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Developmentally Appropriate Instruction

Jaimee Hadley
Regent University

In partial fulfillment of UED 495 Field Experience ePortfolio, Fall 2015

Developmentally appropriate instruction is necessary in every classroom in order for the
learning process to be successful for everyone. This teaching approach allows the teachers to
provide an environment where content, materials, activities, and different learning approaches
are coordinated with a childs level of development and readiness. Developmentally appropriate
instruction is especially important in my student teaching classroom because we are an inclusion
class which encompasses a variety of student development levels. It is imperative that we, as
teachers, offer instruction that is student-centered and hands-on learning in order to help each
child reach his or her educational goals.
The first artifact that I chose was a photograph showing an activity that my students
completed where they used Oreo cookies to show the different moon phases. This activity
coincided with the Science unit that I taught on Earth, Moon, and Sun. During this time, we
learned about the moon phasesthe name of each phase, the appearance of each, and what
causes the phases. We watched videos and read information, but the most fun and interesting
and, I feel, successful way that the students really grasped the order of the phases was by
completing this activity with the Oreos. I gave the students a sheet which had the moon phase
names on it. The students were told to place the oreo in the circle and then scrape off the icing to
match the image of each phase. It was a great activity that provided lots of fun and a great snack.
Many of the students told me that as they had an assessment on the next Friday, they were
thinking about the way they had arranged their Oreos in order to remember the correct name of

each phase. These are the moments that, as a teacher, I realize that the activity that was
completed with the students was a very successful learning tool. I was extremely pleased I had
incorporated that activity into my lesson.
The second artifact that I collected is a photograph of an activity that shows posters that
my students made. I instructed the students to make four boxes and put the names of the
different cloud types in each box. The students then used cotton to correctly depict what each
cloud looks like. The cirrus clouds were feathery, the stratus clouds were gray in color, the
cumulus clouds were fluffy and white, and the cumulonimbus clouds were big rain clouds that
could produce thunderstorms. Many of the students drew thunder and rain under this cloud. The
students absolutely loved this activity and referred back to their science notebook if they had any
questions as to how to depict a particular cloud type. This activity, just like the Oreo moon
phases activity, was a great way to have a hands-on learning activity that was student centered,
fun, and a great learning tool.
Students will have better learning experiences if they are often given activities and
approaches that are coordinated with their level of development. These activities that I chose for
my student teaching classroom were ideal because they catered to the various levels of
development and readiness for students. Since all students construct their understanding of the
world through these direct experiences, it is crucial for teachers to provide opportunities for
meaningful learning to take place (Bergin & Bergin, 2012). It is so important that as teachers,

we are able to have our students make real-world connections with the things that are learned in
the classroom. These developmentally appropriate projects are the ones that the students will
always remember doing and probably enjoy the most.

Bergin, C.C. & Bergin, D.A. (2012). Child and adolescent development in your classroom.
Belmont, CA: Wodsworth