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Clinical Field Experience: Integrating Creative Arts and Literacy Essay

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Updated: Aug 29th, 2022

Teaching practice implies paying equal attention to diverse aspects of teaching and learning. Thus, an educator should make sure that they are using the most effective student-centered instruction, assessment, assignments, and engagement techniques. The importance of differentiation has been acknowledged by many, although some educators still view it as additional work for the teacher (Institute of Education Sciences, 2016).

Differentiation is, in fact, instrumental in creating a more effective learning environment where students are able to achieve their academic goals more easily. An illustration of the effectiveness of differentiation is displayed in the video by QEP VideoCoursesForTeachers (2017). The teacher grouped students according to the level of their knowledge and preparedness, so everyone had the task that was manageable, but each student was still challenged, which is critical for motivation. It is also noteworthy that differentiation can and should encompass teacher’s evaluation of students’ levels, learning styles, as well as emotional and physical states (Institute of Education Sciences, 2016). Therefore, teachers benefit from using this technique in their classrooms as it enhances students’ engagement.

Another effective strategy to improve student engagement is the use of creative arts to teach diverse disciplines. For instance, music has been widely used in classrooms to facilitate learning (Cooper, 2016). Giving instructions or doing drills is more effective when students and the teacher sing rather than simply enumerate facts or sequences of actions. Singing rules or making a song with certain instructions makes the student more engaged and motivated to respond. It is possible to use some melodies as a simple instruction for children, such as start group work. Children, especially primary-school learners, find tasks and even assessments fun when creative arts such as music or drama are utilized.

Creative arts can help teachers develop effective and engaging pre-assessment and formative assessment tasks. At this point, it is important to stress that pre-assessment is critical for building an understanding of students’ current level of proficiency or the skills they have (Mark Schroeder, 2020). Educators also note that pre-assessment should contain some elements of the formative assessment that will follow. In that way, students will develop confidence and will be motivated to complete the assessment. Formative assessment is critical for the identification of the gaps students may have and the material they may have failed to cover properly.

Formative assessment enables the educator to identify the gaps to be filled after a topic is covered. Assessment is also important for the evaluation of teaching techniques used to introduce or practice some material.

The use of drama is becoming quite a common assessment (as well as pre-assessment) strategy. For instance, a teacher can arrange a science topic pre-assessment by setting a scene in the jungle where students (who have received cards with an animal) will tell about themselves accordingly. Formative assessment can take a form of a big performance where students can solve a problem set by the teacher. For instance, the performance can include a story of a desert and a village located in this desert, where people try to use resources wisely.

It is noteworthy that such types of formative assessments can be a part of the effort aimed at engaging families and developing effective collaboration with them. Clearly, schools and teachers interact closely with students’ families, which facilitates the learning process and makes it more comprehensive (Educating All Learners, 2020). Parents can see their children’s progress and help their children creating an appropriate learning environment at home. As far as drama-type assessment, families can be involved in the process by working with their children on costumes and helping them to rehearse at home. They can take different roles, which will help children become more confident and grasp the necessary material better.

At that, the collaboration with families cannot be confined to the activities mentioned above. Communication and collaboration should take different forms, as families should attend diverse events at school, be involved in their children’s academic work by helping them with assignments, and contribute to the development of schools in different ways (Educating All Learners, 2020). For instance, gardening activities for a class involving children and parents can become a beneficial activity, potentially achieving multiple objectives. Children will learn in terms of the STEM program, they will develop physically and will be motivated to be active by the presence of their relatives; they will also gain a sense of security.

Of course, collaboration with families is a routine practice that should be implemented on a regular basis. Teachers should contact families to discuss students’ progress and possible challenges they face. At that, instead of enumerating areas to address or particular tasks to do with the child, the teacher should discuss different ways parents can use to help their children to grow (Educating All Learners, 2020). These contacts can take place when a parent brings the child to the classroom or picks them up at the end of the day. Social media and school information systems can also be appropriate communication platforms.

The pandemic was quite a challenging period, but it also provided many lessons, such as the use of different communication channels. Thus, teachers can use Zoom conferences to engage parents, helping them learn how to assist their children and share their concerns on different matters. The teacher can also offer (and produce) diverse videos instructing parents or highlighting some topics that are relevant for a particular class.

Some of the most valuable lessons learned during this assessment are associated with differentiation and assessment. I often found it difficult to use differentiation techniques and tended to think negatively about this element of teaching. It can be difficult to group students as they all seem so different and unique with their specific learning styles, preparedness, and emotional states. However, I learned a lot about the ways to group students and provide effective instructions as well. I will definitely use differentiation more actively in my classrooms. I will also try to make it in the form of a game at times to make students more engaged. I will also consider using creative arts to differentiate, focusing on music. I will choose some musical pieces for different groups, which will also motivate children more.

I will also use music (simple melodies, chanting, and singing funny songs) to provide instructions. Some routine instructions can become more effective and engaging when students listen to music or songs and sing along. The blending of assessment and creative arts is another element I intend to incorporate in my teaching practice. My first steps in this direction will involve the development of drama activity as a form of pre-assessment and assessment. Young children are likely to find these activities engaging due to the specifics of their characters.

Virtual Observation Log

Name:

Course Title:

Date Video Title Video Link Video Time
02/12/2021 Differentiated Instruction Strategies: Learning Options https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz1Lbu0bjaM 23:44
02/13/2021 Differentiated Instruction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZCp1HfEk8o 2:06:25
02/15/2021 Using Pre Assessments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ-9LBwSUbw 59:16
02/16/2021 Drive Equitable Student Outcomes Through Family-Teacher Collaboration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxDoQ1-gHZ8 45:28

Overall video time: 4:14:53.

References

Cooper, J. (2016). . Teaching Young Children, 9(4), 16-19. Web.

Educating All Learners. (2020). [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Institute of Education Sciences. (2016). [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Mark Schroeder. (2020). [Video]. YouTube. Web.

QEP VideoCoursesForTeachers. (2017). [Video]. YouTube. Web.

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