EE510:  Fundamentals of Elementary Education


blebul1a   Course Description

blebul1a   Major Topics and Issues

blebul1a   Measures of Student Success

blebul1a   Texts

blebul1a   Grading Rubric



Course Description

This course is intended to be an introductory course at the Graduate Level for candidates seeking initial Licensure as an Elementary Teacher (Grades 1-6).  The course is designed to offer students an understanding of numerous relevant topics in education, for example, the foundations of education as it relates to student learning, effective instructional practices and appropriate accommodations for diverse learners, classroom management models, lesson plan models, diversity and exceptionalities, technological applications for the elementary classroom, and resources for practicing teachers.  The course is also designed to help students make an informed decision as to if they want to be an elementary teacher.  During a 40 hour pre-practica experience, aspiring teachers grow as professional educators as they interact with teachers and children, confirming their choice as an elementary educator.


Course Rationale:

The course develops a theoretical and research foundation in education.  Through interviews, readings, videos, and planned observations of teachers and children, candidates learn about the effective practices of teaching and learning.  Collaboratively, candidates discuss and apply their understandings of child development as they analyze the uniqueness of each child.  Issues such as technology, instructional practices and classroom management are examined as catalysts for improving schools.  Using technology and other resources, candidates become aware of the research concerning exceptionality and diversity in schools.  By studying the roles of teachers, national organizations’ guidelines and the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, candidates become aware of how schools operate and develop curriculum.  During their 40-hour prepracticum, candidates grow as professional educators as they interact with teachers and children, confirming their choice as an elementary educator.


Course Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course candidates will:

1.    Analyze the teaching profession as an appropriate career choice.

2.   .Complete a forty-hour prepracticum experience that includes observation and interaction with teachers and children, reflect on the observations and describe teaching and learning in the elementary schools.

3.   .Describe the elements of effective instruction and lesson design.

4.   Explain the roles of teachers and auxiliary personnel and parents.  Review various school organizational patterns.

5.   Demonstrate an understanding of various philosophies of education with an emphasis on constructivism.

6.   Explain different instructional models to include: cooperative learning, direct instruction, inquiry learning, and their appropriateness for diverse learners, various grade levels and disciplines.

7.   Demonstrate an understanding of current research on exceptionality and diversity using such resources as ERIC, the World Wide Web and other educational journals

8.   Summarize classroom management and discipline strategies that create a safe positive, non-violent learning environment and maximize student learning.

9.   Assess the role of technology and other resource materials as educational tools and adaptations for diverse learners.

10.  Explain how state and national guidelines were developed and how they effect curriculum decisions.

11.  Demonstrate an understanding of current research and the theories of child development and how these theories support developmentally appropriate instruction

12. Candidates will become familiar the School of Education program leading to certification.


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Major Topics and Issues


1.    Teaching in the elementary school

2.    School organization patterns

3.    Roles of the teachers, auxiliary personnel, and parents.

4.    Web Effective instructional practice and adaptations for diverse learners.

5.    Growth and development of children in elementary school.

6.    Producing a safe environment for children – health and legal procedures.

7.    Tools for observing children.

8.    Effective instructional practice and adaptations for diverse learners

9.    Philosophies of Education.

10. .Educational resources such as ERIC and the World Wide Lesson plan models.

11. Assessing instruction and examining national and state standards.

12. Classroom management models and tools.

13. Diversity and exceptionalities in the elementary classroom.

14. Appropriate use of technology and resources and adaptations for diverse learners.



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Measures of Student Success


      Participation   A given condition of learning is full participation and engagement.  One must be present to participate.  Engagement is the first criterion for success.

       Assignments:  The following assignments will assist you in answering these questions on teaching and learning.

·         What does it mean to teach in the elementary schools?

·         Who is this child I will be teaching?

·         What is the most effective way to teach this child and how do children learn?

·         How do I know this child is learning?

·         What about individual differences?

·         What tools should I use for classroom management?

·         What resources are available?

·         Do I want to be a professional educator?


1.    Class involvement and contributions.  Participation in class discussions and activities is important for your success. The course is designed so that you will be an active learner.


2. ERIC  review of selected documents on appropriate topics, including summary, analysis and reflection.  Select three (3) documents from ERIC that contains research on the topic of exceptionalities or diversity.  Two of the documents should be within the last four years.  The third document should be ten or more years since the document was published.  Read each document and in your own words, summarize (you want to be concise but be certain the reader gets a complete sense of the document.  Be sure to: (1) identify major points and issues addressed in the documents, (2) explain why you selected this document (be specific), (3)  How can / should the major findings of the document impact you  as an elementary educator as it relates to the topic of exceptionalities or diversity (4) attach a copy of the one page abstract and label items 1, 2, and 3 within your review, (5) title and ED number included in your review. Each review should be no more than two word-processed pages.  (12-point font, double-spaced, 1” margin all around.)

      NOTE:  If you use an ERIC Journal article  (EJ), this will not satisfy the assignment requirement. You are to use an ERIC document (ED)



3.    Evaluation of children's book.  Select a children's book from any source.  The book must be either a Caldecott or Newbery Award winner.  A set of these books is available at the Educator Resource Center at Maxwell Library.  Read the book.  Within your report no more than two word-processed pages, include the title, author, and copyright date.  State your estimation of grade level and why you think it would be appropriate for children at that grade level.  In general terms, explain the story.  This should be a concise description of the story but not so concise that the reader of your report does not get a clear sense of what the book is about.  Provide ideas about how an elementary teacher could use this book (give a few lesson ideas).  Describe your assessment of the book and discuss what elements of the book helped you formulate your impressions of the book.  When composing your report, please try to organize it in the same sequence as the rubric.  Label each section (i.e. book assessment).


4.    Workshop:  Conduct a workshop with classmates (your cooperative group) explaining a specific educational resource such as: Educational software, teacher made manipulatives, learning activity packages, or learning centers, etc.  Use the Internet to access the Massachusetts Department of Education Curriculum Frameworks ( – or Common Core.  You will share how the educational resource you selected connects with the state frameworks.


       5.  Presentation:  You will be working in a group of three (3) students for this course requirement.  Select a topic that is of interest to all three of you (a topic you would not usually find as part of school curriculum (i.e., how to develop pictures, how to play football, how to roller-skate, etc.)  Your lesson should be planned as if you were going to teach it to an elementary class.  Your presentation should have a written lesson plan that lists title, name, grade, date; materials; outcomes (objectives);  procedure; teacher content knowledge; student assessment; and accomodations.

                   Your presentation should include "hands on" activities; be constructivist; provide instruction for students of ALL ability levels (inclusion); and have elements of the presenta­tion that touch on seven of the eight multiple intelligences.  Your presentation should be no less that twenty-four (24) minutes and no longer than thirty (30) minutes.


       6.  World Wide Web resource review:  Consult with your cooperating practitioner in your base classroom of your 40-hour prepractica experience.  Ask him/her to identify a topic that the children in that class will be introduced in the next month or two.  Go onto the Internet and locate three sites that are on that topic.  Identify three (3) sites that you believe would be useful to the students in this prepractica classroom.  (Note:  you should not print out the results of a search.  You need to locate an actual web page on the topic you selected).

                   Print out a copy of the front page of each of the three web sites.  Be sure to include the web addresses (i.e. within the text of your paper. Provide an accurate and detailed description of each site.  Specifically explain (provide several ideas) how you could use these sites as a future elementary teacher AND how this can be used by your base classroom.  This explanation should be the focus of this assignment.  Discuss the assets and liabilities of the sites (be specific). Be sure to label each section.


8.    Interviews  :  Interview two teachers at two different grade levels, one teacher specialist, such as physical education teachers and auxiliary personnel (the school nurse), in an elementary school to discover the roles of the professional educator.  In addition, interview one parent of a child in the elementary grades.  Describe the role of the parent you interview in their child’s education.  Prepare to share your findings with your cooperative group and together write a summary to answer the questions:  What is the role of the elementary school teacher?  What types of collaboration takes place between the elementary teacher and other teachers or school personnel?  What is the role of parents in their child’s education?  Did the parents and the teachers agree as to the role of the parent and teacher in the education of the elementary student?  What is the nature and frequency of communication between school and families? This paper should have the names of all group members to receive credit.


9.    Observation:  Candidates will complete a 40-hour prepracticum experience in an elementary classroom setting (grades 1-6) concurrent with taking this course. Candidates must document completion of the following:

·         Observe lessons in three different grade levels. For two of the placements, you will observe lessons in language arts and math, and two other content areas. The third placement, at yet another grade level, you will observe one lesson in any content area.  Record your observations (observation packet form #3) and compare your findings with the instructional models and educational theories presented in class.  When turning in form #3 as part of the portfolio, please reference the rubric for elements to include on these forms and/or the accompanying narrative.

·         Observe in one class each of art, music and physical education. Complete form #3 for each observation.

·         Observe teachers utilizing different classroom management techniques.  Explain the techniques and how they relate to the research, theorists and models taught in this class.  Write a 1-2 page reflection on classroom management (what you think it is and why it is important).  Include a description of some effective class management practices. Link what you observe with what you learned about classroom management. Think about what theorist you have studied helps you with your understanding of class management. Be sure to underline the theorist’s name. You will also attach a copy of the two-page observation packet form #2 on classroom management when you turn in your reflection.

·         Assist individuals and small groups under the direction of the teacher.

·         Develop appropriate instructional materials assigned by the teacher.  Ask for specific feedback on how your materials were effective in the classroom.

·         Grade student papers.

·         Observe a child with special needs.  You may be asked to share your observations with the class.

·         Dispositions – Near the end of your 40 hour experience, you will have your cooperating practitioner complete the “Dispositions” assessment. On this same form, you will also complete self-analysis column.  This completed form must accompany your observation packet to receive credit for fulfilling the prepractica.



9. Two Self-assessments :

First Self-Assessment (to be completed at the beginning of the semester)

     Your task is to write a 2-3 page, double-spaced essay that explores your current thinking about becoming a teacher.  Use the following questions to guide your exploration.  You do not need to answer all the questions or follow them in order. However, try to organize your essay so that it follows some logical progression.

     This is an opportunity for you to develop your thinking about teaching early in the semester.  You will have opportunities to revisit this writing at different points in your professional preparation to see how your thinking has changed.  This essay will become part of your preliminary portfolio.  You should complete this task within the first two weeks of the semester. Toward the end of the semester you will revisit this essay and write a refined piece that documents how your thinking as a potential educator has changed over time.  Both the first and final self-assessment will be passed in as part of the portfolio.

     Questions to guide your exploration:

  • What events in your life have influenced your interest in possibly becoming a teacher?
  • Why do you want to teach?  What are your motivations
  • In your opinion, what is a good education? How do you know if someone is or has received a good education?
  • What questions do you have about teaching?
  • Do you think of teaching as a career? A job? A calling? A social service?  Why?
  • What are you most interested in learning about in elementary education?
  • What do you think are the rewards and challenges of teaching?
  • What can you learn by thinking about your own teachers and experiences in school?

Final Self-Assessment:    

     Revisit your first self-assessment.  Read it and consider your experiences and

learning as a beginning educator this semester. Pay particular attention to your experiences at your observation site.  Your goal is to analyze your experiences in the classroom, connect those experiences with the theories, concepts, and research discussed in class, and to reflect on your initial growth as a potential educator.

     Use the questions below to help you write your final self-assessment.  You do not need to address every question.  Try to write a cohesive essay that presents a picture of where you are as a potential educator and how your thinking/learning has changed over the semester.  Please remember that a decision NOT to become a teacher is also a very important one.  You will NOT be graded differently if you decide that teaching is not for you; that would be a very important learning from this course.  2-3 pages, double-spaced.

  1. Do you think you want to become an elementary school teacher?  Identify several personal motivations for wanting to (or not wanting to) become a teacher. What are your concerns about becoming a teacher?
  2. How have you grown as a professional educator as a result of this course and attached experiences (be specific)?
  3. Have you acquired the habit of self-reflection?  How so?
  4. How have your expectations of teaching or a career in education changed over the past semester?  Think particularly about issues related to inclusion, multicultural education, assessment and testing, curriculum, and educational philosophy.
  5. How have your experiences at your observation site had an impact on your learning about education?
  6. How has your thinking about teaching and education most changed this semester?
  7. As you reread your baseline self-assessment, what stands out as having changed significantly?  What remains important to you?
  8. Why is self-assessment an important activity for you as a teacher, regardless of your level of experience?

NOTE:   This is a reflection on your development as a future teacher.  It is not a course evaluation or an evaluation of the instructor.


10.  Final Exam   A final exam will be scheduled.



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Brooks, J. and Brooks, M. (1999). The Case for Constructivist Classrooms


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Grading Rubric


Grading Rubric



  I.  Class participation  (72 points)

      (a)  each EE 510 class session (13) attended minus

            one permitted absences................................13 @ 4 = 52

            One permitted absence: ______________

            Other absences: ____________; ____________; __________; ___________

            Subtract 4 from 52 for each other absence (2 for partial class absent)Net:____________


      (b)  participates in class discussion (5)                                           Net:____________

      (c)  works cooperatively with others in assigned groups (5)             Net:____________

      (d)  participates in class activities (5)                                             Net:____________

      (e)  shares reflections & insights experienced in class

            with classmates. (5)                                                                Net:____________


            SECTION I SUB-TOTAL                                                           ____________


 II.  ERIC  Reviews (7 points each x3 reviews = 21)

            Includes major points and issues addressed in the article (2)     Net:____________

            How can / should the major findings of the document impact

                   you as an elementary teacher as it relates to the article topic

                   of exceptionalities or multiculturalism  (be specific) (2)     Net:____________

            Explain why you selected this article (be specific) (2)                Net:____________

            Copy of abstract attached & sections labeled, Title and

                    ED number included in review (1)                                    Net:____________

      First ERIC Review       _____________

      Second ERIC Review   _____________

      Third ERIC Review      _____________

            SECTION II SUB-TOTAL                                                         _____________

III.  Presentation (23 pts)

      (a)  lesson plans include:

                   Lesson Title, name, grade, date (1)                                  Net:____________

                   materials                                                               Net:____________

                   outcomes (objectives) (1)                                                Net:____________

                   teacher content knowledge (1)                                Net:____________

                   procedures (1)                                                                 Net:____________

                   student assessment (1)                                                     Net:____________

                   list of accommodations made for students (1)                   Net:____________


      (b)  presentation:

                   "hands on" activities (1)                                          Net:____________

                   age appropriate for elementary level (1)                           Net:____________

                   instruction provided for multiple intelligences (not just

                                      present but must be activated):

                             Linguistic (1)                                                          Net:____________

                             Logical-Mathematical (1)                               Net:____________

                             Spatial (1)                                                    Net:____________

                             Bodily-Kinesthetic (1)                                    Net:____________

                             Musical (1)                                                   Net:____________

                             Interpersonal (1)                                           Net:____________

                             Intrapersonal (1)                                           Net:____________

                             Naturalist (1)                                                        Net:____________

      topic selected not usually part of school curriculum (1)                            Net:____________

      time of presentation within limits (5 if within 24-30 mins., 4 if

            23 or 31 mins., 3 if 22 or 32 mins., 2 if 21 or 33 mins.,

             1 if 20 or 34 mins.)                

SECTION III SUB-TOTAL                                                                     ____________


 IV. Children's Book Evaluation (20 points)

            book selected is Caldecott or Newbery Award winner

                   (provide copy of book cover or other evidence of it being

                    an award winner.) (1)                                                      Net:____________

            report includes title, author, copyright (1)                               Net:____________

            report has estimated grade level use and why

                   you think it would be rated at that grade level (3)             Net:____________

            CONCISE description of story (3)                                              Net:____________

            Describe how book could be used by elementary teacher

                   Be sure to provide specific ideas         (8)                         Net:____________

            book assessment (3)                                                               Net:____________

            report set up with each section labeled (1)                               Net:____________

SECTION IV SUB-TOTAL                                                                     ____________


  V. World Wide Web resource review (10 points)

            copy of front page of site provided (1)                                     Net:____________

            topic selected likely to be of interest and used by

                   elementary-aged children for research  (1)                        Net:____________

            Provide an accurate and detailed description of site (1)            Net: ____________

            Desceibes the strengths and weaknesses of the site (2)             Net:____________

            Explain how this resource can be used by your base classroom where

                   you are completing your 40 hours. Also, explain how you

                   could use this site as an elem. teacher with specific ideas

                   of how you could use this with your own students. (5)       Net: ____________

            SECTION V SUB-TOTAL                                                         _____________


VI  Classroom Management  (7 pts)

      1-2 page narrative:

            Describes what classroom management means to you (2)         Net:________

            Describes examples of effective practices (1)                            Net:________

            Links what you observed in your base class to what you

                   believe are effective management strategies.          (2)              Net:_________

             Make connections to educational theorists you have learned. (1)      Net:________

      Completed form #2 of observation packet (1)                                 Net:________

            SECTION VII SUB-TOTAL                                      ____________­­­___


VII. Workshop on educational resources ( 9 pts)

            Links resource to the Curriculum Frameworks / Common

                   Core (2)                                                                Net: ____________

            Participates(equal share)in workshop & follow up discussion (2)         Net:____________

            Identifies the strengths and limitations of resource (1)              Net:____________

            Presents information about the teacher guide/ manual (1)        Net: ____________

            Provide specific ideas of how this resource can help students

                   learn. (specifically how it can be used in lessons). (4)        Net: ____________

            SECTION VIII SUB-TOTAL                                      ____________­­­___


VIII.  Interview Narrative (7 pts) note: each group member receives

  the same point value for the assignment.   

Describes the types and frequency of communication between

school and families recommended by teachers and parents

of elementary students.        (2)                                            Net: __________

Discusses the types of collaboration that takes place between

      teachers and other school personnel. (2)                              Net: __________

Describes the roles of the teacher and the parent of an

      elementary student in the education of that child as

      described by teachers and parents. (2)                                 Net: __________

The written report is a synthesis of the collected data and not

  just a report on what these individuals said. (1)                            Net: __________

SECTION IX SUB-TOTAL                                                      ______________


   IX.  Classroom Observation (Form #3 set of 12) (5)

Described any accommodations the teacher made to meet

     the needs of students from different cultural and

     linguistic backgrounds and with exceptionalities. (2)              Net: _______

Links the lesson to an educational theorist you studied.

     Explain how this observed lesson compliments or does

     not compliment the ideas of that theorist (be specific).(2)     Net: _______

Identified the outcomes of the lesson / activity (1)                               Net: _______

SECTION X SUB-TOTAL                                                      _____________


X.           Special Education paper (10)

      Described the role of the regular education teacher in teaching

            children with special education needs.                                     Net: __________

      Relates observations from your base classroom to your

      discussion of the role of the regular ed teacher (from above)    Net: _________

      Provides at least two specific references from the video

      (making it clear to the reader you viewed the video)                Net: _________

      SECTION SUB-TOTAL                                                       _____________


XI.       First and Final Self-assessments

            Self-assessments (12)                                                     Net: ___________


      XII. Final Examination (50 points)                                         Net:____________


                                                TOTAL EARNED:             ________________________


TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS......................................................245


233 = A              221 = A-            213 = B+                 205 = B

197 = B-             189 = C+            180 = C                  172 = C-

164 = D+            156 = D              148 = D-                 below 148 = F

For example:  A student with a score between 213 to 220 would receive an earned grade of B+.


Grading note:  You will be eligible to receive the full points listed above if the assignments are passed in on the dates due.  Each assignment is designed to help prepare the student to become an elementary teacher.  If you know you are going to be absent the day the assignment is due, you are encouraged to have it passed in (it could be passed in early, sent in with another person, or emailed to me).  If the assignment is not turned in on the date due, you are encouraged to still complete it.  Any assignment passed in at a reasonable date beyond the due date will still be eligible (with the instructor’s permission) to earn points up to but not exceed 50% of the points indicated on the grading rubric.

      * No papers will be accepted for points after the official start time of the final examination.

      * If you do not provide evidence of completing the required 40 hour prepracticum or the dispositions sheet, you will receive a grade of I (Incomplete). You have until the end of the following semester to complete and turn in these items (see college catalog for official policy). When this is done before the end of the next semester, the I grade can be changed to the earned letter grade. If you do not pass in this documentation before the end of the following semester, the grade will automatically turn into an F.


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