Educator Hat

This assignment I designed around our 8th grade writing curriculum, based off of School District 129's Priority Learning Targets.  All year we had been studying writing using the 6+1 Traits of Writing.  By the end of the year we combined what we had learned about the traits and the literary elements that we had studied to create the students' final writing assignment.  Because we had been practicing similar types of writing, many of the students were able to create a nicely written paper and were proud of themselves afterward. 
Social Studies

At the end of the year, students in my social studies class were given choices for projects to complete, showcasing their knowledge of the continent.  I tried to give students choices where they could report using different learning styles and intelligences.  The final products were impressive, and I accredit this to the highly engaging activities.  Students created amazing brochures, travel journals - including a few photo journals, and other projects! 

Science

I was teaching science while working through my masters in reading instruction.  Something that really struck me as important is the need for students to engage more in their reading.  This is especially important today with Common Core taking the stage in education.  Using my knowledge from my masters program and my Project CRISS training, I began to create engaging note-taking guides to work through with students.  I found that students struggled with these because they were used to the question/answer study guides, but working through the guides helped them to more internalize the information and engage more with the text.  This was great practice for students in reading non-fiction text.

After two years of teaching the same science curriculum, I started to focus heavily on correctly writing hypotheses and conclusions.  I also wanted students to become more metacognitive and begin to think about what they learned, thought, and concluded and how it impacted their lives.  To aid me in this instruction, I created lab write up sheets with frames for writing and questions built in.  I then assessed these based upon the same rubric each time.  The rubric was based upon whether a student increased his/her knowledge from the beginning to the end and whether he/she was able to master the concepts intended to be learned during the unit.

Education to Careers

The curriculum for the ETC program was put together by our ETC staff across the district.  Part of this curriculum contained teaching our students about checking accounts.  This presentation I created as a week long unit.  It included a guide with blanks for students to fill in as we discussed the presentation over the week. 

Reading Specialist

At the end of the 2011-2012 school year I completed my first year as a full time reading specialist.  Part of my job was to collect and analyze data.  After taking a look at our reading data from the end of the year, my principal asked me to share this data with our district office along with our staff. We felt that we had made some very strong gains with our students, and we wanted those involved to know. 

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