Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Phase III By: Maira Reyes

o Assessing Prior Knowledge- After teaching this lesson and being exposed to different ways of assessing prior knowledge throughout the semester, I realized that the introductory activity that we did in our lesson was a good one although not as successful as it would have been with younger students. However, I do think that the celery activity didn’t give as accurate results as we would have wanted. I’m pretty sure that students would have been a little confused and or disappointed by not seeing the results (celery changing color). For this, I feel that it would be good to do the celery activity a day before the lesson, right before leaving home as an introduction for the next day’s lesson. This way, the students might be eager to see results the next day and at the same time we are allowing more time for the celery to actually change color. The teacher may go over what the celery activity consist of (mainly observing). The next day, assessing prior knowledge, the class may discuss the observations on the celery and discuss what happened as well as make predictions.
o Planning Instruction- It was nice to plan the lesson integrating technology. Although, it was a bit hard since many schools do not have the availability of technology resources and thinking about it made me lose time. However, it was nice to learn about the variety of software programs and technology that one can integrate. This makes the lessons a lot more interesting and less boring. I definitely see myself implementing some of the technology that I learned through the semester in my future classroom.
o Designing Instruction- For me, this part took a lot to figure and design in a way that things would flow smoothly. It was time consuming trying to figure out different centers that would not be boring and children would enjoy. I do feel like we could have added a bit more of technology and less worksheet. Students learn best when involved in fun and motivating learning activities. If I were to teach this exact same lesson, the children would probably be bored and disengaged after completing the second center involving worksheets. I now understand that designing the instruction must be well thought out keeping in mind the students that one has and putting you in the place of the child, “how would I like to learn?”
o Planning Assessment- We used a rubric to assess the student’s center activities. Through this semester, I learned that student tend to perform better and have a more completed work when making them accountable for the work they must complete. For this, it would have been nice if we would have given the students a checklist of what they must complete in each center. The rubric worked well, but it mainly helped us (teachers) for the grading process. Indeed, we had a few flaws in the first rubric we designed and some parts had to be modified which made it more clear as well.
o Instructional Decisions/Teaching- there were some modifications that had to be done while teaching the lesson. The biggest one was having students attend the centers as they finished. Not all kids work at the same pace, therefore this is a modification that had to be done since some students that were done started getting bored and lead to disengagement. Thankfully we were able to get them back by making this decision. Through teaching the lesson, I learned that as prepared as you are, there will always be some issues that will arise where as a teacher you must be quick at making thoughtful at decisions and being flexible.
o Assessment of learning- As an informal assessment, we monitored around the class asking and clarifying questions which really made me aware of where the students were as far as the lesson comprehension. For the summative assessment, the students turned in a book including their entire center activities which I thought turned out really well and it was easy to assess/grade using the rubric. Throughout the semester, I have learned the importance of ongoing assessment which does not necessarily mean it should be formal but rather just informally asking questions. Implementing this strategy helped the assessment part be successful.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

  1. Describe (a) how your understandings for each the categories listed below changed based on your experiences this semester and (b) describe how this might impact your future teaching experiences.

    Assessing Prior Knowledge- this is hard to do in our classroom, but we went over a power point presentation and asked questions of the students. This allowed us to find out what our classmates know. This would also be useful to use in my future classroom. Another great idea is to have the students take a test that is not graded. Assessing students is very helpful to find out what you need to do to help your students.

    Planning Instruction- This was not at easy as it looks. We had different points of views on both what and how we should teach. It was a good learning experience on how to compromise. I had a lot of fun though. 

    Designing Instruction-  This was not bad at all. the hardest part was having to get the flowers for the project and Amanda S. Was so kind as to buy some for our project. This was one of the most fun!

    Planning Assessment-  This was also an easy area once we had completed the rest of the planning. We chose to make a rubric that would cover completion as well as creativity. This was one of the easy steps. We also did informal assessments while they worked on their books. 

    Instructional Decisions/Teaching-I learned that no matter how much you plan, something odd can go wrong. I was sick and could not talk to the whole class. I was forced to teach everyone in a lot of small groups. I was the only one who had learned the program so the rest of my groups could not help teach everyone when so I fell behind. But it turned out ok in the end i was able to get to everyone. next time  I would have my classmates learn my part for extra support.

    Assessment of Learning-This was a lot of fun. I really liked to see all the work. A lot of the centers were choice driven and their were a lot of creative ways to show the different parts of the flower. We used a rubric to make sure we graded fairly and made sure everyone had all parts. I will use both completeness and rubrics in my future classroom.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reflection by Amanda Proctor

Phase II

Instructional Decisions/Teaching: Describe and justify modifications made

  • for individual needs
    • I was forced to make adjustment for myself because I was sick.  I had lost my voice and could not teach whole group. I was forced to teach the students in small groups instead. It did not work as well but it was the best I could do! We also had set groups in the beginning of the class. Each set of students were at a specific table and they would rotate, this did not work as planned. Everyone was finishing at different times and therefore they all moved around in a more free and casual way.
  • to maintain alignment to goals and objectives
    • We had to remind everyone that they needed to go to all cents before the time was up. Because I was explaining the bar graph in small groups instead of whole class it seemed to take longer and our time was rushed. Yet I feel that we did stay on topic very well.

Assessment of Learning: Describe the evidence you have that indicates
  • your students' level of success in achieving the lessons goals
    • After the students had finished all the centers they made their work into a little book and decorated the cover. We were able to asses who did what as well as how much information they understood form each lesson. I was happy with the work that was turned in and feel that the students mastered the material.
  • the level of success you had in teaching the lesson
    • I feel that our lesson vent very well. I was surprised at how long making the bar graph took and would like to change that back to whole group. With individuals working in small groups it seemed their were too many questions directed at us to help them, in that aspect it was a little overwhelming. On the other hand I was sick, so maybe it was just me that felt that way! over all I really enjoyed teaching this lesson and would use this in my classroom one day!

Links to The Content Info;

  • From this link I was able to make the matching flash cards that was at one center.
  • This link is where we found tow of the worksheet for the students to do at centers

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Flowers Lesson Plan

  1. Designing Instruction:

    is contextually and logically organized- We have engaging, fun to visit centers that we will be going over before we send them off.

    uses varied instructional methods that meet individual student needs and target higher order thinking skills- To make sure that we are helping all students we will be going over how to do each center as well as model how to use kidspiration. Working in groups will also be a benefit to students, they can ask peers for help if need be.

    integrates technology from a constructivist perspective- We will be using the computers as dictionaries as well as a thesauruses. We will be teaching them how to use kidspiration for the graphing. The pad cam will show the whole class how the celery is taking the food color up.

  2. Lesson Plan

    Technology Integrated Lesson Plan

    Lesson Title: Flowers
    Teacher: Maira Reyes, Amanda Proctor, Amanda Shively
    Subject: Science
    Grade Level: 3rd

    Lesson Objectives: Students will identify, sort, describe and graph the length of plant parts to create a book.

    Strand4, PO 1, Describe the function of the following plant structures:
    · Roots - absorb water
    · Stems - provide support
    · Leaves - synthesize food
    · Flowers - attract pollinators and produce seeds for reproduction

    Technology Integration: The teacher will use the pad cam to show the celery activity to the class. Teacher will demonstrate how to use the graphing tool in kidspiration using the smart board. Students will use kidspiration to graph the length of plant parts. Students will use online search engines to seek adjectives describing a plant of their choosing.

    Differentiated Instruction:

    The use of these meaningful activities will engage students in the lesson. A variety of pictures, books, hands on manipulatives, demonstrations, gestures and detailed instructions for center activities will scaffold the learning and meet individual students’ needs. Students are given the opportunity to enhance their learning through prompting questions and further research. Encouraging parental involvement in the lesson will provide students with necessary support and a model for learning.

    Introduction/ Anticipatory set: Teacher will have celery, a clear glass, water and blue food coloring set on the pad cam. Teacher will place the celery in the glass full of water and ask students what they think will happen when food coloring is added. Students will raise hands and discuss possibilities such as, only the bottom of the celery being colored, all of the celery being dyed, etc. The teacher will not provide the answer but leave the experiment on the pad cam for students to observe throughout center time. Students will then watch the YouTube video, which will introduce lesson topics and provide background knowledge. Teacher will explain that there will be four centers and what the expected outcome of each center is. Students will spend approximately 15 minutes at each center and rotate centers as a group.

    Center 1 (sorting/defining): At this center Students will be given flashcards with definitions to various plant parts and pictures of plant parts. There will be multiple correct answers. Students will then match the terminology, to the corresponding pictures and to the definition. They will then label their plant anatomy diagram accordingly and then color their worksheet with plausible colors.

    Center 2 (graphing): Students will be given plants and plant parts to measure. They will then use kidspiration to graph their results using bar graphs. They must include labels, a title and color.

    Center 3 (adjectives/ descriptions): Students will be supplied with dictionaries and thesauruses so they may come up with adjectives to describe their chosen flower. They will then use the adjectives in sentences.

    Center 4 (Flower parts): Students will identify the different parts of actual flowers. They will then sort them in to the categories of roots, stems, flowers, and leaves. On their worksheet they will see pictures of four empty flowerpots. In one flowerpot they will glue roots below the soil line, in another pot they will glue a stem in addition to roots, the third pot will have leaves, a stem and roots. The fourth pot will contain a completed flower. After completing the gluing activity students will label their flower parts and name their completed flower.

    Students will be assessed on their graphs, the correct labeling of terminology (roots, stems, leaves, and flowers), the use of complete sentences that include accurate adjectives describing flowers (center 3), accurate graphing and completeness. See attached rubric.

    Instructional Materials/Resources: markers, pencils, glue, dictionaries, thesauruses, computers, kidspiration, paper, handouts, construction paper for covers, celery, food coloring, glass cup, water, live plants (roots, stems, flowers, leaves), pad cam, rulers, tape measurers, introductory video (, center 4 handout (

    Center 1 handout (


    1 point
    2 points
    3 points
    Center 1
    Students missed more than 2 matches or did not correctly label the diagram.
    Students missed no more than 2 matches and correctly labeled their diagram.
    Students made no errors and used accurate colors.
    Center 2
    Student did not include a part of the graph or had less than three bars.
    Includes labels, title, color and at least three measurements.
    Student graphs more than three plant attributes.
    Center 3
    Student did not draw a flower, include appropriate adjectives or used incomplete sentences.
    Students wrote at least 6 accurate adjectives and used them in a sentence correctly.
    Student wrote at least 8 accurate adjectives and used them in a sentence correctly.
    Center 4
    Plant parts incorrectly sorted or not glued in the correct position on the plant (i.e. root on top of flower)
    Plant parts sorted correctly and glued appropriately on the paper.
    Plant parts sorted correctly, glued appropriately on the paper. And the plant was named.

    Points possible
    Students did not get a long with peers and/or did not complete activities.
    All center activities complete, student worked well with peers.
    Student assisted other students, sought further knowledge and completed activity.


    Flower Lesson Plan Rubric

    Phase III: Amanda Shively

    o Assessing Prior Knowledge- As most students in a college class already have extensive prior knowledge of the four basic plant parts it was difficult to develop a lesson that would challenge them. In a 3rd grade classroom we would have asked the same questions of the students (what do you think will happen?, what do you think this does?, etc.) but we would most likely get more diverse responses. From this point, we, as teachers, would modify the lesson based on the needs of the students.

    o Planning Instruction- The planning stages took slightly longer than I would have expected. This being a technology class, forced me to think about ways that technology could be integrated into a lesson that seemingly had nothing to do with technology. This lesson creation activity gave me the knowledge of several software and program ideas that I could use in my future classroom in all subject areas not just plant parts.

    o Designing Instruction- The lesson came together fairly well, the part that took the longest was narrowing down center ideas. We also wanted to ensure that we integrated other content areas into the lesson aside from science; this took some creative thinking on our part. The biggest thing that I would change in the lesson would be that of adding in a whole group activity at the beginning. This activity would include having students take a nature walk to pick their own plants which they would later use in the centers. It would also be interesting to start this lesson a few days a head of time by having student each make their own flower saturated with food coloring. They could then chart and graph the progression of the water/ food coloring over time (using kidspiration of course). I would also change how the instruction was given regarding how to use the graphing tool on kidspiration. Not only should the instruction be given to the class as a whole it should have also be printed so students could refer to it at the centers. It also seemed as though we were not well prepared for this center as it took a considerable amount of time to explain to each group.

    o Planning Assessment- A rubric seemed to be the only logical way to assess students in this activity. It provided us with a way to come up with concrete and measurable objectives for the students. Our first rubric lacked the ‘measurable’ component and we had to think about ways to make it so children could understand exactly what was expected of them. Based on the abilities of my class I would most likely need to revise the rubric again. This might include changing the number of items to be graphed, have students work in groups or pairs, requiring the adjectives to be used in a paragraph and perhaps even teaching them about other plant parts.

    o Instructional Decisions/Teaching- After teaching the lesson I realized that we had to make quite a few modifications during the lesson. Not all of the students were working at the same pace so I had to accommodate to their needs by allowing them to change centers as individuals instead of as groups. This created quite a debacle at the end as some students were completely finished while others still had 2 centers to complete. I feel that this would likely happen in a 3rd grade classroom as well and I would need to make a fun challenge for students to work on when they had extra time. One idea that I thought of would be to have students create their own flower out of common house hold items and describe how each item depicts the a part of the flower (i.e. a straw is like the roots because it sucks up nutrients). The printers failing did not help as the students needed to print their graphs.

    o Assessment of learning-The rubrics worked very well as a form of summative assessment but I feel that I gained much more insight into the learning of individual students through the lesson itself. Circulating the class and asking questions of students and having students ask questions in return.