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Emily Bennett

I. | II. | III. | IV. | V. | VI. | VII. | Resume


I.  Educational Philosophy


I believe that it is important for a teacher to…


-recognize each student’s individual needs, interests, and talents

            I believe that an effective teacher is one who discovers the best way to facilitate learning for each student, and who does so in a manner that stimulates in the learner not only an interest and excitement about the topic at hand, but also about learning in general.  In order for the teacher to know how each student learns best, the teacher must be a learner him/herself, which means understanding each student’s family background, native language, cultural behaviors, interests, educational background, and any other clues that will help him/herself to become familiar with each student as a more complete person.  Only after the teacher knows the reasons why each student acts the way he or she acts on a daily basis, can the teacher begin to devise the most effective methods of instruction for each individual student.  Also, knowing about a child's cultural or language background allows a teacher to use this information to develop culturally relevant lessons. 


-use a variety of instructional methods

            All learners have strengths and weaknesses, but everyone has their own mixture of learning styles.  I think it is important to constantly strive to vary my lesson plans so that I can integrate ways in which all students, with their various learning styles, are able to succeed.  This way, the majority of students will stay interested and will be able to effectively learn for the majority of class time.  Teachers must also be aware of language and cultural differences, and be able to spread this awareness and understanding throughout the classroom.  I try to instill the idea in my students that our world is not only what we are used to seeing, but it is very different for each person.  I want my students to have global sense of the environment around them, because I believe this is something that is very important to cultivate at an early age.  If it starts early in a person, they will be able to realize differences in people and places throughout their entire life, leading them through a life of appreciation for and understanding of others.  I also realize that many students come to the classroom with learning disabilities and other special needs, and I can vary my lessons in ways that will benefit these students as much as those without disabilities.  Students begin the school year on many different levels, and I can keep them interested by structuring reading levels, math methods, etc. to benefit learners on different levels. 


-continually grow as an educator

            There are unlimited amounts of resources available for teachers to learn and grow, a concept we spend so much time instilling in our students that often times, teachers feel they do not have enough time to further their own education. This is a priority for me as a professional educator, because only when teachers have learned the best and most applicable teaching methods can they really serve as the best teacher they can be.  I have completed the TESA training, ERSI (Emergent Reading Strategies Institute) course, Guided Readers and Writers course, and I plan to complete the masters in CIMM (Curriculum and Instruction in Multilingual and Multicultural education) in Fall 2007 in order to be better prepared to serve the ESOL population in my class.  I plan to continue my professional development and find this an integral part of being a teacher.


-create a classroom community...

It is important to remember that children develop physically, cognitively, and also socially.  Many social interactions and relationships that people experience, no matter how small they seem at the time, end up to be life-changing.  Students learn from each other and from their environment just as much as they do from teacher-contrived lessons.  Developing socially as children has a large impact on who we are as adults.  That is why I like to be sure that students have adequate class time for cooperative learning, whether it is by allowing students to work on group projects, holding class or group discussions, roundtable sessions, or by facilitating peers simply helping and teaching their peers.  It is crucial to harness positivism, open-mindedness, creativity, kindness, and respect in children, and teach them to expect this from themselves and all others in our classroom.  I believe that my classroom is a place where all students feel comfortable expressing themselves as individuals.  When a child feels free to open up to a teacher and to the class and push his/her own personal boundaries in order to further the learning process, I can then feel satisfied that my classroom environment is conducive to the children’s personal growth. 


…and foster a positive learning environment to motivate students to learn    

            In summary, I strive to be a teacher who trusts and is trusted, who respects and is respected by all students in my class so that personal expression is appreciated and present at all times.  I want each of my students to feel special, unique, creative, energized, and loved by the community we create together.  With these positive qualities present in my classroom, I feel that within our community, both my students and I constantly work to be the best individuals we can be.

ARTIFACT #1 -I included this sorting activity to show an example of the many varied types of activities I use in my teaching.  According to Howard Gardner, every student has multiple intelligences.  This activity is beneficial for the kinisthetic learners, as they are able to physically pick up the pieces of the sort and place them in the positions that make sense to the learner.  For students who learn best kinisthetically, this sort meets their learning needs very well.


Anticipation Guide Sort

Directions:  With a partner, place the card under “British,” or “Colonists,” depending on who you think it describes.





They were called “lobsterbacks”, “regulars”, or “redcoats”



They were called “rebels”


King George III was the leader of this army.



George Washington was the commander-in-chief of this army.



They were known as the army from the world’s strongest country.



They were a small army made up of some very old and very young people, slaves, and other people with little military experience.



They wore nice, red uniforms.



They wore farm clothes. 


They used army weapons to fight.



They used hunting muskets to fight.


300 men were killed or wounded.



100 men were killed or wounded.

They lost the first battles of the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Lexington and Concord (Massachussetts)


They won the first battles of the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Lexington and Concord (Massachussetts)



























































ARTIFACT #2 - This is one lesson out of a unit plan I developed for our Revolutionary War unit for fourth grade social studies.  This one represents my philosophy of education in many respects.  First of all, it will allow students of many different ability levels to be successful.  When students are having a discussion about conflict, everyone's opinion is valued, no matter their background or prior knowledge base.  Then, when they prepare skits together to show information learned, my students have so much fun.  I let them decide what types of roles they want to act in, and that way, each student feels comfortable.  I constantly emphasize respect in the classroom, so there is never any making fun of each other, and everyone must always applaud each performance.  I think that by setting up this kind of atmosphere, students are able to let loose and feel happy in their learning community. *use Collier's? affective filter here**


Lesson plan ___Day 2 of 5_________________


Weekly Objectives

Topic:  Revolutionary War (1775-1781)


SOL Number: VS.5a,b,c – The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the American Revolution by:  a.) identifying the reasons why the colonies went to war with England as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, b.) identifying the various roles played by Virginians in the Revolutionary War era, with emphasis on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry, c.) identifying the importance of the American victory at Yorktown


Conceptual Unit Question:  How did the roles of Virginians support fighting for Independence?


Essential Questions:  How did the colonists’ ideas about government differ from those of the English Parliament?  Why is the Declaration of Independence an important document?  What contributions did Virginians make during the Revolutionary War era?  What was the importance of the American victory at Yorktown?

Daily Lesson Objective

Students will be able to explain why the Declaration of Independence is an important document.

Daily Language Objectives

Vocabulary: resolution, committee, convention, delegate

Language Structures:

Practice letter writing in the correct format and using appropriate words in salutation and closing as well as placement of parts of letter:


                                                          July 12, 2006 (teach date)

Dear King George III, (teach comma and “Dear”)

    (teach indent)I would like to tell you……

                                             Sincerely, (teach closing)



How will I activate prior knowledge?

Warm-up activity to activate prior knowledge:   As a class, we will discuss the word “conflict,” and then students will draw a picture next to each of the ideas listed on the page entitled “Why was there conflict between the British and the Colonists?” to activate prior knowledge about reasons leading up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence.

Instructional Delivery


Model everything students are supposed to do.


Am I using reading/writing/ listening/speaking?

How will I teach this concept? 

1.)  To introduce vocabulary words found in the Internet article, the class will be divided into four groups, mixing the ELLs with native English speakers.  Each group will have dictionaries, both bilingual and English ones, that they can use to look up the word.  Each group will prepare a short skit to act out one of the vocabulary words as the teacher writes the word on chart paper.  Students watching the skits will write the word in their interactive notebooks, and next to the word, write what that word means to them after watching the skit.

2.)    Students will read text at link called, “Lesson 10 – Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence” from website:, or the text could be copied if not enough computers are available.

3.)    Teacher will display three different slides.  The first slide shows the committee that was elected to write the Declaration of Independence, with Thomas Jefferson as the one who wrote the first draft.  The second slide shows the committee presenting their finished draft to the Continental Congress.  The third slide shows a statue of King George III being destroyed by Americans after the Declaration of Independence is read.  Kids will play “Talking Statues.”  They will be placed heterogeneously into three groups, one for each slide.  Groups will have five minutes to come up with dialogue that the people in the slides might have said.  Then, they will present to the class, while standing in front of the displayed slide in similar positions, mimicking the layout of the photograph. 


Differentiate Instruction:

How will I diversify instruction to meet the needs of all my students?

Advanced learners:  These students will be expected to have major roles in the “Talking Statues” game.  Also, in the journal writing, these students will be expected to write a paragraph with few errors that expresses their ideas. 


New learners: These students may have minor or non-speaking roles in the “Talking Statues” game.  Also, in the journal writing, these students will be expected to write as well as they can in as much English as possible, substituting native language if necessary. 


How will I close the lesson?  Students will discuss the question, “Why is the Declaration of Independence an important document?” with partners, and then write their answer to the question in their interactive notebooks.


How will I assess the lesson?   I will be able to assess their knowledge of the Declaration of Independence’s importance by reading their journal entries.


Homework:   Students should pretend that they are either a loyalist or a patriot.  Students must write a letter to the King of England (King George III) telling him why you agree with his ideas or why you disagree with them.  



Computers, or print out of text

Warm up worksheet, “Why was there conflict between the British and Colonists?”

Dictionaries, bilingual and monolingual

Overhead projector

Transparencies of three slides

Interactive notebooks