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The learning environment includes fourth grade students at a title one middle school. This particular middle school includes grades fourth and fifth unlike many other schools in the southeastern region. The learning will take place in a fourth grade regular education classroom. This classroom consists of twenty five fourth grade students to one instructor. My instructional goals were gathered from the fourth grade Georgia Performance Standards. Instructional goals: ELA4R1: The student demonstrates comprehension and shows evidence of a warranted and responsible explanation of a variety of literary informational texts. For Literary text, b. Identifies and analyzes the element of plot For informational texts, d. Identifies and uses knowledge of common organizational structures (e.g. chronological order) ELA4W1: The student produces writing that establishes an appropriate organizational structure, sets a context and engages the reader, maintains a coherent focus throughout, and signals a satisfying closure. The student: c. Uses traditional structures for conveying information (e.g. chronological order)
Group Composition/Demographics: Grade Level 4th grade Class Size 25 students Age Range 9-11 years old Gender 15 males 10 females African American: 4 Hispanic 5 Further demographic information: Ethic Background: While this class is distributed like all four grades classrooms at our middle school, the ethic diversity within the classroom is definitely not equal. Sixty percent of students are males, while only forty percent are females in the class. Also, ethic background is not distributed evenly. The ethnic background distribution is Ethnic Background Caucasian 16 Special Needs 6 students have been diagnosed with ADHD in this class.
predominately of Caucasian descent with 64% of all students in this class falling under this category. While only 16% are of African American descent and 20% are of Hispanic descent. This is a list of students broken down by gender and race. There are nine Causation males, three Hispanic males, and three African American males. There are six Causation females, three Hispanic females, and only one African American female. Income level: The majority of the students in this class fall into the low income family category and is eligible for free or reduced lunch based on their parent’s income. Sixteen out of twenty five students, or 64%, of students in this class are considered to come from a low income family. Poverty/income level is another major factor to consider when planning and interacting for students during this unit and throughout the year. Special needs: While six students in this classroom are diagnosed with ADHD, their medication situation varies between each student. One student has a diagnosis in permanent file which indicates that he is severely ADHD. Another student’s diagnosis in permanent file states that she shows symptoms of mild ADHD. The other four students diagnosis simply states diagnosed with ADHD. Another difference between these students is the treatment for their diagnosis. One student has been diagnosed, but is not currently taking medication for the diagnosis. One student takes dose of medication every morning from school nurse, while another student takes his medication after lunch. The other three students are given their medication before they report to school each morning. The time and disruption of the medication can affect the individual student’s behavior throughout the any given day. (**All of the demographic information was gathered from the students’ permanent school records and information given by the school to each classroom teacher at the beginning of the school year.**)
Entry Skills and Prior Knowledge:
At our middle school, students are required to take Reading/ELA pre-tests and post-test every nine weeks. These pre and post tests are used to determine the knowledge gained during the nine weeks. These also help teachers to see what areas are weaknesses for the majority of the students in the class. I always use results to shape my instruction during the nine weeks. If I see that an area is a weakness for the students, I will develop multiple lessons to emphasis on the skills that are needed. Our instructional coordinators at the school grade and analyze test results for each class. Each teacher is given a chart that breaks down the questions on the test, content standards area, and number of wrong responses for their class. (**The following chart comes from analysis that I was given for my students at the beginning of this 9 week period. I have only included the questions that focused on my standards/goals for my UBD unit.**) Question # Content Area # of Wrong Responses 4 ELA4R1 d.: organizational structures-chronological order 12 5 ELA4R1 d.: organizational structures-chronological order 10 12 ELA4R1 d.: organizational structures-chronological order 15 13 ELA4R1 d.: organizational structures-chronological order 12 20 ELAW1c. writing organization 19 21 ELAW1c. writing organization 16 22 ELA4W1c transition elements 12 30 ELA4R1 d.: organizational structures-chronological order 8 32 ELA4W1c transition elements 7 34 ELA4R1 d.: organizational structures-chronological order 11
This information is important to the teacher because it allows the instructor to pick weak areas that need concentration for their learners. I choose to write a Sequencing/Chronological Order unit because this was the students’ weakest area according to the pre-test questions. (**The following chart includes information given to teachers by instructional coordinators at my school. The information includes each student’s first nine weeks pre-test scores.**) Individual pre-tests scores of learners: Student 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Post-Test Score 60 60 30 51 80 54 40 72 66 52 70 77 58 54 59 70 78 59 67 86 45 81 79 69 50
I created a survey that included questions to determine the interest of learners in the area of Chronological Order and Sequencing. The following chart displays survey results from the students.
Motivation to learn standards based on survey:
Student 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 High Medium Low
Student’s motivation based on classroom observations: I collected data from everyday classroom activities. The following chart show information for each students based on their participation in daily classroom activities. The first category, participation, includes eagerness to participate during whole class or small group discussions/lessons. The second category, interaction, includes the enthusiasm to interact with other students and the amount of participation during centers, group projects, or paired reading assignments. The third category, independence, includes the amount of work that is completed independently during class or the eagerness to complete work independently without prompts from teacher. Participation Interaction Independence Student High Medium Low High Medium Low High Medium Low 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
The ARCS model for motivation identifies ways that instructors can encourage and motivate students to learn. The model breaks down several categories and strategies for motivation ARCS stands for: (A)- Attention An instructor should introduce new topics by first gaining the readers attention. Teachers should do this by giving students perceptual arousal or inquiry arousals. This means that instructors keep students guessing or questioning. Perceptual Arousal includes grabbing students’ attention using novelty or surprise. Inquiry Arousal includes posing questions to the students to strike interest or have students pose questions to strike interest. (R)- Relevance Instructors can promote relevance by relating concepts to the learners’ experience, prior knowledge, or interest. Help students to understand and relate to concepts by finding familiarity and relevance to students. Instructors can also promote relevance by giving students goals and objectives of the lesson. The teacher should promote interest in learning by explaining to students the importance and purpose of the content which the learner is expected to grasps. Having students select and set their own goals can highly promote understanding and motivation to learn. (C)- Confidence Instructional designers should design assignments so that students feel confident about completing the assignments. Students should be given instruction that is sequenced, direct and understandable directions for assignment, examples to follow while completing the assignment, and many opportunities to practice before completing assignments. Students should feel that they know the information before being expected to complete an assignment. They should also be given examples or clear directions. For example, teachers may give student printed directions or rubrics for projects. (S)- Satisfaction The ARCS model by Keller includes many different ways to give students satisfaction for their work. These include intrinsic reinforcement, extrinsic rewards, and equity. Intrinsic reinforcement is used to give students enjoyment during the learning experience. Teachers should help students understand the importance for the concepts being taught and how they can help students. Extrinsic rewards include positive reinforcements and feedback to students. These rewards should be rewards that students earn for mastering a skill/concept. Equity means that teachers give students feedback based on information discussed in class in a way that the students can understand. Other motivation strategies: Instruction-Teachers should also structure their instruction in a way that help students. Sequencing instruction can help students to connect information learned in previous lessons to new lessons. Assessment- Instructors should provide practice of skills, feedback to students, and test their learning fairly. Cueing lessons in a way that makes understanding easy. Teachers can provide examples or use common vocabulary. Instruction should also be fitted to the students needs, preferences, and past experiences. (A)-attention (R)- relevance (C)-confidence (S)-satisfaction
Garner’s Multiple Intelligences is used to identify students’ strengths and preferences in learning. This information is crucial to Instructional designers when choosing activities to incorporate into lesson plans or units. The following information including charts and graphs are based on the Intelligences survey from http://www.lauracandler.com/strategies/CL/misurvey.pdf. Students were given the survey to collect information regarding their learning preferences and strengths based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. (**The following chart displays the individual students’ highest 2 or 3 intelligences scoring areas.**) Student 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 LogicalLinguisticMathematical Word smart Musical VisualSpatial x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x Kinesthetic Inter personal x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x Intrapersonal
(**The following bar graph displays whole groups’ multiple intelligence scores based on the survey.**)
Based on the survey gathered from students, the majority of the students in the class prefer or have strengths in the areas of visual/special, kinesthetic, and interpersonal intelligences. There are many strategies that can be implemented in the classroom to encourage and promote learning in the classroom. Interpersonal intelligence is described as the ability to relate to and understand others. They can easily see others perspectives and ideas. These students strive off of others knowledge. Since the interpersonal intelligence is a high ranked category among my students, I want to make sure that I give these students ample time and opportunities for interactions of other classroom. This may include activities that are completed in pair and/or small groups, centers with partners, and small group readings. Visual/Spatial intelligence is another high scoring section among the learners in this class. When students have this intelligence, they tend to learn from visual images and examples. These students tend to think with pictures and need visual images and examples. Pictures can be provided for the students and/or students can create their own pictures to implement information throughout lessons. These students also learn from and enjoy graphics, images, graphs, and charts. Visual examples can help students lock the information in their heads for recall later. The third most highly ranked intelligence of all the students in the class is Kinesthetic. These students enjoy expressing themselves through movement. They will learn best with body movements, hand/body gestures, acting out stories, and hands-on experiments. When planning, instructional designers need to ensure that they include activities that can reach each student’s specific learning needs and abilities including their intelligences. Other intelligences that are shown on the chart include: 1. Logical/Mathematical- This includes students are excellent with numbers and logic. This students may enjoy activities such as problem solving and classifying information 2. Verbal/Linguistic- Students can use words to help with their understanding of materials. They can learn a lot through listen and expressing themselves with explanations. They enjoy stories, listening, and speaking.
3. Musical- These student often enjoy sounds, rhythms, and patterns. They may enjoy singing, whistling, or playing musical instruments. Teachers can create or find songs that go along with materials being taught in class to capture these student’s attentions. 4. Intrapersonal was the lowest rank category amongst the fourth grade group. These students are very into their own interest, abilities, and strengths. They many find work easier to complete when they are working alone. While all students need time to work alone to really show what they know. Students should also be encouraged to interact with others throughout the year. Teachers may allow students with intrapersonal intelligences the opportunity to work alone. These students are usually very capable of analyzing and reflecting on their own work.
Culture and Ethnicity can affect students more that instructors may realize. One of the major issues is having students that do not feel like they belong or fit in with the other students in their classroom. Students can begin to feel alienation when they are treated differently than their peers. Barbara Gross Davis discusses the following in chapter “Diversity and Complexity in the Classroom of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender” of her book Tools for Teaching (1993): Some students of color have labeled this bias "the problem of ignorance" or the "look through me" syndrome. As reported by the Institute for the Study of Social Change, students talk about subtle discrimination in certain facial expressions, in not being acknowledged, in how white students "take over a class" and speak past students of color, or in small everyday slights in which they perceive that their value and perspective are not appreciated or respected. Though often unwitting or inadvertent, such behaviors reinforce the students' sense of alienation and hinder their personal, academic, and professional development. (pg. 1) Teacher should strive to ensure that are students are treated equally and be fairly judged academically. Students should feel that they are important in the classroom Students who feel valued in the classroom are more app to part. All students should feel valued in their learning environment. Cultural and Ethnic differences can also affect students because of general differences that are not respected or valued by educators. Students need to feel that they can relate and benefit from classroom instruction. If students are not represented in their own classroom, it will result in feelings of resentment or feelings that they are not wanted. When students feel that material is not for them, they will be less likely to perform to their full potentials. Students are often not taught to feel comfortable in their own skin. Sadly, students are often treated differently or judges based on physical traits including their ethnicity
The article “Diversity and Complexity in the Classroom: Considerations of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender” list many different strategies to empower students. Some general strategies include getting rid of individual bias, treat each student with respect, and use language appropriate to all students by being sensitive and terminology. The article includes information about not making assumptions about student’s parents, home situation, orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Educators should keep in mind that students come from many different situations, cultures, and backgrounds. Educators need to make sure that they treat all children fairly regardless of their gender and culture/ethnicity. Just as the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” this article talks about not judging students for the outward appearance which would include race.
The article also gives several tactics for overcoming certain stereotypes. The first way to overcome bias is to learn information about cultures other than your own. Teachers should expose themselves to several different types of literature. Next, educators should have the same expectations for the abilities of students regardless of their ethnicity or gender. This section of the article expresses how a teacher’s expectations can shape a student’s performance. Teachers should let students know that she/he has the same expectations from everyone. All students should be expected to work hard in class, be challenged by materials, and be held to the same standards. “Students who sense that more is expected of them tend to outperform students who believe that less is expected of them-regardless of students’ actual abilities”(Green, 1989; Pemberton, 1988). Teachers should show set high expectations for all students in order to help them achieve to the best of their abilities. Another strategy to help students feel confident in their education is to provide positive feedback to each student. Teacher should also use the same type of tips and feedback to each student rather it is positive or effective criticism. Strategies for accepting and promoting diversity in the classroom can also be found in the book Starting Small by the Teaching Tolerance Project. This book introduces diversities in the classroom and has several chapters on how these should be handled within the individual classroom. “Identity-an understanding of who we are and who we are not- is a complex, multifaceted process that begins in childhood”(Teaching tolerance project, 1997, pg. 16). This chapter talks about how students begin to identify differences as young children. They begin to realize their own identities and the identities of others around them, such as their classmates. It is the teacher’s job to encourage tolerates each others uniqueness. Teacher’s can also help students to accept and affirm their own identity through many activities. One activity included in the chapter allows students to create a self portrait. Another interesting activity to help students affirm their identity is to allow them to participate in the “Who Am I?” game. Students should feel comfortable with their gender, race, culture, appearance, and every aspect of their selves. When students feel comfortable in their own skin, they feel more comfortable in any environment. Students should be taught to understand and respect everyone’s individually
Literature in Classroom: The literature provided to students in the classroom can help to ensure that classroom is culture/ethnic friendly. According to the ERIC Digest article Literature should promote reading. The classroom library should have an array of literature available to students. This includes an assortment of literature genres including fiction and non-fiction. Literature should also be written by a variety of authors including males, females, and diverse culture backgrounds. A great example of differentiated instruction strategy for students from multiple cultures is including in the “Using Literature To Teach Reading. ERIC Digest” article. This strategy includes students being allowed to choose genre, story, or theme of the literature that they would like to read. Once students have selected their choice, the teacher groups them accordingly. After students read the literature of their choice, the whole group joins together to discuss literature. The students compare elements and genres of their stories. Everyone’s opinions are accepted and valued during whole group discussions.
Accommodations: Accommodations for students with ADHD:
As according to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities: Learning Disabilities Online, The following accommodations categories are crucial for students with ADHD: ScheduleTeachers should try to keep schedules and routines in the classroom as custom as possible. Schedule should be placed where student can view during class time. Routines should be set for students to follow for common classroom activities. This is also a good strategy for parents at room with routine meal and bed times. OrganizationTeachers should provide students with a way to organize class work and papers. Organization tools include items such as a binder with specific places for all work, letters, and class papers. This should also include subject dividers and labels to help students to understand the position of each paper for its purpose. This notebook could also include pencil pouches for class preparation. Teachers should also organize their classrooms in a way that accommodates students’ needs and helps students to remain organized during class. Including keeping student materials in a particular place in the classroom which can help ADHD stay on track and feel secure in the classroom when completing class assignments. Homeroom and LettersStudents should be provided with a homework organizer, such as an agenda, where students can write down homework assignments. A daily assignment sheet to parents for supervision at home is a great way to achieve communication between home and school. Also, teachers should provide a place or folder for daily homework assignments. Extra sets of textbooks could also be issued to the student to keep at home for daily homework assignments. Model from accommodations: “A transactional model of school-child relationship shifts the educator away from correcting deficiencies in special needs and at risk children to accommodating weaknesses” (National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, LD Online, 2010). This model encourages teachers to think of the special need in a different way. Instead of looking at special needs as a problem to be solved, focus on accommodations that can be made in the classroom to help the student and lessen the appearance of the special need. A transactional model also promotes communication and partnerships between schools and families.
Strategies for routine and/or daily ADHD accommodations:
(Strategy Information based on Appalachia Educational Laboratory: “ADHD: Building Academic Success”) (LD online http://www.ldonline.org/article/5925 1997) Modifications to provide for assignments and/or testing: 1. Oral testing of materials 2. Performance based testing 3. Any other alternative demonstration of accomplishment 4. Provide students with extra time to complete assignments. 5. Provide quiet testing areas for the students 6. Create modified or shorter assignments 7. Important information highlighted in questions on assignments. 8. Less choices on multiple choice test and/or assignments Classroom Strategies: “Class-wide peer tutoring – which pairs students for drill-and-practice activities – has been shown to be effective for children with ADHD. It provides them the immediate feedback they need, while reducing demands on teachers' time” (Appalachia Educational Laboratory, 1997) Peer Tutoring is a great way to reach ADHD students because it gives them constant attention and feedback. This also takes some pressure off of the teacher when students can help each other. Modifying literature: Provide students with a variety of literature in the classroom. Students should be able to choose from several different genres, different subjects in literature, library including fiction and nonfiction, and different leveled readers from each student’s ability. Behavior management: ADHD students respond well to clear expectations and feedback. LD online explains that while behavior management does not fix learning problems, it can help students to focus on task which can raise their grades. Incorporate positive behavior strategies in the classroom. These behavior modifications include praise, positive feedback, and rewards systems. Teachers can rewards students with tokens, treats, or special privileges. Negative strategies should be short and immediate to reduce undesirable behaviors, but should be present for students to takes responsibility for their actions. Teacher may want to incorporate positive strategies with negative strategies. This type of system includes token for good behavior and deduction of tokens for negative behaviors. Also, give students rewards for completing assignments and task in which they intend to complete. Modifying assignments can help students with ADHD overcome obstacles and achieve success.
School wide interventions: 1. Schools could reduce class size to 12-15 students per classroom. 2. “Multimodal treatments”a. The sharing of responsibility between parents, health care professionals, and school personal which includes teachers, administrators, special educations, and school psychologists. Everyone would together to develop intervention plans that focus on student’s strengths and weaknesses. This may also include training for teachers and parents addressing ADHD characteristics and strategies. Parents should also find counseling and address the possibility of medication to give students extra support. Schools are required to provide specific accommodations to the disabled by law. However, the teacher is responsible for executing the plan for interventions
“Tier activities are very important when a teacher wants to ensure that students with different learning needs work with the same essential ideas and use the same key skills”(Tomlinson, pg. 83). Students should be put into tiered groups based on their learning abilities. This is a way to ensure that are students needs are being meet through instruction in the classroom. The activities should help students to “focus on essential understandings and skills but at different levels of complexity, abstractness, and open-endedness” (Tomlinson, pg. 83). Tiered activities help to teach all students the concepts that they need to learn with the challenge that fits their learning needs. Instructions should plan activities from low to high abilities. Chapter One in The Differentiated Classroom gives several examples of teachers who use Tiered activities. For example, teachers can plan centers with multiple activities. The teacher may have three different colored folders. Students should be assigned to their color activity. The students then complete their color activity at each center.
Appalachia Educational Laboratory. Learning Disabilities Online. (1997). ADHD: Building Academic Success. Retrieved from http://www.ldonline.org/article/5925 Davis, Barbara Gross (1993). “Diversity and Complexity in the Classroom: Considerations of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender.” Tools for Teaching. Retrieved from http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/diversity.html. Eric Development team (1990). ED313687 1990-01-00 Using Literature To Teach Reading. ERIC Digest. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED313687.pdf. Georgia Department of Education (2010). Grade Four ELA Standards. Retrieved from https://www.georgiastandards.org/standards/Georgia%20Performance%20Standards/Grade-Four.pdf. Green, M.F. (ed.).(1989). Minorities on Campus: A Handbook for Enriching Diversity. Washington, D. C.: American Council on Education. Retrieved from http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/diversity.html. National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities Online. (2010). ADHD Basics-Your ADHD Child and School. Retrieved from http://www.ldonline.org/adhdbasics/school. Paley, Vivian Gussin & Teaching Tolerance Project. (1997). Starting Small: Teaching Tolerance in Preschool and the Early Grades. Southern Poverty Law Center. Pemberton, G.(1988). On Teaching Minority Students: Problems and Strategies. Brunswick, Maine: Bowdoin College, Retrieved from http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/diversity.html. Tomlinson, Carol Ann. (1999). The Differentiated Classroom: Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
References: https://www.georgiastandards.org/Pages/default.aspx http://www.ldonline.org/adhdbasics/family
Appendices: Student motivation survey Answer all questions honestly. You will not be grades or judged for you answers. This is just to give your teacher information. 3 1. 2. 3. 4. Would you like to learn more about the plot of stories? Yes Would you like to learn about how stories are organized? Yes Does the sequence of events in a story interest you? Yes Would you like to learn about how order of events in a story can change the meaning of the story? Yes 5. Would you be interested in learning words that help with making stories make sense? Yes 6. Would you like to write your own story that has order: example: (a story that has a beginning, middle, and ending) Yes For teacher only: Motivation Score: 2 Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) 1 No No No No No No
Student Total/18 total points: ______________
Student motivation survey Answer all questions honestly. You will not be grades or judged for you answers. This is just to give your teacher information. 3 7. Would you like to learn more about the plot of stories? Yes 8. Would you like to learn about how stories are organized? Yes 9. Does the sequence of events in a story interest you? Yes 10. Would you like to learn about how order of events in a story can change the meaning of the story? Yes 11. Would you be interested in learning words that help with making stories make sense? Yes 12. Would you like to write your own story that has order: example: (a story that has a beginning, middle, and ending) Yes For teacher only: Motivation Score: 2 Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) Sort of (a little) 1 No No No No No No
Student Total/18 total points: ______________
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Teacher Record Only: Student’s motivation based on score on the survey: 14-18 highly motivation/interest 10-13 medium level of motivation/interest 6-9 low overall motivation/interest
Garner’s Multiple Intelligences Survey: This is the survey that the students completed to determine their unique learners styles.
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