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*See attached Photographs, Rubric* Course number and name: MAT 733 Research Based Teaching Strategies and Assessment Type of artifact: Assessment Write a brief description of the artifact Students used a cereal box to create a book report of Dear Mr. Henshaw. Students created a cereal name that corresponded with the title. Students were required to list story elements in the “ingredients” section of the box as well as a summary of the book. On the back of the box, students created a game that went along with the book. The attached rubric describes the specific requirements for the project. Students were able to work on this project at home as well as at school. Professional and/or Learner Outcomes Represented by this Artifact Relate this artifact to your listed professional and/or learner outcomes. Professional Outcomes a. Teacher will create opportunities for students to use non-linguistic activities to accompany traditional learning so that students will comprehend a text. Using the attached rubric I assessed student comprehension on the text. This project allowed my students to demonstrate their understanding of the text in a non-traditional way using several of the multiple intelligences. b. Teacher will integrate other content areas by creating activities, projects, and assessments to the book so that students make the text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections. The cereal box book report allowed students to activate prior knowledge and create a “cereal” that would make other students to want to “eat” (read). Prior to this project, our class had been discussing advertisements and importance was stressed on the importance of exposure of your product. I informed students that they were using this project to persuade students to read Dear Mr. Henshaw. This project not only connected students to real-world opportunities, but it also connected various content areas. Student Outcomes a. Students will become more engaged in learning and class discussions as evidenced by students’ participation in projects The success rate for this project was 3/5 students with successful completion. As students were working on this project, I circulated around the room and observed students talking about the book and talking through which parts were most important as well as most interesting. Students were engaged in conversation with one another about which
part of the book would make a good game for the back as well as discussing the important parts of the text that needed to be included in the summary. During the discussion, 2 students disagreed and started stomping on their cereal boxes and refusing to work on the assignment and ultimately requiring physical management. Thus, my success rate of 3 out of 5. Report of Outcomes Attainment As stated above, only 3 of 5 students successfully completed this project. However, I still consider this project a success given the nature of my students and their emotional/behavioral disability. Students who successfully completed the project The three students who completed the project received all points. As they were working, I observed students referring to the rubric and with my suggestion, highlighted when they completed that portion of the rubric. Students successfully worked together and had discussions about what parts were “important enough” to make the cereal box. Based on observed student discussion, participation, and completed projects I deemed student comprehension of the text to be at a high level. Students who were unable to complete the project Two students were unable to complete the project. At the beginning of the second day of the project, the two students got into a verbal altercation with one another over materials. One student suggested to the other that he was “copying off of him”. I then moved the students away from the rest of the group as well as each other and ensured that both students were working with identical materials. About 15 minutes later, the argument began again, this time leading to a physical altercation that began with the smashing of the others cereal box; both students required physical management by myself and my aide and were escorted out of the room. When the students returned, both refused to work on the project and were given an alternate behavior assignment. Research “Teachers should continually observe learner attitudes toward reading. Negative attitudes hinder optimal achievement in reading” (Gabl, Kaiser, Long, & Roemer 2007). This project gave my students a reason to do the project and a reason to revisit the text. Reflection on the process 1. What does this artifact demonstrate as far as your learning? I learned that most of my students are capable and enjoy creating projects. I found that student comprehension was higher when students felt as if they had a reason for referring back to the text. I also learned that my students are very creative and enjoy demonstrating that creativity. As we were working on the cereal box project, students were asking if they could do another project such as this instead of a “stupid old book report where all you get to do is write”. It made me realize the importance of project based learning. 2. What does it represent in relation to the changes you have made in your classroom? Since this project, I have tried to create opportunities for more art based projects in my room. However, I have found that students struggle on doing a “fun” art project when it is not for a grade. When it is just an “art” project, many of my
students complain and say it is stupid. When it is a project “for a grade”, I do not meet as much resistance. 3. Describe why you chose this artifact. Although all students were not able to complete this assignment, I chose this artifact because the ones who did were able to demonstrate their comprehension of the text as well show their creativity. I have always been very hesitant to provide opportunities for project based learning due to the many behavioral problems of my students. This project showed that it is possible for most of my students to participate in this type of learning. 4. Link the action research process, these results, the research you used to back your decisions and the program and/or course outcomes. Candidates critically reflect on ethical and moral implications of actions as they relate to all learners. • I reflected many times when doing this project. I found myself struggling with wanting to stop the assignment and scrap it due to the behavior problems of two students. I found myself thinking in relation to this MAT class that and thought to myself that only 3 of 5 students successfully completed the project which is only 60% - a failing grade. I then realized that my classroom is not a traditional classroom and 3 out of 5 is an extremely good for my students. I started looking at it from the perspective that my students deserve the chance to participate and that they had to learn to do projects such as this to reintegrate back into the regular program. Hopefully, by continuing projects such as this, the other students will watch the modeling of the other students and be able to become participants in the projects. 5. What does this artifact demonstrate about you as a teacher? Link what you found to the NBPTS Core Propositions? Proposition 1: Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning • With the behaviors that came during this project, I found it very difficult to force myself to keep pace and allow the rest of the students to have time to finish this project. I was very committed to ensuring students had time to work on this project and had to adjust our class time to offer this time due to necessary room clears because of out-of-control behaviors by 2 of the students. I found the experience to be extremely rewarding to my students. Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically about Their Practice and Learn from Experience. • I learned a lot from this experience. I discovered the importance of having everything out and ready to eliminate down/wait time of students. I have the personality that thrives on structure and routine. Creativity is something that I struggle with. This project has taught me to look for creative opportunity and to ask colleagues for ideas. It has made me a better teacher and has brought a hint of creativity in. I am still working on finding a balance of allowing students to work creatively in groups while maintaining a level structure, which keeps students on task. This is a challenge due to the nature of my students’ disabilities.
References Berne, J., & Clark, K. (2008, September 1). Focusing Literature Discussion Groups on Comprehension Strategies. Reading Teacher, 62(1), 74-79. Buschick, M., Shipton, T., Winner, L., & Wise, M. (2007, May 1). Increasing Reading Motivation in Elementary and Middle School Students through the Use of Multiple Intelligences. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED498926) Retrieved February 27, 2009, from ERIC database. Caposey, T., & Heider, B. (2003, May 1). Improving Reading Comprehension through Cooperative Learning. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED478463) Retrieved February 27, 2009, from ERIC database. Gabl, K., Kaiser, K., Long, J., & Roemer, J. (2007, May 1). Improving Reading Comprehension and Fluency through the Use of Guided Reading. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED496377) Retrieved February 27, 2009, from ERIC database. Hall, L., & Piazza, S. (2008, September 1). Critically Reading Texts: What Students Do and How Teachers Can Help. Reading Teacher, 62(1), 32-41. Hubbard, T., & Newell, M. (1999, December 1). Improving Academic Achievement in Reading and Writing in Primary Grades. Kobus, T., Maxwell, L., & Provo, J. (2007, January 1). Increasing Motivation of Elementary and Middle School Students through Positive Reinforcement, Student Self-Assessment, and Creative Engagement. Parker, S., Quigley, M., & Reilly, J. (1999, May 1). Improving Student Reading Comprehension through the Use of Literacy Circles. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED433504) Retrieved February 27, 2009, from ERIC database. Topping, K., Nixon, J., Sutherland, J., & Yarrow, F. (2000, January 1). Paired Writing: A Framework for Effective Collaboration. Reading, 34(2), 79-89.
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