID if and how technology will be used to support learning:N/APhysical Space- describe arrangement of physical space:Students will enter the classroom follow their special and have a seat on the morning meeting rugInstructional Procedure Identification and/or Time Teacher Role/Key Things to Student Role/Response Purpose of Allotment Remember/Prompts, Questions & Anticipate the full range of Teaching/Learning Probes student thinking and responses Phase Introduction 1-2 minutes I will tell the students that over the Students are only expected to sit next few weeks, we will be learning quietly on the morning meeting about penguins and that before we rug and listen at this point start, I’d love to see what they already know and what they’d like to learn. Practice 1 2-5 minutes I will show the students some chart Students will participate in the paper. Across the top I’ve written discussion (What is a KWL?) and “KWL”. We will review together what then each on will take a sticky- these letters stand for and I will give note back to his or her desk where students some sticky-notes and ask they will write 1 thing they already them to help me fill in the “K” column. know about penguins. When they are done writing, they will post
    • their sticky note in the K column on the chart paper and sit back down. Review 1 2-5 minutes I will go through all of the stickies with Students will participate in a the students and we will discuss some discussion about what they if needed, or decide whether we agree already know. They will help point or disagree with others. This will also out similarities and differences be a time where I will take some between their posts and decide if inappropriate stickies and have they agree or disagree with others students redo them. Practice 2 2-5 minutes I will give students another sticky-note. Students will go back to their seats This time, they’ll write down something and write down 1 thing they’d like they’d like to know about penguins to know about penguins and post it on the chart in the “W” column before sitting back down on the rug Review 2 2-5 minutes I will go through all of their questions Students will have the chance to with them offer more input, or decide if we’ve already answered some of their questions. Review 3 5 minutes I will end the mini lesson on a fun note Students will listen to the story on with a Tacky the Penguin story (this is the rug and then prepare to go the last period of the day) homeEquity, Diverse Learners & Culturally Relevant Instruction:Instruction will include many opportunities for movement and collaborative work. The goal of this movement anddiscussion is to help support those children who learn through discussion or are kinesthetically inclined. They’re also firstgraders, so it’s important to keep them moving in order to keep them engaged in the lesson.Differentiation: The K and W on the KWL chart cater to differentiation. Students are able to work at their own level andshare their own interests. The lesson is relatively informal, so students who would like to write complete sentences ontheir stickies can do so, while others for whom that is difficult, do not have to. The word “Penguins” will be displayedand easy to see in order to support their writing. Our IEP student will not be in the room for this lesson.Literacy and Communication:This lesson is designed to help students hone listening and discussion skills while also providing some writing practice. Itwill also serve as an initial assessment so that I can see what I’m working with and build their knowledge, or lack of, intothe unit.
    • Unit Lesson Plan2:Date: 1/21/13School: The Peirce School, Arlington MA Grade: 1Class: ScienceTopic: Science: Where do Penguins Live?Class Composition: The class is made up of students, between the ages of 6 and 7 who come from the surroundingneighborhood. There is limited racial diversity and some ethnic/theist diversity with no language barriers. The socio-economic profile is roughly flat and there are varying degrees of academic readiness. During the two weeks that I’ve beenable to participate or observe, I’ve noticed that a lot of the disparity comes from varying attention spans that said, thelesson will incorporate a lot of movement so as to provide students with a mode through which to channel some energy.STANDARDS: Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Speaking and Listening, grades PreK – 2. p.37. #1-3: o Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.  Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).  Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.  Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. o Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. o Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Informational Text, grades PreK – 5. p.18. #1: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Informational Text, grades PreK-5, p.18 #4: Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words or phrases in a text Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Writing grades PreK-5, p.19 #8: With guidance and support from adults,recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. Original Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Science Standard #8, Prek-2, p.119 o Observe and discuss animals in their natural habitats. o Choose an animal and provide students with a list of its habitat needs. Allow the students to imagine that they are that animal. Can they find what they need to survive (i.e., food, water, shelter/space)?
    • Understanding Learning Goals/Instructional Objective:Essential Questions: Learning Goals: Students will learn where penguins live. Students will be able to identify continents. Students will be able to identify oceans. Essential Questions: Where do penguins live? What is a continent? How many continents are there? Where are the oceans?The Learning Experience/Task/Challenge:lesson overview and task description:Like all of my lessons, this will be initiated on the morning meeting rug. I will first do a brief review of what we havelearned about penguins already, and go over some of our questions on the KWL chart we previously did. I will thenintroduce the new topic using a National Geographic reader. Students will need to listen for key points about wherepenguins live. We will then take a look at the world map (large version is a pull down located above the white board,which is above the morning meeting rug). We will discuss key terms, talk about what we learned from the book and then Iwill, introduce the work sheet. With the participation of students, I will model the first problem and send them back totheir seats to try the rest of the worksheet on their own. They may ask for help and I will leave the map up as addedsupport. I suspect that this worksheet will be challenging for most of the students, but there will be some who finishbefore the rest and for them I’ll have an additional worksheet (a true/false penguin fact sheet). Once the majority of theclass is finished, they will pass their worksheets in and have a seat on the morning meeting rug again. We’ll discuss theworksheet as a class and talk about what we learned and what we struggled with. I will close the lesson with a sticky notechallenge: I will give each student one sticky, they will write their initials on that sticky (we will review the term“initials”) and then one at a time, post their sticky on the world map, they must post it in a place inhabited with penguins.We’ll review their choices and end the lessons there..Work products generated:Students will complete a world map work sheet on which they will identify where penguins live, name the continents, andname the oceans. Students will also produce a visual class map using sticky notes.
    • Materials and Technology to Support Teaching & LearningMaterials and quantities:1National Geographic Readers: Penguins!National Geographic Readers: Penguins! Paperbackpublished by National Geographic Childrens Books (2009)Large world map, 22 map worksheets, 22 True/False worksheets, 22 pencils, 22 erasures, 22 sets of crayons, 22 stickynotesTechnology- ID if and how technology will be used to support learning:We will need a pull down world map which will be used to model the lesson and support an reinforce student learning.Physical Space- describe arrangement of physical space:Students will begin and end on the morning meeting rug which is a great place to facilitate conversation and modelstudent work. They will complete all work at their desks which are arranged in clusters of 4.Instructional Procedure Identification and/or Time Teacher Role/Key Things to Student Role/Response Anticipate Purpose of Allotment Remember/Prompts, Questions & the full range of student thinking Teaching/Learning Phase Probes and responses Review 2-3 minutes Remind students about the Students will be seated quietly on penguin unit and draw attention to the rug for the introduction. the KWL chart (which is posted on a door for all the students to see). Remind the students of some things that we already know, and of some questions they had. Tell them that we will now see if we can answer some of those questions Introduce today’s topic 3-5 minutes Show students the National Students will be seated quietly and Geographic reader which will be listening during this piece of the used for this lesson, and the lesson. They may ask questions worksheet that they will need to fill when I finish reading. We will out after listening to the story. Let revisit anything that gave them students know that they have to trouble. listen carefully because the book will help them do the worksheet. Read non-fiction tidbit about where penguins live. Restate goal (remember where they live) after reading.
    • Introduce the worksheet 2-3 minutes After reading from the National Students will listen to instructions Geographic book I will show the and then ask questions about students the worksheet I have directions that they find unclear. planned for them and review the instructions. They will be encouraged to ask questions after the reviewmodel 3-5 minutes After reading the instructions, I will Students will listen to instructions model the first question on the and then participate in the worksheet for them and ask for discussion about vocab (this should students to help me as I go along. be a review for them) and ask I’ll slide the large world map down questions about directions that & briefly review and discuss vocab they find unclear. (oceans- how many do you see), continents, what does I mean, how many do you see?, which one do we live on?, where do penguins live?Practice- 10-15 Students will go back to seats and Students will be expected to work minutes do worksheet, color when quietly and complete their complete. Some students will worksheet. They will be allowed to finish faster than others, for them ask for help. If students finish early, there will be extra work (a there will be extra worksheets on True/False penguin worksheet). top of the cubbies (this is routine) When everyone is done, they will and they can start on those. Once come back to rug everyone is done, they will come back to the rug and have a seat.Review 5-10 We will discuss what we learned Students will participate in a group minutes and I will hand out one sticky note discussion and follow directions. to each student. I will have them go They will each write their initials back to their seat and write their (review the term) on a sticky note initials on the note, come back to and then one at a time, place their the rug and sit down. I will then call sticky on the world map, in a place on them, one at a time, and they inhabited by penguins. We will will be able to place their sticky discuss why they chose what they somewhere on the world map. The did and if we missed anything. goal is for everyone to put a sticky on a place inhabited by penguins
    • Equity, Diverse Learners & Culturally Relevant Instruction:As with all of my lessons, the instruction will include many opportunities for movement and collaborative work. The goalof this movement and discussion is to help support those children who learn through discussion or are kinestheticallyinclined. They’re also first graders, so it’s important to keep them moving in order to keep them engaged in the lesson.Differentiation: the students have recently learned some map skills and related vocabulary, because this is still a newsubject for them, I will be heavily focused on supporting their understanding of this lesson through modeling and grouppractice and discussion. I will use the large world map to help introduce the worksheet and have students physically pointout the places on the map so that they can develop an association between the spatial thing that is the world map and atactile representation of where each continent is. The large world map will stay down throughout the lesson so thatstudents have a good point of reference (it will match their worksheet) and spelling support. At the end of the lesson, Iwill gain have students touching the map to reinforce the idea of one continents physical relationship to another. For thefaster students, I will have additional work available. Our IEP student will not be in the room for this lesson.Literacy and Communication:This lesson is designed to help students hone listening and discussion skills while also providing some writing practice.
    • Unit Lesson Plan3:Date: 2/6/13School: The Peirce School, Arlington MA Grade: 1Class: ScienceTopic: Life Cycle of PenguinsClass Composition: The class is made up of students, between the ages of 6 and 7 who come from the surroundingneighborhood. There is limited racial diversity and some ethnic/theist diversity with no language barriers. The socio-economic profile is roughly flat and there are varying degrees of academic readiness. During the two weeks that I’ve beenable to participate or observe, I’ve noticed that a lot of the disparity comes from varying attention spans that said, thelesson will incorporate a lot of movement so as to provide students with a mode through which to channel some energy.STANDARDS: Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Life Science (Biology), grades PreK – 2. p.44. #1: Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Life Science (Biology), grades PreK – 2. p.44. #3: Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Informational Text, grades PreK – 5. p.18. #1: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Informational Text, grades PreK – 5. p.18. #2: Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Writing, grades PreK – 2. p.31. #3:Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Speaking and Listening, grades PreK – 2. p.37. #1-3: o Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.  Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).  Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.  Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. o Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. o Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
    • Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Language, grades PreK – 2. p.42. #2: o Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.  Capitalize dates and names of people.  Use end punctuation for sentences.  Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.  Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.  Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.Understanding Learning Goals/Instructional Objective:Essential Questions: Learning Goals: Students will understand that penguins go through stages called a life cycle. Students will know the basic details of the stages in a penguin’s life cycle and be able to describe them both verbally and in writing. Essential Questions: What are the stages in a penguins’ life? What happens at each stage?The Learning Experience/Task/Challenge:lesson overview and task description:This lesson will have 3 main parts: the introduction, practice through movement, and a more standard, written practice. Iwill first review the previous lesson (students learned where penguins are found) then I will introduce the new lesson,stating the goals clearly for the students and myself. As a part of the introduction, we will read a piece of a nonfictionstory that discusses the life cycle of a penguin. We will then discuss what we got out of the story and use chart paper toorganize our observations into 4 categories, these categories will be similar, or exactly the same, as those on the life cyclewheel worksheet. After organizing out thoughts and while still sit on the rug, I’ll introduce the main activity of the day.First, because they have been sitting for a while, we will do an art project (the coloring and assembling of the life cyclewheel). Then, for traditional practice, I’d like the students to write four sentences that will tell the reader what the lifecycle of a penguin is. At the end of the lesson, around 2:00, we will review what we learned as a class with studentsvolunteering to read one of the sentences they wrote about the life cycle of a penguin. I’ll collect their work and post inthe classroom for them to see/play with..Work products generated:Students will produce a list detailing the stages of the penguins’ life cycle and a life cycle wheel.attached any worksheets:(photo above)
    • Materials and Technology to Support Teaching & LearningMaterials and quantities:1National Geographic Readers: Penguins!National Geographic Readers: Penguins! Paperbackpublished by National Geographic Childrens Books (2009)23 pencils, erasures, crayon boxes, glue sticks, brass fasteners, scissors, penguin worksheet 1, penguin worksheet 2Technology- ID if and how technology will be used to support learning:Great suggestion for home support: National Geographic Kids video: Emperor Penguin Familieshttp://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/animals-pets-kids/birds-kids/penguin-emperor-parenting-kids/Physical Space- describe arrangement of physical space:Students will begin on morning meeting rug and move throughout the classroom to and from their clustered desks duringthe duration of the lesson.Instructional Procedure Identification and/or Time Teacher Role/Key Things to Student Role/Response Purpose of Allotment Remember/Prompts, Questions & Anticipate the full range of Teaching/Learning Phase Probes student thinking and responses Review 2-3 Remind students about our lesson Students will be seated on the minutes on where penguins live. Review morning meeting rug and important points (they south of the participate verbally. equator, they don’t always live where it’s cold, they must live near water). Introduce today’s topic 3-5 State learning goals (penguins’ life Students will be expected to listen minutes cycle and the stages in the life cycle) and are encouraged to ask Read non-fiction about penguins’ questions if/when needed life cycle. Review topic 3-5 Teacher lead- brief discussion about Students will be expected to offer minutes the content of the story being read. verbal participation. They will talk Together we will talk about the about what they learned from the stages in the penguins’ life cycle. I reading. Their suggestions will go will write stages on chart paper on the chart paper (broken up into 4 boxes, 1 per stage) Modeling 3-5 I will show the students a finished Students will be expected to minutes copy of the activity I have planned repeat the instructions and show (penguin life cycle wheel and writing understanding before returning to practice.) We will review the seats. Paper passer will pass out expectations (write 4 sentences first sheet (with lines for writing). first, then, when approved, move on to “fun” part, coloring and cutting).
    • Practice- 10-15 I will monitor the activity and Students will write four sentences minutes provide support where needed. describing the life cycle of a Daniela and I will each “Ok” the penguin. They will be encouraged sentences, allowing the students to to look to the chart paper for help, go on once their papers are or ask a teacher for clarification. approved. Once their sentences are OKed, they will be allowed to get the next worksheet (on the share chair) and start on the life cycle wheel (color & cut, glue. Teacher will assemble with bracket) Sentences should include this basic info (ties into recent math lesson on place order): 5. First…Penguin lays eggs 6. Second….father keeps egg warm 7. Third…egg hatches 8. Fourth…chick grows into penguin. Work while you wait 5-10 I will provide extra activities (located Students that finish early will be minutes above cubbies) for students that expected to work on extra finish early activities while others finish their work Review/assessment 3-5 At the end of the lesson, I will Students will share what they minutes review the stages with the students. learned verbally. This will be a whole class activity. Students will be asked to volunteer one sentence per life cycle stage. I will collect the completed activities as a self-assessment.Equity, Diverse Learners & Culturally Relevant Instruction:Instruction will include many opportunities for movement and collaborative work. The goal of this movement anddiscussion is to help support those children who learn through discussion or are kinesthetically inclined. Additionally,introducing this with a book I am providing opportunities for an audio/visual representation of the lesson.Differentiation: students will work at varying paces on this project. There will be extra work provided for the studentswho work at a faster pace and I will be able to assess those that go at a slower pace during the initial activity. Studentswill also be supported by being able to use the sentences and vocabulary words written on chart paper during ourintroduction activity. Those who can expand on the conversation will be invited to do so. Our IEP student will not be inthe room for this lesson.Literacy and Communication:This lesson is designed to help students hone written and verbal skills, specifically retelling, summarizing andcooperation. They will need to cooperate at the rug and their seats (there will be a lot of movement), listen and providefeedback. Students will also have the opportunity to practice retelling and sentence structure skills during the writtenportion of the lesson
    • Unit Lesson Plan4:Date: 2/28/13School: The Peirce School, Arlington MA Grade: 1Class: ScienceTopic: Blubber Investigation & KWL RecapClass Composition: The class is made up of students, between the ages of 6 and 7 who come from the surroundingneighborhood. There is limited racial diversity and some ethnic/theist diversity with no language barriers. The socio-economic profile is roughly flat and there are varying degrees of academic readiness.STANDARDS: Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Speaking and Listening, grades PreK – 2. p.37. #1-3: o Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.  Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).  Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.  Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. o Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. o Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.Understanding Learning Goals/Instructional Objective:Essential Questions: Learning Goals: Students will investigate the way blubber keeps penguins warm Students will activate new knowledge about penguins Students will review and evaluate their learning goals Essential Questions: How does blubber keep penguins warm in Antarctica? What did you learn about penguins? How did what you learned compare to what you wanted to learn?
    • The Learning Experience/Task/Challenge:lesson overview and task description:This lesson will begin with a review of past knowledge and a reminder about the KWL we created during our introductionto Penguins mini lesson. I will use this review as a stepping stone into a discussion about where penguins live and whatwe know about the climates of those places, and what the penguin has that helps it adapt to those environments. I will stopshort of explaining what attributes help it survive the cold, and tell the students that we will be doing an experiment thatwill help us understand how penguins live in such harsh climates. I will then show the students the materials we will beusing for our class experiment (a bowl of cold water, a bag of Crisco and one empty sandwich bag), I will explain thefunction and purpose of each and model how I want them to do the experiment by putting the empty bag over hand andthe Crisco filled bag over the other, and then dunking both hands in the bowl of cold water at the same time. While myhands are in the water I will narrate how I am making mental notes about the similarities and/or differences between theways each hand feels in the water. I will then give the students a chance to do the same, one at a time, stressing the needfor secrecy. After everyone has had a turn we will discuss as a group what we noticed about how our hands felt, and howthis might apply to penguins. After we’ve completed the experiment and review of our findings, I will send the studentsback to their seats with a sticky note. On this note they will each write one thing that they learned during the penguin unit.When they finish writing, the students will post their note on the KWL chart paper under the “L” column. We will end ourunit by reviewing what we have learned and the questions that still remain. If there are questions unanswered, I will pointstudents towards resources that they can use to answer those questions for themselves.Work products generated:KWL on chart paperattached any worksheets:N/AMaterials and Technology to Support Teaching & LearningMaterials and quantities:Chart paper, markerBowl, water, 3 plastic bags, CriscoTechnology- ID if and how technology will be used to support learning:N/APhysical Space- describe arrangement of physical space:Students will enter the classroom follow their special and have a seat on the morning meeting rug
    • Instructional Procedure Identification and/or Time Teacher Role/Key Things to Student Role/Response Anticipate Purpose of Allotment Remember/Prompts, Questions & the full range of student thinking Teaching/Learning Probes and responses PhaseSet up 3-5 minutes Before students enter the classroom, I n/a will set up the blubber experiment (fill one, deep bowl with cool to cold water, fill one plastic bag with Crisco, insert another plastic bag into the first one to avoid messes, and then make sure a third bag is available.) The experiment will be placed near the morning meeting rug, but not in an obvious location so as not to distract the studentsIntroduction 3-5 minutes I will introduce the lesson by reminding Students will enter the classroom students about the KWL chart they and take a seat in a circle on the made during their first lesson (the chart morning meeting rug. They will be will be located behind me). We will asked to listen to me, and one enter into a brief discussion about what another, and to engage in the we have learned already, leading to discussion when they have where penguins live and what their something to add. They’ll signal environment is like. I will then invite that they have something to say by students to make guesses, based on raising their hands. what we know about penguins bodies (feathers, fins/flippers, blubber, etc), about how penguins bodies help them stay warm in cold climates.Instruction 2-3 minutes After our review, I will show the Students will be expected to listen students the materials I have put quietly during this piece. They may together for their experiment and ask questions at the end of the explain what each one is and what its introduction. purpose is. I will explain what an experiment is, and state the goal for our class experiment. I will stress that it is very important that they do not share any of their findings with their peers.Modeling 1-2 minutes Before students take part in the Students will be expected to listen experiment, I will model it for them. I and watch will place one, empty bag over one hand, and then place my other hand in the double bagged Crisco bag (if done right, no one should come in contact with the actual Crisco). I will place both hands in the water and narrate how I am making observations about the similarities and/or differences between how each hand feels.Practice 5-10 Starting with one of the students next Students will cooperate and take minutes to me I will give each one the chance to turns dipping their bag-covered
    • do the experiment for themselves, hands into the water. They will periodically stressing the need for make mental notes about what secrecy. they are feeling and sit back down, without sharing with their friends. Review 2-3 minutes I will give every student the chance to Students will take part in the share one thing that they noticed about conversation and share what they the experiment. There will probably be noticed about the experiment. lots of repeats, but this is a good thing. They will be expected to apply prior I want to them to come to the knowledge and experience to learn conclusion that Crisco, or blubber, acts something new. as an insulator and the more students that notice and share that the hand in the Crisco bag was warmer, the more this idea will be reinforced. KWL recap 3-5 minutes At the end of the blubber investigation Students will be expected to put I will send the students back to their their newfound knowledge into seats with a sticky note. They will write words by writing something they’ve one new thing they learned about learned on a sticky note. They will penguins during the unit, post it on the stick the note on the KWL chart “L” column on the KWL chart and have paper in the “L” column and will a seat on the rug for one final review in participate in a class which I’ll read what they learned and discussion/review of the chart. we’ll decide as a group whether or not we agree.Equity, Diverse Learners & Culturally Relevant Instruction:As with all of my lessons, the instruction will include many opportunities for movement and collaborative work. The goalof this movement and discussion is to help support those children who learn through discussion or are kinestheticallyinclined. The thing that I think is special about this particular lesson is the opportunity for students to get hands onpractice and build meaning through doing. At this age, children are concrete learners and I think that allowing them toexperience the science first hand will help cement the knowledge for them and hopefully keep them interested in science.Differentiation: The sensory component of this lesson will be great for some students and difficult for others, thus eachstudent will have the opportunity to opt of out the experiment if they wish. Additionally, the hands on piece will giveevery student the chance to experience something at their own level and develop understanding through firsthandexperience. Allowing students to write what they’ve learned on sticky notes provides choice: above grade level studentscan add as much detail as they want, and at or below grade level students can participate at a level comfortable to them.Our IEP student will not be in the room for this lesson.Literacy and Communication:This lesson is designed to help students hone written and verbal skills, specifically retelling, summarizing andcooperation. They will need to cooperate at the rug and their seats (there will be a lot of movement), listen and providefeedback. Students will also have the opportunity to practice retelling and sentence structure skills during the writtenportion of the lesson.
    • Reflective Essay No. 1: Professional Standard A: Planning Curriculum and Instruction I entered and ended student teaching at a rather difficult time: immediately following the holiday break andimmediately after the February break. The largest challenge I found at this point, aside from acclimating to a newenvironment, was introducing a science unit while re-conditioning the students to their pre-vacation selves. This provedmore difficult because science wasn’t a large part of the first grade curriculum, being taught once every other week. Tomy supervising practitioner’s everlasting credit, she gave me a loosely defined unit that could easily be adjusted to meetthe current needs of the students. The unit was “Penguins”. Admittedly, I was first thrown by the idea of creating a unit, with little guidance, in a new environment and onshort notice. I had hoped that I would have the opportunity to work with something with more definition. As it happens,the malleability of the Penguins unit turned out to be a boon especially when faced with students who were havingsome difficulty adjusting to a structured routine following their time off. I had the freedom to create a unit that playedto their strengths, took advantage of the extra energy they brought to the classroom and still met the grade levelstandards. My previous experience at Emmanuel brought me into close contact with the old MA teaching frameworks,however, the state has adopted the Common Core since my last course and it was a bit of a struggle to learn andunderstand the new standards. What I learned is that the Common Core essentially ties all subject areas in under variousaspects of literacy. Therefore, every lesson was heavily grounded in and driven by literacy standards. The challenge wasin learning how these new standards related to the specific area of study I chose: science. I found that throughout theunit planning, and perhaps as a direct result of my teaching style, a few standards found their way into all of my lessons.Specifically, I most often worked with the MA Frameworks #1-3 (p.37) for Speaking and Listening for pre-kindergartenthrough second grade. I found that this standard was woven into the fabric of a productive and successful first graderoom. It is essential to harness the natural conversation inclination of 6 and 7 year olds and use it to help them learnhow to be successful students. Rather than to suppress their desire to communicate, I tried to make it an integral part ofmy lessons. This means that every lesson, including the first, involved quite a bit of discussion. First, I sketched a plan of the direction which I wanted the unit to take, based on what the students wereexpected to know in the first grade. I knew that I wanted to teach them, from a high level perspective (or surfacelearning vs. in depth study), about the penguins physical characteristics, their life cycle, where they are found, and
    • something about their anatomy that made them “special”. I also knew that I wanted the unit to be as integrated withELA as possible so as to instill as much knowledge in the students as the schedule and first grade curriculum wouldallow. Before I added detail and definition to my plan, I initiated the unit with a mini-lesson and an informal assessment.I had the children help me complete a KWL chart, or a graphic organizer that would help me understand whatknowledge or misconceptions the students were bringing to the classroom, and what they wanted to learn. I used thischart to inform my planning, and as an anchor for the students. It was prominently displayed in the classroom, alongwith the work products they produced throughout the unit. Initially, I thought I was off to a great start. However, with my second lesson, or first full lesson, I hit a stumblingblock. I initiated the lesson with a reading from an informational text. Following the reading, I had students do a projectbased on the content of the text. The project was a teacher lead art piece that combined a text related Q/A withdrawing. I underestimated the student’s ability, and found that they were bored and could and should be challengedmore. Thus, I adjusted each subsequent lesson with this fact in mind. Incidentally, the lesson to which I’m referring is notincluded in the unit plan because I decided that it isn’t something I would use again. This failure on my part was at firstvery frustrating, for both me and the students, but I think that in the end it was more helpful than harmful. They stilllearned something new and failing right out of the gate enabled me to create better, more engaging lessons that weremore appropriate for the class as a whole. Thanks to my first mistake, the remaining three lessons were at the appropriate level of difficulty for themajority of the students in the class, with options provided for those either above or below level. However, with mythird lesson, I discovered two new areas in which I needed to improve my practice: order and intent. This lessoncovered the life cycle of penguins. It was a very general study, again introduced with an informational text reading. Thestudents were to produce a written description of a penguin’s life cycle, supported as needed by chart paper used in thebeginning of the lesson to introduce the stages of the cycle. In addition to the writing, they were going to create anactual “life cycle wheel” complete with a fastener to make it functional. My mistake was twofold: the order I chose topresent the project in placed more importance on the wheel than the writing and thus muddled the intent I set at thestart of the lesson and didn’t help me to accomplish the goals I had set for myself or the class. My initial reasoning wentlike this: doing the “fun” aspect of the lesson first would give the students the chance to expend some energy after
    • sitting before they had to sit and write. I thought that by saving the written portion of the lesson until the end wouldhelp to reinforce the facts that I wanted the students to retain. My mistake was ultimately a result of my immatureclassroom management skills. To avoid making this mistake in the future, I structured the following lessons such that thepiece that was central to their learning experience was done first. Lesson three was the first real step in the right direction. It was challenging, yet age appropriate, integrated ELAand social studies with science and was easy to scaffold. Furthermore, I clearly articulated the learning goals and focusedthe bulk of the period on the more important aspects of the plan. I do think that if I were to do this lesson again, I wouldprovide more support for lower level students. The majority of the material covered had been taught before and shouldhave been familiar to all students; however, several are pulled out during the day and sometimes miss the alreadyinfrequent science and social studies periods. In hindsight I would have provided them with an alternative worksheetand given the main worksheet to them as a challenge if they finished the first early. My favorite aspect of the unit was the culminating lesson; and investigation into the role of blubber in keepingpenguins warm in cold climates. My intention when building the unit was to provide students with enough backgroundknowledge that they would be able to make inferences. I understand that in first grade, students have a very literal andconcrete way of experiencing the world around them and learning from those experiences. In my last lesson I tried tocapitalize on this concrete understanding and use their new knowledge to carry them towards the periphery of theircurrent abilities. They students loved the experiment and were able to extend their knowledge and display thatextension both verbally and in writing. Essentially, despite the personal mistakes I made along the way, as a result of the final activity and KWLassessment I came to realize that student learning and motivation are inseparable. I learned that I need to look beyondmy interests, personal concerns and the fine details of the frameworks, and use those things only to inform my initialdirection; the student’s will only engage if the material is presented in a way that is relevant to their learning style andacademic needs. If I were to do the practicum again, I would like to have the ability to do the full four month period sothat I’d have more time to understand the motivations of my students. I can only hope that once in the profession thisknowledge is something that comes with time and experience.