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Resident learners
Mastering science, geography and the craft of teaching
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carol Anguilla is earning a Master's Degree in Education through the Teacher Residency Program at Gordon School and Roger Williams University.
 
This fall, she is working in a third grade classroom alongside Diana Reeves, who has been teaching for forty-two years.
 
This week, Mrs. Reeves and Lynn Bowman, director of the Residency Program, observed as Carol taught a lesson for the first time.
 
I needed to teach a "content lesson," and Diana suggested that this would be a good one.
 
We talked about how she was going to observe the lesson, and what things I wanted her to watch out for.
 
This was a lesson she had taught before.
 
We talked about a few changes.
 
The core of the lesson is collecting and analyzing data to answer the question "Where does my clothing come from?"
 
I think of it as mathematics, as social studies, as geography, with an opportunity to bring in some economics and trade.
 
The lesson is also rooted in science; students are gathering data from the world around them.
 
The students could see where this was headed right away. They began looking at labels before I was ready for them to do that. 
 
I talked to Lynn about that afterwards. Should I have gone off script and let them start exploring right away?
 
But I needed them to think about how they were going to record the data.
 
We didn't say "scientific method" but we certainly brought in the concepts when I asked them: When you gather data, how do you record it? Do you keep it in your head? 
 
How do you write it down in a way that makes sense? 
 
If they start thinking about that now, they'll be ready when we start deciding how to graph this.
 
This goes into what the National Science Foundation been talking about with the STEM program, where you need to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math into the everyday curriculum.
 
We certainly got the math and the science into this. 
 
Technology? It'd be nice to have them complete their graphs on the computer. I was looking at software last night but...
 
Maybe we have them do their graphs during their computer time. I'll have to ask Diana about that.
 
It didn't occur to me to be nervous.
 
Did it go just as I expected it to? Of course, nothing goes just like I imagined it would.
 
Did I hit all my marks? I thought I missed some material, but when I looked back on my lesson plan I realized I had gotten it all in. Diana had given me extra time, but I didn't need it.
 
The second part of the lesson will be to map where everything comes from. They have their maps of the world, and they will color in countries. Tally up where everything comes from.
 
That will be the time to work in some of the other concepts.
 
They began noticing today how few of these items were made in the USA.

 
They're already starting to wonder why.

 
Parents are invited to a coffee with the residents and their teaching team on Monday, September 27th at 8:15am in the Field House Entry.

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