Learning with my students My journey as a pre-service teacher in the Regis College MAT program By Shelly Williams Laquinta April 2011
Educational philosophy: I aim to build my students’ self confidence as a foundation for learning. I strive to model respect for myself and others and expect my students to follow my example. I will work to open doors of opportunity for my students by fostering literacy and self esteem. I hope to always love learning not only from books but from experience and my students.
A Quote from Buzzy the Bumblebee by Denise Brennan Nelson that nicely summarizes my educational philosophy:
“ You’re doubting yourself, fear is blocking the way. Listen to your heart Buzzy, Not to what others say.”
“ Ignore labels and limits, they seldom do good, they make you think you can’t when inside you know you could!”
Buzzy thought about what they had said And knew his parents were right It’s belief in ourselves That helps us take flight.”
… .. and sure enough Buzzy flew. And do you know why? By believing that he could, Buzzy was able to fly!
Developing and delivering effective instruction <ul><li>My lesson plans: </li></ul><ul><li>- use state standards to develop objectives and assessment criteria </li></ul><ul><li>activate prior knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>have “catchy beginnings” </li></ul><ul><li>are differentiated, accessible to all </li></ul><ul><li>consider the multiple intelligences </li></ul><ul><li>have clear expectations for high quality work </li></ul><ul><li>effectively utilize technology </li></ul>
Third grade math unit: measurement fun! Being a good measurer and nonstandard units (cubits). Kinisthetic: how many trips to specials will it take to “walk a mile at Woodland School”? Measuring partners in Feet and converting to Inches! Measurement Benchmarks: group exploration
Hands on measurement math Stations: finding area and perimeter hands on and with partners. Balanced teacher driven, group and individual exploration of content. Integrated technology into lessons.
Considering the multiple intelligences in math curriculum Kinisthetic: area and perimeter Musical: Lemonade Stand song to learn capacity Kinisthetic & logical: hands on measuring to the fraction of an inch Spatial & logical: manipulation of “squares” to find square area
Exploring measurement benchmarks: activating prior knowledge <ul><li>State Standards: </li></ul><ul><li>4.M.1 Demonstrate an understanding of such attributes as length, area, weight, and volume, and select the appropriate type of unit for measuring each attribute. </li></ul><ul><li>4.M.5 Identify and use appropriate metric and English units and tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Activity: </li></ul><ul><li>Students measured one another and many items using standard and non standard measurement tools. We read How Big is a Foot ? And Milions to Measure as well as How Long, How Tall, How Far Away . </li></ul>
Measuring friends and to a fraction of an inch <ul><li>State Standard: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and use appropriate metric and English units and tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Activity: Using literature as launching points as well as songs and brainpop jr. snipits, integrated with “hands” on measuring in non-standard and standard units of measurement, Mrs. Looney’s third graders explored measurement tools, methods and units. Assessment included observation as well as produced pencil and paper recordings. </li></ul>
Area Aces and Perimeter Pals stations <ul><li>State Standard: </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate and find area and perimeter of a rectangle, triangle, or irregular shape using diagrams, models, and grids or by measuring. </li></ul><ul><li>Activity: </li></ul><ul><li>Through teacher driven, group “talk through” and group and individual “hands on” work, we explored perimeter and area. Stations included taped shapes on the rug, Shapes cut out of construction paper at various desks and areas of the room that needed to be measured. </li></ul>
Using technology in math lessons: Activeboard <ul><li>State Standard: </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate and find area and perimeter of a rectangle, triangle, or irregular shape using diagrams, models, and grids or by measuring. </li></ul><ul><li>PPA standard: </li></ul><ul><li>Use technology appropriately </li></ul>
Measurement: Capacity <ul><li>State Framework: 4.M.1 demonstrate an understanding of such attributes as length, area, weight, volume, and select the appropriate type of unit for measuring each attribute. </li></ul><ul><li>Students learned and sang the “Lemonade Stand” song to learn about different units for measuring capacity. They also learned the mneumonic devide “The Land of Gallon” to remember the units that fit into one another. Finally, they cut square pieces of construction paper into a Gallon (full piece), 4 Quarts (four pieces), 8 pints, etc. These pieces will also be used when the class explores fractions in a later math unit. </li></ul>
What’s your Angle?: Geometry Used Geoboards and straws and connectors to explore right, acute and obtuse angles. Watched brainpop jr. to solidify understanding.
Mini writing lesson: adjectives <ul><li>After reading, “Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: what is an adjective” and watching a quick School House Rock video on adjectives, we listed some adjectives on the board. I then had students describe their stuffed animal dog (one of twenty) well enough that I would be able to pick it out from all the others. The students loved this interactive adjective lesson. </li></ul>
Mini writing lesson: great beginnings State Standard: 19.9 students will Write stories with a strong beginning. My objective: students will understand the importance of a strong beginning in text. Assessment: looked at strength of student crafted beginnings, as well as, the state standards: 22.3: write legibly in cursive 22.4: use knowledge of correct mechanics 22.5: Use correct spelling and 22.6 spell most commonly used homophones correctly
Writing lesson: transitions <ul><li>Based on state standards and on a lesson plan found on writingfix.com, as well as, looking at the criteria considered in the DWA writing assessment, I determined to focus on strong transitions in student writing. The students that used the graphic organizer and transition word bookmark to their advantage, produced compelling, and well organized pieces. </li></ul>
What a plant needs to grow: kindergarten science lesson State Standard: Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water. Used song, interactive graphic board, cut and paste labeling activity, book The Dandelion Seed , and planting as well as observation to develop understanding of objectives.
What do plants need to grow? State Standard: Identify the ways in which an organism’s habitat provides for its basic needs (plants require air, water, nutrients, and light; animals require food, water, air, and shelter). Activity: What will happen to the plants that we don’t give sun (keep in the dark) , the ones we don’t give water?, what about the seed we planted in sand?
Social Studies Lesson: A Puritan Life, “Horn Books” <ul><li>State Standard: 3.4 Explain how the Puritans and Pilgrims differed. Describe the daily life , education, and work of the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. </li></ul><ul><li>Activity: Read an account of a day in the life of two Puritan children (the preactivity was reading the Puritans chapter in Massachusetts: Our Home ). Discussed that the Puritans valued education and were devout and strict. The children would have learned to read using bible versus and primers. Students created 17th century “horn books” using primer verses. </li></ul>
Phases of the moon: third grade science lesson State Standard: Earth and Space 15. Describe the changes that occur in the observable shape of the moon over the course of a month. Activity: students learned “Phases of the Moon” song through a Utube video. They saw the phases of the moon displayed with a “moon in my room”. They then made the phases of the moon with oreo cookies. In another lesson they shined a flashlight from the “sun” and saw different parts of styrofoam balls illuminated illustrating the “phases of the moon”.
In closing… <ul><li>By getting to know my students well, I am able to look at state standards and plan curriculum with the strengths and limitations of my students in mind. I aim to give my students educational and social success upon which they can build happy, healthy and productive lives. </li></ul>
Many thanks <ul><li>My thanks to the many people that have supported me and guided me in the process toward becoming a teacher including: </li></ul><ul><li>- Dr. McCaughey Oreszak </li></ul><ul><li>- Sister Carmela Abruzzesse </li></ul><ul><li>- Dr. Debra Dunn </li></ul><ul><li>- Dr. Dowds </li></ul><ul><li>- Jill Loooney at the Weston Woodland School </li></ul><ul><li>Ms. Helena at the ICS </li></ul><ul><li>My inspiring classmates at Regis College </li></ul><ul><li>and my husband and daughters for their sacrifices and love. </li></ul>