Martha Smith FRIT 7430 Kathryn Kennedy September 24, 2010

Introduction My school is located in rural Southeast Georgia. It is a Title 1 middle school which serves grades 6-8. My students are being served in a sixth grade English Language Arts classroom. By the end of my unit, my students should have a better understanding of the jobs of nouns and what role they play in the make up of sentences. Even though my unit will revolve around this standard, I am required to teach reading and writing skills as well. Therefore, I will have secondary standards which will cover some of this material. Demographics

I have attached charts of the demographics of my school as well as the students from which I studied. I am unable to ask the students if they are on free or reduced lunch as that has been deemed confidential, l and we as teachers are unable to inquire about that

information. As you can see from the charts, the population and make up of the students of the school are quite diverse. I acquired the school demographics from our school website and my survey group results came from my observations, knowledge, and school records of the students. Entry Skills and Prior Knowledge

The charts above show the 2010 CRCT scores of the students I analyzed. The majority of the students exceeded on the Reading and ELA portion of the CRCT. This will play an advantage to how quickly those students are able to grasp the information in my unit. A few of the students either did not meet or struggled to meet in Reading and/or ELA. Their grasp of this material will prove more difficult. The introduction of this material will be a challenged for all students in that they have not had to identify the jobs of nouns (other than subject) before. In order to grasp this material quickly, they will need to apply their prior knowledge of nouns and verbs. Academic Motivation The majority of my surveyed students are highly motivated and eager to learn. Many of them are gifted or are in an advanced prep class. I have a few students who are the exception. One is an SWD (student with disabilities); he tries very hard, but his learning disability in reading acts as a barrier to quick understanding of some material. Another one of my students (not labeled SWD) has been promoted several times because of the fact that he has already failed two previous grade levels and simply cannot be held back again because of his age. He is openly against getting an education. He feels that in the real world he will not need any of the information we are try to teach him. I believe a large part of this motivation comes from a lack of consistency at home and the fact he is already “working” with his father in the heating and air business on the weekends. He has admitted that he only comes to school because he is forced to. If he misses school (without a note from the doctor or a hospital) he and his family will be turned over to the authorities. Motivational Strategies

I was not familiar with John Keller’s motivational strategies until I began this project, however, after my research; I see that I already use his practices in my everyday teaching strategies. With middle school students especially, it is important that they understand the relevance of all information, especially with unmotivated students. As I said in the previous paragraph, one of my students doesn’t feel like anything we do applies to his future life. We have to find ways to help him realize that what we are learning will serve a purpose later. One of the techniques I used with him is writing. Instead of him making up some story like the rest of his classmates, I make him create HVAC proposals. He needs to make the connection that knowing how to write a proper paragraph/paper will help him with his future endeavors. He needs to realize that if he can’t write correctly, it may prevent him from scoring important jobs later. In order to help students understand the relevancy of the material, you must also get their attention and hold it. This is often a difficult task with some material in all subjects. It is probably the most challenging part of teaching all together. Relating material to something that the students are familiar with is often the easiest way to get their attention. Others have also dresses up. I haven’t done that before, but colleagues of mine have had great success with it. After you get each student’s attention you will then build on their confidence and satisfaction. Many students can be successful but they have to believe it. In order for students to gain that confidence, they need heaps of praise and motivation to do well. Many students are eager to please. I have no problem making a big deal of right answers in class. I clap and hug for students when they are correct. I have found with many of my students, they enjoy the hugs and the big deal I make out of things. I am not sure if it means they don’t get that attention at home or not, but whatever the meaning, I will continue to do it if it gets positive results. I believe if you show them you are interested and care about their success, they will do anything to continue to get that attention they crave to have from you. Lastly, Satisfaction plays a big factor in the success of a student. With most students, praise, stickers, and free time is enough, but with a few you have to make “deals” with them. I once had a class where the majority of my students did not meet on the CRCT in ELA/Reading the previous year. Even though they enjoyed my praise, it was not quite enough. I had to promise crazy things to get them to do their best. For example, I told them that if at least 17 of them met (there were 20) on the ELA/READING portion of the CRCT, I would kiss the floor. Well they did and yes, I did kiss the floor (I wiped it off with a Clorox wipe first)! Another thing that has worked well with my students is competition. They strive to be the best, and they will do anything to find out that their class did the best on a benchmark or CRCT exam. Educational and Ability levels My students surveyed consist of 5 gifted students, 1 special education student, and 8 regular education students. Of all of the students I teach, I have 12 gifted students, 3 ESOL students, 9 special education students, and 70 regular education students. All of my students will have some difficulty with the focus of this unit. The parts of a the

sentence is an introductory skill. They are aware of the subject and predicate, but have not been taught direct objects, predicate nominatives, indirect objects, appositives, or objects of the preposition before this school year. Learner Characteristics

It would be great if we had cookie cutter children when it comes to teaching and learning, but it isn’t like that. Many of them learn in different ways. Not every student will understand the material if you just have them copy it from the board into their notebooks. Culture and Ethnicity do play a major role in this fact. Some students don’t have parents to go home to do homework with. Those parents may be working late and it may be the responsibility of the child to clean, cook, and look after younger siblings. To expect them to go home and study or do homework may be a losing battle. And in some cases, the parents can’t help the students. So it is important to find the best ways to get those children to learn and understand the majority of the material at school. We have many students who have issues that are usually beyond the comprehension of the teacher. We just don’t understand what all of our students are going through. For instance, I have an ESOL student who speaks and “understands” English quite well, but when it comes to applying that to everyday education, there is often a disconnect. There is quite a difference between being able to carry on a conversation with someone and actually understanding rules and jargon of the English language. To most teachers, it is difficult to comprehend why a student can speak and understand English, but not be able to pass a literature assignment. Using learning styles can help bridge the gap for different types of learners. As you see in the chart above, the majority of the surveyed students are kinesthetic learners, so having hands-on activities or activities that require them to move around will benefit many of them. What’s more interesting is their second indicators are pretty evenly spread out. I did discover from my results that most students in middle school on average are not linguistic learners or intrapersonal. The low levels of the linguistic level probably explain why most of them hate writing. This is typically a skill with which most of them struggle. As for the intrapersonal score, I am not sure many students at this particular age are self-aware. They typically do not go off on their own to do much of anything. They tend to follow the crowd with views and behaviors.

Accommodations It is important to remember that accommodations should be used to assist the students with the material. Many educators misunderstand the real purpose of accommodations. Accommodations are not meant to “lessen” the material given to the students. We want them to be able to do the same work as the other students in the class. The hard part is finding ways to meet each student’s individual needs. The accommodations of my students with disabilities may vary slightly from one person to another, but assignments should remain standards-based. Some of the accommodations which may be used in my classroom to help my students grasp the material are the following: frequent progress checks, praise, shortened assignments (sometimes it is not important that they can do 20 if you know they can do 10 instead), repeated directions, examples of what answers should look like, preferential seating (some students need to be away from distractions), reading strips. Another accommodation that has been mentioned but is no longer used much in most regular education classroom in Georgia is “READ TO”. Some students have severe learning disabilities in reading, and others, like ESOL students, have a real difficulty understanding what it is that they are reading. They may be able to read the material, but so much focus is put on the reading the words that it distracts them from really “hearing” what is being said in the passage. This accommodation is a big necessity in their education. It shows that they do understand the material when the focus is taken away from the actual “reading” aspect of it. Another option for ESOL students could be having pictures to use in conjunction with the learning material. You could also group ESOL students with a student who speaks English as a first language. That student could serve as a model. And finally, ESOL students should receive a lot of praise and feel accepted in the classroom. They need to understand that it is okay for them to make mistakes because their mistakes will help them learn the material as well. Gifted students also need some accommodations. They need to be frequently challenged to increase their level of learning. These students often enjoy independent work where they can create their own projects to show the material they have learned. They often enjoy being able to take their time of a project. They do not like to work against a clock. Also, you could give them a variety of ideas to choose from when completing an activity Technology is also an accommodation you can use with a variety of different students. One such technology resource that may help with students of any level is BRAIN POP. The material in these short videos is broken down into simple terms. Examples are given and often the dialogue between Tim and Moby is quite comical. The students enjoy watching the video and they are learning and understanding material better as well. You can also use game-based programs to enhance learning as well. There are many websites out there with games containing education material. One such site is www. This site contain many different types of games for different subject levels. It gives the students practice in harder material without making them realize they actually have to work. I have recently began using with my advanced class. They are writing short memoirs about themselves using interactive posters.


Pearson Education Incorporated.(2000-2009). Retrieved from BrainPOP. (1999-2010). Retrieved from Glogster. (2010)Retrieved from Pearson Education Incorporated. (2000-2010). Teaching Students with Special Needs. Retrieved from Wright, P.D. and Wright, P.D.(1998-2010) .Ask the Advocate. Retrieved from, Inc. (2006-2010). Special Education Help. Retrieved from Marion School District (n.d). Suggested ESOL/Instructional Strategies. Retrieved from %20ESOLInstructional%20Strategies.pdf The Education Alliance at Brown University.(2006).Teaching Diverse Learners. Retrieved from Scribd. (n.d).ESL/Bilingual Resource Guide for Mainstream Teachers. Retrieved from Keller, J.M. (2006). Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design-Attention, Relevance, Confidence, &Satisfaction. Retrieved from Lane, C. (n.d). Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved from Chapman, A. (2003-2009).Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.Retrieved from Chapman,A. (2003-2006). Multiple Intelligence Test based on Howard Gardner’s MI Model (young people’s version).Retrieved from eople.pdf Schoolwires, inc. (2002-2008).Effingham County Board of Education-ECMS.Retrieved from a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=67663&107020122194420753Nav=| &NodeID=1459


Multiple Intelligences Test - based on Howard Gardner's MI Model
(young people's version - see for adults and self-calculating versions)

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Score or tick the statements in the white-out boxes only I can play a musical instrument I often have a song or piece of music in my head I find it easy to make up stories I have always been physically well co-ordinated (run, jump, balance, etc) Music is very important to me I am a good liar (if I want to be) I play a sport or dance I am a very social person and like being with other people I find graphs, charts and diagrams easy to understand I find it easy to remember quotes or phrases or poems or song lyrics I can always recognise places that I have been before, even when I was very young When I am concentrating I tend to doodle I find mental arithmetic easy (sums in my head) At school one of my favourite subjects is / was English I like to think through a problem carefully, considering all the consequences I love adrenaline sports and scary rides I enjoy individual sports best I find it easy to remember telephone numbers


I set myself goals and plans for the future I can tell easily whether someone likes me or dislikes me To learn something new, I need to just get on and try it I often see clear images when I close my eyes I don’t use my fingers when I count At school I love / loved music lessons I find ball games easy and enjoyable My favourite subject at school is / was maths I always know how I am feeling I keep a diary My favourite subject at school is / was art I really enjoy reading It upsets me to see someone cry and not be able to help I prefer team sports Singing makes me feel happy I am happy spending time alone My friends always come to me for emotional support and advice
contd. - see 2nd page

Intelligence type Linguistic Logical-Mathematical Musical Bodily-Kinesthetic Spatial-Visual Interpersonal Intrapersonal

your totals

© V Chislett MSc and A Chapman 2005-06, based on Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Model. Available free from Not to be sold or published. The authors accept no liability.

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GT Mason Megan Noah Allyssa Paige Special Ed. Drae

Regular Ed. Phillip Joe Anna Ana Lee Patrick Big Mac Nicholas Lee Ann

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