Melissa Gatlin ucp
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Melissa Gatlin ucp

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  • Emily, Joann, and I presented three separate stories at UCP of Kissimmee. I greatly enjoyed my time there. I especially enjoyed interacting with the children; they made the experiencefun. I loved watching the children’s faces light up with excitement and interest as we told the different stories. The children, staff, teachers, and ourselves enjoyed the experience.
  • I had only interacted with individuals who had learning disabilities or behavior disorders prior to the Teacher’s in Action Service Project, so I did not know what to expect or how to interact with children who may have Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, delayed developmental problems, or serve physical impairments. My brother and I both have learning disabilities, so throughout my elementary, middle, and high school education I was always around my fellow peers who shared similar disabilities with myself. Just because I have learning disabilities does not mean I do not get scared or nervous about interacting with individuals who have disabilities or disorders I know nothing about; it is the fear of the unknown that overwhelms me. Before the service project I was very scared and nervous that the children would not be able to understand the stories or be able to communicate with me. For some reason I thought the children would lack communication skills, and be withdrawn into themselves. I thought they would be scared of Emily, Joann, and myself and be unwilling to interact with use or our props. I was scared that would embarrass or insult a child by my actions or speech. Prior to the learning service project I had already made perceptions of what I was expecting of the children at the UCP. I had based those perceptions off of things I had heard from other people, things I had witnessed on television shows and movies, and from my lack of knowledge about disabilities and disorders other than learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.
  • Emily, Joann, and I conducted out service learning project at the UCP center in Kissimmee, Florida. We presented three stories to the children and their teachers inside the center’s gym. We used props, such as: backboards, sock puppets, stick puppets, and customs to bring the stories to life for the children. We also provided the children with activities to do inside their classrooms after they listened to the stories. Emily, Joann, and I visited the children inside their classrooms, so we could help them complete their fun and engaging activities. The activity they really enjoyed was making their own wolf stick puppets; we had a blast helping them color and tape them to the wood craft sticks we provided them. The center has seven classrooms, and they are divided up by the students’ ages. The classes consisted of seven or more students. I had a wonderful time interacting and getting to know the students. They never failed to make me smile.
  • Emily did an excessive amount of work for the first story telling event. She designed and made the backboard for the story TheThree Little Pigs. The backboard brought the story to life, and got the children interested in the story. Emily did an amazing job; she really made the backboard pop. As soon as the children walked through the door of the gym they could not take their eyes off of the backboard. Emily created a backdrop depicting a straw house, stick house, and a brick house. She painted and glued straw, sticks, and grass onto the backboard to give it a realistic feel. Joann, my other team member made three stick puppets of pigs, and a stock puppet for the wolf. The children absolutely enjoyed exploring all the different textures. We had the children come up an interact with the props; we thought they would just touch and feel everything but we were wrong. The children started recreating the story; they huffed and puffed and tried to knock the straw, stick, and brick homes down. We know right from then on the children understood what we were saying, doing, and acting out. For the first storytelling event we provided the students with coloring sheets to complete once they listened to the story. For the second storytelling event we were able to use the backdrop Emily had created, because for the second story we told was the wolf’s side of the story. For the second story we brought in additional props to enhance the story. We had fabric that felt like the fur on a wolf; which the children thought was real. Also, we brought in an oven wreak to symbolize the bars in a jail. At the end of the story the wolf was arrested and placed behind the bars in our pretend jail; the children started laughing and thought we had given the wolf timeout. For the activity we had the children create their own stick puppets of wolves. We had to print and cut out 70 wolves, so each child would have his/her own wolf. We helped the children color and tape their wolves onto their craft sticks we provided; it was so much fun. For the third storytelling event we did Little Red Riding hood. I designed and created the backdrop for the story. It took an excessive amount of time to draw and paint a backdrop depicting Red Riding Hood’s journey through the woods to her grandmother’s house. Emily created the wolf’s mask I wore while I narrated and played out the wolf’s part in the story. To further enhance the story Joann made a red cloak that she wore while she acted out the story. She also made one for the children to wear while they took turns recreating the story for their peers. In all our stories we used props to enhance and catch the attention of the children. We also narrated the stories, so it would be easier for the children to understand the different story lines. In addition, each story was simplified to meet the needs of the children. The staff at the UCP center told us in advance to shorten the stories to two to four minutes, so the students’ attention would not be lost. Emily and I simplified the stories. When we were done presenting our stories we gave the props to the school to use; the teachers and staff were extremely appreciative.
  • Pictures of some of the older children recreating the story Little Red Riding Hood for their peers.
  • I am very interested and amazed by people from other countries. I love to try new and exciting foods from other cultures; one day I could be eating Indian food and the next I could be eating Chinese food. I am expecting my first child in July, and it is a boy. I love looking up little boys’ clothes online; they are so cute. I cannot go into a story without going straight to the babies section. Right now I cannot stop reading everything I can about parenting and accurse labor; which is starting to scare as I get closer to my due date. I love spending time with my family; they mean everything to me. I enjoy getting away and going to the beach; it relaxes me. I love going on long walks and bicycle rides; it is so nice to be outside with nature. I love watching movies that are based off of historical events; even if some parts are fiction I believe a person can still learn something from the movie. I have been volunteering in Osceola County since 2007. I love working with children, and I cannot wait till I have a classroom of my own.
  • We conducted our service learning project on March 5, 12, and 19. We presented for six classes; two at a time. Each class consisted of seven or more students. During the service learning project I participated in many activities. I took an active role in all three separate storytelling presentations. For the first storytelling event, I played all three pigs from the story The Three Little Pigs. It was also Joann’s and my job to show the children all the different props, and help them portray the different characters; it was a lot of fun. Emily, Joann, and myself each made copies of a fun coloring sheet the children were able to do after listening to the story. The coloring sheet was of a little pig; we enlarged the picture so the children would have little difficulty coloring the picture. For the second storytelling active we did The Wolf’s Version of the Story. It was my job to simplify the story to fit the time constraints, so the children stayed actively involved and their attention did not waiver. The Wolf’s Version of the Story is a much longer and detailed storyline then that of The Three Little Pigs. It took a lot of time and energy to redo the storyline to fit the needs of the children. I rewrote 80 percent of the storyline; I used simpler wording and I changed the parts where the wolf was suppose to eat the first two pigs. Instead of the wolf eating the two pigs I had them escape to their older brother’s brick house like in the story The Three Little Pigs. Also, I helped the children complete their wolf stick puppets. They loved the wolf; some of the children even were growling during the wolf’s parts of the story. They wanted him to eat the pigs; one little boy even said “yum, how tasted” when he thought the wolf was going to eat the pig from the stick house. Also, Emily, Joann, and myself helped the children complete their wolf stick puppets. The teachers were very thankful for the puppets because the day we presented The Wolf’s Version of the Story it was raining, so the children could not go out for recess. The puppet activity we provided the children took the place of their recess time. For the third story, I took on the majority of the work. I designed and created the backdrop for the story Little Red Riding Hood. It was very time consuming to draw and paint the path that Red Riding Hood took through the woods to her grandmother’s house. I wanted the children to be able to visualize the story while we acted it out for them; I tried very hard to make the backdrop realistic and engaging for the children. I also simplified the storyline to fit the time constraints and the needs of the children. Furthermore, I narrated the story and acted out the wolf’s part. Emily made the wolf’s mask that I wore while I narrated and played the wolf part in the story. During the presentations each of us participated either by narrating or acting out the characters. After we finished presenting each of the stories we had the children explore and interactive with all the different props we brought in. We gave the backboards and props to UCP to incorporate into their classrooms. The teachers and staff were very appreciative, and told us that the children would love using the props to create and retell the stories. We used all the different props as tools to enhance the stories; the children found them extremely interesting and enchanting.
  • At the beginning it was going to be Emily and myself . We had already decided on storytelling, but we did not know where to present. Emily and I already decided on using The Three Little Pigs, The Wolf’s Version of the Story, and Little Red Riding Hoodas the stories we were going to base our service learning project around. I started talking to Joann in our Wednesday night class and she loved our idea. Like Emily and I , Joann wanted to present in front of children; she just was not sure what stories to use. Since, we all wanted to do the same thing we decided to work together. Joann was familiar with the UCP center; because her grandson had went there. She informed Emily and I about the organization, and we all decided to present at the UCP center for the children. We thought the children would love the storytelling theme, so we submitted our applications and got to work. We decided on presenting our presentation during the month of March. By presenting in March we had the whole month of February to design and organize our project. The books, location, and time worked at perfectly. We completes the learning service project by the beginning of April.
  • We presented our storytelling project to 70 children at the UCP center; a total of six classes each visit. We would present in front of two classes at a time. The ages of the children ranged from two to five. The majority of the staff and children were of the Hispanic culture and spoke Spanish. The rest of the children were either African American or Caucasian and spoke English. The exceptionalities included but were not limited to Down Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Autism, emotional and behavioral disorders, and hearing impairments.
  • The services learning project has effected my life in so many ways. I am more cautious of the needs individuals with disabilities have, and how hard it can be for some of them to carryout simple everyday tasks that I take for granted. I am more aware of the different disabilities and disorders that affect the lives of individuals in my community. I have more respect, compassion, and understanding for individuals with disabilities. I have been forever changed by the service learning project. I no longer take my life for granted, and I am extremely thankful that I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with these amazing children. I really enjoyed watching the children interact with the different props. It really amazed me that they were not afraid to touch the different textures; their teachers thought they wouldn’t want anything to do with them. I was very impressed by the students; they were able to remember the stories from previous weeks before. The students even compared the different stories; they had no problem telling us which stories they liked and which story they could not stand. The children all liked the first two stories; the thought Little Red Ridding Hood was boring and dull. What really impacted was how the children were willing to reenact the stories for their peers and teachers. They were not shy; they knew the storylines and they wanted to participate. I had an amazing time, and really enjoyed working with the children. They made it easy to fall in love with them; they were so sweet and caring. They waved and welcomed us with open arms and smiles. Never once did I ever want to stop or give up on the service learning project.
  • I learned so much from doing the services learning project. Due to the project, I have a better understanding of how children with Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral palsy, emotional and behavioral disorders, and hearing impairments function and carryout their daily activities. Also, I learned how children with different disabilities and disorders interact with their peers and teachers. From the service learning project, I took away a better understanding have how different disabilities or disorders can affect a child’s life. I learned that children with Down Syndrome were more eager to play with peers and open to embrace new experiences. Also, I learned that children with Autism were more detached and nervous around new faces, and unwilling to participate in new activities. The children with Autism set very close to there teachers throughout all three storytelling activities. Due to the project, I learned that children with disabilities are no different from any other child and that they should be treated with respect; they deserve the same education and chance at happiness like every other human being does.
  • While participating in my service learning project I learned patience is a key element when working with persons with disabilities. My learning and teaching approaches have been forever changed by this experience. I am more aware of the different needs children with disabilities have, and the help they require. I have learned that every child learns differently and at his/her own speed. Also, I learned that every child should be taught according to his/her abilities, and they should never be made to feel stupid by peers or teachers. Furthermore, I have learned that children with special needs are creative and enjoy interacting with people. When it comes to my teaching methods I will be more open-mined, and allow for more hands-on activities that call for more creativity. Also, I have learned that persons with disabilities do not view themselves as having disabilities. As a future teacher, it is my responsibility it make the necessary modifications or accommodations to insure all my students receive a quality education. I will do everything in my power to provide the best possible education to all my students.

Melissa Gatlin ucp Melissa Gatlin ucp Presentation Transcript

  • Story Telling at UCP of Kissimmee, Florida
    Presented by: Melissa Gatlin
    Group members: Emily Danks and Joann Wettingfeld
    mgatlin@knights.ucf.edu
    April 23, 2010
    EEX 4070
  • Prior Perceptions
  • The UCP center of Kissimmee, Florida
    Inside one of the classrooms where we helped the
    children finish their coloring sheets.
    Inside the gym where we presented our three stories.
  • Our first presentation
    (Emily and I)
    Some of the wonderful and bright children we meat at the UCP center
    Preparing for the Little Red Riding Hood story (me-designing and painting the backboard for the story)
  • Additional Pictures
  • A Little About Me
    • Interest: I am interested and amazed by people from other countries, I enjoy interacting with people, looking up baby boy clothes on the computer for my son who is due in July, and reading everything I can about parenting and labor.
    • Hobbies: I love spending time with my family, going to the beach, walking, riding my bicycle, and watching historical themed movies.
    • Experience: I have been volunteering inside classrooms in Osceola County since 2007.
    Longboat Key, Florida
    My fiancé and me
  • Engaging Activities
    Activities: Emily Danks, Joann Wettingfeld, and myself presented three interactive storytelling activities at the UCP center in Kissimmee, Florida during the month of March.
    • The Three Little Pigs, The Wolf’s Version of the Story, and Little Red Riding Hood
    • We provided two hands-on craft activities for the students.
    1. coloring sheets 2. wolf stick puppets
    Using the props to present the story of The Three Little Pigs to their peers
    Me creating the backdrop for Little Red Riding Hood story
  • How it all began
    • At the beginning it was going to be Emily and myself doing the service learning project. We started talking to Joann and she had a similar idea for the learning project.
    • We all wanted to present in front of children, and bring to life stories.
    • Joann informed Emily and I about the UCP center. Both Emily and Joann went to the UCP center and spoke with the coordinator; she loved the idea. We all submitted our applications and everything fell into place.
  • Participant Demographics
    Age Range: the ages ranged from two to five.
    Ethnic backgrounds: Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic.
    Linguistic heritages: Spanish and English
    Exceptionalities: Down Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Autism, emotional and behavioral disorders, and hearing impairments.
    Some the wonderful and bight children meat at the UCP center in Kissimmee, Florida
  • Reflection of your Experience
    • How has this experience effected me?
    I am more cautious about the needs of individuals with disabilities, and now I am more aware of the different disabilities that affect the lives of individuals in my community.
    • What experiences had the most impact?
    When the children would interact with the different props, and retell the stories for their teachers and peers. I found it amazing how the children could recall the story from the previous week.
    • I was disappointed and upset with how some of the teachers and staff treated the children.
  • Reflection of you Experience
    • What did you take away from the experience?
    I learned so much from doing my service learning project. I now have a better understanding of how children with Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral palsy, emotional and behavioral disorders, and hearing impairments carryout their daily activities, and how they interact with their peers and teachers.
  • Reflection of you Experience
    • How my teaching, approaches to teaching, and insight into working with persons with special needs were impacted?
    I learned that patience is key element when working with persons with disabilities. I have gained knowledge and wisdom when it comes to working and interacting with persons with disabilities. I know that as a teacher it is my responsibility to insure that each of my students receives a quality education. I will work hard to modify and accommodate my students with disabilities.
  • Make sure you include a template for your presentation!
    BE AS CREATIVE AS YOU WANT!
    MAKE THIS A PERSONAL REFLECTION OF YOURSELF AND YOUR EXPERIENCE!