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Kayla Marra ED 4738: Early Childhood Education

Teacher Professional Growth Plan: ECE


Goal #1: Learn how to design and implement developmentally appropriate assessment strategies for students in Kindergarten through Grade 3 (KSA #11).
Rationale: I have had the opportunity to teach a first grade class for my second Professional Semester (PS2) placement. While teaching Grade 1 Social Studies, Science, Gym, and Art, assessment, especially summative assessment, was one of the greatest challenges I faced. I found it particularly challenging in the classroom in which I was placed because the school had 90% Low-German Mennonite population, resulting in a lot of ESL learners. As a result, students typically required a lot of assistance with assignments, making it difficult to tell how much information they were recalling on their own. Students would benefit from me achieving this goal because it would assist students in understanding where they are in their own learning and it justifies student achievement to parents. Strategies and Resources to Achieve Goal: Attend all classes and participate in group discussions Complete all course readings and spend time studying assessment practices Research a variety of internet sites that can assist me with assessment strategies (ex. Alberta Assessment Consortium) and keep track of all resources on my Weebly webpage. If necessary, contact a Grade 1 teacher who I had the opportunity to work alongside with in my PS2 practicum to find additional resources. Strengths that will help me Achieve Goal: Experience in a Grade one classroom has allowed me to collect some resources already. It has also allowed me opportunities to grade students work. I have had experience creating rubrics for Grades 8 and 9 students, and I feel I am getting stronger in clarifying specific criteria needed for assessment. I will need to learn how to create similar but age-appropriate assessment strategies for younger students. Challenges I have a very busy schedule this semester as I am working along with attending three classes which will leave little time to search online for additional resources. I will work around this challenge by managing my time well in order to prepare for adequate time to reach my goal. Although I have taken two Assessment courses, assessing younger students has always been a challenge for me as I find it difficult to judge their capabilities. Indicators- I will know I have reached my goal when: I have gathered a variety of resources for my future use and tracked these resources on my Weebly page. I have examined examples of students work and rubrics usable in Early Childhood Education and have had practice assessing achievement level. I feel more confident in my ability to accurately assess Kindergarten through Grade 3 students achievement level. 1

Kayla Marra ED 4738: Early Childhood Education

Goal #2: Learn a variety of effective strategies to plan for and execute center-based learning activities.
Rationale: During my PS2 Practicum I worked with a Teacher Associate who strongly advocated for center-based activities. With her assistance, I planned a variety of center activities and found that students loved it! First of all, it gives students the opportunity to move around the room rather than stay seated in their own desk throughout the day. Secondly, often centers can be set up as discovery learning (allowing students to construct their own understandings). One benefit for planning lessons around centers is that it fosters student ownership in their learning. It is very important for students to learn responsibilities in Early Childhood, and having them work through different centers, keep track of which activities they have completed, and reflect on their own learning throughout the centers can help to foster responsibility in students. I decided to make this one of my professional goals throughout this course because I have only worked with centers in Social Studies and Art, and would love to learn more ways to use centers across multiple disciplinary streams. Strategies and Resources to Achieve Goal: The Teacher Associate who I worked with in PS2 was and will continue to be a mentor for me and I could contact her for more help establishing centers into my lessons. Observe other teachers using centers in their classroom. During the next two months this may be difficult to do as I am busy in summer classes, however I can ask classmates for ideas and observe my University teachers as well. Research online for additional resources that I could post to my Weebly page for future reference. Strengths that will help me Achieve my Goal: Experience planning centers in Grade 1 Social and Art Observed themed centers in a Kindergarten class Challenges Lack of time to observe more center-based activities at the K-3 level There are so many different strategies and ways to plan center-based activities and without observing them in action in a K-3 classroom, it may be hard to imagine them being used practically. Indicators- I will know I have reached my goal when: I have confidence and the knowledge base to plan center-based learning activities across a wide variety of subject areas.

Goal #3: Gain a variety of strategies to encourage language development at different rates in students from Kindergarten to Grade 3.
Rationale: In my PS2 Practicum I was placed in a school with a high ESL population. The school had reading groups established at various language development levels to improve reading, writing and speaking skills. This gave me the opportunity to observe students in Grade 1 and 2 whose language was continuously developing. Language development is vitally important in young 2

Kayla Marra ED 4738: Early Childhood Education students, especially in Early Childhood, therefore one goal that I have throughout this course is to learn more about the language development of young learners and gain more strategies to appropriately encourage this in my future classroom. Students will be positively affected by this because they will be challenged and will gain help when necessary, as all children develop at different rates. By learning ways to encourage this development at a variety of stages, I feel that I can help my students. Strategies and Resources to Achieve Goal: Attend all classes and participate in group discussions Research Language Development in Early Childhood and gather useful resources. Keep track of these resources on my Weebly page. Strengths that will help me Achieve my Goal: I have had experience working with ESL students and therefore am somewhat aware stages children go through as their language develops. I have seen teachers use a variety of strategies to work with these students in effective ways. Challenges All children develop at different rates. This means that every student I will teach, no matter what grade level, will be at a variety of different Language Development stages. Coincidentally, one strategy will not work for every student. Therefore, a variety of resources and strategies will have to be gathered to ensure I have a lot of ideas at hand. Indicators- I will know I have reached my goal when: I have a better understanding of the stages of Language Development in Early Childhood. I have gathered a variety of strategies and resources to foster Language Development in my future students.

Goal #4: Learn strategies to enhance and encourage parental involvement in student learning (KSA #12).
Rationale: It is vitally important for parents to be involved in their childrens education. My future students can be positively influenced by me achieving this goal because communicating with parents often can enhance students learning and foster a positive and trusting learning environment. If the parents are excited and interested in what the kids are learning at school it will increase the childs willingness to participate in learning. Strategies and Resources to Achieve Goal: Research school policies regarding parental participation in the classroom. Discuss with other teachers and my classmates what strategies they have used to encourage parental involvement in student learning. Research different approaches to effectively communicate with resistant parents. In order to help me reach this goal once I am teaching I can arrange a Parents Night to invite parents into the classroom in order to foster positive relationships. Strengths that will help me Achieve my Goal: 3

Kayla Marra ED 4738: Early Childhood Education I have good communication skills. I have had experience communicating with parents as I have taught swimming lessons for the past 7 summers, and part of that experience was to communicate achievement level to parents. The majority of these parents have welcomed suggestions I have offered and have been more than willing to work with their children to improve their swimming skills.

Challenges All parents are involved in their childrens education at different stages, and not all parents are willing to spend time working with their children after school to improve their academic and developmental skills. Because I have worked with encouraging and involved parents, I have never had experience dealing with parents who may be resistant to constructive criticism regarding their children. Indicators- I will know I have reached my goal when: After I have gathered resources and gained more suggestions for communicating with parents. I will only truly know that I have reached this goal when I am teaching and have adequately and effectively communicated with parents about their childrens strengths, areas for improvement, and ways they can work with their children after school.

Goal #5: Gain more strategies to improve my skills in differentiated instruction in a Kindergarten through Grade 3 classroom (KSA #5).
Rationale: Differentiated instruction is an area that can always be improved. There are always more strategies teachers can use to engage all different learning types; therefore I chose to include this as one of my goals so that I can have more strategies and resources at my disposal when I enter a classroom. My future students will benefit from this because they will not become bored in a classroom if I am continuously using different teaching and learning strategies. This will help keep teaching interesting and exciting for me and the students. Strategies and Resources to Achieve Goal: Attend all classes and participate in class discussions. Observe various teaching strategies all my teachers use in the next two months and take notes on usable strategies for K-3. Research various internet resources for differentiated instruction and keep track of useful ideas on my Weebly page. Strengths that will help me Achieve my Goal: Experience differentiating instruction for students with exceptional learning needs at the Junior High level. Challenges Differentiated Instruction is such a broad area and there are so many strategies available. It may be challenging to sift through resources to find the most useful and applicable ones to Early Childhood Education. Indicators- I will know I have reached my goal when:

Kayla Marra ED 4738: Early Childhood Education I have a variety of teaching strategies and resources listed on my Weebly page to help me with differentiated instruction. I have more confidence in my differentiated instruction skills in a K-3 classroom.