Select an inclusive K-3 early childhood site where you will complete the field experience required for this course. During the remaining weeks of your clinical field experience you will be working with a small group of students identified by your mentor teacher to help differentiate your mentor teacher’s lesson. If you have permission from your mentor, you will also be asked to implement a lesson or mini-lesson to the class or small group in different areas of STEM.
For this field experience, observe the classroom focusing on math, if possible. If not, observe another STEM area (science, engineering, or technology). Additionally, interview your mentor teacher and include the following questions:
- What is your teaching philosophy for math instruction?
- How do you provide a focus on hands-on practice and thinking mathematically?
- In what way would you embed mathematics learning opportunities in the learning environment, as well as beyond the classroom?
- What tools and resources (including technology) do you use to allow exploration and enhance conceptual understanding?
- How do you incorporate communication as part of thinking mathematically?
- How do you ensure an equal learning opportunity for all students, including those with exceptionalities?
In 250-500 words, summarize and reflect on the interview, including your discussion of strategies and specific examples of hands-on STEM lessons. Discuss how the lesson promoted problem-solving and critical thinking skills for students. Explain how the mentor teacher prompted the importance of communication as part of thinking mathematically. Discuss how the strategies used promote discussion, motivation, and engagement. Explain how you will use your findings in your future professional practice.
Support your reflection with 1-2 scholarly resources.
In addition to the above observations, interview, and reflection for this topic, speak with your mentor teacher about assisting during an upcoming science lesson or activity. This will help you prepare for the Topic 3 assignment. With your mentor teacher, identify a small group of students who would benefit from differentiation and engagement strategies during the upcoming science lesson or activity.
Once you have identified the lesson and group you will be assisting with, continue to work with your mentor teacher on the following:
- Identify areas of strengths and potential improvement for the small group.
- Identify which state standards and learning objectives the lesson is focused on.
- Based on the lesson and the group’s characteristics, develop and share with your mentor teacher two differentiation and engagement strategies to utilize during the upcoming lesson or activity, making adjustments where needed.
- Prepare to utilize the identified strategies with the small group during the agreed upon science lesson or activity.
Spend any remaining field experience hours for this topic observing and/or assisting your mentor teacher with instructional tasks in the classroom.
Submit your observation notes, interview notes, and reflection as one deliverable.