PPAT Task 3 Submission

Teacher Candidate: Michael Gresham Lander University Spring 2014

Task 3.0- Contextual Information a.) Describe your classroom. Include the grade level, content area, subject matter, and number of students. Provide relevant information about any students with special needs.
This fifth grade classroom has twenty-six students. Fifteen students are male with ten Caucasian males, four African-American males, and one Hispanic male. Eleven students are female with five African-American females, four Caucasian females, one Asian female, and one Hispanic female. The students are taught to the content areas of mathematics, reading, and writing on a daily basis. In addition, students are taught to science and social studies on a two week rotation. Regarding special needs, two students receive ESOL services, six students receive gifted and talented services, eight students have been diagnosed with ADHD, and two students have anger issues and follow a behavior plan. Also, three other students follow a behavior plan to help with classroom behaviors.

b.) Describe any physical, social, behavioral, or developmental factors that my impact the instruction that occurs in your classroom. Mention any linguistic, cultural, or health considerations that may also impact teaching and learning in your classroom.
Social factors- there are some social factors that will impact the instruction that occurs in my classroom. One of the major social factors includes the socio-economic status of the students. Some students come from very well, respectful, two parent households. In contrast, there are also students who come from very poor single parent households. This will impact instruction in many ways including the amount of time spent studying the subject matter and the types of lives the students live outside the classroom. Developmental factors- several students are not developmentally on grade-level. Several students are reading below grade-level and perform below grade-level in certain subjects such as math and writing, in addition. This factor greatly impacts teaching and learning as the instruction will be differentiated to meet their desired level of learning and understanding.

c.) Describe any factors related to the school and surrounding community that may impact the teaching and learning that occurs in your classroom.
After-School Program- this program is for students who need extra support with work from the classroom. This program provides mentors and tutors for these students. With extra one-on-one assistance, students taught the process and can receive help from their tutors only strengthening

their skills. This impacts the learning of these students as they are able to sit and evaluate the writing process.

Task 3.1.1.- Standards and Learning Goals a.) What learning theory will guide your planning process? Provide a brief description of the theory. How will you make use of it?
When planning, I used the Elaboration Theory by Charlie Reigeluth. The elaboration theory is where instruction should be organized in an increasing order of complexity for learning. In this process, throughout the unit, the students are exposed to an increasing order of complexity through modeling by the teacher, to being reminded by the teacher, to working independently without assistance. In this lesson, the students were in the independent stage of writing. I decided to do the lesson in the same format. I modeled for students how to find words that needed to be changed through reading the paragraph, circling the words on the smartboard and providing tools for the students to use. The level of complexity increased as now students were working with a partner and being reminded to use tools. Finally, students reached the greatest complexity of learning through interacting with the content independently and doing the process independently in their own writing.

b.) What learning goal(s) and content standards, both state and national standards, did you identify for the lesson? How will they guide the planned learning activities?
The learning goal for the lesson is that the students (or the learner) will demonstrate how to add vivid vocabulary in their body paragraphs. The content standards for the state of South Carolina come from the SCPASS rubric, which is the rubric used on the state test for the content area of writing. This is how they are assessed by the state of South Carolina in this domain. The standards set forth by South Carolina include for students to gain a score of “three”, the students will need to use precise and/or vivid vocabulary appropriate for the topic. To obtain a score of “two,” the students use both general and precise vocabulary. However, when the student uses just simple vocabulary, he receives a score of “one,” which is the lowest the student can score in the domain of voice. The national set of standards, known as the Common Core Standards for this lesson come from the indicator, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W5.2D, which is where the learner will use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform or explain the topic. The set of guidelines from the SCPASS rubric will guide the lesson as the different levels to look for. Students need to understand how to change simple vocabulary or repetitive vocabulary to precise/vivid vocabulary. When this concept is understood by the student, he will shift from gaining “ones and twos” on the rubric to the “three” category.

The Common Core Standards go along with the SCPASS rubric and its need for helping the students make the transition from simple vocabulary to vivid vocabulary. The students will learn how to use tools such as a thesaurus to help them find precise vocabulary (vivid vocabulary) in their writing.

c.) What is the content focus of the lesson? What related content that the students have previously encountered will support the learning in the planned learning activities.
The content focus of this lesson is writing. The students have been taught to the writing process and each element that is needed to make an effective body paragraph before this lesson. The students will have this prior knowledge to help them get through the lesson. This prior knowledge also supports a strong background in the content area and will support their learning since they already know about this process. This lesson will enhance their knowledge and allow them to become better and more independent writers.

d.) What are some difficulties students might encounter with the content, and how will you address the difficulties?
A difficulty students might encounter in this lesson is choosing which words to change and making the words “vivid.” The students might confuse the concept of “words” with words that do not necessarily have to be changed including my, I, we, them, they, etc. This difficulty will be addressed in the lesson by stating that sometimes we cannot change these words as they have to be in the paragraph. We will differentiate between words we can and cannot change during the lesson.

Task 3.1.2- Instructional Strategies a.) Select a maximum of three different instructional strategies that you plan to use to engage students in the lesson and to enhance their learning. Provide a rationale for your choice of each strategy.
Cooperative Learning- In this lesson, the students are participating in cooperative learning. The students are working together to come up with a variety of words that could replace the indicated word that the students decided upon in the lesson beforehand. Students have the words determined as a class to make more precise. Together, the students are using thesauruses and working collaboratively with each other to determine a word that is more precise and “vivid” than the word in the rough draft on the SMARTboard. The students must agree cooperatively about

which word they deem is best. The students continue this process for the next two or three words or phrases. Technology- for this lesson, technology helps the students visually see which words in the paragraph we indicated as words that need to be more precise. Since the words are circled, the students do not need to search the entire paragraph multiple times to find where they are located. This results in less time searching and more time working on the assigned task. Share- Once the student and his partner have completed the assigned task, they have the opportunity to share their new found words with the class. This helps them feel a part of the lesson as they are changing the paragraph with their own words of choice.

b.) How do the instructional strategies connect to the learning goal(s) to facilitate student learning?
With cooperative learning, students work toward the learning goal by understanding the process of how to find the vivid vocabulary. This method helps the students build a concrete foundation which they will use to demonstrate how to use vivid vocabulary in their writing. Technology connects to the learning goal through visualization. The students are presented with a rough draft paragraph that has several words or phrases that need to be changed. This rough draft paragraph has a repetition of words such as happy, many, new, etc. The students will browse through a thesaurus looking for a more precise/vivid word to take the place of the word already in the paragraph. Technology connects to the learning goal as the students start demonstrating how to add vivid vocabulary to the writing piece. The students will lead the discussion by informing me about the word they want to change, and I will circle them on the smartboard to help them stand out. This also gives students easy access when looking back and determining which words are circled to change.

c.) What informed your decisions to use individual, small group, and/or whole group instruction to facilitate student learning?
I decided to use whole group instruction based on their previous essays. Many students were using simple words in their writing. I felt that beginning the lesson with whole group instruction helped the students by having them see how to use this process of vivid vocabulary with an actual writing sample. Small Group instruction helps the students gather thoughts and understand the process collectively. Students also work together, bouncing around ideas and finding different words that they collaborate and decide in a cooperative manner.

Task 3.1.3- Learning Activities a.) What learning activities do you plan to implement in the lesson? Provide a rationale for your choices.
Small Group/Think-Pair-Share will be used in the lesson. Together, with another classmate, students will practice this concept together. The implementation also uses pairs with think-pairshare, as the students think about the word that will be looked at in-depth, find alternative words in a thesaurus and think about them. The students are paired together to determine which “vivid” word they are going to use, and finally students share their new “vivid” word with the teacher.

b.) How do the chosen activities address student strengths and needs?
This activity of small group/think-pair-share helps address student needs in the classroom. Throughout the writing process, students have shown that they need more support and scaffolding in their writing and the processes of each domain. This activity supports what the students need (more support/scaffolding) by scaffolding the lesson and providing student support from their fellow peers.

c.) How do your class demographics inform the design of the learning activities you chose?
Student Ability- With several students below grade-level, finding words that are “vivid” is a struggle as the students have difficulty with spelling, pronunciation, etc. These students are paired with their neighbor (who each has a different learning ability and level of learning). This helps these students through the process as they have that “buddy support” and someone to whom they can ask questions.

Task 3.1.4- Materials, Resources, and Technology a.) What materials and resources will you use to support your instruction and student learning? Provide a rationale to support your choices.
SMARTboard- The sample paragraph that students will correct will project on the board. This gives students a visual to look at. Students will determine the words they want to change, and I will circle them. Students who are called upon will come up to the SMARTboard and physically change a word or phrase in the paragraph.

Golden Ticket- The students will remember the Golden Ticket and the must haves. The Golden Ticket is the process that the students remembered prior to the lesson. It outlines all of the expectations for each section of the writing process. Kid Friendly Rubric- The student are reminded that the element of vivid vocabulary is something they are assessed on in their writing. In addition, students are reminded of the four different levels that they can score by looking at the rubric. The students must show usage of vivid vocabulary to obtain a three. To obtain a two, students must show evidence of using “some” vivid vocabulary. When the student does not attempt or provide evidence of using vivid vocabulary, the student scores a one.

b.) What types of technology do you plan to use in your instruction?
SMART Board- the students will have the essay that we are using as a model projected on the SMART Board. This will make it easier for all students to see, and the students can come to the board and make corrections for the entire class to see.

c.) How will your chosen technology enhance your instruction and student learning in the lesson?
As mentioned earlier, this helps the students by physically circling words that need to be changed to something more “vivid”. Students will also change the word on the board so the rest of the students can physically see how to change the word. This will help them in the editing process as well as the students are technically editing the rough draft paragraph on the SMART board.

Task 3.2.1- Understanding Each of the Two Focus Students and Differentiating Instruction Focus Student 1 a.) Indentify Focus Student 1’s learning strengths and challenges related to the learning goals of the lesson.
Focus Student 1- The learning strength of Focus Student 1 is that the student understands how to use a thesaurus. This will benefit him as the students will use this tool when doing group work with their partners during a point in the lesson. The student will likely face a challenge of determining words to change in the lesson such as me, I, we, them, he, she, etc. even though it will be addressed in the lesson. The challenge arises due to the student constantly not paying attention and zoning out during lessons.

b.) Describe how you will differentiate specific parts of your lesson plan to help Focus Student 1 meet the learning goal(s) of the lesson. Provide a rationale.
To meet the learning goal of the lesson, the student will have to demonstrate that he can use vivid vocabulary in his writing. However, due to the student struggling in the content area of writing, this student will only be asked to change two to three words in his writing sample on which he is working. Even though his amount of word changes will be less than Focus Student 2, this is a sufficient amount for him in this lesson.

c.) What evidence will you collect to show progress Focus Student 1 makes toward the learning goal?
For Focus Student 1, the evidence collected will include his current essay. This essay is done when students will demonstrate how to effectively add vivid vocabulary. When analyzing Focus Student 1’s paper, I am looking to see if the student changed the given number of words (2 to 3) to stronger, more vivid words. This evidence will prove whether or not Student 1 made progress toward the learning goal of the lesson.

Focus Student 2 a.) Identify Focus Student 2’s learning strengths and challenges related to the learning goals of the lesson.
Focus Student 2 has several learning strengths. This student can handle a large amount of work and often has great success in the content area of writing. The student has efficiently used a thesaurus in previous writing samples before the implementation of this lesson. A challenge this student might encounter is trying to change some of the already “vivid” words in his essay. This will pose a challenge for this student since the type of thesaurus for the class is a student thesaurus; so, more than likely a stronger word for an already strong word will not be in the edition. This student also tends to stress out when he cannot find a stronger word. He will be reassured that some of the words are already “vivid” enough for fifth grade.

b.) Describe how you will differentiate specific parts of your lesson plan to help Focus Student 2 meet the learning goal(s) of the lesson. Provide a rationale.
Focus Student 2 will have differentiated instruction, just the same as Focus Student 1. When having to find words in his current writing piece, Focus Student 2 will need to find five to seven words to

change. This is a greater amount than Focus Student 1 because this student can handle the workload and he can efficiently use a thesaurus, and not spending time flipping through pages trying to find words.

c.) What evidence will you collect to show progress Focus Student 2 makes toward the learning goal.
As with Focus Student 1, the current essay and the next essay will be analyzed to see how efficiently Focus Student 2 used “vivid” vocabulary in the body paragraphs of the writing pieces. For Focus Student 2, the changes of five to seven words will be noted in this essay. However, in the final essay before state testing, the amount of words to be change is up to the student and that amount will be noted.

Task 3.3.1- Analyzing the Lesson for the Whole Class

a.) To what extent did the lesson facilitate student learning? What evidence did you gather to support your conclusion?
The lesson facilitated student learning when the students shared their new “vivid” words with the group. This proved that students could use the appropriate tools to find more precise words and use them correctly in the paragraph. The evidence that supports the student learning was the response students gave when going over the assignment attached to the lesson.

b.) How did the students use the content presented to demonstrate meaningful learning? Provide specific examples from the lesson and from the students’ work to support your analysis.
During the lesson, students were instructed to find more “vivid” words for new, happy, and money. During the lesson, students demonstrated learning by working with a partner and determining which word to use for the three indicated words. When asking students for their response, I found that students demonstrated learning through evidence of using the process (find, thesaurus, change) with their answers. After the lesson was complete, students incorporated what was learned in their own personal writing samples. The students were told to follow the same process that we did in the lesson; however, this time independently. The students were instructed to find words that were repeated or words that we could change into “vivid” words. Students circled the words with colored pencils/pens; words such as tall, big, small, long, and love were many words that students chose to change in their essays. When the students determined their chosen words, the

students were instructed to look in a thesaurus to choose a word that sounded more “vivid”. When looking at their final drafts, I found that words indicated earlier were now more precise, such as: enormous, miniature, lanky, expanded, and admire.

c.) What modifications/adaptations to the lesson did you implement during instruction for the whole class to better support student and learning? Provide examples to support your decisions.
When planning the lesson, I originally had the students doing the activity of finding “vivid” words for our paragraph independently. However, for students to receive support and to provide a better chance that students would remember the content, I decided to have the students work together. The students in class work and learn better when being an active participant in their learning. This modification helped the lesson tremendously as the students were engaged and when conferencing with them, I saw that many students understood the concept and their answers showed mastery. In one example of a student’s work, the student originally had the following sentence, “…I like spending time with her.” However, after this lesson, the sentence looked like, “…I always adore spending time with her.”

d.) What steps did you take to foster teacher-to-student and student-to-student interactions? How did they impact student engagement and learning? Provide examples to support your decisions.
Teacher-to-Student, While students worked with their partners, I walked around and talked to students. I listened to what they were saying and asked questions such as: “What are you thinking?” “What words are you seeing?” and “Does that sound better?” This impacted student engagement by keeping them on track, ensuring that they were not talking about other things. It also gave students confidence as I gave them feedback about how they were progressing. With student-to-student, I had the students work with their partner. This helped students with talking through what they wanted to do in the lesson, and it also gave them the opportunity to support one another. When walking around, I heard the students supporting each other with, “Good job!” or “I didn’t think of that, good one!” This kept the students engaged, and learning was evident when going over the assignment as a whole class.

e.) What feedback did you give during the lesson to facilitate student learning? What impact did the feedback have on student learning? Provide specific examples.

When giving whole group instruction, and students answered questions, the feedback given included phrases such as: “Excellent job!”, “Good job!”, or “Wonderful.” This was done to help student see that they were on the right track and to let them know what a good job they did by answering questions. When walking around during partner work, I gave more feedback to the students such as: “I like how you are working together.”, “I like how you are using your thesaurus.”, etc. When the students heard the positive feedback, many of them glowed. This also kept them confident in their work, especially as one student, did not feel like his word was good enough. The sentence on his paper said, “Greenwood needs a modern mall.” The word to change in the sentence was new. He thought it didn’t sound right. When looking at the sentence, I told him, “This is an excellent sentence!” Upon hearing this, the student’s face glowed with confidence. It really helped him to hear that positive feedback, and his work from this point on the lesson was phenomenal!

Task 3.3.2: Analyzing the Differentiate Instruction for Each of the Two Focus Students a.) To what extent did each of the two Focus Students achieve the learning goal(s) of the lesson? Cite examples to support your analysis.
Focus Student 1 and Focus Student 2 achieved the learning goal. Focus Student 1 completed the task with his partner and understood how to find appropriate words and use them correctly as I saw when monitoring his group progress during the partner time. When his essay was collected, I looked for his two to three words he needed to change as part of his differentiated instruction. The student had three words circled including sad, kind, and happy. When looking at his corrections, I saw that the student had three “vivid” and precise words including gloomy, considerate, and pleased. This was wonderful considering the student had struggled with this in his previous writing. Focus Student 2, needed to find five words that could be more “vivid” in nature. He had five words circled on his paper quick, great, big, lucky, and love. When looking at his final copy, I saw that he had used the following as his “precise” words prompt (quick), superior (great), massive (big), fortunate (lucky), and admire (love).

b.) How did your differentiation of specific parts of the lesson plan help the two Focus Students meet the learning goal(s)? Cite examples to support your analysis.
Focus Student 1- With this student, I gave him only two to three words to find and change; it helped the student to start off fairly easily as he did not have to find many words to change. It also helped him master the concept, and this gave him time to become familiar with the appropriate tools to find “vivid” words.

Focus Student 2- This student had to find five to seven words. It helped the student look for words that some would already consider “precise”. However, for this student, it showed him that changing some words the we consider “precise” helps your paper sound more precise and sophisticated.

Task 3.4.1: Reflecting on the Lesson for the Whole Class a.) What specific instructional strategies, resources, and technology will you use to help students who did not achieve the learning goal(s)? Describe how these lesson components will help the students achieve the learning goal(s).
Strategy Groups- Students who did not achieve the learning goals will gather at the reading table and participate in a strategy group. In this strategy group, I will reteach the lesson to the students and monitor their work closely. I will look at their essays, and I will give them one word they can change. They will show me the process. When monitoring them I will look to see the area in which they are having trouble. The area could include using a thesaurus, finding the synonyms that are too difficult, choosing the wrong meaning of the word, etc. Some students need extra guidance and scaffolding to help them achieve the learning goal.

b.) How will you use your analysis of the lesson and the evidence of student learning to guide your planning of future lessons?
When looking back at the lesson, the students responded well to the instruction. The students’ potential really shined when working with their partners. Incorporating more think-pair-shares could help students stay engaged and help some of my struggling students. This is something I need to keep in mind when planning lessons. The evidence of student learning, will help me in planning what is next for my students. Is there another area of the writing process students need to work on in this manner?

Task 3.4.2: Reflection the Lesson for Each of the Two Focus Students

a.) How will you use your analysis of the lesson and the evidence of student learning to guide your planning of the future lesson for each of the two Focus Students?
Through the use of technology, this method helped students visually. Students were able to visualize where the words were in the sentence and knew what sentence in which to change the word. The circling also helped students as they were able to pinpoint the word in the paragraph. This was also evident in both of the Focus Students editing pieces on their final draft. With this in mind and how well the class and the Focus Students responded to the use of technology, I am going to add technology in my lessons throughout the remainder of the unit. Another element to add would be the think-pair-share, as both Focus Students responded well to this instruction and it provided evidence of student learning.

b.) What differentiation will you apply to future lessons for each of the two Focus Students? Provide a rationale for your choices.
Focus Student 1- This student did an excellent job finding two to three words. The student can really apply himself to learning when engaged. I believe starting this student off small with two to three words helped him as he needed the little extra push. In future lessons, I will likely increase the number of items he needs to do in the writing process. This will not happen at a quick rate; however, I will use a more gradual rate. Focus Student 2- This student also did an excellent job finding his words. The student responded well to this, and it did not seem like a struggle for him to find words. He did increase the level of rigor by choosing words that many fifth graders would consider “vivid”. When looking at other areas of the writing process, this student might need to try things that are more rigorous, such as: coming up with many varieties of sentences, and adding difficult figurative language such as oxymorons and hyperboles.