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Running Head: DEVELOPMENTALLY-APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTION 1

Developmentally-Appropriate Instruction

Emily Simmons

Regent University

In partial affiliation with UED 495


DEVELOPMENTALLY-APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTION 2

Developmentally-Appropriate Instruction Competency

Introduction

As a teacher you must make sure your teaching aligns with the students understanding.

Your instruction must always be developmentally appropriate, meaning if you are teaching the

younger elementary grades; the way you approach your teaching will be different than if you

were teaching the upper elementary grades. Teaching is a profession that changes every year,

you are always tailoring your instruction to meet your current student’s needs. By using hands

on, age appropriate, engaging actives, and varying teaching strategies you can be sure to reach all

your students. This is all crucial to becoming a great teacher.

Rationale for Selection of Artifacts

As I have continued in my student teaching experience I have learned that there are no

two students who learn the same way. You also must make sure that your teaching is aligned

with how your students learn. A teacher must be very aware of your students developmental

learning capacity as well and be able to tailor lessons to reach every student. Matthew 6:34 states

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what

may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up

when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34, The Message) It is so easy to get caught up in what you

are teaching and not take a moment to see where your students are at and find out what the best

way for them to learn is. In Matthew this verse tells us to not worry about what may happen

tomorrow but to just deal with what is on our plate now. We must make sure our lessons teach

the students what they need to learn and make sure they are grasping and understanding the

content.
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The first and second artifact that I want to delve into a photo of me teaching a whole

group lesson in a fourth-grade classroom. I had explained the directions for this activity and

created an anchor chart to go along with the various parts of speech we were learning. The

students then had to cut out the different words and glue them to the correct part of speech

section. This allowed for my students to be working hands on and be able to manipulate their

answer to allow their brain to track their thoughts and make sure they were placing the words in

the correct section. The poster also allowed for the students to reference what we had learned in

our whole group lesson and refer if they needed extra practice.

The third artifact that I wanted to include is a picture of me working with one of my first-

grade students during a math lesson. We were working on graphing and were working on a

skittles graphing activity which was a fun and engaging way to allow my students to visualize a

real-life pictograph. This was very age appropriate and my students got very excited especially

because once they were done they could eat the skittles. This artifact helps show my

developmentally appropriate instruction because it was very hands on and easy for my first

graders to complete. They all understood the various parts of their graph and were able to

manipulate the skittles into the correct color section then draw a skittle on their page so that once

the skittles were eaten their paper still made sense. We also were very aware of the background

and family life that our students had and made sure to pull and remediate the students that we

knew were not getting the extra practice at home.

The fourth artifact that I want to include is a photo of one of my students reading the

secret garden. We had our high group of readers work through the secret garden and had multiple

discussions about the differences between India and the United States. We had engaging

conversations where the students talked all about things that were similar and different between
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the place where Mary grew up and where they have grown up. It was interesting hearing and

learning what they would pull from the text and connect with their life but was great for us to all

learn more about the culture in India and how people live in different countries.

Reflection on Theory and Practice

While studying at Regent University I was able to take many classes where we would

teach as though our peers were elementary students. It was always a little awkward but looking

back now was such great practice. What I learned from studying at Regent is that you can never

be too prepared for what is to come. By taking those classes and learning how to teach at an

elementary level was awkward in the moment but has paid off immensely in my teaching career

today. I read once in a book by John Maxwell that you should “Do the right thing; do it today; do

it with no hope of return or promise of reward; do it with a smile and cheerful attitude; do it day

after day after day; do it; and someday; there will come a day that will be a payday for all the

yesterdays you spend focused on the current day – that will not only give value to today, but will

make each future day outshine each yesterday, and what more could you ask of a day?”

(Maxwell, 2000, pg. 71) Even though all those classes and activities teaching to my peers as

though they were elementary students were awkward and annoying, I am able to look back now

and be thankful for those little lessons that I learn and all the time that I put in before that is now

becoming the fruit of all the labor I put in for the past few years. By teaching reading groups,

small groups, whole group lessons, and learning games to my peers I am sure my lessons and

pictures that are included now are better than they would have been without all that practice. I

have learned that every day I am working truly does pay off in the future and is creating and

forming me into a better teacher.


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In conclusion, I believe that all students can learn to the best of their ability, but it is

based off the way that you are presenting the information. As a teacher it is your responsibility to

make sure you are teaching at a level of understanding that your students will be able to grasp.

You need to tailor your lessons to where your students are at not what you want to do. This may

mean that every year you are changing your lesson plans to reach your new class of students

because no two students learn the same.

References

Maxwell, John. C. (2000) Success One Day at a Time. Norcross, GA: Maxwell Motivation

The Holy Bible Matthew 6:34 The Message Bible

Artifacts

Artifact One: Picture of whole group lesson for fourth grade included in external link

Artifact Two: Anchor chart to go along with fourth grade lesson included in external link

Artifact Three: Skittles activity with first grade class included in external link

Artifact Four: Photo of one of my students reading the secret garden