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Photographs* Course number and name: MAT 733 Research Based Teaching Strategies and Assessment Type of artifact: Authentic Assessment; Individual Student Journal – Composition Notebook Write a brief description of the artifact In the beginning of this unit, the student journal was introduced as a way for students to respond to the text, Dear Mr. Henshaw. Students were given a higher order thinking question (HOT) and asked to respond in the journal. I, the teacher, then responded to the students writing in the form of a letter, similar to the format of Dear Mr. Henshaw. The student journal allowed me to analyze student thinking and comprehension of the text as well as provide opportunities for me to get to know my students at a deeper level. 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. I analyzed student responses to the HOT question given. If student comprehension was on track, I responded to the journal. Is the student had missed something in the text, I pulled the student for a one-on-one session for further discussion of the text and re-read if necessary. Student Outcomes a. Students will become more engaged in learning and class discussions as evidenced by students’ participation in projects Although verbal discussions did not occur, due to behavioral problems, students were still able to discuss the book through journaling. Most of the students responded with at least ½ page answers to the HOT question. Before this assignment, it was difficult to have them write 2 sentences. Participation in journal discussions was 100%. Report of Outcomes Attainment This authentic assessment provided me the opportunity to monitor student comprehension on a daily basis. It also tied into the multiple intelligences and allowed for student creativity as well as it integrated the text into other content areas. Students were able to share thoughts on the book as well as to show the thinking involved in the comprehension strategies presented. A secondary outcome was that students began sharing personal information with me. Since the
completion of this unit, students continue to write in the journal, daily. It has become a very successful communication ground for my classroom. When students are angry, I have found that they will write to me in their journal, rather than shouting out and being disruptive. Both the student and I are able to share our thoughts and feelings without verbal confrontation. Reflection on the process 1. What does this artifact demonstrate as far as your learning? The student journal is a very important and successful tool that I will continue to use in my classroom. It allowed me to see that my students comprehended about 60% more than I originally thought. I found that many of the students enjoyed reading and being part of the group, however they felt they would be “made fun of” if they outwardly demonstrated that desire. I found that I did not know my students as well as I should and thus my bond with them was very weak. Since the journal, I am able to emphasize with where they are coming from. 2. What does it represent in relation to the changes you have made in your classroom? There have been several changes to my classroom since the implementation of the journal. In relation to reading, I now ask student to journal after they read. At first, I heard a lot of groans and moans, but now they immediately pull out their journal and write about what they just read. One student told me that it helps him by quote, “it helps me because I have to pay attention to what I am reading so that I can write about it”. The largest impact it has made to my classroom is that students are able to provide written expression concerning their feelings. It allows them to get their thoughts in order and calm down before reacting, thus reducing the number of out of control incidents. This journal has provided students the opportunity to tell me what sets them off, which in turn provides me the opportunity to reduce those stressors, thus making a less tense environment. 3. Describe why you chose this artifact. I chose this artifact because it had the greatest long term impact on my students. The journal became an outlet for my students and a way for them to tell me what they have learned/comprehended without having to speak in front of the other students. 4. Link the action research process, these results, the research you used to back your decisions and the program and/or course outcomes. Candidates apply their knowledge of curriculum content and design to support learners’ construction of knowledge. Candidates utilize measurements and evaluation accurately and systematically to monitor and promote learning. Connection: For this project, I was required to create a unit student that would engage students by appealing to the diverse needs of my students to improve reading comprehension skills. Gabl, Kaiser, Long, & Roemer state, “Teachers should continually observe learner attitudes toward reading. Negative attitudes hinder optimal achievement in reading” (2007). The journal allowed for an authentic assessment opportunity where students wrote daily a HOT question that was given. I was able to analyze student responses and
pull small groups and/or provide one-on-one work sessions to provide modeling opportunities and re-read the text with the student. 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 The student journal required daily monitoring and responding to work. I corresponded daily with students in the journal. This required that I set aside time to respond to ensure that the journal be a tool that students were interested in doing. Many nights, I took the journals home to make sure they were ready for the following day. Proposition 3: Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning. I analyzed and reflected on student responses to the text. I was very diligent to ensure that comprehension was on track and was sure to ask questions that allowed the students to easily find the reference points in the text. This provided practice for additional skills, such as referring back to the text to reflect and question what was previously read. I
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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