Junior education majors yesterday showed off the lesson plans, activities and assignments they used during their two weeks of teaching preschool and elementary classes at the Stephens College Children’s School.
The Junior Showcase allowed the students to explain to their instructors—as well as to family members and friends who stopped by—how they taught basic concepts through creative, interactive lessons.
Megan McQuillen based her lessons on the idea of inventions. She required her elementary-aged children to discover who invented the items they use in their daily lives, from pencils to sinks.
One highlight was teaching students about the Wright brothers, McQuillen said.
After learning about the invention of the airplane, students had a chance to blueprint their own design for an airplane—requiring math and simple geometry—and make a variety of paper airplane styles to see which traveled farther.
Finally, students had a chance to create their own inventions. Many students opted to build robots that would assist with daily chores, including homework. One student turned a pizza box into a working pinball machine.
Karlie Gore and Megan Dasczynski worked in the preschool during the junior teaching clusters and based their studies on the concept of jobs. Students learned about a variety of careers and even had a chance to test one out when they built and ran a play post office.
“It was interesting to see how they changed their minds” about what they want to do when they grow up, Dasczynski said. “It was great to see that they understand they have so many possibilities.”
“And they know they don’t have to choose something now,” Gore added.
This year’s junior cluster projects were especially creative, said Dr. Leslie Willey, dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.
“I was really impressed with all of them,” she said. “We have some very talented young teachers at Stephens.”
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