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Instructional Decision Making:

During this Science unit instructional decision making was used throughout the Ecosystems unit. There were many occasions when I had to go back and re-teach or review the foundation of the unit. During this unit I also used written and verbal assessments. The written were used to gage what the students already knew before we embarked on a new aspect of the unit. Then they were given another assessment (formative) to make sure they had a general understanding of the material. The verbal assessments were question answer sessions at the beginning of a lesson to review what was taught in previous lessons, and at the end of a lesson to review and check for understanding of new information. Throughout the unit I used question answer review sessions. This was done before and after direct instruction. This gave the students an opportunity to answer review questions directly related to what was taught. When I asked a question and students seemed to be confused I took that as a sign that they were not sure about what was being asked; this is when I would go back and re-teach the particular section and then ask the question again. By the second time students have reached an understanding and are eager to give the answer. The first pre assessment was a short quiz that asked students to identify living and nonliving things. This built the foundation for what was about to be introduced. During the lesson I repeatedly used the terms and asked the class which was living and which was nonliving. By the end of the lesson the students seemed to have an understanding. Throughout the rest of the week the students had to build on what they had learned the previous day. Identifying biotic and abiotic factors was just the foundation of the unit. After the lesson I displayed pictures and they students used their science notebooks to create a t-chart to categorize the pictures; biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living). This chart would help students as they become familiar with the new vocabulary. The second pre assessment was a 10 question multiple choice quiz that asked students to identify abiotic, biotic, populations, and communities. Students were already familiar with the terms abiotic and biotic, but population and community was new to them. The students as expected knew abiotic and biotic, but there was confusing with the population and community. After the lesson the students were still confusing populations and communities, so I deicided to try a different approach. The students were given a chart and had to identify factors of a marine ecosystem from a picture displayed on the Smartboard. This activity was gone over in class and the students were still having had a difficult time differentiating between populations and communities; so the following day I decided to review the difference between the two factors. I used pictures to give a visual representation of population and communities. After showing the pictures, they seemed to have a better understanding so we moved on to our activity of the day; which was having the students identify abiotic, biotic, population, and communities in their school garden. They were given an exact replica of the chart they completed in class using the picture of the marine ecosystem. This activity was taken up and provided me with the data I needed to make the

decision to move on or to stay and review these four factors another day. The results showed that they were ready to move on to the next section of the unit. Before moving on students were always given a formative assessment to wrap up the previously taught information. These were taken up and graded as quiz grades. After all papers were turned in I would go over the correct answers to the quiz. This would let students know what they needed to study. At the end of the unit students were given their summative assessment (unit test). This assessment was a combination of all the formative assessments given throughout the unit. This assessment was graded as a major test grade and the majority of the students in the class did exceptionally well. The re-teaching and constant reviewing really paid off during this unit. Three Student Analysis and Feedback High Performer: This student did not require much feedback. He was the one who always knew the answer when the rest of the class did not. He was completely fine with just a good job. When I met this student I realized I knew his father and during PTO his dad made it very clear of their expectations. I must say this student lived up to those expectations. The only issue that kept occurring with this student is that he would make careless errors and this was due to rushing through his work to be the first one finished. On his assessments I would ask him to give me the answer and when he gave me the right answer I would show him what he put on his test. I have also written little notes on his tests like: slow down and when he made a 100 he would get a great job written on his paper and a pride paw for taking pride in his learning. By the end of the unit he had began to slow down and double check his work. This student really didnt need much feedback as I stated before, he just needed to be reminded to pump the brakes when doing his assessments. Average Performer: This student needed a little more feedback and encouragement compared to my high performing student. This student would know the answer but would be afraid to say it. During my assessments I noticed that she performed very well and had no reason to be fearful, so I started to call on random people during the question answer sessions and when a student gave the right answer they received a pride paw. This tactic helped her to come out of her shell, because there was something to gain from participating in class. When she did not score well on an assessment I would write the right answer on the test and leave a little positive note. By the end of the unit this student was one of my active participants in class, and she also scored well on the summative assessment. Leaving those positive notes on her assessments and using the pride paws really helped this student reach higher goals then she would have achieved if she continued to sit back and not participate. Low Performer: This student started low and ended low. Its hard to give feedback to a student when their work is never completed or turned in for that matter. This student is an ESOL pull-out as well as resource and when he is not at one of those two places he is asleep. This student is not on a fifth grade reading level so some of the vocabulary was probably too difficult for him, BUT the lack of effort really grinded my gears. Our science time was at 8:30am and for

the first few weeks he slept until about 9am. This had to be stopped so while the students were working I had him complete his study guide by copying from one already printed. I had to find something for him to do, because he did not take our test, but I was not going to allow him to sleep while everyone else was working. This students feedback was normally wake up and where is your science notebook. I hope he reaches success in some aspect of school. Teaching Style My teaching style stayed consistent throughout clinical experience. I utilized visual representation, question answer sessions, and hands on activities. Before each lesson I would review the previous lesson to ensure understanding and to make sure I did not need to go back and re-teach the previously covered material. The class had 23 students and 3 of the students had IEPs and 4 students were ESOL. These students were accommodated according to their specific accommodations. When study guides were given out student were to copy for the smartboard, but some accommodations required students to have a copy and extra time to transfer to their study guide. When giving a test, students with accommodations would receive extra time to complete their test. I altered my teaching to accommodate these students, but my expectations remained the same and when given extra time they were still required to turn in their test the same day. Even though this class had a variety of achievement levels, everyone had the same expectations and with the exception of one student, they were all capable of completing their assignments.