This past week contained lots of excitement because I was trained to be a substitute. I will be able to substitute in my collaborating teacher’s classroom if she is ever out but I cannot substitute for any other teacher while I am an intern. I am really excited for this opportunity provided by Kelly Services.
Over this past week I also designed and implemented all of the lessons for Social Studies in my classroom. (I was unable to teach Social Studies on Wednesday because I was being trained as a substitute at that time). I was very happy this week to see my lessons go from plans to practice. The standard that I taught this week was “SS.1.C.3.2 Recognize symbols and individuals that represent American constitutional democracy.” By designing this lesson plan, I meet the Florida Educator Accomplished Practice (FEAP) 1A: “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.”
I had previously taught the students about symbols and what the definition of symbols is but I wanted to continue to discuss symbols because I want my students to understand the American culture that surrounds them everyday. In my school, we say the Pledge of Allegiance and we listen to the Star-Spangled Banner everyday. By teaching the students about symbols, I can help them recognize these symbols and gain a deeper understanding of their meaning. This allows me to meet FEAP 3E: “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences” because I had the students make explicit connections between their experiences and the symbols we learned about.
Teaching symbols is important in the future because it connects to the standard that I am teaching next week: “SS.1.A.2.4 Identify people from the past who have shown character ideals and principles including honesty, courage, and responsibility.” This standard connects to other standards about being responsible (SS.1.C.2.2 and SS.1.C.2.1), showing kindness (SS.1.C.2.4), and helping the community (SS.1.C.2.3). This shows that I will meet FEAP 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” These standards allow the students to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a good citizen in their communities.
When I taught the lesson on symbols, I wanted to give students an in depth look at symbols that they interact with everyday and a glance at other symbols that they may be familiar with. I spent a day teaching students about the Pledge of Allegiance, the flag of the United States of America, and the national anthem. I referenced some books on Myon in order to help foster understanding. By doing this, I met FEAP 2G: “Integrates current information and communication technologies.”
Our National Anthem by Norman Pearl, Illustrated by Matthew Skeens
The Pledge of Allegiance by Norman Pearl, Illustrated by Matthew Skeens
Since these books were slightly above their reading comprehension levels, I decided to only use key pages that taught the students the information that I thought was necessary for them to understand the symbols. For example, in The Pledge of Allegiance, I let the students listen to the part that explained each line so they could gain a deeper understanding of the Pledge as they recite it each morning.
By integrating Myon with the student’s current Social Studies textbook, I met FEAP 3G: “Apply varied instructional strategies and resources, including appropriate technology, to provide comprehensible instruction, and to teach for student understanding.”
When I finished the lesson about these symbols, I had the students fill out an exit ticket by writing about one symbol that they had learned. This allowed me to meet FEAP 1D: “Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning.” I allowed the students to write down the name of the symbol and/or draw a picture of the symbol. I wanted to make sure that I differentiated the lesson like this so the students would not be limited by language. To my surprise, every single student was able to show me a symbol that they had learned about. Many wrote about the flag, but there were also many answers of the Pledge of Allegiance and a few wrote about the Star-Spangled Banner. One student wrote that the “stars” on the flag are symbol, which I allowed because I did mentioned that each of the stars represents a state in the U.S.A, which of course is still a symbol of the country.
I was not able to teach much this week because I was not in the classroom Tuesday morning due to a meeting with my Reading Content Coach of the Residency Program, on Wednesday I was trained as a substitute, and on Thursday I had my usual college courses. I am so excited to get back into the classroom next week. I am glad that I have had an opportunity to plan out and implement an entire week of lessons in a subject area. I hope that next week’s lessons will connect well to this past week. I also cannot wait to start taking the lead in other areas of the classroom so I can gain more teaching experience!