Tag Archives: hands on

TEDU 426 – Read Aloud Lesson Plan

This is a lesson and a reflection based upon a read aloud that I performed with my third grade practicum class. I learned quite a lot about not only reading to a class effectively, but also what it takes to keep engagement and assess student understanding while still being timely and staying with the targeted goals.

Read Aloud Lesson Plan

– This lesson, the read aloud, is important to conduct because it helps students to understand and see what a fluent reader is like. By watching a teacher read aloud, they are able to see how a reader demonstrates fluency, through expression, clarity, and the speed of reading. The students also gain practice with comprehension and vocabulary. With the questions and activities spaced throughout the reading, focusing on what is happening, predicting, connecting experiences, and exploring new words, the class is able to not only see how one should think while reading, but also gain experience in actually participating in this more in depth thinking while exploring literature. Over all, student both see and take part in the process of reading to learn, which will help them to better be able to function in society as this is a skill that is used in everyday life.
– SOL:
Reading – 3.5 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional text and poetry.
a) Set a purpose for reading.
b) Make connections between previous experiences and reading selections.
k) Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.
m) Read with fluency and accuracy.

– Students will be able to correctly answer questions based on the theme, progression of the story, and the vocabulary. Before the read aloud, students will be able to correctly form a prediction given prompting from the teacher and working with a partner with without error. During the read aloud, students will correctly answer questions on the progression of events and vocabulary given specific questions with 80 – 90% accuracy. After the read aloud, students will be able to correctly demonstrate critical thinking and reflecting given a final prompt asking to confirm whether or not their initial predictions were correct and why without error.

– Introduction:
o I will introduce the lesson by having students gather around me on the reading carpet and telling them that today we will be reading a fable called The Lion and the Mouse.
o I will then go over what a fable is with the class, ask them to connect their own experiences with fables with this one and share those ideas with the class, and finally I will tell them we will be working on predicting and some vocabulary.
 A fable is a fictional story that has an important lesson to teach. The lesson is called a moral.
– Development:
o Next, and before actually reading the book, I will have the class turn and talk to a partner to form an idea, a prediction, about what the story may be about (Auditory).
o I will have students share with the class what they came up with before telling them to keep their ideas in mind.
o I will then begin reading the book (Auditory, Visual).
o I will read up until the the words ‘majestic shaggy mane’, and then pause to ask the class a few questions.
o I will ask them what words they heard that they think describe lion and his actions (majestic, shaggy, strutted).
o Then, once either they or I have mentioned the three words, I will ask the class to think about what they might mean and then have them raise their hands to share with the class once they have an idea.
o We will go over what each means.
 Strutted – a way of walking like you own the place, Majestic – being fancy or like a king, Shaggy – usually hair that is messy or poofy.
o Finally, I will ask the class to tell me what reference source they would use to find the meaning/definitions for the words we talked about if they did not know them (Possible answer: Dictionary).
o I will then continue reading up until the words ‘lion roared furiously’.
o We will pause once again and this time, I will have the class turn and share with a partner what has happened so far in the story and what they think will happen next.
o Afterwards, I will have students volunteer and share with me their summaries of the story and their new predictions.
o Then, I will then continue reading until the end.
o After the actual read aloud, I will have the class think about what happened and ask them what they think the lesson/moral of the story was.
o We will then go over it as a class.
 Moral: ‘Even the small can be great, and it’s important not to judge people on appearance’.
– Summary:
o To end the lesson, I will go over the idea that we have just read a fable as well as talk about what happened in the story and the moral of the story one more time.
o I will then ask the students to think about how they can relate the lesson/moral to their own life or experiences and have them share.
o Finally, students will return to their seats and write a sentence answering the following question (Kinesthetic):
 Was your first prediction, right? Why or why not?
o When finished, students will turn in their sentences.
– Differentiation:
o Students who may struggle with understanding the plot or events will have support from other students, in the form of partner sharing for the during read aloud pauses, who can explain to them the sequence of events.
o For students who struggle still to understand, I will be there to answer questions the best that I can.
o Students who are on level have both an auditory and visual learning example with me reading the book to them aloud. They will be able to listen and see the pictures to help them understand the substance of the story.
o Students who excel will have an opportunity to help who are struggling and test their knowledge of the content in the form of helping to teach it to another.

– Teacher:
o Book: The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop, retold by Max McGee
o Questions / Comments for before, during, and after activities
o Question for Wrap Up
– Students:
o Paper
o Pencil

Student work will be evaluated based on whether or not the class has successfully created working predictions without error before the read aloud, has successfully answered the story and vocabulary questions during the read aloud with 80-90% accuracy, and has successfully revised and considered the ‘why’ portion of their writing prompt after the read aloud without error.
For my read aloud lesson, my students did meet the objectives that I had set for them. I know this because of how they not only formed predictions at the beginning, without fail, and then revised them and wrote about why at the end, without error, but also how the students successfully answered all of my questions during the read aloud. All students who individually answered my questions, answered them correctly. As a class, the students were all also able to answer any of my questions with expected answers. They were also able to quickly craft and then considered their predictions, both with partner help and individually.
My lesson had both strengths and weaknesses, as most lessons do. For example, one of my strengths was engagement. The students were extremely engaged with the read aloud and the lesson in general. I was able to keep myself sounding excited and interested, showing expression and fluency during the reading, which in turn helped to keep my students wanting to know what I had to say and what would come next. Not only that, but another strength is that I was able to relate my read aloud to what the class was already learning about in their literacy block, fables. I had the chance to talk to my teacher about the read aloud, and together, we came up with an idea for a book that would not only satisfy what I needed, but help the class to gain even more practice and reinforcement with a concept they are already focusing on. On the other hand, I also have weaknesses. One weakness was my reading speed. I tend to talk fast, and as such, I read fast as well. I know that the students were able to keep up with me, but it still could not hurt to slow myself down a bit to help things to sink in and allow students to better absorb what they are hearing from my reading. I also could have worked more on having an exact definition for the vocabulary that we talked about. I gave them general, off the tongue definitions, but specific, dictionary ones would probably help to better solidify the words’ meanings with the students.
There are a few things I would like to change should I have the chance to reteach my read aloud lesson. For one, I would like to practice reading my book a few more times before hand to try and help with my own pacing as I read. I think that more practice would allow me to better find a slower, better pace so that I could help better portray the story to students. I would also like to prepare more for any vocabulary that I might want to focus on before doing the read aloud. Specifically, I would like to have the definitions and potential synonyms already prepared to give to the class in case general, off the top of the head ideas do not catch with everyone. I think that these few things would definitely help to solidify the over learning from the read aloud and not only give me more confidence in my teaching it, but also help improve student learning as well.

TEDU 390 – Activity Plan Assignment

This is a movement based lesson plan, created by my group in TEDU 390, that can be used by a classroom teacher to try and incorporate a type of physical activity into their curriculum teaching. This lesson in particular has a math focus and ties angle concepts into yoga.

Physical Education Activity Plan Assignment

Group: Jayne Benitez Abreu, Abigail Brown, & Melanie Gin

Class/Grade:  4th Grade         Activity Focus: Math/Geometry – Angles     # of Students: 20-30

Location:    Gym     Classroom     Field     Blacktop  

Equipment: There is no equipment needed for the students to use. The instructor will need a whiteboard or posters with the different angle types (acute, obtuse, right, and straight) on them as a reference for the students.

Safety Concerns: Students should: be sure to check their shoes are ready for movement, put everything away, review classroom rules, consider spatial awareness, consider how to be respectful, and be told to be conservative with their movements (stretches should not strain the body, just a little push). All students should have enough space that they will not touch other people during the exercise. All other materials should be moved so there is nothing to trip and nothing for students to hit themselves on.

National Content Standards (NASPE, 2004)

The Physically literate individual…

  1. Demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
  2. Applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics related to movement and performance.
  3. Demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
  4. Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
  5. Recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.
Virginia Standards of Learning – Grade____4___

Subject ____Math ___

SOL Section 4.10 a) – Geometry:

Identify and describe representations of points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles, including endpoints and vertices

Virginia Standards of Learning – Health & Physical Ed.

SOL Section 4.1 a) – Motor Skill Development:

–  Demonstrate mature form for specialized locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skill combinations in game and modified sports activities, to include overhand throw and catch with a partner while moving, overhand throw to a target for distance, dribbling and passing soccer ball with varying speed while moving, dribbling with non-dominant/non-preferred hand

SOL Section 4.4 a) – Social Development:

–  Identify a group goal and the strategies needed for successful completion while working productively and respectfully with others.

Behavioral Objectives:

Affective:  Upon completion of the activity time the student will be able to feel happiness and enjoy interacting with peers as measured by the expressions on their faces.

Psychomotor:  Upon completion of the activity time the student will be able to perform mature, non-locomotor movements and maintain good personal and public space as measured by observations from the instructor as students perform task.

Cognitive:  Upon completion of the activity time the student will be able to differentiate the four types of angles (acute, obtuse, right, straight) as measured by observation of student performance during the activity and review of the visuals provided.

Health Related Fitness: Upon completion of the activity time the student will be able to improve their flexibility as measured by the demonstration and proper holding of yoga poses performed in class.

Activity Plan

Angle Yoga. This will be a whole class, instructor led activity that combines basic yoga and the geometric concepts of angles into one activity.

  • The activity will begin with a simple review on angles, using the posters or whiteboard in the room to go through the four basic types with the students to ensure they have a frame of reference for the activity.
  • Students will visually see representations of each, and the instructor will describe the characteristics and the names of each angle. This should take about 1-2 mins.
  • Next, the instructor will have the class spread out around the gym, making sure students have decent spacing, and briefly describe the activity of the day is yoga, and what that means. Make sure the students understand that this is a calm, stretching activity and that this will be a quiet, very little talking activity.
  • Have them practice deep breathing to get them into the correct mindset. They will simply breathe in and out slowly and deeply following the instructor’s example to get them to relax for about a minute. The instructor will do a brief demonstration of how it should look, breathing in for 5 seconds, and breathing out for 7.
  • Following this, the instructor will begin demonstrating the first yoga angle pose and ask the students to copy the pose. As all of the students get into the pose, the instructor will ask the class at large which of the 4 angles they are performing, to which the class with respond with the answer. The instructor must be sure to highlight to the students which part of the body they are asking about. For instance, if the angle is made with the arms, the instructor will say: “What kind of angle are our arms making right now?” The class will then try to hold it for about a minute, being sure to stretch and move without putting too much stress on the body.
  • This will be continued for the remaining poses (about 3-5) as well and will last a total of about 5-6 minutes. Finally, the class will finish their activity, shake everything out, and then gather around for a quick review of the angle concepts.
  • Total approximate, activity time: 10 mins.


(original poses referenced from: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/beginner-yoga-poses/?page=1)

–          Acute – Arms in a ‘V’ form above the body while standing straight and reaching upwards with feet together (mountain pose)

–          Obtuse – Arms held out to side, in wide ‘V’ shape almost straight, but not quite, with body in a lunge position and legs apart (warrior pose)

–          Right – One arm straight out and the other straight up with body standing straight up and one leg bent with foot placed against inner thigh for balance (tree pose)

–          Straight – Arms straight out to sides and upper body bent at angle parallel to the floor w/ legs spread apart (triangle pose)


  • Students unable to participate physically can assist by helping the class make sure their poses are accurate as leaders of the lesson.
  • Students bound to a wheelchair or in a cast can sit in a chair to perform the activity solely with their arms.
  • More time can be given to students who need to follow the activity at their own pace.
  • If a student is having trouble balancing in certain poses, help them modify their pose by allowing them to hold their feet differently.


http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/mathematics/2009/stds_math4.pdf – The section of the VDOE website that addresses mathematics SOLs and helpful information on the curriculum framework.

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/physical_education/index.shtml – The section of the VDOE website that addresses physical education SOLs and other relevant information.

https://www.mathsisfun.com/angles.html -A fun and user-friendly site with information about angles.

http://www.pecentral.org/lessonideas/ViewLesson.asp?ID=10000#.WPoO14grLIU – The original activity we used as inspiration to develop our lesson plan.

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/beginner-yoga-poses/?page=1 – A listed description of the yoga poses used for the exercise.

https://www.brainpop.com/math/geometryandmeasurement/angles/ – A fun and interactive video about the different types of angles. Possible way to review information with students before or after the activity.

INSC 310 – Light and Sound

This activity is focused around the concept of sound, which goes into the unit of light and sound. The focus was introducing the concept of sounds waves and how they can differ in tune with the use of tuning forks and then with the use of a fork on a string. When held close to the ear, the sound changing and can help to show the students that sound does indeed travel through the air and can change in tone, pitch, and with its wavelength.

The activity itself is very simple and almost mess free. It is definitely one that I would employ with my class, as an introduction to the idea of sound and how it works, though I would try to keep a few things in mind. For one, the tuning forks are somewhat fragile. I would have to either tell the students such and then make sure to watch them as they use them, or I would simply have a single set and show them as a class. Or, I would even have centers set up and have a group come and work with me with the tuning forks so I could keep an eye on the students more easily, but still allow them to have hands one experience with the activity. Even if it would require a few tweaks, especially depending on the class and individual students, I would definitely like to use this activity. I feel it is a good, simple way to introduce a concept that can be rather confusing to students at first.

INSC 310 – Electricity and Magnetism

This activity went along well with the second part of this unit, magnetism. For it, the class began by looking at various different materials and then held a cow magnet up to them to see if they were magnetic or not. It resulted in showing that only the paper clip and the nail were magnetic. The next section focused on where on the magnets the attraction was the strongest. To find this, the class took the cow magnets and held them to enclosed iron fillings. The fillings pooled around the two poles of the magnets. All in all it is a simple and rather fun way to not only introduce magnets and the idea of magnetic attraction, but also act as a way to dissect the parts of a magnet as well.

This was a good activity. It was simple and easy to clean up with minimal mess, thanks to the iron fillings being in a specialized case to test. And while that might be a bit pricey to get, they would definitely be worth the money especially to avoid any dangers of eating or swallowing the fillings as well as avoiding the mess overall. The activity is simple and the various items, like the nail which could be a hazard, can be substituted for safer items without a problem so long as they help to show the magnetic attraction to some metals and not to others and other materials. I would definitely use this in my classroom as an opening experiment to get the students to hopefully take an interest in magnetism as well as a better, basic understanding of it as well.

INSC 310 – Electricity and Magnetism

For this activity, the topic it focused on was electricity. We manipulated circuits in order to explore the ideas of current and voltage in relation to electrical energy. First we looked at a series circuit, where all the light bulbs were all connected in one, single line, and found that the light produced was weak. This came to be because the voltage was shared amongst them. Then we finished by looking at a parallel circuit, where the light bulbs were fashioned so that they each had their own, separate path to the batteries, and the result was the light produced was stronger. The voltage was not shared and thus stronger for both bulbs. All in all, the aim was to see just how voltage and current work with different types of circuits and just how electricity moves through things to power them.

Over all, activity is good for a number of things. It gives students visuals to see and compare the information about voltage that they receive in class. It acts as a good reinforcer for the concepts at hand. It is also very simple and very interesting, which will help to not only engage the students, but also keep their attention through the more dry topics. The only issue is, at least from my perspective, safety. The batteries are toxic, if broken open, and so it is important to make sure that all of them are new and not leaking any sort of acid. If something does happen, you must be sure to inform the students that they must tell you so you can help them to clean up properly. As a final thought, maybe a class set would be a bit too much, and so a single example to show all the students might work better.

INSC 310 – Solar System

The concepts at focus for this reflection was the solar system, and in particular, the phases of the moon. As a class we have been looking at space, the planets, and how they interact. This interaction was explored in the activity itself with us looking at the relationship between the moon, the earth, and the sun. The activity itself was simple with a flashlight, serving as the sun, flashing on a styrofoam ball, the moon, to show the different phases of the moon that we see on earth. We rotated the ball around the flashlight to see how its appearance changed from our point of view and were then able to make assumptions about how the phases work in reality.

The activity is a decent one. It is a simple, low cost, low mess piece that allows students to work how the moon’s phases occur on their own. But while the activity is simple, it is still a hard concept to grasp for some and the visual might not be strong enough for all students to really catch on. I would try to pair this activity with another model, perhaps a video on the web about the moon’s phases, to really enforce a firm explanation for the moon’s phases to students. Another solution would be try and color the balls like the moon and find sun shaped lamps to help with visual reference, though that could potentially be impractical with money and time.

‘Moon and Sun’ replicas

Math 303 – Geometer’s SketchPad in the Classroom


Creating Carnival Tickets with the Geometer’s Sketchpad

Using Translations, Tessellations, and Quadrilaterals


1. First construct a line segment, we’ll call it AB. Make sure to label the points, A and B.

2. Create a point somewhere above AB and label it C.

3. Mark AB as a vector, by selecting it, clicking on the  transform tool, and selecting mark as vector, then select point C.

4. With point C selected, use the transform option to translate AB with point C.

5. With the translation in place, close off the rest of the polygon for a parallelogram like figure.

6. Use the line segment tool to create multiple little segments from point A to C, much like a torn section of paper.

7. Making sure that AB is still the marked vector, select all the little line segments from the previous step and translate them.

8. Select all the vertices of the shape and use the construct tool to fill in the interior. Use any color you’d like.

9. Keep AB as your vector and then select the interior of the shape.

10. Translate the shape. And repeat this, by selecting the newly created shape each time, until they disappear off of the page.

11. Then make BA your new vector and repeat the translating with the colored interior.

12. Make sure that each alternating shape is a different color.

13. Using the Polygon Edge tool, create another parallelogram within the first one. This does not have to be perfect. Do this for each of the shapes your created while tessellating.

14. Make sure that the new shapes are not the same color as the first ones and then use your text tool to make up any kind of ticket information you’d like. (Optional, hide any unwanted lines and vertices from the original shape)

And voila, there is your finished line of carnival tickets.


A. How has the program allowed you to explore geometry in the classroom this semester?

With the use of Geometer’s Sketchpad, I have been able to understand the concepts that we have covered in class on a more in depth level. I have been able to not only review ideas that we have gone over in class, but also gotten hands on experience with working with these various concepts thanks to the assignments we have been given for the program. Aside from what was covered in class, simply being able to work on my own and look at all the different tools in the program has introduced me to more geometric concepts. I have been able to look more at what makes a polygon and how they can vary in shape and size, not just be regular. And working with polygons more is just one of the things I have had the chance to explore with GSP. I hope to continue using it to learn and understand more about geometry as a whole.

B. What are the uses of the program in your future classroom?

The uses of this program in my own future classroom will be many and varied. I can use it as a way to introduce basic shapes, teach about angles and measurements, how to work with rigid motions, and a number of different things. Most of which will probably be in class demonstrations followed by students replicating their own versions of the assignments. I hope that it will be a hands on tool that will not only help to teach students further about geometry, in all different grade levels, but also help to keep them interested in the subject as a whole.

C. What are the strengths and/or weaknesses of the program?

The strengths of this program definitely lie within how it offers more hands on experience for students to be able to work with concepts that, at times, can be very confusing. They are able to try an assignment and work with a geometric concept at their own pace with their own thought processes and hands. Its weaknesses, however, are that it can be rather confusing, especially to start with. Students need to have very clear instructions to be able to properly use the tools that the program offers and work with the concepts, at least until they have become more accustomed to it. A different format for the program with more clearly labelled tools would definitely not hurt it, particularly for younger students who may be using it. But with both its goods and bads, I would definitely suggest it for anyone learning or teaching geometry to use GSP.

INSC 310 – Energy, Motion, and Forces

For this section of the course, we have been focusing on the concepts of energy, motion, and forces. This is basically looking at how energy is produced and what different things go into creating energy, with the main focus being on potential and kinetic energy. The activity itself focused on showcasing both of these types of energies by having a small, toy car roll back and forth on a ramp. With it, we were able to see just how motion works and how things such as friction can affect it. It also, with the activity sheet, helps to have students practice and learn how to use graphs by graphing the beginning and end heights of the car from the half pipe.

The activity is a good way to introduce and give visuals to the concepts of both kinetic and potential energy. It allows the students to have hands on time and see just how things can move with a controlled experiment. While a good activity, it can be a bit hectic to try and get together and ready. For the sake of time and to lessen confusion, I would probably only set up one ramp in my classroom myself and then have the whole class work together, with my help, to have the car roll on the ramp. It would hopefully make the activity run smoothly and then we can focus more time on the concepts and the graphing than simply trying to get everything to work.

Toy Car on Ramp

INSC 310 – Chemical Reactions

The topic at hand for this activity was chemical reactions. As a class we have been talking about the ways that chemical reactions occur and how bonds are formed or broken between various molecules to create reactions. This activity itself was a showcase for both forming and breaking bonds with chemical reactions. It was a simple activity that had two different sets of materials being added to one another and then observed for their reactions as well as if there was a temperature change during the reaction. It also helped to show which of the two released energy or took in energy, with the Alka-Seltzer creating a reaction that was endothermic meaning that energy was absorbed and bonds were broken while the Yeast created an exothermic reaction where energy was released and bonds were formed.

It was a good activity that helped to show students not only how things can react with each other in a chemical sense, but also show that these chemical reactions differ in type and product. I would definitely use it in my own classroom, and the only real thing I would have to be careful of would be the potential mess. I would have to be clear and tell the students to be careful with the materials as we do not want them everywhere, as well as not to eat any of the materials.

INSC 310 – Properties of Matter

The topics that we have been focusing on, and that relates to this activity, are the concepts of diffusion and osmosis. This is basically the movement of molecules through cells from high to low concentration Both are passive processes, and osmosis is different from diffusion because it focuses solely on the movement of water. This plays into the activity, “Eggs in Vinegar and Syrup”, because we observed directly the process of osmosis with it. The eggs, once the shells were dissolved with vinegar, were both placed into two containers of water and syrup. The ones in water retained their puffy, water filled appearance, while the ones in syrup looked deflated and shriveled thanks to the water leaving the high concentration in the egg and moving to the lower concentration in the syrup.

This is a great activity to show students just how diffusion and osmosis work. It might be a timely experiment that requires a few days, but it is an excellent way to give a physical demonstration of a concept that can often be very difficult for younger students to grasps. They are able to really see how the eggs change and how water and other molecules will move between semi-permeable membranes. It also offers a hands-on approach as well in which students can safely touch and explore the eggs once their shells have been dissolved. It is a fun experiment that offers multitudes of learning styles to cater to student needs and enforce the concepts of matter, diffusion, and osmosis.

Eggs in syrup and water