Upper Primary Heads to the University to Learn and Teach
The students fanned across Plant Park for hands-on science experiments, activities and lessons on habitats, energy, astronomy and more. But as they were learning the topics, others were learning from them.
College seniors had prepared the day’s projects for Corbett Prep as a course requirement for their class Teaching Science and Social Studies in the Elementary School. Cindy Strickland, Corbett Prep’s Middle School co-division leader, is an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa and has taught the education class for six years. During that time, she has developed a relationship between UT and Corbett Prep that benefits the university students as well as the first and second grade classes.
As education majors at the University of Tampa, the students will do their final internships this spring. Corbett Prep’s Upper Primary field trip gave them the opportunity to develop and deliver lessons, seeing how what they had learned in their course played out with actual students. They consulted with Corbett Prep teachers ahead of time to find out what types of topics would add value to the curriculum and looked for informative but engaging strategies to use.
First and second graders sat on picnic blankets as the college students provided background on their topics and then jumped to their feet to participate in activities. One Upper Primary group discussed the differences between potential and kinetic energy as they kicked a soccer ball and spun the wheels on a skateboard. Another group crafted cacti from sponges and acted the parts of animals for a session on habitats. Students took water samples to analyze from a fountain on campus, carved out moon phases from the cream in an Oreo cookie and logged facts and discoveries in journals.
The University of Tampa students were excited to see the younger children’s creativity and participation. “The students enjoyed the activities and were focused on the lesson,” one of the teams of teachers in training reflected afterward.
“This is a great experience for these future teachers as they can use what they learn in my college class with elementary students,” Strickland said. “They rise to the challenge of planning a two-hour, in-depth, academic lesson that is hands-on and fun for our visiting Corbett Prep students.”