One Sunflower


on March 13, 2010

I know people are tired of Power Point presentations but I love making them. Glorified slide show, I know.

As I’ve explained before, I’ve taught preschool for almost 30 years but I don’t have any ECE credits – and now I’m required to have them.  So last year and this year, a 3 credit ECE class has been embedded in my professional development hours provided by the local HeadStart.  It doesn’t cost me anything, it is easy credit, and I know it sounds cocky but I often felt like I could have taught the classes.  If it was a subject matter that I wasn’t invested in, I would just smile and skate through the coursework.  But this is stuff I care about and I know I can always learn more and improve my practice so my attitude has been to create work for myself that is meaningful.

The instructor for the course stated:  “Try to make this project meaningful to you as a learner and useful in your classroom as a teacher, assistant, supervisor – wherever you see a need and a match with what you are learning.”  So I decided to summarize my learning about working to teach writing to preschoolers.  I’ve been recording my efforts and my students work with photos all year so it made sense to put it together in a pictorial essay – a Power Point is a great medium for that.

So that’s the title of my presentation.  The second slide lists the two goals that I found myself focusing on this year:   to make sure every student could draw a person and to figure out ways to support each student individually in their writing.  The first half of the slides show the work I did to support my students learning and practicing drawing people and animals. The second half of the slides show how I set up systems to individualize the instruction and strengthen skills. 

It took a lot of time to put it together because I haven’t done a very good job of cataloging my photos on my computer – next year I will know better to sort them right away when I load them! I spent a lot of time fishing for pictures.  Since I’m not providing notes with the slides, it is important that each slide demonstrates the point I’m trying to make.

I tried to answer the following questions:

Goal for project: What was the purpose of my project?  Did I use professional resources?

  • My purpose was to summarize some strategies and activities I found helpful in supporting my students to become better writers.  I used assessments from David Matteson’s presentations but I came up with the curriculum and recording strategies on my own.

Activity:  Describe my activity or strategy.  How does my project link to the language and literacy concepts discussed in class?  Did everything go “as planned”?  What were my results? 

  • All of my students have improved their writing/story telling skills.  I had hoped to be able to confer with each student on a weekly basis about their writing but it is happening every two weeks.  Next year I’ll have systems in place from the beginning so maybe I’ll be able to improve on my conferring.  I am also realizing that it is difficult to support oral language in all my students when students with social-emotional issues demand my attention. That’s an issue I’m just going to have to stew over for awhile.

Reflection/Evaluation:  Did it confirm my knowledge or beliefs?  Did it help me develop new ideas?  Would  you recommend this activity/strategy to your colleagues?

  •  I’m impressed with what my preschoolers have learned to do.  It confirmed my belief that with a lot of modeling and supportive experiences, preschoolers are capable of amazing quality in their drawings and communication of ideas.  I need to remember to “loop” more – do things again and again throughout the year.

So now I’m going to set my clock ahead, lose an hour of sleep, and make the most of a Sunday before I’m right back at it again.


2 responses to “Reflections

  1. duffytrout says:

    Hi OneSunflower,

    Did I miss the link to your powerpoint? Or, do you plan to share your powerpoint on this blog? I want to see it!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s