In this activity, the kids and I were magicians learning about the "silent e." To assess the literacy skills at work I had manipulatives the kids could use to spell words; then when the magic silent "e" was added the word would change. We created our own words and then also drew pictures of the words before and after a magic "e" was added.
2. Develop an understanding of and an ability to implement a balanced literacy program based on sound research of learning theory and the reading/writing processes, including basic skills and strategies crucial to integrating the English language arts. (MRICETS, 2002. 3,5) Balanced Literacy
In this activity, my group and I created an image of how we interpreted Balanced Literacy. Each and every strategy must be used together to create a balanced literacy approach; kind of like all the ingredients are needed together to create a delicious soup!
3. Become familiar with, evaluate, define and support one’s own beliefs regarding various theoretical and instructional approaches to integrating the English language arts. (MRICETS, 2002, 2) Theoretical Models of Literacy
This model represents a comprehensive literacy approach to teaching literacy. I lean in the direction towards transactional theories; where context matters. With comprehensive literacy instruction, the main focus is on helping the children learn to read using essential components of instruction within a framework of reading and writing "to, with, and by children." ie: teacher reads TO the children, works WITH the children individually and in groups, and provides time and proper conditions for reading practice BY the children.
4. Identify and plan relevant instruction to develop print skills (e.g., phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and the four cueing systems), vocabulary knowledge, and comprehension strategies in both the English language arts and content area subject matter. (MRICETS, 2002, 4,7,8, 9, 13,18,26,27, 29,30,31,40) Supporting Phonics, Vocabulary, and Comprehension
In this picture the kids and I are playing CVC bingo. This activity was used to support phonemic awareness. I started the lesson using sock puppets to show how words are blended together so they sound smooth. Then we all played some Bingo, and I would say each of the sounds and it was the job of the kids to blend the word together and see if it was on their bingo card.
5. Select appropriate Michigan grade level objectives (based on Michigan’s Curriculum Frameworks) for the language arts and prepare lessons to meet those objectives that engage students (based on Michigan’s Teaching and Learning Standards) (MRICETS, 2002, 6,14, 32,33,41) Using the Common Core Standards
This is one of my lesson plans I set up for teaching inferences. In order to get the appropriate state standards I had to go to the common core state standards website and looks up the appropriate standards that would fit for what I was teaching.
6. Understand and use a variety of instructional management techniques including approaches such as individualized learning (e.g., workshops or journal writing), small group learning (e.g., cooperative groups, guided reading groups, or flexible skill groups), and whole group instruction (e.g., shared reading, interactive writing, or author studies) to meet diverse student and instructional needs. (MRICETS, 2002, 12,17,18,40) Teaching the Whole Class, Small Groups, and Individual Children
For my last unit we went over myths about extinct animals and how fossils may have inspired those myths. After we read a myth and discussed it I allowed the kids about 30 minutes to create their own myths.
7. Understand ways in which needs of students vary (e.g., cultural differences, English as a second language, learning disabilities, or gifted/talented abilities) and plan instruction that builds on the strengths of diverse learners and accommodates for individual learning needs, enabling all students to meet lesson objectives. (MRICETS, 2002, 10,11, 14,15,16) Supporting All Students—Attending to Diverse Strengths and Needs
There is a young girl with Autism in my field placement. She is a sweet heart, and one day she walked up and asked me to help her with her math. The students were learning how to read numbers up to 100 and how to count by tens. They had to make a circle in each box and put the number of boxes they had counted on the bottom of each row. The young girl was struggling with drawing circles as fast as everyone else, so as an accommodation, I asked her if she wanted me to draw each circle as long as she counted them for me. She happily accepted and counted every single number without missing a beat.
8. Understand the developmental nature and stages of literacy development (e.g., emergent, early, transitional, and self-extending readers) and apply this knowledge in planning appropriate lessons (MRICETS, 2002, 6,7) Literacy Development
Young readers need to be immersed in a literacy rich environment. These young years are where they will learn many skills needed for gathering meaning from the world. In the picture above I have a sticky note on the bottom of the page. The sticky note was reminding me to do a model think aloud so the students can see me use a helpful reading strategy.
9. Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the craft of reading and writing through analysis of text structures, author craft, illustrations, mechanics, and voice in developing their own and others’ writing and responses to reading. (MRICETS, 2002, 32,33,34,35,36,37) Connecting Reading and Writing
The book above is one of my students "Fossil Books." During my unit, each kid would write one page, pertaining to what we read and learned that day, in their book. On the first page, the student drew and labeled two different types of fossils. On the next page the student drew what he thought the first fishes would have looked like and then he labeled the time era and period they were in existence.
10. Define and plan for learning as a process of individual and group inquiry that expands student knowledge and skills in diverse as well as similar ways based on curriculum requirements and student needs. (MRICETS, 2002, 39,41,42) Lesson Planning
Above, is an activity that I used when teaching a phonemic awareness lesson. It was to help students learn the silent "e." There are multiple methods of learning, and the use of manipulatives allows students another way to wrestle around with tough concepts.
11. Develop the characteristics of a professional teacher including exhibiting professional behavior at all times during class and in the field (see attributes of professional behavior in syllabus), displaying high quality literacy skills on all oral, visual, and written work, using appropriate study skills to complete course requirements, and using professional communication skills with peers, instructors, teachers, administrators, and parents. (MRICETS, 2002, 1,28,38,43,44) Being a Professional Educator
Above is an evaluation sheet, done by my placement teacher, for my strategy lesson. The teacher provided many helpful comments about things I did well and things I need to work on. My favorite thing she had to say was I created a welcoming and respectful classroom environment. This is important for any classroom if you want learning to occur.
12. Manages assignments and time efficiently (MELSET B3c). Applies knowledge of human growth, development, and learning theory (MELSET B5c). Is familiar with and able to use a variety of literacies, materials, and resources (MELSET B7a). Selects, creates, and incorporates appropriate instructional techniques, technology, and materials needed for instruction (MELSET B7b) Applying Theories of Literacy Learning
Without focus and engagement, learning cannot take place. Above is a much needed stretching break to get the students' blood flowing and some of their energy out. It only takes 5 minutes to do, and it can save countless minutes of focus down the road.
Throughout this semester, I have taken tremendous leaps and bounds towards being an educator. I have gotten to experience a small taste of what it is like to be a teacher. I know I still have a long ways to go, but I also know I am closer than I was at the beginning of the semester. Feedback and interaction from my peers and teachers have helped shape my outlook on literacy, and as a future educator I will be enthusiastic and motivate all students to interact with text of all kinds. My future classroom will be a welcoming, friendly, literacy rich environment where reading and writing are encouraged.