DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Thematic Unit on Fish

Contextualizing Essay

Introduction

It was always my wish to become a teacher. Some of my enthusiasm came from watching my teachers throughout my childhood. There was always a quality of every teacher who ever taught me that I wanted to emulate, and taking a combination of these qualities, I felt that I could be an exemplary role model.

Learning is like a scientific process, where one poses questions like, what do I want, what support systems do I need to achieve success, where do I seek for the answers? I have found some of the solutions to those questions after trying various teaching and learning styles, and respecting the theories of those who have probably gone through the same scientific processes of probing, investigating and experimenting, and simply being open enough to try new things.

For one to achieve success, goals have to be set, and it is through the achievement of those goals that one can best function in any given area. Settings sights towards a positive outcome is an important step towards having successful results, and given the support systems, ones tasks can be overwhelming.

In the vocation of teaching one can hardly go wrong, given the extensive amounts of resources handed down by the theorist, and the dedication of my college professors and counselors, who supplied me with the tools and assistance that was necessary for me to become the kind of teacher who will be able to work productively with the new generation.

I look forward to my task as a professional teacher, and I am willing to face the challenges ahead. Included herein is a volume of art work that I consider the beginning of my journey towards a very fruitful and exciting vocation.

Teachers are symbols of learning; they are leader of learners, and a miracle to education.Teachers often times takes the role of a friend, leader, coach, motivator, confidant, counselor, and more importantly, role model. They are individuals who helps to mould young minds stimulate student’s desire to learn and pursue knowledge by introducing them to new ways of thinking.  A teacher should be able to address all learning styles as they help children understand concepts being taught.  A teacher should bear in mind students emotional, social, physical, and cultural, socio- economic background, in order to plan and implement effective teaching strategies that would cater to the needs of each student in the classroom. Teachers must understand and acknowledge that parental involvement and the communities are important components in the overall development of children, whereby they can work towards building and maintaining better home and community school involvement. As teachers strive for excellence in their children, they must ensure that the materials used are interactive developmentally appropriate, hands-on and engaging to cater for the all round development of children.  It is my duty as a teacher to give children many activities that would assist them to develop their ability to think about and use information effectively. In doing so, I have designed an integrated thematic unit on fish that caters for Pre-Kindergarten children with appropriate modifications for a child with dyslexia.

The topic is appropriate and child friendly for this age group as they need to know that fish can be connected to the environment not just as pets that are kept in a jar or aquarium, but also contribute to the economical, ecological, and social aspects of our everyday lives. If children can be given the opportunity to be exposed to some of these aspects, their value system for some of natures wonders of the deep can be enhanced as they grow older.

Students have been known to learn best through interaction with their natural environment. Every child is born with a curious nature that develops over time. My goal as a teacher is to support and enhance that curiosity, all the in cooperating the skills that each child needs to succeed at their highest level.

The theorist Dewey, has always emphasized working with prior knowledge, and expanding the childs experiences into a more complex realm. This task can be achieved through our probing and guidance in some instances, for which the theorist Vygotsky, is famous. It was with some of these theorists in mind, that the topic for my curriculum unit was chosen. Most children in their early years have had some conduct with fish, and there are many stories and rhymes to which they can relate.

I choose to do my unit on fish after observing  how children between the ages of four and five years old (Pre K) responded after a trip to the aquarium; a place that even I as an adult could never seem to get enough of, it was definitely my decision to do fish a my thematic unit.

Through observation it was noted that children love to be anywhere where there is water, which happens to also be the natural habitat of fish, so that one can clearly make connection between the young child and the exploration of fish. Fish have different colors, shapes and sizes, all of which have an appeal for young children. One has to also learn how to protect the environment of fish, and also understand that the livelihood of some people depend on the preservation of fish.

There is such a wide range of knowledge of information to be garnered from the study of fish that it was definitely a topic to be explored. Taking into consideration the academic components of the school system and in keeping the standards of the New York City Department of Education, basic skills in math, language, art, social studies, science, literacy, can be  taught in such a way the children can still have fun learning. The topic will be introduced to the children through a repertoire of songs, rhymes and stories, along with a variety of hands-on activities, encompassing the total development of the child.

It is my opinion that children perform their best when they are exposed to challenging activities. Hence, as a teacher I must be able to provide them with the opportunity and activities that hold their interest and keep them occupied in the learning process. In addition, teacher  should ensure that students are actively involved in a process of

As a child, I lived near the sea, and was always taken in by its movement and sounds, along with the fascination of what lay beneath the water. Back then I created my own images in my as to what it looked like under there. Doing a unit on fish will be a good way of connecting with that childhood fascination, and being able to revive my curiosity by actually working with and learning from the children.

There are many goals to be achieved in through this thematic unit, the first being that children become aware of and appropriate how fish contribute to the aesthetics of their environment and also the ways by which they are able to survive in their natural habitat. The second goal is to help children develop increased curiosity  in relation to the characteristics of fish, as well as to be aware of fish as a source of food and its relationship to good health. The children are also expected to develop skills in reading, writing, observing, referencing, associating, and creative expression while acquiring relevant information pertaining to fish.

Children are expected to understand that for fish to survive they need to be in water. They also need to understand that even though fish might have certain features that classify them thus, they are notable differences in their colors, shapes, and sizes, and they lay eggs and move in groups called schools. They need to also understand that while some fish are pets, some are reared for food and medicine, as part of their understanding of fish, a trip to the aquarium will be planned around the middle of unit to facilitate hands-on experiences. Initial activities will be brainstorming to find out the extent of childrens prior knowledge. Stories will be read to awaken their interest and heighten their curiosity of fish, as well as opportunities will be created for children to think out of the box, creating their own imagery of the existence of fish.

To support a peaceable classroom, children will be allowed to work together with adequate supplies of materials, so that there will be experiences for sharing, helping others like the child with mild dyslexia complete tasks, discovering together, and achieving a sense of accomplishment in completing a task.

Through the thematic unit, components should be set in such a way that there are clear connections between the academic subject areas to be covered and the content to be disseminated, Children will be afforded the opportunity to observe similarities and differences in colors and shapes of fish, and also do counting exercises.

Children will be given the opportunity to compare the way the fish breathe to the way that humans breathe. They will also compare the way fish move in comparison to how humans move, for example, they will be able to make relationships between the human limbs and the fins of the fish, and compare how they are used for movement. They will also be given the opportunity to play fishing game using magnets.

Children will discuss the fisherman as a community helper, as well as the various ways fish are caught. They will look at fish as part of a balance diet, in the form of protein, as well as being used for medicine. Trips will be planned to the pet store, with one big trip to the aquarium to be able to observe a variety of fish, from which they will be allowed to bring in their pet fish if they have for show and tell.

Songs and rhymes will be incorporated about fish, and children will be given the opportunity to coordinate body movement in imitation of fish. They will also be given many hands-on activities, such as, constructing an aquarium as a group project, observing and drawing fish and naming them. They will complete a book on fish, do collages of fish in their natural habitat, as well as use clay and play dough to model fish.

Children will watch movie “Finding Nemo” and dramatize their favorite characters. They will also go fishing at the water table, and there will be time set aside for developing trip books and creating their own anthology of fish. As a cooking activity they are allowed to make tuna sandwiches. It is my wish that children will be excited about this thematic unit as I am, in order to become active learners during the process.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

STANDARD 1. PROMOTING CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING

Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of a) young children’s characteristics and needs, and b) multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to c) create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.