University of Saint Mary Master of Arts in Teaching Assignment Form: Final Reflection Name: Tiffany Embry Date: August

14, 2009 Course Number/Name: MAT 735 Diverse Learners Final Reflective Assessment 1. What were your initial premise statements? Discuss your premise statements now that they have been refined and revised as a result of your action research. Initial Statement: Said student has a very difficult time writing and using proper vocabulary. This student writes the way he speaks. When I conference with him, he doesn't understand what he is doing wrong and says, "My mamma says mines is right". His spelling is so horrible that spell check cannot pick up on what he has typed, so he hits print and turns it in. In our state, students create a 4th grade writing portfolio and are tested using on demand and open response questions on the state mandated test. At current ability, student will score a novice. When I first began this unit, I was planning to work with this student over the summer break in tutoring sessions. However, the students did not show up to tutoring, thus causing this unit to go into a “theory” unit that will be implemented in Fall 2009. I revised the plan to expand to other students within the class and implement more group activities into the plan. As a result of my research, I discovered the importance of learning the dialect of my students. I found that it was important for me to teach the students how to “code switch”. I learned that it is important for student to know that you respect their home dialect and to use caution when going through the writing process. 2. Your “practical argument” is the professional knowledge and language you use to support the decisions you make in your classroom. What were the key concepts and ideas from these courses that define your new practical argument in professional practice? The key ideas that came from this unit were teaching students how to code switch and use vocabulary based on the situation. It is OK for them to speak one way at home, but they must use standard English in their writings. 3. What questions were raised (or not fully answered) during your action research that might lead you to further research? There are many questions I have for this unit. First and foremost, will it work! Since this is a summer class, I will not be able to implement this plan until the fall. I am also 1

concerned that students may get out of hand and become inappropriate. I will edit this reflection once the unit has been implemented. 4. How has the semester’s work change you as a teacher? How has your study impacted your role in your school? Although this unit has not been implemented as of yet, I have discovered a passion for it. I am anxious for students to begin working on the skills laid out in my action plan. I believe this will be a unit that is fun and exciting. This unit has made explore the communities of my students as well as learn the “slang” that is used today, which makes me feel old! I feel that this unit will bring me closer to my students as well as other students within the community. Having this bond, will hopefully allow me to de-escalate situations that have risen and began at home and through a built relationship with myself allow students to be able to communicate without using violence. References Berne, J., & Clark, K. (2008, September 1). Focusing Literature Discussion Groups on Comprehension Strategies. Reading Teacher, 62(1), 74-79. Coppus, S. (2008, June). Ebonics: African American Vernacular English. Ebonics: African American Vernacular English -- Research Starters Education, Retrieved June 19, 2009, from Research Starters - Education 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 June 18, 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. Hamilton, K. (2005, April 21). The Dialect Dilemma. Black Issues in Higher Education, 22(5), 34-36. Retrieved June 19, 2009, from Research Starters - Education database. 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. Picower, B. (2004, September). Teaching Outside One's Race. Radical Teacher, Retrieved June 21, 2009, from Research Starters - Education database. Salisbury, C., & Others, A. (1997, January 1). Using Action Research To Solve Instructional Challenges in Inclusive Elementary School Settings. Education and

University of Saint Mary Master of Arts in Teaching Treatment of Children, 20(1), 21-39. Schoen, S., & Schoen, A. (2003, January 1). Action Research in the Classroom: Assisting a Linguistically Different Learner with Special Needs. TEACHING Exceptional Children, \35(3), 16-21. 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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