All posts by Melanie Gin

Spring 2019 Internship – Unit Plan w/ Math Focus

Below is a link to an entire unit, seven days worth of material, that planned for use within my second placement during my internship at Salem Church Elementary School.  It encompasses seven days worth of lessons, a summative assessment that is not a test, and fifteen additional resources that can be used to further support student learning in the area of second grade fractions.

Second Grade – Fractions Unit Plan

TEDU 414 – Unit Plan w/ Science Focus

This is a link to a large, group project that I worked on which focuses on the creation of a unit plan for a specific subject and grade. This hypothetical unit was created with the intention of being used within a third grade classroom for science, life processes. The link leads to an entire folder which contains the individual lessons, the unit summary, and the method for summative assessment of the unit.

Third Grade – Life Processes Hypothetical Unit Plan



TEDU 566 – Potential Instructional Activities for Language Arts

Here is a link to three different instructional activities that I performed with my tutoring student during the course of a semester. Each has the activity we did together, as well as an analysis of each, including; reasons for using such an activity with professional, textual support.

Three Instructional Activities from TEDU 566 Tutoring

Activity I: (Technology Incorporated)

  • Activity from Lesson Plan:

Familiar Reading                                                                                                                  SOL 5.6 a & d

  • Objective: The student will successfully re-read their Quickreads passage, listen to themselves reading it, and discuss what they notice about their reading with their tutor with 90-97% accuracy reading and given the reading, a recording device, and prompting from their tutor.
  • Activity: The student will re-read a passage while being recorded, listen to the recording, and discuss what they learned about their reading with this tutor.
  • Materials: Recording device (I-Pad), Quickreads passage “Why Ships Float”


  • Begin by having the student re-read the previous session’s Quickreads passage. Be sure to record the student’s audio as they are reading.
  • When they are finished, have the student take a moment to listen to their reading from the recording.
  • After, ask them how they feel about their reading, what they notice, and what and how they may want to change it.
  • Have them read the passage again and record them again. Be sure to have them listen to it once more before having them discuss again how they feel about it and compare the two times to one another.

Explanation of Use:

For this first activity, my student and I sat down and he re-read aloud a passage that he had previously read the session before. While he was reading, I used the designated I-pad I was given to record his audio as my student read. Once finished, we took a moment to listen to the reading he had done and then discussed not only how he felt about his reading, but what he could then do to make it even better. He mentioned that he wanted to try and read it with more feeling and like he was really interested in boats. We then took the time to re-read the passage and I recorded my student once more. Together, we listened to the new recording and once again discussed how he felt about it and what he thought about the first recording versus the second one.

  • Focus Literacy Component: Fluency
  • Reasoning for Use with Support:

This activity aimed to help build my student’s fluency in terms of prosody, or expression within reading. It not only worked to help my practice with repeated reading of the passage, something that Timothy Rasinski notes is essential to helping build fluency, but it also worked to target voice and feeling with it as well (2012). It did so through having my student listen back and hear how they sound through the recording which then allowed them to focus on how they wanted to change and build upon it from there. They got to consider how important the tone and voice of something is to understanding it, another point in which Rasinski claims is key to mastering fluency with students (2012). With tone and expression, students better understand not only what feeling the author was going for, but the overall message and content of the reading as well. They better intake and process information with the use of feeling and emotional understanding.

Activity II:

  • Activity from Lesson Plan:

New Text                                                                                          SOL 5.6 a & d

  • Objective: The student will successfully read and answer questions on the passage Why Don’t We See Stars in the Daytime? with 90-97% accuracy and successfully complete a HQQ chart with their tutor without error given the book, the chart, questions, and prompting from their tutor.
  • Activity: The student will perform a read aloud and complete a comprehension HQQ chart with their tutor.
  • Materials: Why Don’t We See Stars in the Daytime? passage, HQQ chart, Writing utensil


– Begin by asking the student what they have heard about stars. Record their answer in the ‘H’ sections of the chart. Then ask what questions they have before reading and record their response under the first ‘Q’ section.

– Allow the student to read the passage, keeping a running record as they do.

– When finished, discuss the reading and ask the student if they have any new questions they would like to ask after reading the passage. Record any response under the second ‘Q’ section of the chart.

Explanation of Use:

The second activity was composed of using a graphic organizer, a HQQ chart, with my student as we read a new text about when one is able to see stars in the sky. The H stands for what have I heard, the first Q stands for what questions I have before reading, and the final Q stands for questions I have after reading. We began the activity by filling out both the H and the first Q sections of the organizer. I had my student tell me what they already knew and what they wanted to know and acted as a scribe and model for how to fill out the chart. We then read the passage and once we were finished, I asked my student if they had anymore questions about the reading before I recorded those down in the last Q section and we had a short discussion about the topic at hand.

  • Focus Literacy Component: Comprehension
  • Reasoning for Use with Support:

This particularly activity worked to helped build my student’s comprehension of the passage and their understanding of different techniques that they might use to better comprehend and learn from their readings. With the use of the actual graphic organizer, which Hallie Yopp and Ruth Yopp recommend for helping show students information from text in a structured, easy to follow, organized way, my student was better able to compose their thoughts about the reading and think about it as a whole (2014). My student was better able to think about, and see, what he already knew and what else he wanted to know. Organizers like this help students to better understand information in things that they read because they offer a sense of uniformity (Yopp & Yopp, 2014). Students can see the information more easily, access it more quickly, and in turn use it more effectively than they would with just the book in hand. It works to help supplement reading and build upon comprehension through the use of organizing and putting ideas into student’s own words.

Activity III:

  • Activity from Lesson Plan:

Writing                                                                                             SOL 5.7 i

  • Objective: The student will successfully complete a Frayer model vocabulary chart on a word from the reading How Big is the Moon? Without error given the chart, the reading, and prompting from their tutor.
  • Activity: The student will complete a Frayer model vocabulary chart with their tutor.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Materials: Frayer model chart, Writing utensil, Vocab word, How Big is the Moon? Reading


  • After having the student read the passage and discussing it with them, have the student complete a Frayer model vocab chart for the word “nearest” or “near”. Be sure to include the dictionary definition, a picture, and two other student choices to help them remember the word.

Explanation of Use:

The final activity centered around using chart to help my student better understand a somewhat high frequency word within a new reading passage that they were looking at for that specific session. After my student finished their first reading of the passage, I introduced the Frayer Vocabulary Model chart to them and asked them to think about the word nearest, which they had seen in their reading. I wrote down the word in the center of the model and then worked with my student to successfully fill in each of the surrounding boxes in the chart, the definition, a picture to match, an example, and a sentence using the word. My student completed the boxes and afterwards, we discussed the word and how it might be important to remember it for future use.

  • Focus Literacy Component: Vocabulary
  • Reasoning for Use with Support:

This activity worked to foster a better understanding of a vocabulary term from a reading and also introduce a new way for my student to analyze and work to understand words that they may not be familiar with. My student gained a better understanding of a word through the use of multiple, different facets that encompassed the word through the use of the Frayer Model chart. With it, my student explored not only what the word meant, but also what it might look like, and what some examples of it might be. It allowed for a more creative, student driven approach to understanding a new word, something that Melissa Gallagher and Blythe Anderson argue is an important piece to teaching vocabulary (2016). Not only was my student able to make learning the word more fun and unique with the different areas that had no set, pre-determined answers, but they were also able to make it their own by using their own words and ideas to help them better remember the term. The student took ownership of the work (Anderson & Gallagher, 2016), and so they were able to gain more from the activity than what might otherwise be possible with more limiting approaches.


Anderson, B., & Gallagher, M. (2016). Get All “Jazzed Up” for Vocabulary Instruction: Strategies That Engage. The Reading Teacher, 70 (3), 273-282. Retrieved from

Rasinski, T. (2012). Why Reading Fluency Should Be HOT!. The Reading Teacher, 65 (8), 516-522. Retrieved from

Yopp, H., & Yopp, R. (2014). Literature-Based Reading Activities: Engaging Students with Literary and Informational Text. 59-91. Retrieved from

TEDU 626 – Sample Back to School Night Presentation

This is a sample back to school night presentation that is meant to act as an example of what I might do for back to school night to get families more acquainted with me and my classroom. The hypothetical grade I have created the example for is third grade.

Sample Back to School Night Presentaiton

Conference Attendance – Teachers Of Promise Institute

As of late March, 2019, I have had the honor of attending the Teachers of Promise Institute. At this conference, various education students from all over Virginia and neighboring states were not only recognized as great, promising teachers of tomorrow, but also had the chance to further their understanding of education through a number of different seminars. It was an honor to be recognized as someone with such potential, and I hope to be able to prove myself worthy of such when I do enter into the work field.

The VCU students who attended the Teachers of Promise Institute. I am third from the left.

Philosophy of Education – Revised

This is a short revision to my previous piece on my philosophy of education. With this, I have aimed to try and better encompass my beliefs and understandings of what an educator is in a direct and brief statement.

The role of an educator is ever growing and extremely complex in nature. One must not only act as a beacon of knowledge and information, but then must work numerous ways of ensuring that this information is passed to students in a viable, relatable, and understandable way. This is extremely difficult to do on its own, but that does not fully encompass the role of an educator. One must also be aware of their students and their lives. They must be willing to step back out of their own shoes and do everything that they can to ensure success for each and every child to the best of their abilities. This means going beyond just teaching content. This means that an educator teaches everything, from math and English to life skills and awareness of all facets of the world around us. It is extremely complex and unimaginably difficult. Yet people do it each and every day. They pour themselves into their work and aim to push past the limits of what is plausible and possible to create the best future possible for the next generations.

I aim to cater my own role as an educator to fit within these stringent parameters. I want to be the teacher that is there for my students no matter what they need or when they need it. This will no doubt include long evenings and sleepless nights as I work to perfect lessons and even just to understand students as they come into my life, and I into theirs. With time, patience, and love, I hope to create a classroom, every year, that acts as a place of caring, warm, and learning. Afterall, students learn the best when they feel safe and happy. They learn the best when they feel like they and their input is important, which both of these things are. My role will be difficult and there will be times that I feel it is too much, but I hope to never stop helping students to grow, and I hope that with this, I never stop growing and learning myself.

TEDU 591 – Virtual Tour/Field Trip

This is a write up and exploration of a virtual field trip that can potentially be used in a classroom. It focuses on Mount Vernon, the home of the first United States president, George Washington.

Virtual Field Trip

  1. Title, website address, and grade level of your virtual field trip.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon,, 2nd Grade

  1. General summary of what the site entails.

This is a virtual walk-through of George Washington’s estate, Mount Vernon. It focuses on interactive viewing and exploration of the mansion and its grounds in full color, with the visitor having the ability to both decide on where to go and even how to look around. While exploring, as if on a real tour, the visitor will come across various videos, pictures, historical facts, and stories pertaining to both Washington and his estate. They can stop and click on any of the links to learn more about our first president, where he lived, and how he lived. Over all, it is a nice tool to help students better understand and connect to a historical figure that they need to know.

  1. What VA Standards of Learning AND NCSS standards are met in this virtual field trip?


2.11 The student will identify George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King, Jr., as Americans whose contributions improved the lives of other Americans.


Standard III

  1. describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like;
  2. examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions;


  1. How would you rate this site/trip; okay, good, or super? Explain your rating.

I would give this virtual field trip a rating between good and super. It is extremely informative of George Washington’s life and home and has a multitude of different interactive outlets and resources, all on the site, that would allow for students to be interested in and connect better with what they are learning. It is set up nicely and is very easy to use and guide a class through. The only downside I found, and in my own opinion, is that it had more just simple facts about the actual house and estate than it did about Washington and his contributions to our country. It is helpful to learn about where he lived and what it was like, but it is also important to know what he did for the United States and so I wish that there had been more of that in the virtual field trip, but otherwise it was wonderful.

  1. What was the best component/experience of the site/trip? Explain your response.

The best component of the virtual field trip was how interactive and chalked full of information it was. There is something for everyone to find on the site and it really goes in depth with interesting, fun facts and ideas. It really feels like you are on a tour of the estate grounds with your own tour guide with how it is set up. The immersion really is a great factor for learning and keeping interest. It is also easy to not only navigate and find the information, but also to cater the tour to however you need so that it fits into your classroom’s schedule. One can simply visit the actual mansion if time is restricted or only view certain facts, but at the same time, one can also explore it all and get the full effect of the field trip if time allows. The field trip is just as much what the teacher makes it as it is what the site has in it.

  1. What was the weakest component of the site/trip?  Explain your response.

The weakest component of the site, as I mentioned before, was how it lacked more general information about the historical figure of George Washington. The site contains so much about the house, the grounds, and all of the history behind that, but there are only a few big points made about Washington himself. He contributed so much to the development of this country, and students need to know that, so I wish that the field trip had gone a bit more in depth on the man himself and what his accomplishments were. All in all, the site is fun, informative, and a good for students to see, but it could always have more.

  1. Discuss at least two ways you could use this virtual field trip in your future classroom.

I would love to use this in my future classroom as an introductory activity. I feel as though it would be a good way to first introduce George Washington as an important, historical figure. With the virtual field trip, students would be able to get a real feel for what George Washington was like and how he lived, being able to see how it is different from us as well as how it is the same. Basically, I feel like it would be a good way to generate some interest and relatability to the subject before actually talking to the kids about it and pouring facts and information into their minds about a man they may know nothing about.

            I could also see this field trip being used as a premise for a summative assessment. As a class, we could take the virtual field trip and gain more information about his life, while also having it act as a sort of model for a project-based assessment. For example, students could be tasked with creating their own tour, on posters or through hand made books or brochures, that explain the life of any of the important figures that SOL 2.11 mentions for the children to know about. They could have to explain their lives, how they were important, what their actual contributions were, and any extra things they think would be important to know all tied into an artistic, planned format that can be shared with the class. It could be a good way to see what the children have learned without having to rely on the usual method of testing.

TEDU 591 – Multicultural Concept Map

This is multicultural concept map that I created to tie in multicultural book to several different areas of education. Below is the actual concept map as well as additional explanations for each area of the map.


Social Studies:

  • Activity: Map Activity. Students will work individually with a mapping worksheet to identify Vietnam and the United states on a section of the world map, as well as identify major geographic features surrounding both, such as mountains near both, the continents each are on, the ocean that separates them, and so on.
  • SOL: 3.6 The student will develop map skills by using globes and maps to
  • locate and describe major rivers, mountain ranges, and other geographic features of: 1. b) Asia; & d) North America

Language Arts:

  • Activity: Perspective Writing. Students will take on the perspective of an immigrant moving from their home country to another which speaks a different language, and explore how they might feel, as well as what they might encounter from such an experience. This will be done individually.
  • Activity: Welcoming List. Students will work in groups or pairs and craft a list of guidelines or ideas about how to greet and welcome a new student into their classroom. This should be done with colorful utensils on chart paper so that students can then share their ideas with the whole class afterwards.


  • Activity: Draw the Fair. Individually, students will work on drawing how they believe, based on the details provided in the book, what the Vietnamese fair looked like and what they might find there.
  • Activity: Matchbox Picture. Students will work individually to create a picture or drawing that they would keep in their own, personal matchbox, based on the events in the story. They would then write a small paragraph explaining why.

Physical Education/ Movement:

  • Activity: Dragon Dance. As a class, students will work to not only make props, a dragon with paper coils, but also preform a dance based off the dragon dances in New Year parades in the classroom in a conga line style.
  • SOL: 3.1 The student will demonstrate mature form (all critical elements) for a variety of skills and apply skills in increasingly complex movement activities; 1.e) Create and perform a dance sequence with different locomotor patterns, levels, shapes, pathways, and flow