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Michelle Joyce Dr.

Wilson EDUC 353 12/12/13 Final Growth Statement This fall semester, Education 353, Integrated Learning Grades 1-3, was an important learning experience for my preparation as a teacher. This course demonstrated our knowledge of skills on how to facilitate learning in grades 1-3. I was able to learn about the appropriate practices, strategies for working with young children and techniques for teaching and learning effectiveness. I also observed a 1st grade classroom and recorded the type of learning environment and compared to what I learned in class. This was an important aspect of the course and a great opportunity for me because it gave me the chance to apply my knowledge and experience what the course focuses on in a real classroom. The requirements for this course were very helpful towards the preparation and process of becoming a teacher. The lesson plans, observation lesson, and field logs were important assessments to apply the knowledge that I learned in class. Throughout the semester I learned a lot about the process towards making a lesson plan and I had a lot of practice creating lessons in different subject areas. I eventually realized that these subjects can be integrated to help the students understand each content area, but through different ways and strategies. Some of the strategies were to work in groups, perform experiments, think like a mathematician, and use of technology like the smart board. I always gave myself enough time to create my lesson plans and to think about effective assessments for the students. These assessments would have the students be able to apply their knowledge from the lesson in creative and grade appropriate projects. In class, we

would prepare for each lesson and concentrate on each subject to learn about the concepts, standards, resources and instructional methods that would be effective for the students. I like how we were able to brainstorm ideas as a group that would help create new ideas for a lesson and to build off ideas from each other to understand how lessons should be followed through. This was helpful towards my learning on how to create lesson plans with the process on how the students will be learning and understanding the information over a period of time. In the beginning of the semester, I wrote my first Literacy Lesson Plan as an education major. There is definitely a lot more techniques that I need to learn about because I did not know about effective strategies for literacy. Some of the effective strategies such as questions to ask the students that will connect to their learning about the book and grade appropriate vocabulary for the students. According to Domain 3, which we studied in class, explained that instruction in the classroom should have high order thinking questions and the teacher builds on to the discussion in the classroom. When I planned for my complete teaching episode at the end of the semester, I was able to incorporate the concepts that needed strengthening in my other lesson and worked on it to be effective in my teaching episode lesson. I also looked back at my field logs, which were very helpful towards my preparation of the lesson because I recorded what kind of methods the teacher used such as clock buddy and for the students to make a prediction about what will happen in the book. My complete teaching episode was a success and the students were engaged in the lesson and I would ask them additional questions for higher order thinking. I think that my teaching episode was my strength throughout the semester

because I was comfortable to perform a lesson in front of a real classroom from the skills that I learned in the class. The resources that we learned about in this course about each subject are important for student learning and differentiation. I noticed that my strengths are also located in the use of materials and resources that can be used in each subject. Technology and manipulatives are important for hands on activities for the students. I learned that the use of objects and manipulatives would be useful for mathematics especially since it is my concentration. Throughout my lesson plans, I used more resources in my lessons that a classroom might provide such as, individual dry erase boards, the smart board, and experiments. Resources are also important for differentiation for students with special needs. In my other education courses, we did not go over differentiation, but I was able to review differentiation in this class because I needed to strengthen it in my lesson plans. I began to develop my lessons throughout the semester so that differentiation is an important factor in the learning activities and instruction. The lessons would give the students different abilities to finish their assessments, such as another worksheet with below level questions or work with an above grade level partner during classwork. I also learned about the needs of English language learners and that lessons need to be differentiated for their abilities. I also learned a lot about ESL students from my observation placement and this course because it is an important topic in the New York City schools and other schools in the area. The students need to have extra practice in the English language and teachers should give them vocabulary in their language for them to understand. There were a lot of ESL students in my observation classroom and I was glad to see the teacher differentiate for these students such as having them work together in

groups and the teacher already knew certain phrases in their language. Differentiation is an important skill that I learned and I was able to incorporate it in my lessons throughout the semester by addressing their needs to understand the lesson through their language. This education course taught me a lot about the curriculum and methods of learning for grades 1-3. I learned important skills that can be used towards my lessons plans and development of the classroom environment that should be included when I become a teacher. I was able to learn about my strengths and improvements throughout the semester and develop my knowledge to help me succeed in my future.