Teachers Make a Difference: Exploring the K-5 Classroom

Course Number: ED 101
Transcript Title: Tchers: Expl K-5 Classroom
Created: April 24, 2019
Updated: April 24, 2019
Total Credits: 1
Lecture Hours: 0
Lecture / Lab Hours: 20
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Course Description

Explores the modern teaching profession and the benefits associated with being an elementary school teacher in the 21st century. Provides real-life classroom experience, bringing students into K-5 instructional settings with professional teachers. Expands knowledge of a teacher’s workday and basic strategies. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain teachers’ duties.
  2. Compose thoughtful observations and self-reflections of time in K-5 classrooms, videos, podcasts, and articles.
  3. Articulate the reasons why people enter the teaching profession and describe the reasons why the student is interested in the teaching profession.
  4. Summarize a classroom behavioral plan and be able to communicate how the teacher implemented the plan.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Weekly journals, self-reflections, and classroom observations
  • Group discussions
  • Student-generated discussions and questions on Moodle Forum
  • Responses to podcasts, videos, and readings
  • Role playing (teacher/student)

Texts and Materials

Suggested resoources:

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Outcome #1: Communicate teacher’s basic duties.
  • Develop through observations, class discussions, and student forums what a K-5 teacher’s basic duties include.
    • Planning
    • Lesson plans
    • Prioritizing
    • Development
    • Time management
    • Meetings
  • Explore how different grades and teaching styles reach the same goal of education.
  • Develop knowledge of the different job related roles a teacher may perform.
    • Teacher
    • Nurse
    • Judge
    • Coach
    • Source of comfort
    • Therapist
    • Cheerleader
  • Instruct students on basic skills such as confidentiality, professionalism, dress, language, etc.
  • Discuss the role of teaching ELL in today’s teachers
  • Connect observations to ELL teaching
  • Student Engagement
    • How does a teacher keep a class engaged?  How does a teacher reach for a question that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no”
  • Briefly discuss one or two Common Core themes/ideas.  Have the students connect one thing in the classroom with a Common Core Standard. 
Outcome #2: Compose thoughtful observations and self-reflections of time in K-5 classrooms, videos, podcasts, and articles.
  • Discuss basic journal and self-reflection guidelines.
    • Formatting
    • Grammar expectations, etc.
    • Outlining
    • Comparing/contrasting to one’s own educational experience
  • Develop an understanding of issues within each classroom, through self-reflection and journal writing. 
  • Communicate, through writing, the struggles and joys that occur in the classroom.
Outcome #3: Articulate the reasons why people enter the teaching profession and describe the reasons why the student is interested in the teaching profession.
  • Communicate, through interviews and observations, the reasons why people enter the teaching profession.
    • Teach basic interview guidelines
    • Discuss how to create a thoughtful interview question
  • Describe, through self-reflection, why the student wants to become a teacher.
  • Explore ideas such as:
    • Fulfilling/rewarding job
    • Exciting
    • Different every day/every year
    • Always come home with a “good story”
    • Human connection
    • Making a positive impact
    • Watching kids grow
    • Relationships
    • Community relationships with students and families
    • Stability
Outcome #4: Summarize a classroom behavioral plan and be able to communicate how the teacher implemented the plan
  • Discuss the following:
    • How the teacher talked to students
    • How the teacher listened
    • How the teacher moved about the classroom
    • How the teacher physically interacted with kids
  • Discuss what a basic individual student, classroom, and school-wide Behavior Plan may look like in a K-5 school. 
  • Familiarize students with how teachers may implement a classroom behavior plan. Some behaviors might include:
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
    • Drug addiction (from birth)
    • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    • Behaviors due to abuse (mental, sexual, emotional, and/or physical)
    • Issues surrounding poverty (lack of opportunity and background knowledge.  Can affect students through high school.)
  • Discuss problem-solving, as it pertains to certain situations and behavior rules, during classroom discussions & online forums.
  • Connect Behavior Plans for observations and journal writing.  How do the students see them being implemented and/or not implemented in a K-5 classroom?
  • Discuss the connection between classroom and school behavior plans. 

Department Notes

ED 101 Observation Expectations:

Students will spend 3 weeks in one classroom and 3 weeks in a different classroom (thus, observing different teachers and grade levels).  Each hour observation will be spent 50% observing and 50% volunteering or helping the teacher.  During these hour-long sessions, it is important that the student is observing and helping, not running errands for the teacher (cutting, prepping, copies). The observation schedule will be set with your cooperating teachers and will be spent observing 3 different time periods throughout the day (math, reading, writing, art).