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Running head: Appropriate Elementary Instruction 1

Developmentally Appropriate Instruction

Samantha Miller

Regent University

In partial fulfillment of UED 495 Field Experience ePortfolio, Fall 2017



Developmentally appropriate instruction is something a teacher should engage daily with

students. Not only does appropriate instruction benefit the students but also touches base on their

needs. Every student has different learning styles and keeping material grade appropriate will

keep the students learning experiences on track and identify students cognitive and social levels.

Developmentally appropriate instruction of course varies by different grade levels as well as

different classrooms. Teaching lessons in relating educational resources to every day real life

will help make students make those real-world connections. Knowing the community of which

your students are being pulled from and relating to local places, video games, and movies on

their level will help build relationships with students.


The first artifact I chose is a Science lesson I did with a fourth-grade class. The lesson

was from chapter 8 learning about the water and oceans. I begin the lesson by reviewing their

homework from the night before, which was to quick check questions from the reading. I also

reviewed with students some of the key vocabulary terms from the water cycle. I showed a

YouTube video of the water cycle through an interactive song. For most students, this helped

with the visual connection of the water cycle. Some students it was a review and can memorize

the water cycle and understand it just by reading and looking at pictures from the science book or

from notes. The video helped students visually and auditory through sound and music from the

song in the video. I then went into explaining the water cycle experiment we were going to do.

The experiment is a physical learning style or can aesthetic for students to need the hands of one

sense of touch. This experiment will also provide a visual or spatial learning style. Although this

was a very simple experiment with a few directions or steps it was grade level appropriate

instruction that provided multiple learning styles for the students.

I broke down the experiment into steps I explain the first step and demonstrated with my

bag on the document camera. The first steps were to write your name one the Ziploc bag, draw a

sun clouds and wave to represent the ocean at the bottom of the bag. I asked the students why we

would need the sun clouds and water and what they represent in the water cycle. I gave students

time to share sharpies and pass them around to decorate their bags and instructed that if there are

other drawings other than what was stated they would have to stop there experiment and start all

over again for not following directions. I then stated once your bag has the appropriate labeling

raise your hand and I will come around and pour water into the bag and add the blue food

coloring. Of course, they asked why they could not pour the water into the bag and I stated

because the water must be poured carefully to not touch the sides of the bag to ruin the progress

of the experiment. Once two or three of the students had their bags ready I sealed them and we

walked over to the window and they got to pick the place for me to tape their bag to the window.

A second artifact I chose was a picture of the students bags taped to the window once the

experiment was completed and ready for observation the next few days. I chose this lesson as an

artifact because I felt it was an age-appropriate, hands-on and provided multiple learning styles

for every student in the classroom.

A third artifact I chose is a video of the students dancing and singing along to the

YouTube video Solve On It! This is a remake of the original song "Jump On It"! I showed the

students this video after our math lesson on factors and multiples as a closure to the math lesson.

First, I let them watch and listen then I allow them the second time to get up and dance and sing

to it, and they loved it. After three times, we had to stop and move on. This activity provided

visual auditory musical linguistics and can aesthetic learning styles for students. Since this is a

catchy tune students will remember and sing in their heads if they have trouble with multiples or

factors. The course of this song really helps students, it says multiply multiples higher, go higher.

We break down the factors they are lower, go lower. Putting a math lesson into a catchy song or

tune can help students relate the material for a better understanding.


For student success, developmentally appropriate instruction plays a vital role in their

learning experience. If instruction is not grade level appropriate students will fail to grasp the

concepts and fall behind in their learning development. It is also important for teachers to have

that relationship with students and figure out each child's developmental process and learning

styles and what is appropriate for each individual student. Providing examples and making those

real-world connections within the classroom help students prepare for the grade levels ahead.

In my opinion, when teachers provide instruction that is developmentally appropriate

students will be excited for the lesson and enjoy what they're doing and learning because it is on

their level. For example, if I was providing an example for a personal narrative topic important

events in your life I'm not going to talk about graduating college starting a career building a

family. That is not when the students level because they're not there yet they're in fourth grade. I

might talk about a family trip to the beach or Busch Gardens. Students can relate to these topics

because it may be something they have done with their parents.

Developmentally appropriate instruction is also about involving lessons within the area

and community of the students. If I was teaching in a lower income school I'm not going to talk

about or provided an example of traveling to Hawaii for a month because that would not be on

their level and could not make the connection.


Of the seven learning styles, at least three to four should be integrated into lessons daily. The

seven learning styles are:

Visual (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.

Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.

Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.

Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.

Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.

Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.

Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study ("learning-styles-


Not all students learn the same and to just lecture students and keep the same routine will get

very boring for a teacher and for students. It is vital for a teacher to have a variety of resources to

integrate into lessons and make learning fun for students and not to let students fall behind.

A concept that was influenced by Piaget's is developmentally appropriate practice or

DAP, which is an approach to educating children from birth to age eight that emphasizes the

child as an active participant in learning (Bergin and Bergin,2015,p.109). It is the teachers role

to create an environment in which a student can construct meaning from interactions with people

and objects. It is also important and developmentally appropriate instruction for the teacher to

provide experiences, ask questions, provoke conversations and encourage deep thought. I feel it

is very important to let the students feel like they are also in control instead of teachers lecturing

on facts, going through power points, and making students take notes all the time. Some common

examples of various versions of constructed to some include, using hands on material when

appropriate, encouraging students to connect the new material to familiar objects and events.

Asking more questions than giving answers and asking open ended questions that foster deep

thinking rather than question to ask for a single word answer. Also, requiring students to justify

their answers (Bergin and Bergin,2015,p.110).

Lastly, to effectively deliver developmentally appropriate instruction for students a

teacher must consider the community an area of which the school and students are feeding and

from, have a good understanding of each students individual needs and learning styles. Also,

understanding the students different cultures and beliefs is a key factor in developmentally

appropriate instruction. There are more than students in a teachers classroom, their families are

also involved. It is very important for teachers to understand culturally what the family believes

and find common ground in the classroom for the best interest of the students learning. A

teachers full understanding and the cultural environment of the classroom allows for more

personal examples to connect the curriculum to different cultures with in the classroom. By

understanding a students culture can aid in betting communicating with families at home. In

this area, there are many military families and many English as a second language and are

integrated into classrooms throughout the area. For an effective teacher to communicate and

provide appropriate instruction he or she will need to know which parent or guardian to

communicate with, or if a parent is deployed. Knowing this information will provide the teacher

with a better understanding of a students behavior and home life, and to help provide the best

education in every situation. Grade appropriate instruction is a key role for teachers to

efficiently progress students with their learning, and efficient teachers must implement multiple

learning styles and each lesson throughout the day.



Bergin, C. C., & Bergin, D. A. (2015). Child and Adolescent Development In Your Classroom

(2nd ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning

Learning-styles-online.com. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2017, from https://www.learning-