THEMATIC UNIT GUIDELINES
Elementary PTEP – EDEL 470 / 490 – Block II
Thematic Units should:
Have an attractive and informative “Title Page” and "Table of Contents". Expectations for these and all other unit components are described below under “Thematic Unit Components”. Also, be sure to review the "Thematic Unit Assessment Rubric". Do not use 3-ring binders or plastic sleeves please.
Integrate no more than three subject areas for which there are relevant content standards – one of these subject areas must involve mathematics or social studies education. Integrating both subject areas is preferable but not mandatory.
Teach and assess a clearly defined theme or topic that will enable elementary students to meet their local school district curriculum standards or the Colorado Model Content Standards.
Planning for Student Learning: Review your school district's curriculum standards or Colorado Model Content Standards and think about what you want your students to learn, know and be able to do as a result of this unit. Begin gathering student and teacher resources and start thinking about how you will teach and assess students' learning relative to the content standards you select. Ask yourself:
What do I need to learn myself in order to teach this unit well? •
What kinds of resources will I need to teach this unit? •
What types and genres of children’s literature are available? •
Are there artifacts, simulations, songs, photographs, etc. I could use? •
What human and material resources are available in my community?
Thematic Unit Components
Title Page and Table of Contents - The “Title Page” should feature the title of your unit, grade level(s), the semester you taught the unit, and your program – Elementary PTEP or Post Baccalaureate Licensure Program. Also include your name, your cooperating teacher’s name, and the name of the elementary school and school district in which you are student teaching. The “Table of Contents” should, at minimum, list each of the unit components described here under “Thematic Unit Components". Assessment criteria for "Developing," "Proficient," and "Advanced" levels of performance for all unit components may be found on the "Thematic Unit Assessment Rubric".
Rationale Statement - Every Thematic Unit needs a convincing rationale. Rationale statements should be organized and presented in FOUR sections.
Section 1: Introduction – Students and teachers need to know what will be learned as a result of participating in this unit. In this section, explain why your unit topic is an important one for young learners. Describe how students might use this knowledge "in the real world".
Section 2: Community, School, and Classroom Setting – Describe the community, school, and classroom where you are student teaching. Include information about the community, school, classroom setting, and characteristics of students that are important to consider when teaching this unit. For example, how many male / female students are in the class? How would you characterize students' socioeconomic status? Will you be teaching students with special needs or students whose primary language is not English? Do you have any particular concerns about classroom management? Describe the physical setup of your classroom (a diagram might be helpful). What kinds of technologies are available and will you use of any of them to teach and assess student learning? Knowing and acting on this background information will help you develop, modify, and differentiate instruction and assessment that accommodates the full range of diversity in your students. The goal here is to individualize the teaching and learning process by designing lessons that challenge all students at an appropriate level of difficulty.
Section 3: Meeting the Colorado Model Content Standards – Curriculum standards describe what students should learn,...
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