My cooperating teacher and I set up a pacing guide in which we planned out when and how I would take over each subject in the classroom during the course of my ten week student teaching period. Below you will find various lessons I taught during my practicum experiences in the fall semester and student teaching in the spring. Due to the extensive experience teaching each core subject I can confidently proclaim that I feel well-prepared to enter my own classroom. I look forward to continuing to incorporate best practices and research based methods into my teaching and hope to have the opportunity to share and learn from my colleagues.

Reading: In my reading methods course I prepared and taught a guided reading lesson in a Kindergarten classroom at Stonehouse. I introduced the mid-range ability group of students to a book entitled "Thanksgiving" by first going through a quick picture walk. We then read through the book as a group, after which the students read independently with their tubaloos.
Throughout student teaching I taught many mini lessons and small group lessons during our reading workshop, which took place for an hour and a fifteen minutes each day. We have five ability-based guided reading groups in our classroom: a boys' literature group, girls' literature group, average ability group, a low ability group, and a student in his own group because he is need of extra intervention (Competency 10). The boys and girls literature groups are essentially self-proficient as students receive a job each week and then meet to discuss the book. The boys I worked with during student teaching were reading Henry and the Paper Route and the girls were reading Beezus and Ramona. When the groups met I would sit to monitor discussion and facilitate the meeting, writing notes as to how well each group member performed their job. In the average group, I had to lift my scaffolding higher to meet the needs of these individuals. Over the course of student teaching I worked with these children for a total of about four weeks. I devised lesson plans with writing activities, word study connections, vocabulary, and comprehension questions for the students to complete independently during our reading workshop block for Cracking Up: A Story About Erosion and Animals of the Ice and Snow. Here is a sample poster the students created to demonstrate their knowledge of the four types of erosion they had learned about in reading Cracking Up.

Reading with Guided Reading Group
Modeling Poetry

Each day we had a twenty five minute period set aside for writing and I taught several lessons as part of a unit on Poetry. For one lesson, I first read several free verse poems aloud and then proceeded to model writing free verse poetry. I brainstormed my ideas and thought aloud as I wrote the poem on the easel (to the right) to give the students an authentic modeling and allow students to see how they should go about writing a poem. Students waited with anticipation as I wrote each phrase of my poem, providing evidence that they were engaged and anxious to write their own poems (Competency 11 & 13).

Math: As part of my mathematics methods course I taught a lesson on rounding to the nearest thousand. Pictured to the right is one of my students carefully using the rounding tool that I created with a string and paper bead. The rounding tool gave students a visual aid and engaged students in learning about rounding, a topic that proves to be potentially dull. Manipulatives are very important in math and I made an effort to use them wherever possible (Competency 12).
While student teaching I planned and taught a lesson on Adding and Subtracting decimals (VA SOL 3.7, 3.12). The introduction and modeling with base ten blocks were performed in whole group and then students were divided into smaller ability groups to continue adding and subtracting decimals using base ten blocks. My cooperating teacher, a paraprofessional, and myself each were responsible for a group and were able to pace the group depending on their level of understanding (Competency 10). The students in my group were the lowest in terms of ability and included many of the students with IEPs in my class. Thus, these students tended to especially like the visuals provided by the manipulatives. Following group work we then reconvened as a class to work on practice SOL items in
Students engaged using rounding tool
order to give students an actual representation of the format adding and subtracting decimals questions will take on the SOL. My university supervisor observed this lesson and commented on my ability to use clear language, differentiate and utilize a variety of teaching techniques (Competency 12).

Science: During student teaching we studied the experimental design and as part of the unit we performed an experiment using lego cars. Students created a constant car and then changed their cars, making hypotheses as to whether the change would affect how far the car traveled. Students were thrilled to perform the experiment and quickly grasped the concepts of hypothesis, results, repeated trials, and conclusions.
In small groups they worked together to problem solve and make educated guesses, ultimately becoming inquisitive scientists. These groups were developed such that there was heterogeneous grouping, with groups composed of differing ability levels and learning styles. Looking back at the grouping, I am pleased at how smoothly the experiment ran and how well the students worked together. The students truly acted like scientists to think critically about their results and determine whether their hypotheses whether or not their hypotheses were supported (Competency 14).

When teaching about Soil I utilized several teaching techniques to illustrate the concept of conservation (Competency 12). Students first watched a demonstration in which I compared the earth to an apple and demonstrated how much of the earth actually contains soil suitable for plant growth. Then students highlighted pertinent information in their interactive notes and drew illustrations to help them remember the concept of conservation and important nutrients soil provides. To conclude the lesson students performed a "soil study" in which they described the feel, look and smell of soil they had collected from home. The various instructional strategies differentiated the lesson to best meet the needs of the diverse learners in my classroom. My visual learners preferred the demonstration, while my auditory enjoyed the discussion components of the lesson, and my kinesthetic learners were quite excited to physically touch and handle the soil samples. The student in the video to the right is reading aloud the observations he has made about his soil sample, demonstrating his ability to use descriptive language to make observations. After teaching the lesson I was able to formally reflect upon the video tape of the taught lesson, comparing it to my lesson plan, to determine the effectiveness of my teaching and strengths and weaknesses of the lesson (Competency 9).

Social Studies: As part of my social studies methods course I taught a lesson on explorer Jacques Cartier. During the lesson we discussed how he was a mariner and one of my students is featured in the video to the right. She demonstrates excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills as she discusses the meaning of a mariner (Competency 14). Due to the fact that the students had not had experience with a great deal of powerpoint presentations I chose to integrate technology to make the lesson more engaging. To conclude the lesson I incorporated a cute video of Jacques Cartier singing a song to the tune of Frere Jacques to help the students remember the key facts about his voyage. The students were thrilled to sing along with the video and to this day sing the tune to when we review explorers as you can tell from the short clip below (Competency 12 & 13).