Prepared by Laurie Goode


"We're not planning to do that at all. We see this as a wonderful teaching moment."
- Alan Attie



Standards-Based Lessons
Education is in the age of accountability. A large part of effective teaching is planning lessons to ensure that the national, state, and local standards are mastered. I have become familiar with the standards during my coursework at The College of William and Mary and through creating lesson plans during student teaching. I include the standards being met during the day's instruction on the lesson plan, which helps me manage which standards have been covered and which still need covering. The listed standards also offer a systematic method for monitoring student performance for specific standards. If the students perform poorly on an assessment, I can look back at my plans and see which standards need more focus. Many times the state standard is listed and the broader national standard is included through the state standards, such as on this writing lesson on sentence variety, but at times it is appropriate to include both the state and national standards on the lesson plan, such as on this science lesson plan on food chains.

While I have learned during student teaching that sometimes the best part of a lesson may be scrapping it in order to follow the students' lead or go back to the drawing board, I have also learned the value of being prepared for teaching. It is my responsibility as a teacher to ensure that I am prepared in order to maximize student learning. This starts by looking at the standards and any pacing guides that are available through the district or school. After determining the content to teach students, I must also consider the student population and decide which teaching methods will best transfer the information to students. Below are a collection of lessons and artifacts that demonstrate my ability to plan for teaching and incorporate technology into lesson plans.



Content Area Planning
Interdisciplinary Project: Math, Language Arts, & Technology
Class Fraction Book

As a culminating project for third grade at the end of my student teaching experience, I planned a class fraction book project. The project combined writing skills on explanatory paragraphs with fraction knowledge and used technology throughout the project from brainstorming to publishing. For the project, students worked in groups to take pictures of items around the school that could be described in fractional terms, write an explanatory paragraph to describe their fraction topic and relate it to their selected picture, and publish their paragraph using Photo Story 3 for Windows. We compiled all the groups' work into one project to complete our class book. Students were given explicit instructions on expectations and graded based on criteria outlined in a rubric. The students also self-evaluated their work as well as their group's collaboration.

Social Studies
Sri Lankan Culture Kit

Here is an example of a collaborative project that I and two of my fellow classmates designed. The culture kit shows my ability to plan for the long-term. In the culture kit, you will find a historical narrative describing the importance of the Sri Lanka and the application of the culture kit to the classroom, four lessons showcasing different teaching methodologies such as direct instruction and inquiry, four artifacts with whole-group, small-group, and individual activities, and assessment tools. The culture kit is intended for use in both primary and intermediate grades.

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The Globally Ignored Country of Sri Lanka

Science
Soil Module

This is an example of a collaborative ten day module planned for use in the third grade classroom when studying soil. Aligned with both state and national standards, the module demonstrates how to plan for an entire module by starting with the overarching question and breaking the lessons into more specific questions that answer the big question. A schedule provides an overview of goals, activities, and assessments planned for each day. Four lessons are included in detail, written in the 5-E lesson plan format to promote student discovery and exploration. It was important to us as the creators of the module to include interdisciplinary lessons in the module.

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Soil Module

Mathematics
Fraction Unit

As discussed above, aligning instruction with the standards takes planning, preparation, and organizations. I started planning the fraction unit by looking at the standards and the intended learning outcomes. An example of looking at the overall picture of fractions and determining how to break down the information into daily topics or objectives can be seen here. From this long-term plan, I developed specific daily lesson plans, like the first day of introducing fractions.

Language Arts
Guided Reading

Many factors need to be considered when planning a language arts reading lesson. An appropriate text must be selected and small groups must be formed whether heterogeneous or homogeneous in ability level depending on the intended outcomes. I also found it helpful to use sticky notes as reminders of questions or personal connections I make with the book on certain pages that I can share with students during a read-aloud or small group lesson. A guided reading lesson that I implemented with a small group of second graders shows all of these plans organized before the lesson took place, as well as alignment with state and national standards. During the planning of the lesson, I had pre-selected a group of students working on the same reading level in order to use a more difficult text and I had pre-selected the pages to note to improve comprehension during the picture walk of the book.



Integration of Technology

Technology is an engaging method of pulling students into the curriculum. In today's digital age, students are familiar with technology after being in constant contact with cell phones, computers, video games, iPods, and many other forms of technology. Bringing technology into the classroom engages students by using novel resources that are comfortable and familiar for students. Because students are in constant access with technology, many students have developed a technology intelligence that more adults are lacking. The use of technology in the classroom can even boost self-confidence if students are able to assist the teachers in the set up or the use of the technology source.

When planning to integrate technology into a lesson, the benefits must be weighed and determined to significantly impact the lesson rather than just using technology for the sake of using technology. It is the teacher's responsibility to decide the relative advantage of using technology in lessons. I was fortunate to have many technology resources available to me during student teaching experiences that made it easy to use technology with relative advantage in lessons. I had access to well-equipped media centers and laptop carts with an assorted variety of softwares like Photo Story and Windows Media Player. I used document cameras at both placements, as well as a Qwizdom Interact system (personal response system with "clicker remotes"), and an Interwrite tablet at Berkeley Middle School.

I used laptop carts and media centers to let students explore topics through digital examples, such as simple machines at edheads.org and an online introductory tutorial on matrices. I found the greatest use of technology for projects because it makes the project an authentic assessment that can be shared with others, parents and family members as well as other students and teachers around the world. The two projects were the Class Fraction Book and the Pre-Algebra Group SOL Review Project.

Below is the final product of the Class Fraction Book described above. I was impressed with how diligently the students worked on the project in order to complete the project by the deadline. The students were able to find fractions in pictures that I was unable to see until they explained their reasoning. This is a great example of how technology can enhance student learning by bringing fractions to life.

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More examples of lessons that integrate technology can be found on the Educational Technology page.