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Wellborn_Planning Commentary and Assessment Analysis

Wellborn_Planning Commentary and Assessment Analysis

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Published by Carla Wellborn

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Published by: Carla Wellborn on Dec 14, 2012
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Name:________________________________ Date:_____________________
Carla Wellborn12/13/12Drs. Knauth and SalmonPlanning Commentary and Assessment Analysis
1.Content Focus and Standards
-
Summarize the central focus for the content you will teach in this learning segment. Describe the standards that relate to this content.
I am currently a resident at Phillips Academy High School working as a 9
th
gradeEnglish teacher. My students are mostly honors and college prep level, according to theNWEA data and the school’s interpretation of that information. During this learningsegment I will be teaching reading strategies, vocabulary enrichment, verb usage, andpoetry.One of the largest foci that we have in our class is that of readingcomprehension. We want our students to leave their freshman year with a strong lovefor reading and a much higher reading ability level. We do this by allotting fifteenminutes a day for Sustained Silent Reading time (SSR). We also teach them readingstrategies such as questioning, inference, and prediction. Students are then taught touse these strategies during the reflection after their SSR. During my lead teach, I will befocusing on reinforcing the strategies that we have already taught them and makingsure they are utilizing them during their independent reading time. Students will bemostly using these strategies when they finish their allotted reading time and write intheir daily reading logs. This is where they are able to make predictions, ask questions,make inferences, etc. They then share out with their classmates (as partners) and,similar to Kyleen Beers’ conversation cues in
Why Kids Can’t Read 
, we have themrespond to one another using prescribed questioning techniques or summing cues. I willwork to maintain this procedure while teaching, targeting student growth in depth of conversation with peers and depth of strategy use while reading independently.Directly after the SSR routine, we then employ a vocabulary routine calledFlashcards Fast and Furious. The routine takes less than ten minutes every day, but itis basically a quick review of the vocabulary words for the week. Students havebetween 2-3 minutes each to say the definition of a word and the pronunciation to their partner. The goal of the game is for them to go as fast as possible through the words todemonstrate mastery. This helps with the basic goal of increasing their contact withhigher level words and to increase their working vocabulary. In order to reinforce thisroutine, we randomly assign each student one or two old vocabulary words before theyenter the room each day. They are required to give a sentence that includes their givenvocabulary words before entering the classroom. This helps with their retention of howto use the words in everyday sentences.
 
Name:________________________________ Date:_____________________
I will also be over seeing two routines that are related to sentence diagrammingand old reading strategies that have been introduced. This allows for students to takeownership of the classroom by teaching their fellow classmates things that they havelearned previously as a class, but they need to review before learning more relatedmaterial. After the sentence diagramming review of grammar, I will then teach a lessonthat has to do with verb usage. In all honesty, the students’ working knowledge of grammar is extremely low. Our kids barely know what the 5 parts of speech are. Sogrammar in the classroom is always a grueling battle. Through pre assessments takenat the beginning of the year, we were able to identify that conjugation of verbs,especially the “to be” verbs, was going to be our hardest challenge. Therefore, we havededicated an entire unit on learning “the verb.” During my lead teach, I will be focusingon teaching verb conjugation and usage. I’ve learned, through informal assessmentswhile teaching nouns, that the students learn best when given information in very smallchunks to chew. The verb lessons will reflect this. They will be fairly quick, fifteenminutes tops, and they will be in bite size portions that the students will review later during the grammar diagramming with their classmates. This seems to work fairly wellwith them.Lastly, during my lead teach I will be tackling the middle stages of our poetry unit.I’m actually very excited about this unit because it allows for us to introduce the idea of self expression and artistic ownership to our kids. The portions of the unit that I will bedealing with during my lead teach are focusing on imagery, using Langston Hughes’work as a case study. All of this is focusing on the Reading Literature common core standards thatfocus on theme analysis and study. “Determine a theme or central idea of a text andanalyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emergesand is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.” Also, the common core has a intentional focus on information texts over fictional texts.Therefore, we focus on the Reading for Information standard that focusses onmechanical development of students in the grammar. “Determine the meaning of wordsand phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technicalmeanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone(e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).”
2. Knowledge of Students to Inform Teaching
-
For each of the categories listed below (a-d), describe what you know about your students’ prior learning and experiences with respect to the central focus of the learning segment. What do they know, what can they do and what are they are learning to do? Be very specific about how you have gained knowledgeabout your students. What sources of data have informed you? What teaching experiences have informed you?
a)
Academic development (e.g., prior knowledge, prerequisite skills, ways of thinking in the subject areas, developmental levels, special educational needs)
 
Name:________________________________ Date:_____________________
My students’ academic development has been very shallow for the most part, inrelation to English. Most of the kids think, because of their scores in relation to their classmates, that they are very high level English students. However, in reality, they arebarely on grade level. Their prior knowledge of English skills is ok when dealing withreading carefully and exposure to middle school level literature, but they have not reallybeen exposed to many classics at all. Through informal polls taken during class wehave found that they have read mostly books like the
Bluford Series
, and none read
ToKill a Mockingbird 
or other books that often appear on middle school reading lists in the8
th
grade. The school compiles a list of all students who require special educationservices and none of our students are on that list. However, we do try to differentiateinstruction for the students who are gifted and excel. We determine this through informalclassroom assessments and observations, the NWEA scores of the students, and basicclassroom assignments.
b) Academic Language development (e.g., students
abilities to understand andproduce the oral or written language associated with the central focus andstandards/objectives within the learning segment)
One thing that we have learned from informal observation and writing samples isthat students speak how they hear adults at home speak and then they write in thatsame dialect. Therefore, students understand everything necessary to communicateeffective and express themselves artistically effectively, but they do not understand thebasic structure of the Standard English language. They also are not familiar with codeswitching or the need to speak a different version of English in professional settings.This is why we focus so much on grammar and writing, so that they can becomeaccustomed to code-switching.
c) Family/community/cultural assets (e.g., relevant lived experiences, culturalexpectations, and student interests)
I think that affirming the life experiences of these students is incredibly vital to our success as educators and their success as contributors to their communities. It isimperative that we not try to
change
their culture to mirror a larger American subculturethat we find more desirable. Students must be taught to appreciate the genius that hascome from within. Therefore, teaching poetry from Gwendolyn Brooks and LangstonHughes, along with several other black artists, will help them analyze the genius of students who grew up in similar circumstances. After all, Gwendolyn Brooks grew upnot far from most of these students and once walked the same hallways as mystudents. They need to have people like that to imitate and analyze. I did an activity atthe beginning of the year where I asked them to take a stand if they related to thephrase I said. Many of the students stood when talking about living near the school,having relatives that went to the school, etc… The high school is a staple in their community and it is important that the kids (and the community) learn to have ownershipof it in some way.

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