All in a Day's Work
My showcase includes work that I have completed throughout the course of my Master of Arts in Education at Michigan State University. During my program, my courses have focused on literacy and technology which have encouraged me to reflect, research, and create work that has made me grow as an educator. Below you will find a collection of my work that gives you an idea about what I have learned during my graduate studies. This section gave me the opportunity to reflect on my growth as an educator as well as motivate me to continue to seek other areas in which I can better my professional skills.
- Research and Case Studies -
Many of my graduate courses through Michigan State University involved research-based papers and projects. These types of assignments involved using the Michigan State Online Library, observing students in my own classroom for a case study, or analyzing my own classroom practices. Below are a few samples of such work.
Analyzing Student Data
This assignment focused on data provided abut two students and their strengths and weaknesses in literacy assessments. Our task was to determine any similarities, analyze data from the assessments and provide a solution to addressing areas needing improvement. These two fictional case studies gave me the opportunity to think critically and develop goals and instructional strategies to use so students reach skill mastery.
Addressing Behavior Challenges Project gave me the ability to identify a problem and understand the behavior problem. I then created a plan for the behavior challenge and implemented the plan to daily instruction. During this project I learned more about professional strategies and was able to identify a strategy that I felt was appropriate for my classroom.
Writing in the Content Areas
As a first grade teacher, writing has been one of them most challenging areas to teach. During this course, I worked on researching the shift between fictional pieces to expository writing. This research gave me a deeper understanding about the logic behind this transition and ways to better instruct my students to prepare them for this shift in standards.
- Creativity and Innovation -
I have had the opportunity to explore my creative side and get outside of my comfort zone through many of my graduate classes. With a focus of technology, I have completed many assignments that have broadened my view and understanding of what it means to be "creative". Below is a collection of some of my creative highlights.
This project challenged me creatively. I developed a telling time game through the use of an online program called Scatch to be used with my Makey Makey kit and my prototyped game controller. From that, I then created a three-day lesson plan to address telling time to the hour, which meets first grade Common Core State Standards, in an innovative way.
Creativity Elevator Pitch
Are we born with creativity? This mentality was challenged during this course. For this project, I used the first grade weather unit to perceive, pattern, model and play to create innovative lessons and experiences for students. I focused on implementing the use of our five senses for students to be given the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the world around them.
Re-designing my ideal classroom to meet the needs of today's students gave me a chance to explore 21st Century Learning methods. Utilizing a new program, I researched and designed a classroom that I believe will be productive, motivating, and accommodating to all students. This re-design was budgeted and compared to my classroom today.
Above you will find a link to some of the ideas that were the driving force behind some of my design decisions.
Problem of Practice
For this course I worked on a problem in my instructional practice. I determined that reading workshop engagement would benefit from evaluation and strategic planning for improvement. I began by observing my classroom, sought advice from colleagues, and utilized research and other online resources for ways to better my reading workshop time.
The Maker Movement is a hot topic. I have researched the way in which learning is transforming and the mindset that all of us are "born makers". How do we then promote this type of learning in our classrooms? This movement has allowed me to explore the world of creating, accepting failures, collaborating, and promoting independence in students as a 21st Century way of educating students.
All images and photo credits: Anna Collins/Creative Commons