You are on page 1of 15

1. Essential Curriculum Content This unit of study covers Common Core Language 3.

2 Literacy standard where students should demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English including capitalization, and punctuation when writing. n addition to this, students would also practice writing standard 3.! where students should write opinion pieces on topics or te"ts, supporting a point of view with reasons. 2. 21st Century Learning Principles Career and #o$ s%ills mar% the importance of this unit. & strong presence of conventions in writing remains a critical part of communication for the 2!st Century. 'nowing that our nation has moved from agrarian(industrial to innovation and communication $ased careers) it is critical that students $e prepared to communicate effectively through writing and speech. This unit draws upon the student*s need to $uild accounta$ility for their own learning and implementing s%ills into daily writing practice. & ru$ric provides the students with a guideline to evaluate peer and personal writing critically. +ro$lem solving s%ills com$ined with effective colla$oration will allow students to practice wor%ing in a team environment while ma%ing vital decisions. 3. Pedagogical Skills Careful planning and scaffolding for s%ills will help students grasp the content and process of writing with conventions. Lessons are $ased on a series activities from a wor%$oo%, a song to reinforce punctuation, an interactive analysis of student writing in a whole group setting using a pro#ector and white$oard and a colla$orative pro#ect $ased lesson demonstrating the importance of conventions in writing for $usiness purposes. Students would wor% independently and in small groups to master writing conventions. 4. Assessment of Student Prior Kno ledge

,ost of the students already write prolifically. -owever, their writing during wor%shops and reading response letters demonstrate a need for teaching capitalization and correct punctuation usage. The pre assessment grade average of .! and ,easures of &cademic +rogress scores reflect my concerns for convention usage in their writing. The students confidently write strong stories with action and details that interest the reader. Character development and composing a series of events also pose no challenges for the students. /hen writing non0fiction, their writing lac%s details and organization. 1nce the students have mastered the use of conventions, they will $egin to learn the process of persuasive writing. The paragraph from our pro#ect $ased learning activity would function as a summative pre assessment for persuasive writing. !. Anticipated C"allenges ,any of the students in the classroom need targeted practice for each individual s%ill regarding language conventions. These will easily $e addressed in the daily lessons and practice. 2or my student with a shadow, modifications to the pro#ect $ased lesson will $e necessary, as well as, modifying his writing assignments to align with goals from his ndividual Education +lan. 1ne student lac%s motivation to complete any assignments, especially those that include writing. ,y hope is that shorter assignments with specific s%ill practice, instead of complete sentence writing, will ma%e mastery easier. n order to teach capitalization, anticipate a

possi$le review of common and proper nouns with the e"pectation that one or two of my students may need more than a short review. also anticipate some confusion regarding capitalizing cities and states with comma usage. Students will need clarification on titles for positions of recognition and e"planations for their correct use and capitalization.

Part 2 1. Conte#tual $actors Twenty students, from different cultural and economic $ac%grounds, enter my third grade classroom with e"citement and smiles. These students span a $road range of academic a$ilities and learning challenges. The children en#oy rich integrated lessons, which help them ma%e deep connections to the content we study. n my classroom, students sit on $alance $alls to allow plenty of room to wiggle at their seats and strengthen core muscles. 3roup pro#ects and partner wor% often enhance learning $y allowing students the opportunity to tal% to each other a$out strategies, opinions and to solve pro$lems in a team environment. ntegrating several levels of 4looms* Ta"onomy help insure students practice a variety of strategies in the classroom. Student a$ilities range from academically challenged to high school level math and reading s%ills. dentified and non0identified learning disa$ilities also impact lesson design and structure in my classroom. Two children are diagnosed on the &utism Spectrum. 1ne student receives assistance from a shadow throughout the day. 1ther students have difficulty with organization and motivation to complete any wor%. These children love to learn with each other in small groups and partners. Songs, games and pro#ects often help them reinforce s%ills or ideas they are learning. Students e"pect a variety of didactic and interactive lessons to help them learn content. 1ften a student will share an idea that will spar% a pro#ect or lesson for the class to learn. 5iscussions help the students listen to one another and understand different strategies or points of view. 4uilding strong units of study that challenge the students at their own level of development %eeps me thin%ing continuously a$out integration and differentiation with the intention of creating successful learning e"periences for each student.

1ur school $oasts a small li$rary, one computer la$ 6shared $etween !7 classrooms8 and daily special classes that include music, art or dance. -aving only ! computer la$ ma%es hands on technology integration difficult. -owever, classroom pro#ectors and screens allow teachers to utilize we$sites and virtual field trips to enrich activities in the classroom. 3rade levels meet with specialists once a month to help integrate the arts curriculum into the classroom on a daily $asis. This alignment helps the school $uild a community of learners who connect curriculum to all areas of learning. 2. Learning %oals 2or this unit of study, wanted students to really understand the importance of language conventions. 5espite having taught integrated lessons on capitalization and punctuation several times this school year, students still were not applying themselves to improve these s%ills in their writing. &fter reading ,otivating Students to Learn and Classroom nstruction that /or%s, wanted my students to $egin e"amining their efforts and how they relate to their achievements regarding conventions of writing. 'nowing these students will $e competing for #o$s in a multicultural wor%force, they needed to ta%e on their own accounta$ility for conventions in order to $uild strong writing ha$its preparing them for 2!st Century s%ills including the 39*s and life and career s%ills. 1nce the conventions were in place, %new my students would then $e a$le to focus on writing interesting content that was easy to understand. Strong writing s%ills remain an important part of all curriculum including scientific and mathematic e"planations and the a$ility to relate historic events to their impact on cultures. Third grade Common Core Language 3.2 literacy clarifies that students should demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English including capitalization and

punctuation when writing. n order to integrate writing with this s%ill, also called upon writing standard 3.! where students should write opinion pieces on topics or te"ts, supporting a point of view with reasons. 1ur $rief study of conventions and pro#ect $ased learning activity would ena$le the students to write with strong conventions use. 3. &nstructional Strategies &ll of my students test with ,easures of &cademic +rogress at the $eginning of the school year. 2rom this data, recognized a consistent need for all of my students to master writing conventions. ,y students also write wee%ly reading response letters as guided $y 2ountas and +innell. n their letters also identified the need to reinforce capitalization for names, locations and titles and to review punctuation. The pre0assessment average score for conventions was a low .! percent, again reinforcing the need for conventions mastery. Since my previous integrated methods of teaching punctuation and capitalization failed to show results in my students* writing, decided to use a more traditional approach. 5ean, -u$$le, +itler and Stone suggest a strong statement of o$#ectives and engaging students in setting their personal learning o$#ectives. :sing this as a starting point, the students and e"amined some of their anonymous writing, using an i+ad as a document camera on the pro#ector, searching for errors in writing conventions and content. :niversally, they realized their wor% lac%ed consistent use of conventions. /e then em$ar%ed on creating a ru$ric designed to encourage them to edit their own wor% with a guideline. 5esigning the ru$ric allowed them to set personal goals and to $egin practicing e"tending their procedural %nowledge for utilizing punctuation and editing their own wor% as suggested in Classroom nstruction that /or%s.

&t the same time, my students wor%ed for a wee% on $oo%lets from Language &rts +ower +ac%s; 9eproduci$le -omewor% +ac%ets 3rade 3. Each day, discussed a s%ill from the pac%et and then allowed the students to complete the assignment accompanying that particular s%ill. This provided the practice needed to strengthen the s%ills and move them from short0term to long0term memory. 5uring these daily practice sessions, also noted who needed additional review for proper and common nouns and which students simply needed practice using conventions. Several students needed additional practice with cities and states or writing dates correctly. 2or these students created supplemental wor% that focused on their particular needs for additional practice. /e also learned the <+unctuation Song,= to the tune of <4lue Suede Shoes= in order to address different modalities of learning. &s students returned their wee%ly

reading response letters, conferred with each student, as%ing them to point out the convention mista%es in their writing using the ru$ric as a guideline. /or%ing with each student to edit and chec% their own letters allowed me to identify individual needs and differentiate accordingly. Completing these steps together allowed students to practice with guidance then apply their learning independently, thus scaffolding their learning according to Classroom nstruction that /or%s. 1nce these s%ills were introduced and practiced, the students wor%ed in teams on a +ro#ect 4ased Learning activity $ased on the format provided $y the Center of E"cellence, 9esearch, Teaching, and Learning. n this lesson, partners pretended to $e a -uman 9esource professional in charge of hiring an administrative assistant. They would need to choose whom to hire $ased upon the candidate*s resume. Each group then wrote a paragraph stating why their choice would $e the $est for the position of administrative assistant for the >ice +resident. ,y student with a shadow has great difficulty staying focused or understanding the greater meaning

of pro#ect $ased lessons. 5ifferentiation for this student involved wor%ing independently with his shadow to identify the convention errors in the resumes and writing his own paragraph descri$ing the errors he found. This practice aligned directly with his ndividual Education +lan. 1verall, the activity provided much e"citement for the students, since they were ma%ing a very important decision for a company. &s students loo%ed at the two resume samples, they almost always recognized the errors in one resume. Several groups even used the ru$rics we created together as a $asis for their evidence for or against a candidate. :sing these cooperative groups allowed students to practice 2!st Century s%ills, the conventions, and e"amine writing critically. :ltimately, they all understood how important strong use of conventions in writing could affect something as important as gaining employment. 4. 'aterials and (esources 2or these lessons needed copies of the $oo%lets and the pro#ect $ased learning activity for each student to utilize for learning and practice. The <+unctuation Song= lyrics were displayed on a large poster for the students to read and sing along. created additional

handwritten practice pages as conferred with students and identified additional need for reinforcement. The students and created a ta$le together in ,icrosoft /ord that functioned as our ru$ric. also used pictures of student reading response letters to share on the pro#ector with our

i+ad. ntegrating hands on technology for this particular group of lessons was not possi$le. 3rammar games and reinforcement activities located on the nternet were either not grade level appropriate, lac%ed content reinforcement or contained advertisements that were not appropriate for the students. Students did en#oy pro#ecting their letters on the white $oard so they could edit

on the <$ig screen.= ,any teachers would find wor%ing with a Smart4oard a much $etter way to integrate technology. n the future, could envision a presentation with ?earpod as an interesting way to deliver this content. ?earpod also would allow me to assess and collect data immediately for each student. 5. Assessment Plan &s a pre0assessment, created a short @uiz re@uesting students to list all the instances to use capitalization, correct a sentence using editing mar%s they had previously learned and rewriting a paragraph correctly practicing cursive. The assessment evaluated their current %nowledge regarding conventions and how well the student identified mista%es in writing. 1ur pre assessment average score showed students at a .! percent. 5uring the unit of study, also e"amined their daily writing and reading response letters for correct use of conventions. The students would help me find errors, $ased on our class ru$ric, as we read their letter or writing together. The paragraph a$out hiring the administrative assistant provided the students with an opportunity to wor% together to improve the use of conventions. ,ost of the students noticed a reduction in the @uantity of errors as they $egan to put forth effort toward utilizing conventions. The difference was most noticea$le after our pro$lem $ased learning activity where they really understood the conse@uences for disregard for conventions. The post assessment for the unit was structured similarly. 1ur post assessment average score was AB percent. The average growth for the students was an increase of 23 percentage points. 3rowth for most of the students proved e"cellent. was e"cited to see their

understanding and application of conventions improve. Throughout the school year, will

continue to monitor the implementation of conventions in their writing through activities in morning wor%, their reading response #ournals and daily writing. 6. Reflection and Interpretation of Student Data 2or most of the students the plan and implementation of instruction proved successful. & few of my students dropped in scores or showed little growth. Students who attended our school in previous years showed the most growth. attri$ute this success to our 'indergarten through

Second 3rade teachers* focus on @uantity and @uality of writing content. & focus on parts of speech and conventions $egins at third grade in our school. 1ur native students grew significantly $ecause they had e"perienced very little direct instruction regarding conventions. This school philosophy encourages a love of writing ideas rather than the drudgery of correct sentence structure. The results are prolific writers who learn strong conventions use later. Students who were new to our school this year were the students who dropped in scores. can attri$ute this to new challenges for them in ad#usting to our school assessment strategies. These students performed e"ceptionally well when they had to rewrite the pre assessment paragraph with corrections. -owever, when they had to practice using editing they struggled with corrections. 2rom this learned to dou$le0chec% students* familiarity and understanding of using editing mar%s to help chec% for conventions. These students would have shown more growth with rewriting or multiple0choice assessment formats. 1ne student who struggled with learning the conventions was significantly $elow grade level for reading and writing. This student*s difficulty most li%ely arose from an ina$ility to read and understand the assessment @uestions, although read them aloud to him. 2or this student, was most concerned with developing his writing and reading s%ills and not his conventions use.

Since he had difficulty $uilding or decoding sentences at all, $elieve his reinforcement would lie in editing simple sentences with repeated practice. differentiation with regard to editing practice. 2actors that could control were the content, delivery speed and assessment. &s realized students struggled with identifying cities and states, should have stopped to $uild conte"tual s%ills to help them identify when a specific place was used in a sentence. /or%ing with the students individually with their own writing felt the most rewarding for me. This helped me guide each student at their level to assess and evaluate their own writing for conventions and strengths. 9ehearsals for our $ig third grade production $egan at the same time facilitated this unit. :nfortunately, several students missed instruction while they recorded in the studio or practiced on stage in small groups. E"tra time to teach what they had missed was lac%ing. Timing the introduction of this unit is a critical factor. ,a%ing sure the students are present for the content and instruction helps them learn the different uses of capitals and punctuation. envision this unit $eing implemented earlier in the school year where rehearsals would not impact students* presence in the classroom. The students all responded well to the $oo%let format of teaching and practice. Since the students don*t usually complete wor%sheets, they loved the new process. The students love to sing and use the punctuation song to help them remem$er when to use punctuation mar%s. &ny time use a song to teach a s%ill, often hear them humming @uietly during assessment. This helps me %now they are using the words in the song to help them answer a @uestion or determine the correct use of a s%ill. ,ost successful was the pro#ect0$ased lesson where the students chose an administrative assistant $ased on resumes. loved the immediate improvement to effort in realize that he needed more

their own wor% as they finally realized the importance of conventions in writing. The assessments seemed straightforward and demonstrated growth for students. -owever, upon further reflection failed to include post assessment evaluation for students* a$ilities to identify and to e"plain what mista%es they found and offer corrections. These e"planations would $e important to strengthening their spea%ing or writing s%ills for clarification. ?ew assessment tools for the state will include these important s%ills and need to $ecome intentional with including e"planation practice in classroom evaluations for all content areas. n the future, plan on implementing this unit earlier in the school year. Teaching the conventions sooner with more intentional structure will help the students $uild convention ha$its and allow them to practice throughout the year using different writing genres. The unit also lac%ed integration of other core su$#ect areas li%e Social Studies or Science. Conventions could easily $e taught with personal narrative or story writing and could then include using @uotations mar%s correctly. *d love to see them write a$out other content they learned while practicing writing conventions. This could easily $e done with small group or individual research pro#ects. also thin% the students would $enefit from centers or hands on games that help target specific practice throughout the school year. This would allow them to $egin learning and practicing in small groups, partners or individually. To integrate !;! technology, envision the use of <?earpod= to help deliver and assess content. 2inding games and activities on line that help reinforce conventions s%ills would also $e an added asset to the unit. ,y own professional development could use a fresh perspective on how other teachers teach conventions while integrating core content. envision attending wor%shops and visiting

other teachers in the area to gather ideas and insights. &dditional research to identify we$sites,

applications and games that help students achieve mastery of conventions will help me integrate technology more successfully. also realize that students would $enefit from spiraling the

conventions curriculum throughout the school year as suggested in Classroom nstruction that /or%s. /or%ing with 'indergarten through Second 3rade teachers at school would help $uild a plan for successful use of conventions, which is vertically aligned in our school and with the Common Core standards. 1verall the unit shows success. /ith modifications and timelier placement in the school year, students will $enefit from continued practice and instruction. ntentional integration throughout core su$#ects during the school year will help this curriculum spiral with successful student implementation of conventions in their writing.

)ata from Pre and Post assessment Analysis Student & 4 C 5 E 2 3 +re0assessment 3rade CD 32 !BB D DD D3 CD +ost &ssessment 3rade A7 D! D7 EC 7! AE AE 3rowth 3A EA 023 37 0!7 !! 3.

F ' L , ? 1 + G 9

A2 DD 3! 77 7C E3 CB 7E E 7C .B &vg. growth

!BB D7 77 AE D7 7E AB AE D! D7 DE

D 0! E. !7 !3 3! EB 2B 77 !2 2E 23.2D

Con*entions (u+ric Created +y class Skills ConventionsCapitalizationPunctuationndentingSpelling !"ord "all# Content- "&at is in 'our writing( $ake Sense( )ow co*plex are t&e sentences( +&ree reasons, 1ualit'- E22ortNeatnessClarit' 4- Expert No $istakes 3-Skilled 1-3 $istakes 2- Growing 4-1% $istakes 1- Novice $ore t&an 1% $istakes

$ore t&an 3 reasonsSentences are co*plicateddetailed, $ore t&an 1. sentences 3er' neatexcellent e22ort4

/nl' t&ree reasonsSo*e co*plex sentences wit& details, 1%-14 sentences 5ind o2 neat,

0ess t&an 3 reasonsSi*ple sentences wit& so*e or no details0ess t&an 1% sentences So*e t&ings are neat

No reasons"ork is not co*plete,

Can6t read 7ecause o2 slopp' writing,

Pro,ect -ased Learning Case -uman 9esources Hou are the -uman 9esource specialist in charge of interviewing and hiring administrative

assistants for a large insurance firm. 1ne of your >ice +residents needs a new administrative assistant who can organize events, send communications and maintain calendars and appointments for you. Hou must choose which applicant to hire $ased on the information provided on their resumes. Hour #o$ is to choose and candidate and provide a written paragraph with evidence demonstrating why that candidate is the $etter choice. /hat do you 'nowI /hat do you ?eed to 'nowI

$inal Con*entions Assessment


?ame; JJJJJJJJJJJJJ 5ate; JJJJJJJJJJJJ

:se editing mar%s to correct the paragraph. 5on*t forget all the different times you need to use a capital letterK There are 3! corrections.

on march 2. !AC. my parents, $o$ and #une, $oarded a $oat $ound for the united states of america. They arrived on april !B in new yor% har$or. once they passed threw customs, they $ought a $oo% called welcome to america. after eating lunch at $istro $enetti, they chec%ed into their hotel, the taft. $o$ and #une lived happily at 2CC04 li$erty street new yor% new yor% for 2C years.

List all of the times you capitalize a letter. See how many you can remem$er.

9ewrite the following correctly; !. pacific ocean JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ2. raleigh north carolina JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ 3. call me may$e6song8 JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ3. ranger*s apprenticeJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ E. mr sanchez JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ E. principal hollis JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ