Area A of the Preservice Performance Assessment evaluates instruction and the planning of curriculum. While working in a learning adaptive behavior (LAB) classroom with children who had emotional and behavioral struggles, I found different ways to adjust and deliver curriculum. I also had to figure out ways to teach children who were different ages and at different grade levels. I mostly worked with small groups and also with children independently. However, some of my most successful experiences in the class were with the entire class of children who ranged from kindergarten though second grade. I chose the following evidence because I think that it gives a great example of differentiation and also because it was an instance where art was used as an effective tool to enrich the curriculum. As stated in my teaching philosophy, art is often a way that I like to engage children and also to enhance lessons. I have found a lot of succes in the classroom using this tool.
Every morning following the daily announcements, I read a chapter or two from one of several books that was covered during my time in the classroom. Children enjoyed this time and listened attentively. I asked questions along the way and had children fill out graphic organizers and write short pieces that connected to the text. In the midst of these readings, I set aside time to work with the children to create the scenery from a story, “The Trumpets of the Swan,” by the author E.B. White. Together as a group we painted the swans, the lake and created the grass that surrounded the scene. Children also worked individually to create their own artistic additions that connected to the story. This scene along with the children’s writing was all proudly displayed in the hallway afterward. Examples of their writing and the art can be seen in the images below. This activity was a great way to engage children in a productive way academically and socially.