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Amanda Leigh Forstater

Best Lesson

Posted by Amanda Leigh Forstater Apr 27, 2015

Here is one of my favorite lessons from student teaching:


Area: 8th Grade Ag Rotation

Lesson Title: How Much Do People Really Know About Agriculture?

Length of Lesson: 45 minutes

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of instruction, students will be able to:

  1. Describe how perceptions of agriculture can change based on location, media and/or experience to teacher satisfaction.
  2. Explain their personal views on the importance of agriculture to teacher satisfaction.


Target Audience: 8th grade 

It's really here..the last day.


I can't believe how quickly 15 weeks has flown by. Looking back on the beginning of my student teaching internship I never believed that so much could happen in so little time. When I first came to Tri-Valley I hoped that I would walk away at the end of 15 weeks with my students having learned at least one thing from me; however, I never imagined just how much they would have taught me.



Over the course of this year I have taught 8 different classes, over 80 different students and spent countless hours and miles with my students, and it has been a roller-coaster of a time. There were ups and downs, yelling, crying, and laughing. There have been funny notes left on my desk, texts and tweets to ask about assignments or sometimes just to say hi. There have been group pictures and not-so-secret secret selfies, when I pass my phone out to take pictures of class.



My students, and yes I will still claim all of them, taught me a lot about the kind of program I am looking for, the kind of ag. teacher I want to be, and also a lot about me as a person. They taught me how to stay patient, they taught me how to manage a shop, they taught me how to relax, and most of all they taught me how no matter where we live or where we come from, we're really not that different.


IMG_1216.JPGI am really going to miss all of my students and all the great memories I made while at Tri-Valley and though I may have made it through the whole last school day without crying, as soon as that last bell rang and the classroom was officially empty save me, I sat at my desk and just let the waterfall pour. I'm sad knowing I had to leave and though I know I'll quite a few of them in just a few days at Eastern Region CDE's and then the majority of them when I return for FFA Banquet in a few weeks, I already miss them so much. I got used to their silly comments and jokes, and even their versions of what my personal life must have been growing up in Philly.


So it might be goodbye for now but I know I will see them again soon and I look forward to hearing about what they do in the future.


Oh, and yes if I start teaching somewhere where it's nice and warm, I'll let Mrs. D know.....

Upon entering Penn State's very large student population, I had my own dreams and aspirations for my future career.  I had no idea where my education would take me! 3/12 years later, I would find myself at Penns Manor High School beginning my student teaching internship.


My student teaching experience was filled with challenges, barriers, roadblocks, complications, difficulties, late nights, and long weekends, but also excitement, energy, enthusiasm, traveling, accomplishments, success and so much more!  It was an incredible experience and one that I most certainly would do again and again.  It was a huge relief to be able to finally apply all the methods, strategies and theories that have been discussed for the last 3 1/2 years in educational courses.


DSCF0189.JPGThe experience I had was a very unique one.  I spent the first half of my internship at Penns Manor High School in rural Clymer, PA.  I had the honor and privilege of teaching 5 different classes.  The second half of my student teaching internship was at Mopan Technical High School in Belize.  Yup! That's right.  I said Belize!  At Mopan Technical High School I taught four different classes. 


My experiences at the two schools were completely different and both very rewarding.  At Penns Manor, I learned a lot about using a wide variety of teaching strategies, adapting my lessons to fit the needs of IEP students and classroom structure.  You can see the picture on the right where my students and I all went through the cheese making process.  Their faces have a somewhat disgusted look because they thought the cheese curds and whey smelled bad. 

At Mopan Technical, while I still needed to utilize teaching strategies that were engaging, I had to focus more on breaking down barriers in my communication and connection with my students in Belize.  Some of these issues were derived simply from the fact that I was a foreigner, others from the fact that I didn't know their backgrounds and the rest were cultural differences.  Teaching at Mopan Technical High School proved to be significantly more challenging yet significantly more rewarding.  This international experience gave me a level of confidence in my abilities to teach that I don't think I could have gained any where else.  I was able to break down some of the barriers I had with students.  I was able to overcome the challenges I had at Mopan Technical.  I realized.




As I discovered, the classrooms, the materials, the supplies, the environment, and the weather were all drastic changes from Penns Manor.  However, I would not trade this experience for the world!  It was worth every struggle along the way!  The picture to the left depicts my 4th Form (Seniors) who were studying poultry reproduction.  We went over egg structure and discussed why the eggs have dome-shaped ends.  They thoroughly enjoyed a more engaging lab activity.

Hey Guys,


I know that the opportunities for future individuals to be teaching international are just beginning.  I thought I would be the first to post a lesson plan that I thought is an example of my BEST lesson from another country to help those also interested in a similar experience.  Yes, you'll notice it's the same.  But please take note of which sections were cut out and which sections were kept.  My lessons were in accordance with Penn State's Teacher preparation program and with Mopan Technical School's Lessons in Belize.  Please enjoy!!


Area: Poultry Reproduction

Lesson Title: What Does a Poultry Reproductive System Look Like?

Length of Lesson: 40 min.

Learning Objectives:

  Upon completion of class, students will be able to...

     1.) Identify the nine parts of the poultry reproduction system with 100% accuracy.

     2.) Explain the functions of the nine parts of the poultry reproductive system to teacher's reproductive system.

     3.) Connect the functions of the reproductive system with the formation of an egg to teacher's satisfaction.

Target Audience: 15 students in 4th form (Seniors).

     15 weeks is a decently long time in any sense of time. However, that length of time can impact a person differently depending on what occurs during that period. Student teaching was a 15 week long experience during which I was able to leave an impact on my students at Red Lion, and where they left a huge impact on me.      2015-02-03 07.58.30.jpg

     Initially, I thought student teaching would be a time to develop instructional skills. How do I prepare fun lessons that will teach my students what they need to know? I was certainly able to develop in this way. As time went on, it became easier to be creative and use multiple hands on techniques of teaching. I didn't have to utilize only one method of presenting information. This was more than learning how to differentiate instruction as we did in AEE 412. Yes, that was helpful. But having classes that each have their own dynamics and own set of interests forces you to adapt to these individuals. Not every student is going to learn best by listening to a lecture. Some students don't like certain hands on activities either. Learning what each student learned best from was crucial in order for me to be effective.

     When my land lady (Red Lion's art teacher) asked me what my most important take away was, I told her the importance of building connections. When I started, I realized that rapport was important. However, I had a difficult time realizing just to what extent it was important. Before I had fully established connections with my students, they didn't have any buy into me. Why should they learn from a girl that they don't think cares about them anyway? I wouldn't blame them. By talking to them individually and learning about their lives, I was able to build a connection between us. This allowed them to actually learn. I never guessed exactly how important it was though.

     Building connections was something that completely transformed my student teaching experience. If I hadn't connected with my students, they wouldn't have learned from me. In addition, I wouldn't have learned so much from them. Those connections are what allowed me to learn about them and what makes them tick. It's also what made it so hard to leave. 2015042395161630.jpg

Here was my favorite lesson from my student teaching internship. Enjoy!


Area: Agribusiness Management

Lesson Title: What is the best organizational structure for our business?

Length of Lesson: 60 minutes

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of instruction, students will be able to:

     1. Identify four organizational structures to 100% accuracy.

     2. Identify pros and cons of each type of structure to teacher satisfaction.

     3. Determine the best organizational structure for an artificial business to teacher satisfaction.

Target Audience: 10-12 grades  

Fifteen weeks ago I was nervous, scared and thinking that I wasn't ready for student teaching and even that maybe this wasn't the major for me. I drove north to Conneaut with tears in my eyes because I didn't think I could do it. Well today I drove south to Mt. Chestnut with tears in my eyes because I did not want to leave. I will never forget the impact the teachers and students at CASH had on me. I now have a new perspecitve, a new respect and a renewed passion for Agriculture Education. My student teaching internship at Conneaut Area Senior High was more than I could ever ask for! I feel blessed that I was paired with such an amazing cooperating teacher at a great cooperating center with incredible students.


During my time at CASH I taught Agriculture Education 1, 2, 3/4 and an agriscience class and I was able to interact with 98 different students on a daily basis. I taught a varitey of subjects including plant science, soils, animal science, welding, woodworking and FFA knowledge. This experience not only gave me a stronger understanding of these subjects, it helped me become a better teacher and a better person. I was unsure what I really wanted to do in life when I began student teaching and honestly I'm still not sure but now I know that whereever I end up there are three things I want.

I want to impact the lives of students, I want to share my passion for agriculture and I want to do what makes me happy!


I am thankful for all of the lessons, FFA opportunities and school activities made this experience so great but im most grateful for the people I met. The students, teachers, administration and community of Conneaut Area Senior High will always hold a special place in my heart. Ms Aurand was an awesome cooperating teacher who taught me so much about what it takes to be not only a great teacher but FFA Advisor as well. The students welcomed me with open arms and were great to have in class.


As a look back on the past fifteen weeks I am proud of what I have acomplished, i'm excited for whatever the future holds but overall I am sad to leave CASH! I know it's not goodbye, but rather a see you later! cashh.jpgffa10.jpg

      If you would have asked me how I liked student teaching after the first week, I would have gave you a standard response of “it’s going good” or “yeah I like it.” If you would have asked me the same question around the end of February/beginning of March, I would have said “I hate this; I can’t wait until it’s over. I’m never going to teach.” If you would have asked me about student teaching today, on my last day, I would have burst into tears, which is exactly what I have been doing the last 24 hours. Everything I have been through the last four years has led me to this point: figuring out my purpose in life. Although I wasn’t sure up until this point, I can wholeheartedly say agricultural education is where I belong. As I sit here and reflect on this entire experience, I am overcome with emotions. I am beyond blessed that I had the opportunity to student teach at Elizabethtown with Mr. Anderson and work with his students. I am so sad that these 15 weeks are over and my student teaching experience has come to a close. I am anxious to see what lies in store for me next; they always say when one door closes, another one opens. Most of all, I feel whole. I have a lifetime of memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I have figured out my purpose in life and have grown into the young professional I was meant to become. I can’t help but think back to the beginning of this entire process. I began contacting and visiting schools in March of 2014. I visited four schools and selected my top three; none of them being Elizabethtown. In fact, I didn’t know anything about Elizabethtown! As April rolled around and our student teaching placements were announced, I was very surprised to learn that I had been placed at Elizabethtown. I was actually more than surprised…I was angry and upset! How could they place me at a school I knew nothing about without any prior warning?! Why were all three of my top choices given to other student teachers and not me?! I cried the day I found out and in turn was dreading student teaching. I shouldn’t admit this but I had even considered dropping my major I was that upset! I now realize how extremely foolish I was at that time. After visiting Elizabethtown for the first time in April of 2014, I knew that I could not have had a better placement! Mr. Anderson is one of the most down to earth, realistic, hardworking, kind hearted, and funniest individuals I know. We had a great connection from the start and I quickly realized how much I was looking forward to student teaching. He has helped me in more ways than he even realizes throughout this entire experience. He has helped me grow and prosper as a student teacher and even more so as a person. He has provided me with advice, personal experience, honest opinions, and friendship. We have shared so many laughs and jokes together; ones that have helped me get through stressful times that come with student teaching. He truly is a selfless, inspiring individual and I will miss him greatly now that my time at Elizabethtown is up. Arguably he biggest thing I have learned through all of this is that if you aren’t happy, nothing is ever worth it. Were there times throughout this experience that I was stressed, tired, miserable, and dreading going to school the next day? You bet there were. But were there times when I was excited beyond belief to teach a unique lesson, attend an FFA conference, share jokes with my students, and work with students until I saw a lightbulb go off? Even more so. I realized that while not every day will be good, there certainly is good in every day. I have had so many instances when I was having a bad day and the smallest action turned my day right around. I realized that no matter what job you have, you will always have a bad day. That’s life. What matters is how you handle that bad day and what you do to turn it around! Everybody tells you about the impact you will have on your students, the difference you will make in their lives, you will be a “positive agent of change,” etc. but nobody really tells you the difference your students will make in your life, the impact they will have on you. Maybe it’s just because I’m a big softie but these students, all 54 I had in my classes and the countless others I have interacted with through FFA, have taught me a lesson and impacted me in their own individual way. Every single student from the straight a college bound seniors to the disadvantaged lower ability level underclassman have left their mark on me. Each student has a story; some are more open to share than others. My eyes have truly been opened from this experience and I have realized that not all students are as lucky as I was. Another big question I have been getting asked from those around me is what’s next? You graduate in two weeks, what will you be doing?  My response is typically the same: “I’m not sure what’s next but I know I want to teach.” I have applied for many jobs, not all of them teaching, just to have something to fall back on. I know the right opportunity will arise in God’s timing; putting my faith in Him assures me that I will end up just where I am meant to be! Would I love to have a job lined up by the time I walk across the graduation stage in two weeks? Absolutely! Do I have a full time job lined up at this point? Nope. But honestly, I am okay with that. This experience has taught me to be flexible, patient, and reassured me that it’s okay not to have it all figured out. Having a plan is great but things can change in a split second. You need to trust the process, have faith, and remain persistent. As I walk out the doors of Elizabethtown High School for the final time today, there will be tears. I know I will see some of these students again at the FFA banquet next month but it won’t be the same. I know that one day I will have the opportunity to have a program of my own, be a mentor like those who have mentored me and helped me reach this point. I know you can’t reach every student, but I have learned that every student can reach you. This was proven true when I found myself stuffing 54 goodie bags, signing 54 individualized cards, and baking 8 dozen cookies to show my students and my cooperating teacher just how much this experience meant to me.

For the last 15 weeks I have had to privilege of teaching 105 different students in my agriculture classes. Perhaps "teaching" is a light term, instead I believe we should use the word "impact." I began my student teaching experience at Octorara Area High School in January of this year. From day one I believed that I would step into this program and begin utilizing my resources and knowledge to teach students about agriculture. Although students came to my classes and gained knowledge in different subject areas, I feel as though I not only taught students but I also impacted them.However, it took me till the end of my student teaching to realize this.

My student teaching experience did not start with warm welcoming arms. In fact many of my students were upset with the fact that they had a student teacher. I was different and I taught much differently from my cooperating teacher. It was an adjustment that we all had to work through. It took many long and exhausting weeks to condition my students to a different way of thinking about school. Many students didn't like the challenge of thinking creatively. What I found was that students preferred sitting and taking notes off of a powerpoint. When I implemented a hands on activity where they had to create something or perform a lab, then I heard all sorts of complaining. I couldn't figure it out at first, but I realized that some of my activities really pushed students out of their comfort zones. At first I wanted to give in and do what the students wanted so that they would appreciate me more as their teacher; however, I reflected on this decision and realized that pushing my students out of their comfort zones is positive for their cognitive development. I wanted my students to think creatively and I wanted them to simply think. Having students take notes off of a powerpoint is sometimes necessary but if done everyday then it's cycling the idea of spoon feeding our students information without allowing them to apply the information. I wanted my students to apply information and at first it was not an easy sail. However, the last two weeks of student teaching really hit me in realizing the impact that was occurring in my classes. I had implemented a few labs and activities that involved all hands on learning. What did I the students say when I explained the lab to them? Nothing! They got right to work and completed the task that I asked of them. Nothing made me more happier than knowing that I could successful change their perception of school and change a way of thinking that would help them in positive ways. In reflecting on my teaching experience I realize just how important it is to challenge our students beyond the ordinary. Don't let any of your classes be an ordinary working environment but rather change it to be an extraordinary one. I believe agricultural education has the power to do just this.

Another great piece of advice that has carried with me from the beginning of this experience is to build rapport with your students. I have seen the importance of this play out in my student teaching experience and I could not agree more. A previous student teacher once told me, "invest in your students and they will invest in you." I love this because it is very true. These past few months I have not only gotten to know students but I have been able to help students because they have trusted me. I went to my students basketball and softball games and I have talked to students after school about how I can help them in class. I have also given students encouraging words when they have hit a low point in their life. Sometimes I didn't know why I received respect from my students, but I do know that I took the time to get to know them. I always told my students how much I believed in them. I don't think students hear this enough from their teachers. I don't know how much my words impacted my students but I know that I saw many changes in my students' behaviors and attitudes over the past few months. It has been an absolute joy making these connections with my students, and I know more than anything that I will miss their diverse personalities that make your job worth the while.     

Impact is a small word that makes a big difference. The most sad part about leaving my cooperating school on that last day was knowing how much I had worked with my students to get them to where they were and knowing that I wouldn't be there Monday morning to continue this pattern. I wouldn't be able to ask my one student who comes to school 45 minutes early how he was doing and talk to him another 10 minutes about his favorite fishing memories. I wouldn't be able to talk to the two freshman girls that stopped by every morning just to say hi. I wouldn't be able to help finish planning out the FFA banquet with the officer team. The list could go on and it is sad knowing that I will never have these same opportunities again with these students. However, leaving my empty desk on my last day, I was at peace. Every single student gave me a hug and a thank you after leaving my class. Some threw a surprise party and others got me gifts. This sense of peace came from knowing that I didn't only teach these students but I impacted them too.  



       My Students and I representing FFA at a Sheep and Wool event in Chester County Pa



                   My Agricultural Mechanics class on my last day!


                         My Animal Science class on my last day!

Going into my student teaching experience, I had very mixed emotions about whether or not I wanted to teach in a classroom. I had a lot of experience with non-formal education and liked where I was. I knew that student teaching in the formal setting of a classroom was going to be anything but easy. The first day I was introduced to my students was nerve-racking! I was responsible for the education of these young minds, that is a lot of pressure for one person! I did my best and I dove right in by taking over the Natural Resource and Ecology class at the beginning of the semester. Soon after I added Horticulture and Ag Science as well. While teaching at Twin Valley HS, I never felt like I had time to think, I was always preparing something for the next class, the next day, or an after school event. There was no time to sit and think about everything I was going through! After a few weeks in, I decided that I never wanted to teach in a classroom setting. The kids were great and I enjoyed working with them, but I couldn't stand the thought of having to print and revise another lesson. I started to dread going to school and have to do it all again the next day. Sometime shortly after, I was observed for the first time by Ms. Laura Rice. She observed my first two classes, and then we had a chance to talk over lunch. During our talk, I could tell she was disappointed in my teaching, and wished that I was doing better. We talked about my performance and she stated that during the Fall Semester in Lab, I was doing so well, and she wanted to know what happened. The truth is, I don't know what happened, I was in a "funk", I wasn't happy with what I was doing. I lost my sense of direction. But after that day, and talking with Ms. Rice and Ms. Weaver, I decided that I needed to change, and fast! I tried to better prepare myself for my lessons and started to stay after school later, and set-up for the following day. I communicated more with Ms. Weaver about what I planned to do, and asked for suggestions. I noticed my lessons were getting better, and I was happier with the work I was doing. I made connections with my students and they began to respect me as an educator, but we still had fun in class. I finally thought I was happy! By the net scheduled visit from Ms. Rice, I had improved, and was better as an educator. She seemed much happier with my performance and I was finally on the right track! When my ten weeks at Twin Valley were done, I was sad to leave. I truly made a connection with my students and I knew I would miss them. The student planned a going away party for me after school on my last day, but mother nature had other plans, we had an early dismissal on the my last day, and all after school activities were canceled. A few of my students came down to say goodbye on their way to the buses, but I never got to talk to many some of them. There was no time to dwell in the sadness of leaving Twin Valley, because the following day was a banquet for my next placement, the Keystone Elk Country Alliance. I drove from Twin Valley all the way to Ridgway, PA to the site of the Elk Country Banquet. We set up on the Friday night that I left Twin Valley, and finished up on the following day. I was there for a long weekend, but I was able to catch up with my co-workers and meet some of the new members of the team. The following week we had a staff meeting were I was brought up to speed on many of the happenings during my time at Twin Valley, and I also shared some of my experiences. The next day, I had a Distance Learning Session with a class of 4th Graders from Mill Hall Elementary. Ms. Kurtz asked me to take lead on the session, and I did just that. It wasn't until the moment the session started that I realized that I was never truly myself at Twin Valley, when I was teaching these kids over Skype, I was truly myself, I was energetic, animated, and using all of these strategies that I learned about during my time at Penn State. But most importantly I was happy. My time at the Elk Country Visitor Center has been much different than I thought it would be. I was expecting to be sorting information, updating curriculum, and working with groups, not only did I do that, but I was asked about starting new programs and events, designing new informational signs, and much more! The thing I am most excited about is the CDE Training Day that I have been planning. We are inviting every FFA Chapter in PA to this event where students can receive extra training in Wildlife, Aquatic Resources, and Forestry CDE's. Eventually this event will offer training sessions on other areas as well. I have been hired on as the new Conservation Education Coordinator at the Elk Country Visitor Center, succeeding my cooperating supervisor, Barb Kurtz. A lot of my time has been looking into the curriculum she has developed during her time here, and updating it. The Keystone Elk Country Alliance seems to be excited to have me become a permanent member of their team, and I am excited to join them. There are so many ideas that I have, that might just come true! While comparing my experience with a split internship, I have to say that I love non-formal education like what I do at the visitor center. However, I also love formal education, and bonding with my students. I am at a point right now where I still don't fully know where life will take me. I am happy right now working in non-formal education. Who knows eventually, I may decided I want to teach in a classroom and switch to formal education. Nothing is forever. As my good friend Janae Bickhart always says, "If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life!" and right now, I am looking forward to a "work-free" life!

Morgan Campbell

A Bittersweet Ending

Posted by Morgan Campbell Apr 25, 2015

I remember a conversation that I had with my mom about five months ago. Filled with self-doubt and worry, I was convinced that student teaching would be the hardest thing that I've ever done. I told my mom, with tears streaming down my face, that I could not do it- I could not leave home and I could not teach. The days went by, and before I knew it, I was leaving home for my first night alone in my apartment. I bawled my eyes out as I pulled out of the driveway and I cried almost the whole way there.


The entire next week was filled with even more tears, as I felt overwhelmed and unsure while I acquainted myself with Mifflinburg High School. However, the weeks got easier and the days went by faster... and now, here I sit, again bawling my eyes out... Not because I am homesick or overwhelmed, but because I do not want to leave Mifflinburg or the students there.


My experience student teaching has been a crazy, overwhelming, awesome mix of emotions. I have learned so much- not only about teaching, but about myself as well. Most importantly, I have stretched myself, tried new things, grown, and matured.


This experience also provided me with a much needed confidence boost. When I began, I was unsure as to what I wanted to do with my future career. I was fighting my instinct, and was convinced that teaching wasn't for me. However, after completing student teaching, I now know that I was meant to be a teacher. From my passion for student success, to the excitement that I feel when I create an awesome lesson or activity, every part of me wants to continue educating students in an agricultural classroom!


Although I am thankful for the lessons that I learned and the confidence that I gained from this experience, I am most thankful for the students and teachers who have had such a huge impact on me. Mr. Kessler, Mrs. Spurrier and the students at Mifflinburg welcomed me with open arms, making me a part of their "ag family". From the crazy nicknames (MMC, Split Pea, Auntie Campbell!), to the the daily conversations, each student at Mifflinburg helped to remind me of the real reason that I wanted to be a teacher; to make a difference in the lives of students.


Mr. Kessler and Mrs. Spurrier both had a huge impact on me, as well. They were both so passionate about their job, which helped to instill a deeper passion in me. Not only this, but they were also so helpful; always offering advice or resources for me to use. I am proud to call them both my mentors, and I look forward to working with them professionally one day.


As I sit here looking back at the past 15 weeks, I feel a strange mixture of excitement, pride and sadness. While leaving the students and teachers at Mifflinburg is hard, I know that one day soon, I may have my own agricultural program. I certainly will never forget my crazy Mifflinburg kids, and I can only hope that they will never forget me!


My second period Welding class!


My fifth period Intro to Ag class!


My sixth period Intro to Ag class!

My third period Electricity class! Above is my link to the video reflection I have created... Please check it out, it is one click... that quick! Thank You, Carly Schaefer Please click on this youtube link and it will send you right to my video reflection!

Area: Animal Science, Environmental, Wildlife Lesson Title: What do owls eat? Length of Lesson:41 minutes Learning Objectives:Construct a simple food chain to teacher satisfaction. Establish a diet of rodents and identify to 80% accuracy. Target Audience: Students ranging from freshmen to seniors

Area: Welding


Lesson Title: What is welding?


Length of Lesson: 75 minutes


Learning Objectives:

Upon the completion of this class, student will be able to...


     1.Identify the safety practices that should be observed when working with shielded metal arc welding to teacher satisfaction.


     2. Explain 3 dangers that are associated with arc welding to teacher satisfaction.


     3. List 6 pieces of proper protective equipment that are needed for welding with 100 percent accuracy.


     4. Define ARC welding to teacher satisfaction


Target Audience: 9-12 graders: Utilized in an introductory level course as a unit introduction lesson

Morgan Campbell

My Favorite Lesson!

Posted by Morgan Campbell Apr 17, 2015

Hi everyone! During my student teaching internship, I have created so many lessons that I absolutely loved. I had a really hard time narrowing down my "favorite"... However, a lot of my "favorites" are on pretty popular topics, which I have seen done/ posted about many times. So, I decided to share something that was a little different.


I was asked to teach the Circulatory & Urinary Systems in Vet Science. I had no idea where to go with the Urinary System (it can be difficult to make learning about pee fun...). We talked about the organs involved in urine production, as well as urinary diseases. I wanted to talk about urinalysis, since this a common test that vets use to diagnose health issues. However, I did not want to bring in real urine. After searching the internet, I found a website that provided recipes for fake urine, which, when tested, will read positive for various urinary diseases. This site also provided microscope slides and descriptions, but they were geared more towards humans. I took these things and created a lesson that focused on vet science.


I taught from a short PowerPoint (attached) to give my students an insight on what to look for when testing urine. I then split them into groups and provided them with the lab sheet and microscope slide photos (attached) and urine samples. My students were SO grossed out when I handed out the urine samples... it was great to see their reactions! Each group analyzed the urine using test strips, made observations about the urine and the microscope slides and used the patient descriptions to diagnose the patients' illnesses.


I hope that you can find this lesson as educational (and entertaining!) as I did... Enjoy




Below is the information regarding the attached lesson plan:


Area: Veterinary Science

Lesson Title: What is urinalysis?

Length of Lesson: 42 minutes

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify common urinary system problems in animals
  2. Explain the process of urinalysis
  3. Perform urinalysis on four urine samples

Target Audience: 9-12 grade students, with some prior knowledge about bodily systems

To be honest I did not go into the AEE major to become a teacher. I took the major for communication skills and development. So going into student teacheing I did not know what to think. Would I like it or would I hate my life. I mean I love working with kids and adults but was not sure how I felt about the classroom setting.


When it came time to student teach I could have been with a normal teacher but I was placed with Mrs. Anderson (This is what she tells me). From the beginning we have clicked from our passion for Ag, love of showing, and scrapbooking. We have been a pair to work together that's for sure. I taught three classes since Manheim Central is on block scheduling which were Intro to Ag, honors mechanics, and AgriEcology. This was out of my comfort zone but I am glad I got to teach these while I had the support from my cooperating teacher.


I did figure out that I do not HATE teaching but I do not know if it is what I want to do. It helped that most of my students were great and I connected with them so well. Which like most that is always a concern. This experience has been great and I have tried to take the most away from it plus take in every possible opportunity. Some of these included FFA trips, proctoring keystone exams, helping with the freshmen fundraiser, working with the chapter officers, attending the art show, helping facilitate NOCTI, getting pesticide certified, and more.


Working with the three teachers in the Ag department at Manheim has been a true blessing. They have all helped me in so many ways and I would work along side of anyone of them in the future. They all took into account what was in my best interest and what I needed to do. I have had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with numerous administrators and they are all so open and welcoming and their to help you.


Event though this all sounds so good it was not always that way. I did have days where I wanted to punch a wall and was frustrated beyond belief due to behavior issues or lack of class engagement, you name it. But one thing you learn it to let it go and do not hold a grudge which was a big lesson for me because I am very good at holding grudges.

Course: Plant Science

Unit: Hydroponics

Title: The Hydroponic Challenge

Grade: 9-12

Length: 42 minutes


Learning Objectives:

  1. Given the proper materials at the beginning of the lesson, students will construct two hydroponic units to the satisfaction of the teacher.
  2. Upon the completion of class, students will be able to identify two types of passive hydroponics systems to the satisfaction of the teacher.

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