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Observation 2: Planning 1

Observation 2: Planning
Alba Figueroa
Raritan Valley Community College
Associate Professor Kimberly Schirner, M. Ed.
February 27, 2018
Planning 2

EDUC 212 Foundations of Education


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I. Observation #:
Observation 2 Planning

II. Grade Level and Subject Area:


kindergarten, ages 5 and 6

III. Setting:
Classroom type inclusive, general education; school setting private KinderCare
suburban; 1 educator; 11 students.

IV. Pre- Observation:


As the observer I have been able to experience the different ways teachers plan
daily or weekly. While preparing to observe for this section in planning I had
been reading an article that explains best practice in early childhood
development and how an educator can be as efficient and effective in their
planning. As I have been trying to research other educators to get a better
understanding as to what helps students in their education I came across an
article that the authors quote, “Experience is a central tenant in the teaching and
learning of environmental education from early childhood through to adult
education” (Cutter-Mackenzie & Edwards 2013). In this article they explain the
importance of having kids and educators experience in the learning environments.
Especially when there are students in early childhood education this is the age
and grade in which they are developing so many different abilities they will need
for success in their future.

V. Data:
The cooperating teacher plans weekly according to the theme. There is a set
curriculum that is already done for him. It is all done for him weekly, daily and
yearly. There is no common planning neither is there grade level planning due to
the fact that his classroom is the only kindergarten class in the whole building
and the rest of the grade levels are younger. The yearly scope for the students is
to be able to write their names, complete the alphabet, recognize vowels, nouns
and have knowledge of basic math. The children are not involved in the planning
process as the teacher said they are part of it only indirectly because if he sees
that the students are not understanding the subject then he can not move on to the
next. The teachers in this school do not have to submit plans because they are
already written out for them. Although, speaking to the teachers he says it is very
different to him because he is used to having to submit his lesson plans to the
superintendent. KinderCare has their own curriculum so they do not follow
NJCCCS. In this school there is no such thing as being tenured. As the teacher
has already been assigned their lessons plans I have given an example of the past
two weeks lesson plans daily. The theme of these two weeks are Dinosaurs and
they have been given different activities that will help them understand better the
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different aspects of dinosaurs. In the first appendix it shows week one of the theme
dinosaur which is identifying what the student will do in the morning, the projects
they will be doing, the different activities they can do outdoors, and an afternoon
activity or discussion. The teacher has provided me with the lesson plans for the
full two weeks which has the different plans for each day and sections of the day
that will relate to the theme “dinosaurs” as seen on appendices 1 and 2. Another
visual example seen on appendix 3 of what the teacher provides for the students is
a visual for them to see the words and be able to discuss with him what each word
means and challenges them to guess what the different terms are for the theme.
This way they also get to trace the words and have an understanding of spelling
out the words.

VI. Analysis:
As the teacher was explaining to me what was on the lesson plans and how they
are set up it caught my attention how him as the teacher was not allowed to have
his own ideas and bring it into the classroom to be able to expand beyond what
the minimal standards are for the kids in this school. While looking at these
lesson plans they were very detailed. In a lot of the plan there are activities based
on the theme which is very affective when it comes to educating the little ones. Not
only do I think this but in the article, I have come across explains the importance
and supports the idea that children in early childhood should learn in a play-
based environment. As these authors says in their article, “A historically
important perspective has been associated with the role of open-ended play as a
basis for pedagogy. According to this perspective, open-ended play is important
for young children because it provides opportunities for exploration and
discovery, which are necessary for supporting learning (White et al., 2007)”
(Cutter-Mackenzie & Edwards, 2013). As I’m going through the lesson plans that
I was able to observe different activities that can be done in the classroom which
is a great way to bring these lessons in to excite the kids. Reflecting on this I got
the chance to observe the kids in print different insects into clay that will be a
fossil at the end of the project which really helped them and gave them the
experience of what a fossil would look like or feel like.

VII. Recommendations:
If there was “common planning” meetings it would make it easier for each of the
teachers to stay in better communication and have similar themes going on
throughout the whole building. That way all the students are on the same pace.
Once the students are moving up grade levels the teachers are getting them with
prior knowledge they need to move on up. The only thing I would change in these
lesson plans are instructional parts. Instead of making it the easiest instructions
there can be some creativity included in there to make the lessons more
challenging for the students while having them explore their interest in the theme.
I do not really have any recommendations into what the format is of the lesson
plans because they are really specific and also provide the list of the materials
they will be using along with step by step instructions. There is a chart that has
been provided for in the article that is used to show examples of how educators
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would have to plan out what their lessons plan are according to either open-
ended play, modeled play and purposefully framed play. As it says in the planning
notes for the teachers row it says, “Planning notes tend to be descriptive. For
example, outline what the activity will be and what materials will be necessary for
implementing the experience” (Cutter-Mackenzie & Edwards, 2013). Having read
this shows that what the lesson plans I have observed are in the right format.
Everything is very detailed and provides what materials will be needed.

VIII. Post Observation


Been given the opportunity to observe this classroom and complete this planning
observation I have learned a lot about the importance of timing and how much
routines comes into factor with planning. I had known that plans are to be
specific and descriptive but not as specific as I have been able to see. Although I
was able to get a hand on these lesson plans it’s a different experience already
having them done for you and just instructing accordingly. I have definitely been
able to expand my knowledge on the importance of lesson plans compared to
what I knew before doing this. As I mentioned in my pre-observation the
importance of how and what is in these lesson plans I have also been able to
connect these aspects through out my experience. The most important aspect of
all this planning is to reach the success of each individual.

IX. Citations:
Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Edwards, S. (2013). Toward a model for early childhood
environmental education: foregrounding, developing, and connecting
knowledge through play-based learning. Journal Of Environmental
Education, (3), 195.
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X. Appendix: 1
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2.

3.

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