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TASK 4: Focus Students Template

Identify two focus
students with diverse
learning needs. Provide
your reasoning for
choosing the 2
students.

Rationale for Focus Student 1:
To increase motivation to complete assignments.

Describe what you will
do to differentiate
instruction for each
focus student.

Focus Student 1:
Work with student individually, extended time, 50% reduced

Rationale for Focus Student 2:
To increase reading comprehension and engagement in class.

Focus Student 2:
Group work, headphones to listen electronically, relating content to sports

Planning Instruction
Pre-assessment data gave insight to what material and knowledge the students already had under their belt, compared to
what they struggled with. Students showed difficulty in making connections and deeper level thinking skills; therefore we
did a lot of work with that. This included independent, group work, as well as collaborating with the cooperating teacher
and me.
The contextual factors identified in Task 1 influenced planning because I wanted to be able to reach all students. I wanted
students to make connections with the content being taught, not just the surface level content, but how the lessons the
characters and people we were learning about could influence their life. I was able to incorporate a lot of in-class writing
time with the computers and mobile cart, as well as showing several videos to help students visualize the content.
To address student needs, I was sure to use various forms of instruction. I also reminded the focus students, privately,
that they could come in during lunch or our planning period to finish their assignment, and gave clear direction for the 50%

reduced writing student. For higher achieving students I encouraged them to take the assignments a step farther, to make
extra connections.
My cooperating teacher played an active role in the planning process. She came to me and asked if I could teach this unit,
which I loosely planned during a senior seminar class. I made a vague unit plan which she approved. The librarian
ordered books from surrounding libraries so we would have a class set of Storming Heaven. My teacher and I would
reflect on lessons each day, and at the end of the week we would reflect on the lessons as a whole. Then for the next
week’s lessons, we would modify them according to what the students had or had not mastered. She also helped plan for
the field trip we took to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.
Instructional Strategies
I chose these standards and the big idea because they are important skills for students to have. If they are able to think
about situations, form their own justified opinions, and communicate those, I believe it will contribute to them being
successful adults. Objective 1- review. Incorporating history and literature, students will be exposed to informational text
while the fictional piece will increase engagement with the content. The guest speaker serves as another source for
students to receive information in a different setting, mixing up instruction and study areas helps with retention. Objective
2- cooperative learning, close reading. Group work benefits students because each brings their own strengths and
persepectives, which the other students can learn from and respect, close readings guide students to make deeper level
connections with the text. Objective 3- conferencing, working one-on-one with students shows that I am interested in their
learning and am actively helping them achieve their goals. It also breaks the barrier and shows that we are both life long
learners.
Rationale for Best Practice
AFT.org’s article, “Principles of Instruction”, by Barak Rosenshine shows research results for multiple instructional
strategies as well as how to implement them in the classroom.
Objective 1- Review helps students to retain information and makes previous knowledge more accessible (p. 19).
Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to
gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge (NCTE).

Objective 2- Students learn best when they can spend time with the material through guided practice (p. 16). Students
participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities (NCTE).
Objective 3- Monitoring and scaffolding material encourages more reserved students to be competent and confident (p.
18). Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They
gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to
communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience (NCTE).
Resources and Materials
For the six-week unit I used multiple resources. NCTE provided a lot of information. Computers aided in research, etc., we
watched a documentary that also relayed information in a different light. Instagrok, a brainstorming website, helped
students to choose a topic for their research paper and sent them in the right directions for finding sources. Engrade was
used for data keeping. I was able to record scores, contact students, and to see the class average score for assignments.
Microsoft Excel was also used to input data and create graphs.
Differentiated Instruction
Student 1- Again, I gave oral and visual instructions as well as reiterated them throughout lessons. This student came in
during planning to finish assignments and was given extended due dates. I also worked with him one-on-one on multiple
occasions, assisting him with writing activities. His writing assignments were also reduced by 50%. He loved his cat. So
we talked about Tigger frequently, contributing to a positive student-teacher relationship.
Student 2- Oral and visual instructions were given and the student was given extra time on reading assignments. Group
work helped him with comprehension of the material. This male student was very interested in sports. He really took
interest in the baseball chapter of the novel and related life lessons presented in the unit to how they could also be useful
in sports.