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EDE 359 Elementary Teaching Strategies
Bennett, Betty


COURSE:  EDE 359

SEMESTER/TERM:  Spring, 2006

NAME OF FACULTY MEMBER:  Betty Bennett

TITLE OF FACULTY MEMBER:  Assistant Professor

FACULTY OFFICE LOCATION:  Copley 211

FACULTY OFFICE HOURS:  Tuesday & Thursday    8:00-11:00, 3:30-4:30

FACULTY OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER:  584-6823

FACULTY PARK EMAIL ADDRESS:  bbennett@park.edu

OTHER FACULTY EMAIL ADDRESS:

FACULTY WEB PAGE ADDRESS:

SEMESTER/TERM DATES:  Jan. 8- Apr. 28

CLASS SESSIONS DAYS:  Tuesday and Thursday

CLASS SESSION TIME:  1:00 – 3 :35

PREREQUISITE(S):  Admission to School for Education

CREDIT HOURS:  5 hours

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

 

VISION STATEMENT

Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

 

COURSE TEXTBOOK(S):

 

Farris, Pamela J.  Elementary and Middle School Social Studies: An   Interdisciplinary Instructional Approach (3rd ed.). 

      Dubuque, IA:  McGraw-Hill, 2001.

 

Eggen, Paul D. and Kauchak, Donald P.  Strategies and Models for Teachers:  Teaching Content and Thinking Skills.

     (5th ed.).  Boston:   Pearson, 2006.

 

Elementary Education:  Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment, Study Guide,Practice and Review.  Princeton, NJ: 

       Educational Testing Service, 2000.

. 

There will be some handouts of various types for the course besides the three books above.  These handouts should

          become a part of your resource file/notebook for this class.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course develops the curriculum and instructional strategies appropriate to the elementary learner.  An emphasis is focused on developing knowledge of the Missouri Standards, lesson plans, teaching strategies, and reflection techniques.  This course is designed to provide the student with skills to plan, implement, and evaluate both the teaching and learning processes or the elementary social studies classroom.  Prerequisite:  Admission to the School of Education.3 Students must earn at least an “B” in this course before enrolling in directed teaching. Will be taken simultaneously with Practicum. 5:0:5

 

FACULTY’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: The instructor’s educational philosophy is one of interactive instruction based on lectures, quizzes, dialogues, internet, videos, presentations, writing, and other learning strategies as appropriate. This course presents the basics of teaching in elementary schools, and provides pre-service teachers with opportunities to reflect upon and apply those basics. Reflective inquiry is a key element of the course. Its purpose is to facilitate the pre-service teacher’s development of critical reflection skills, the building of an individual but theory-based philosophy of elementary school teaching, and the beginnings of a dynamic repertoire of teaching strategies that complement the pre-service teacher’s individual philosophy and style in the effort to meet the individual needs of elementary school students. 

            This is a “block” course; “general methods” of elementary teaching are combined with specific strategies for teaching in elementary subject areas, with special emphasis placed upon social studies. Emphasis is placed upon interdisciplinary connections and integrated, authentic instruction.

            The instructor has the following expectations of the enrollees in ED359A:  1) they are advanced, serious students with a declared commitment to elementary education, 2) they have completed all requirements for Admission to Teacher Education, 3) they are skilled in oral and written communication.  There is extensive research and writing in this course; homework time needs to be scheduled accordingly.  Finally, there is a good deal of cooperative peer work in this course. Effective peer interactions are important for teachers and are a major goal of the course.

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

On completion of this course, the student should  be able to

1.       analyze the characteristics and organization of elementary schools, and reflect upon what comprises

      instructional effectiveness in an elementary school.  (Relevant MOSTEP Standards:  1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.5,

     1.2.6)  (Draft Framework:  Knowledge 1, 2, 3, 4, 8; Skills 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19; Dispositions 1, 3, 4, 8, 10,

     11, 15) (ACEI Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

        Assessment:  Social Studies Unit, Reflective/Resource Journal, Crisis Management/ Case Study Notebook, and Portfolio

 

2.       discuss and reflect upon issues and views currently being debated in educational circles, both those related to education in general and elementary schools in particular, critically integrating the resulting insights into their own developing teaching philosophies. (Relevant MOSTEP Standards:  1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.2.9)

     (Draft Framework: Knowledge 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10; Skills 2, 8, 17, 18; Dispositions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,

      8,19,) (ACEI Standards 5.1, 5.2, 5.4)  Assessment:  Reflective/Resource  Journal, Portfolio, Crisis Management/Case

         Study Notebook, and Tests

 

3.      analyze and synthesize a typical elementary school curriculum with emphasis on social studies, and examine standards and curriculum frameworks at the district, state, and national levels. 

         (Relevant MOSTEP Standards:  1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.5, 1.2.6, 1.2.8.1, 1.2.8.2)

         (Draft Framework: Knowledge 4, 6, 7, 10; Skills 2, 5, 14 18; Dispositions 1) (Elementary Social

         Studies Competencies 1.1, 1.2. 1.3, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) (ACEI Standards 3.1, 5.2) 

         Assessment:    Reflective/Resource Journal, Tests, Portfolio, and Social Studies unit

 

4.      develop and produce appropriate instructional outcomes for elementary school students in various subjects, with emphasis placed upon social studies.

     (Relevant MOSTEP Standards:  1.2.1, 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.2.8) (Draft Framework: Knowledge 4, 6,

        7, 8, 10, 11, 12; Skills 1, 3, 4, 5, 11,12, 13, 14, 18; Dispositions 2, 4, 10, 12)

        (ACEI Standards 1, 2,  2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4) (Elementary Social Studies Competencies 1.1, 1.2.

        1.3, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)  Assessment:   Social Studies unit, Lesson plans

 

5.      design, develop, and evaluate instruction that meets desired learning outcomes, leads to student engagement an ownership, is flexible enough to meet diverse students needs, and facilitates the development of higher order learning outcomes emphasizing the themes in Social Studies.     

     (Relevant MOSTEP Standards:  1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.2.8) (Draft Framework:

      Knowledge 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12; Skills 1, 3, 4, 5,6, 11, 12, 13, 14; Dispositions 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10)

     (ACEI Standards 1, 2, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4)  (Elementary Social Studies Competencies 1.1, 1.2,

      1.3, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)   Assessment:   Social Studies unit, Lesson plans, Reflective/Resource Journal 

 

6.      develop and produce a social studies thematic unit that emphasizes interdisciplinary connections literacy across the curriculum, multiple types of “texts” and resources, active learning, and the use of technology. 

      (Relevant MOSTEP Standards:  1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.2.6, 1.2.7, 1.2.8)

      (Draft Framework: Knowledge 6, 7, 10, 12; Skills 6, 12, 13, 19; Dispositions 1, 4, 9,)

        (ACEI Standards 2.8) (Elementary Social Studies Competencies 1.1, 1.2. 1.3, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

      Assessment:   Social Studies unit

 

 

COURSE ASSESSMENT:

 

1.  Artifact/Portfolio Notebook

 Each student will submit a final portfolio at the end of the semester.  The portfolio demonstrates the student’s growth throughout the semester.  It includes a detailed instructional unit and various other artifacts, both from class work and work at the practicum site.  Most of the artifacts in this portfolio will later be incorporated into the departmental portfolio required at the completion of student teaching.  See the attachments, “Portfolio Checklist” and the “Portfolio Rubric” for more details on what is included in the portfolio and how it will be assessed.  Detailed instructions will be given for each portfolio element during the course of the semester.

 

2.  Tests over Farris text chapters

Reading and comprehending the ideas in the Farris text is important, and tests over the material ensure individual accountability for the important ideas found there.  There will be four (4) tests, each covering four chapters of the text.  Test items will be a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and constructed response (sometimes known as “essay”) items.  There will be designated points for each item and the four grades will be recorded as percentages, and then averaged.  Dates for the tests are given in the section, “Tentative Schedule”.

 

3. Crisis Management/Case Studies

Each week the class will be presented with a crisis management case study.  The instructor will model a framework for working with crisis management/case studies.   Then, students will be given a crisis/case study each week for group discussions.  During the discussions, the class will need to use this information to compile a Crisis Management Notebook.  After the class discussion, the instructor will usually have a reaction prompt (or a choice of prompts) for you to do a “quick-write”.  If a student is absent from a Friday session, she/he must still write out notes and reaction just as if she/he was present, and turn that in the following Monday.  That way the student can still get the benefit of the ideas in the crisis management/case study, though not the benefit of peer and instructor ideas.  The notebook will be collected near the end of the semester.

 

4.  “Process” Drafts of unit

            There are a number of assignments listed in the tentative course schedule.  Most of these assignments are components of a thematic instructional unit that will become a major piece of your portfolio.  The assignments are “process drafts”; they will receive extensive instructor input and suggestions.  Students are expected to revise and develop these drafts as their thematic unit takes shape, polishing them and using ideas from instructor comments to make the final product as good as it can be.  These drafts themselves will not receive letter grades, but progress reports will be noted as follows:

 

                        4:  Draft is of high quality with no real need to revise

                        3:  Draft is of high quality with only minor fine-tuning needed.

2:  Draft is of minimally satisfactory quality but needs some changes

      and/or development.

1:  Draft is on the right track, but substantial revisions and/or development

       are needed.

0:  Draft is not acceptable.  Students receiving this assessment should meet

       with the instructor to negotiate a resubmission date with the instructor

        and discuss the problems in the draft.  Drafts should be resubmitted

        as many times as needed to achieve the desired quality.

 

            It is important that drafts be submitted on time so that prompt feedback will be possible.  Students will receive a point for each draft turned in on schedule.  Points will be deducted for late drafts.  The total for the various drafts will be amassed for the final grade computation.

 

5.  Core Assessment:  Social Studies Unit  All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the relevant       Department Learning Outcomes.  The purpose of this assignment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructional modalities.  The core assessment for this course is a Social Studies Unit.  The following is a brief explanation of the assignment.

 

A complete unit incorporating the elements and strategies defined in class will be submitted on the date listed in the tentative schedule.  This unit must be very detailed and meet the standards of the scoring guide.  A scoring rubric will be given early in the semester that will define the requirements of the final product.  The integrated unit with an essential question must include at least 10 lesson plans.  Formative and/or cumulative evaluative procedures must be included.  A title page, Contextual Factors, Essential Question, Unit Rational, Outline, an interdisciplinary map, linkage to National Social Studies Standards and Missouri Standards, Unit Outcomes, Initiation Activity/lesson, Design for Instruction, 10 lesson plans, Assessment Plan, and bibliography are also required elements in this unit. (Assesses course objectives 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6)

 

 6.  Resource/Study Notebook 

Each student will devise and maintain an organized plan of materials and notes for use as reference material for the Praxis test and for his/her future classroom.  This activity will be submitted once during the semester to allow the instructor to examine the organizational plan and again at the end of the semester to access its completion.

 

7.  Attendance

      Attendance at each class is important!  Points are earned for each class attended.  Adjustment for any “excused” absences will be made at the end of the semester for record keeping purposes.

 

8.  Final Exam

         Students will be asked to write a lesson plan on a topic given by the instructor.

       

 

 

GRADING PLAN:                  Attendance                                             10%

            Social Studies Unit                                     50%                        

                                                Crisis Management/Case Studies               5%                                                                                                                Reflective/Resource Notebook                  5%

                                                Lesson Plans/daily assignments                 5%

                                                Department Portfolio                                5%

                                                Farris Chapter Tests                                 5%

                                                    Final                                                   15%

 

In addition, any student who misses three classes, regardless of whether or not the absence is excused, will be administratively

 

LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: Timely completion of assignments is required.  Late work will be accepted up to one week late, but the grade will be reduced.  Late submissions of drafts, presentations, reports, resource and crisis notebook, unit, and portfolio will result in a grade reduction of 25%.  Absolutely no work will be accepted after the assigned time of the final. Any missing work/assignments will be recorded as a “zero”.

 

CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT: The policy on appropriate conduct as defined in the student handbook will be enforced.  Conflicts will be administered in the procedures outlined in the handbook.

Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drive crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

 

 

COURSE TOPICS/DATES/ASSIGNMENTS:

Week

Date

Topics/Assignments

One

Jan 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan. 12

Course Orientation/Introductions

The course portfolio

The course summary notebook

MOSTEP standards

Practicum Placement

Team building activity

Read: Practicum Fieldwork

                        Manual

           Eggen, Chapter 1

 

 

 

 

The Practicum Fieldwork Manual

Forms used in Fieldwork

Introduction of  Interdisciplinary

             thematic unit  

Writing the Unit Rationale Draft (Goals, Learning Outcomes)

Discuss: Eggen Chapter 1

 Plans for visiting school placements

Crisis Management/Case Study 1  

Read: Farris, Chapter 1

 

Two

Jan. 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan. 19

Building Visit or

Elementary Curriculum

Social Studies Curriculum

Interdisciplinary Instruction

Building an Interdisciplinary  “map”for your

             thematic unit

Crisis Management/Case

Study 2   

Read: Eggen, Chapter 2,

Discuss Chapter 1 in Farris Text

Assignment:  Visit library for unit Topics

     

 

 

 

 

  

Building Visit or

Missouri’s Show-me Standards and

        Curriculum Frameworks

National organizations and their  standards

Teaching Strategy: Direct Instruction

Test:  Farris Chapter 1

Assignment due:  Unit topic

Discuss:  Eggen Chapter 2

Assignment :  Lesson Plan     

Read: Farris,  Chapter 2

Read:  Eggen Chapter 9

 

 

 

 

Three

Jan. 24 & 26

Building Visit or

Curriculum Alignment

“Linkage” between your thematic

        unit and state/national standards

Teaching Strategy: Direct Instruction

Assignment Due:  Unit topic

Discuss Eggen Chapter 9

Crisis Management/Case Study 3

Discuss Chapter 2 of Farris text

Assignment:  Write Direct Instruction

 

 

 

 

Four

Jan. 31

Analyzing and “mapping” unit content

 Using  multiple resources

  Writing Objectives and Goals

              Bloom’s Taxonomy

              Domains (Cognitive, Affective,

                                 Psychomotor)

 Teaching Strategy: Lesson Plan Writing

 Assignment due:  Rational draft                     

Test: Farris Ch. 2

Assignment: Interdisciplinary Map 

                       5 Outcomes/Goals for unit

Read: Farris  Chapter 3&4

Crisis Management/Case Study 4 

 

 

 

 

 

Incorporating models and frameworks

Complete:  Lesson Plan Writing

Discuss Chapters 3 & 4 of Farris text

Read: Eggen Chapter 6

Assignment:  “Linkage” to NCSS Themes,

Due:  Direct Instruction Lesson

           Interdisciplinary Map

 

 

 

                                                    

 

Five

Feb. 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 9

Teaching Strategy: Concept attainment,

                               Concept Development

 

Test: Farris Ch. 3 & 4

Discuss: Eggen, Chapter 6

Read: Farris  Chapter 5 & 6

            Eggen, Chapter 5

Assignment:Concept Attainment lesson

Due:  “Linkage” to NCSS Themes

           5 Outcomes/Goals

Crisis Management/Case Study 4 

 

 

 

 

 

Incorporating models and frameworks

Strategy: _________________

Discuss Chapters 5 & 6 of Farris text

Discuss Eggen Chapter 5

Assignment:  “Linkage” Mo Frameworks,

Read:  Eggen, Chapter 7

                                                        

 

Six

Feb. 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 16

Teaching Strategy: Classroom Discussion

                                                       Model

 Discuss:  Eggen Chapter 10

Test: Farris, Chapters 5 & 6

Read: Farris Chapters 7 & 8

Assignment: Write Bloom’s Questions

Read:  Eggen, Chapter 3

 

 

 

Discuss:  Eggen, Chapter 3       

Crisis Management/Case Study 6

Discuss Farris Chapters 7 & 8

Assignment due: 

               Bloom’s Questions

 Assign:  Classroom Discussion Model

                                 Lesson Plan

 

 

 

 

Seven

Feb. 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 23

Designing instructional activities

Sustain interest by varying activities,

          cooperative grouping, etc.

Aligning instructional activities with

           instructional outcomes

Teaching Strategy: Cooperative Groups

Read:  Eggen, Chapter 4

Crisis Management/Case Study 7

Test Farris, Chapters 7 & 8

Due:  Classroom Discussion lesson Plan

        

 

 

 

 

Meeting individual needs

Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience

Learning styles

Multiple Intelligences

Realities of instructional planning:

                         resources and time

Teaching Strategy:  Differentiated Instruction

Assignment:  Cooperative group lesson plan

Read: Farris Chapter 9 & 10

Discuss:  Eggen Chapter 4

 

 

 

Eight

Feb. 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar. 2

Building teaching strategies

Graphic organizers

Teaching Strategy

Crisis Management/Case Study 8

 Discuss Chapter 9 & 10 of Farris text

Read:  Eggen Chapter 10

Assignment due:  Cooperative group lesson

                             plan

 

 

Film Graphic Organizers

             

Assignment:  Graphic Organizer lesson

Read:  Eggen, Chapter 10   

Test:  Farris Text 9 & 10

 

 

                

Nine

Mar. 7

Fall Break

 

Ten

Mar. 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar. 16

Assessment (Classroom and other types)

               “Triangulation”

Aligning assessment with outcomes and

                 instructional activities

Crisis Management/Case Study 9

Teaching Strategy  Brain Based

 Read: Farris Chapters 11 & 12

Read:  Eggen, Chapter 8

 

 

 

Assessment: Continued 

                     Scoring Guides, Unit assessment

                     Self Assessment Plans

Teaching Strategy _Problem  Based_________

Discuss: Farris Chap. 11 &12

Discuss:  Eggen, Chapter 8

 

 

 

 

Eleven

Mar. 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar. 23

Economics Thread

Sharing of site lessons

Teaching Strategy  _____________________

Assignment: Read Farris Chapters 11&12

 

 

 

 

Portfolios

Parent Teacher Conferences

Teaching Strategy  ____________________

Crisis Management/Case Study 10

Assignment due:  Test Farris Chap. 11&12

 

 

 

 

Twelve

Mar. 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar. 30

Philosophy of Education

Assignment due:  Completed Unit with

                        Teaching Strategies 

Assignment:  Read Farris Chapters 13&16

 

 

 


Portfolio Workshop

Teaching Strategy _____________________

 

 

 

Thirteen

Apr. 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr. 6

Portfolio Workshop

Teaching Strategy  _____________________

Crisis Management/Case Study 12

Assignment due:

Discuss Farris,Chapters 11&16

 

 

Portfolio Workshop

Teaching Strategy  ______________________

Test Farris,Chap. 11 & 16,

 

 

 

                    

Fourteen

Apr. 11

 

 

 

 

Apr. 13

Portfolio Workshop

Teaching Strategy  _____________________

 Read Farris 14 & 15            

 

 

 

Portfolio Workshop conclusion

Intensive Curriculum Review/Praxis

Crisis Management/Case Study 13

Discuss Farris 14 & 15

 

Fifteen

Apr. 18

 

 

 

 

 

Apr. 20

Intensive Curriculum Review/Praxis

Teaching Strategy  _____________________

Test Farris 14 & 15

 

 

 

Intensive Curriculum Review/Praxis

Teaching Strategy __________________

Crisis Management/Case Study 14     

 

 

 

Sixteen

Apr. 25

 

 

 

 

 

Apr. 27

Intensive Curriculum Review/Praxis

Teaching Strategy ___________________

 

 

 

 

Topics:  Course conclusion/evaluation

Assignment due:  Department portfolio, with all elements present and “polished”.

Procedures for portfolio pickup will be discussed.

 

 

 

May 2

Final at 1:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY: “Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community.  Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.” Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

 

PLAGIARISM: “Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another’s idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing.”  Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

 

ATTENDANCE POLICY:

Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

NOTE: An attendance report of “P” (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

 

 

DISABILITY GUIDELINES: Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

 

COPYRIGHT NOTIFICATION: This material is copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

 

Topics for ED 359A Journal Entries

 

Although no two-practicum journals will be alike, because no two-practicum experience are alike, the following topics are to be written about all students in addition to (or more likely, in conjunction with) general practicum observations and reflections.  Gather ideas by talking to people at the school site, observing, reading, etc.

 

Required Topics:

·         How does your cooperating teacher use district and state curriculum guides?  If possible, look at some of the notebooks used for this.  How do these curriculum guides influence what goes on in the actual classroom?

 

·         How does your teacher set up lesson plans?  Reflect on the decisions as well as the practical constraints of lesson planning.  Find out what principals typically require.

 

·         Ask the cooperating teacher for an outline of the classroom’s daily/weekly schedule.  Then reflect on this.  What do you notice?  What does the schedule reveal about priorities?

 

·         Write self-evaluations for lessons you present in the classroom.  What do you think you did well?  What would you do differently next time?  Include some of both!  React to any feedback you receive from children, peers, teachers, etc.  Were the instructional objectives of the lessons generally met?  Did the children learn what they were intended to learn? 

 

·         Get your teacher’s perspective on parent relationships and parent-teacher conferences.  If allowed, sit in on a conference and/or other event involving parents (e.g. a room party) and react to that.  (Some schools, teachers, and parents are happy to do this, and some are not.  Use good sense, and remember confidentiality.)

 

·         Visit as many other classrooms as possible—across grade levels and even “special” classes.  Go to art, music, P.E., etc.  Reflect upon what you observed and learned there.  Talk to the “special” teachers about their unique challenges.  Talk to all kinds of school personnel, from the principal to the custodian and the lunchroom personnel.  You will learn from them!

 

·         Write about social studies instruction and how it is delivered in your school and classroom.  This part may be integrated within other entries (e.g., practicum entries or entries from visits as described in the previous topic on this list).  If there are attempts to integrate other subjects with social studies, please reflect on that.

 

·         As you observe instruction in your assigned classroom as well as others, notice and reflect upon the ways students and teachers communicate and mis-communicate.  What kinds of questions are asked?  What kinds of responses do teachers give to children?  How do peers relate to each other?

 

·         Describe the various types of teaching strategies you see and your reactions to them, looking especially for strategies that go beyond the traditional and that aim at higher-level outcomes.

 

·         Talk to your cooperating teacher about how she sets up her grade book and grading system, and some of the unique challenges that are posed by assessment.  Do this around the time grades are coming out, and you will probably get an earful!  Reflect on the problems and challenges of assessment and grading.

 

·         What do teachers at the site do to further their own professional development?  Often you can hear them talking about this at lunch or in other casual settings.  What organizations do teachers belong to?  What further coursework are they taking?  What do they read?  Reflect about how you will continue to grow as a professional even after you complete your certification program.

 

·         Write about special children at the practicum site—children who pose challenges, children with special needs, children who mean a lot to you, children you will remember.  Reflect on how you might work with these children when you have your own classroom.

 

·         Write about the lesson accommodations the classroom teacher makes for the children who have special needs or handicaps.  Reflect on your plans to accommodate your lesson plans for these children.

 

·         Reflect on your own strengths as well as areas you want to improve on as you think ahead to student teaching.  What are the practicum and the class teaching you about yourself?