Ability to Plan, Prepare, and Organize for Teaching

Social Studies

This unit on Historical Figures and Symbols of the United States demonstrates my ability to plan, prepare, and organize for teaching. The unit was designed to meet First Grade Social Studies SOL's 1.2, 1.4, and 1.11. These state standards address students understanding of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, the American flag, bald eagle, Washington Monument, Statue of Liberty, as well as map skills. National Standards for History are also met for Grade K-4 in Historical Thinking and Historical Comprehension. Finally, Virginia Visual Arts Standards for Learning 1.9 is addressed through depicting people in art. This unit provides students with opportunities to have hands-on experience with history through art lessons, inquiry based lessons, and map and globe lessons. The use of technology is also incorporated into the lesson through a powerpoint with artwork as well as to do research about the Washington Monument.

Lesson 2 Powerpoint:


These lesson plans were designed to meet First Grade Mathematics SOL's 1.2, 1.6, 1.7a, 1.11, 1.15, and 1.17. They also meet the Pre-K - 2 National Math Standards for Number Sense, These state standards cover number sense: counting forward by 1's, 2's, 5's, and 10's to 100 and backwards by ones from 30, basic addition facts with sums to 18 or less, working with money, and using appropriate calendar language. The lessons are completed throughout the week with center rotations for the students. There is whole group instruction on the carpet each day to completed the calendar activities. By having students rotate through centers, they are able to demonstrate their knowledge to two teachers throughout the math block. This also allows for more one-on-one time with students to strengthen skills and fully teach concepts. These lessons provide students with a chance to use manipulatives in order to create number sentences. The number line with a slider is also a great manipulative for students to use to aid with addition. Finally, technology is incorporated each week in the math centers. Students complete differentiated lessons based on his/her ability level and previous performance with the MEGA Math program. Each week, I assign lessons to the students that they complete during the math rotations. These are very interactive and fun ways to do math that the students thoroughly enjoy completing. Enrichment activities are also provided once students reach a certain level, also linked to individual ability levels. All of these activities are both age appropriate and engaging for students in first grade and provide them with a great math experience.


Science is a very hands-on experience in the classroom for students as they are able to explore a variety of topics. The lesson plan below was designed to meet First Grade Science SOL's 1.4. This state standard focuses on understanding plant parts, needs, and characteristics. Students were able to explore edible plant parts that they may encounter daily. By introducing students to plants and their parts during the week, they had been exposed to what is viewed as normal plant parts on flowers. This lesson made plant parts relevant to each students everyday life through the exploration of food. Most people do not think about the food they are eating in terms of the part of the plant; however, part of the standard is to identify edible and non-edible plants. Students were allowed to handle the food and identify what part of the plant it was based on its characteristics. The food they sampled can be viewed below: seed - pumpkin seed, root - carrot, stem- celery, leaf - lettuce, fruit - apple. They were also engaged in identifying other foods that are plant parts that they did not taste such as potatoes, broccoli, beets, and cabbage. The Edible Plant Parts lesson was very hands-on and a fun way for students to meet the state standards in an engaging manner.

DSC02153.JPG The plate of food students had to identify.

Reading and Language Arts


Providing students with texts that are both engaging and leveled is very important for First Grade students. Each week during guided reading, the leveled groups are exposed to a variety of stories both fiction and non-fiction. To provide purpose to the reading curriculum, I select texts that provide an opportunity for connections to be made between the content areas. For example, when learning about plants and their parts, students were reading in his/her reading group about how plants grow. Also, when students were introduced to counting by 2's, they were reading texts about numbers and things that come in pairs. This allowed students to expand his/her knowledge on the subject being taught, as well as make reading relevant and purposeful. Below are some examples of the texts that students read.


I also made sure to provide students with a variety of activities to incorporate the skills and concepts being taught in reading. One weekly skill was comparing and contrasting. I planned a lesson to incorporate the seasons: comparing and contrasting fall and winter. The lesson can be viewed below, as well as pictures of students engaged in the activities.

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Please view the following link for an observation completed by my university supervisor at the College of William and Mary. She observed science centers during which the students learned about plans in various ways: using technology, with an authentic plant, using sequence cards, and matching cards on the parts of a plant. Also, you can view the mid-term evaluation form filled out by my cooperating teacher from Waller Mill Elementary School. The feedback provided by both of these documents exhibits my ability to plan and teach prepared lessons in a classroom.