Master's Projects (Curriculum & Instruction)
Movement activities for kindergarten through second grade teachers in an Alaska classroomPhysical activities in the classroom are very important for student growth and learning. Classroom teachers often teach physical activities in between core subjects in order to meet the Alaska Physical Activity in Schools Law which states that children should be getting 54 minutes of movement a day. However, many schools throughout Alaska do not have a designated PE teacher. Subsequently, this puts the responsibility of these standards on the general education teacher. However, few elementary teachers have a background in physical education, making it more challenging to know how to integrate meaningful physical activities in the classroom. The purpose of this project is to provide general education teachers, kindergarten through second grade, with multiple physical activity lessons that can be incorporated into their own classrooms throughout the day that include some of the Alaska PE Standards.
Teaching a novel using the common core state standardsThe purpose of this project was to explore ways that teachers can use the newly adopted Common Core State Standards to drive their instruction while teaching a novel. I created lessons for teachers to apply to the teaching of any novel and also gave specific lessons to use while teaching the novel The Adventures of Ulysses, by Bernard Evslin. I created lessons that addressed the Common Core's English Language Arts standards in reading literature, reading informational texts, writing, speaking and listening. My goal for this project was to explore how teachers could incorporate the use of informational texts, multimedia tools, the arts and their community as a way to support the teaching of a novel. I mainly incorporated these other resources as a way to get students to analyze literature more deeply and to help them strengthen their understanding of the novel itself. I wanted them to meet the rigorous Common Core State Standards while still experiencing literature as art and having a feeling of connectedness to the novel. The outcome of this project was a novel-centered unit that is aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. There are two separate units included in the project. One unit was designed to be adapted to any novel and therefore is less specific and more of a suggested outline for a unit. The other unit is specific to The Adventures of Ulysses and includes detailed lesson plans that could be used by any teacher who teaches this novel.
Lesson plans for the seventh grade Alaska State standards in language artsThe SBE (standards-based education) reform movement calls for clear, measurable standards for all school students. Rather than norm-referenced rankings, a standards-based system measures each student against the concrete standard. Curriculum, assessments, and professional development are aligned to the standards. However, many teachers find standards burdening and restrictive, and it has been challenging for teachers to infuse them with her, or his personal passions. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that not only can these new standards be taught effectively, but that teachers can find them accommodating enough for their passions. This project's outcome will include lesson plans, activities, and assessments, along with my personal reflection as to the efficacy of using these new standards without losing the passion for teaching with them.