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Literacy Practicum PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Literacy Practicum for Language Arts (EDU 320/520) and Teaching Reading (EDU 217/517)


          The Literacy Practicum for Language Arts is a thirty-hour (ten classroom visits of three hours each) classroom experience with one teacher, with the majority of the time spent on literacy (reading, writing, speaking) activities.  Near the end of the practicum, you will teach one literacy lesson of 30-60 minutes.  It is an alternative to the traditional clinical experience assignments and the creation of a reading/writing workshop.


            It?s a serious commitment of time and energy to your cooperating teacher and, especially, your public school students who will look forward to and count on your faithful attendance.  Of course, UNE students should not go to the public school classroom if they are ill. 


            UNE students will get the opportunity to work with some of the best literacy teachers in coastal Maine.  The public school faculty will be hopefully energized by the idealism and hunger to learn of the next generation of teachers.  The cooperating teachers will have an extra hand in the classroom to help out and meet the needs of their students.  At the classroom teacher?s direction, UNE students will assist the classroom teachers.   Principals will be able to observe firsthand potential future teachers for their school or their district.


Backward Design Lesson Planning:


Why is this learning experience important?  (i.e. What?s the point?) 

1. To provide opportunities for you to reflect and clarify your thinking about teaching and learning as you observe, participate, and teach in a classroom at a grade level of your choosing,

2. To help you build rapport with one classroom of students and one teacher,

3. To help you establish a long term relationship with a local school to improve your chances of being hired by that district or in districts known by your cooperating teacher and principal,

4. To address Maine?s Standards One, Six, and Eight for Initial Certification.

Standard One - Demonstrates knowledge of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful to students.

Standard Three - Demonstrates a knowledge of the diverse ways in which students learn and develop by providing learning opportunities that support their intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development.

Standard Six - Creates and maintains a classroom environment which supports and encourages learning.) 

Standard Eight - Understands and uses a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and support the development of the learner.


What will you know or be able to do or demonstrate when you are done? You will teach one lesson and reflect on your learning. 


            How will I know that (i.e. assessment)?  I will read your reflection, be in contact with your cooperating teacher for her/his observations and comments (written and oral), and meet with you twice to debrief your practicum and teaching experience. 



1. You will be in a local classroom for a minimum of thirty hours.  At the

direction of the literacy practicum teacher, you will observe, participate, and teach.


2. In consultation with your cooperating teacher and me, you will create and teach a literacy lesson plan based on the below criteria. 

                        a. Why is this learning experience important?  (i.e. What?s the point?) 

                        b. What will the students know or be able to do or demonstrate when they have completed your lesson?

                        c. How will you know that they have learned (i.e. assessment)? 

                        d. Identify three State of Maine Learning Results that your lesson will address.  (See State of Maine website at   http://www.state.me.us/education/lres/ela.htm to learn more about the Learning Results.) 

                        e. Outline and explain activities during the entire lesson as you address Standards One, Three, Six, and Eight.  Include the materials



            1. Two one page reflections after week 2 and week 5.

            2. Two 15-30 minute meetings with me after week 3 and after your teaching lesson.

            3. One initial interview with the principal and literacy practicum teacher

            4. One lesson plan, the teaching of that lesson plan, and a one page reflection on your teaching


Literacy practicum teacher responsibilities:

____ Desire to mentor

____ Willingness to share her/his classroom and students and involve the UNE student appropriately.

____ Willingness to debrief and just chat with UNE student if there is time

____ Willingness to help UNE student create an appropriate lesson and teach it

____ (Optional) If asked and if appropriate, writes a letter of recommendation for the job-seeking portfolio of the UNE student.










Young School (K-2), 36 Tasker Street, Saco, Maine. 

Contact Principal Peter Harrison at 284-7053.


Biddeford Primary School (K-3), 320 Hill Street, Biddeford, Maine  04005    

Contact Assistant Principal Madeline Belanger at 282-8285.  


Kennebunk Elementary School (K-3), 177 Alewive Road Kennebunk, ME 04043  Contact Principal Sara Zito at szito@msad71.net   I have 5 teachers interested in participating in the literacy practicum this spring. One teaches grade 2 and the others are kindergarten teachers.


C.K. Burns School (3-5), 135 Middle Street, Saco, Maine 04072. 

Contact Assistant Principal Carrie Lamothe at clamothe@saco.org


Plummer-Motz School (3-4), 192 Middle Road, Falmouth, Maine  04105. 

Contact Principal Karen Boffa at kboffa@fps.k12.me.us

Saco Middle School (6-8), 40 Buxton Road, Saco, Maine. 

Contact Principal Rick Talbot at  rtalbot@saco.org  


Thornton Academy Middle School (6-8), 438 Main Street, Saco, Maine 04072.  Contact Associate Headmaster Stephen Marquis at steve.marguis@thorton.saco.org


Consult with me about a placement.  If you know a local teacher you would like to work with, let me know. 








? Dan Rothermel 2007

Department of Education

University of New England

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