I am a Magnet School Resource Teacher at Davis Street Magnet School in New Haven, Connecticut. The New Haven School System Standards,
A Vision for the Twenty First Century
, are in alignment with the national goals for education. These goals focus on meaningful, effective, and lasting education that prepares students for success in a world of increased diversity, technological change and global economic interdependence. My goals focus on interdisciplinary teaching with an understanding of cultural diversity that engages students and encourages their individual talents. My educational philosophy has always been that the child brings to the classroom a rich personal background and a multitude of abilities. This is where I begin to help students reach farther, celebrating their individual knowledge base and giving them additional tools to develop themselves.
In this unit students will establish concrete thinking processes in the investigation of characters, settings, and the plots. The activities will work wonderfully for the targeted grades; however, modifications can be made for students in upper and lower grades. Modifications should be made because of the cognitive development of children. Major shifts occur in children between ages five and seven and last until age 12. (Piaget's concrete operational stage.) This is where children internalize mental actions (operations) and fit them into a logical system and apply concrete thinking. Linked to students increased competence is pride in accomplishments. Howard Gardner (1989) implies that there are multiple intelligences: linguistic, musical, logical, mathematical, spatial bodily, and kinesthetic, all linked to interpersonal and intrapersonal outcomes. This suggests that each child follows a different developmental path.