Celebrating Diversity

 H1 – Honor student diversity and development: Teacher-candidates plan and/or adapt learner centered curricula that engage students in a variety of culturally responsive, developmentally, and age appropriate strategies.

This standard refers to recognizing and appreciating the various aspects of the child and fostering their development in a holistic manner. This means knowing where my students come from, and teaching based upon this knowledge of their background. Overall, I will positively acknowledge diversity in the classroom knowing that each student has unique and special views.

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As evidence of this standard, I have attached a part of a homework I assigned that specifically asks the students to share one thing about themselves. By doing this, I am focusing on honoring that student for who she or he is and celebrating that diversity. Whether it was a story about my students that I didn’t know yet, or a glimpse into their favorite food or subject in school, this assignment brought me one step closer to truly knowing my students and having that personal connection with all 73 of them.

Although this evidence is not directly ties to academics, it’s focus is just as important. Making my students feel celebrated by making an effort to learn about their backgrounds and interests enables me to build a sense of community and also improves my instruction. When you know your students, you have a better understanding of their special needs, learning preferences and styles, relevant prior experience, and practical issues that will play a role in the class.  I can’t wait to start establishing this the first day in my own classroom.

 

 

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Molly’s Pilgrim- The Effects of Bullying

H3 – Honor the classroom/school community as a milieu for learning: Teacher-candidates implement classroom/school centered instruction, including sheltered instruction that is connected to communities within the classroom and the school, and includes knowledge and skills for working with others.

The classroom will be an environment in which students feel safe and inspired. The community established and skills acquired will enable the students to interact with one another in the classroom in an appropriate way, as well as other communities within the school. This learning acquired in the classroom will promote further learning in a greater community setting.

As direct evidence of H3, I have attached the cover to the Molly’s Pilgrim that I read in response to some issues our classroom community was suffering from. Unfortunately, there has been an increasing amount bullying in and outside of our classroom. From making fun of a new student because of the way she spoke English, to creating a game in which involves passing “the touch” of one student that spoke to some sort of germ, and passing that on to other students as some sort of secret tag game. Referred to by a fellow colleague, I read Molly’s Pilgrim to my students. Molly’s Pilgrim is a story about a young Jewish girl that is having a very hard time in her new school. Moving from New York City to a smaller town, Molly doesn’t fit in with her classmates, especially because of a bully named Elizabeth. Molly has to drag herself to school each day, hating it knowing that when she arrives she gets bullied. Crying to her mother, Molly is determined to not let her mother know that anymore bullying is going on so that her mother does not talk to her teacher. In school the next day the class is learning about Thanksgiving, a holiday that Molly doesn’t know about. When Elizabeth starts to make fun of her, their teacher reminds the class that Thanksgiving is a holiday that was based on a Jewish holiday. When the class gets an assignment to make pilgrims at home, Molly has to explain to her mother what a pilgrim is. To her mother, a pilgrim sounds like them. So she makes a doll for Molly that depicts a Jewish woman. The class laughs when Molly shows her doll to them but her teacher stands up for her and tells the class how Molly’s family are modern pilgrims. Molly gains more confidence and even gains a friend at the end.

During the story, I allowed students opportunites to relate to Molly, asking questions such as “how would you feel if you were Molly?” and “would you want to go to that school if you were her?”. As an assignment at the end, I had students write a paragraph asking them if they were students at Molly’s school, what they would do to stand up against bullying and create a better school environment for Molly. As a teacher in a classroom that wants to create a safe and loving environment for all students to learn and grow, I felt it my job to step in to promote change. I’m hoping that this experience provided a chance for students to step outside themselves and notice the effects that bullying has on others.

By reading the responses, I learned that children are innately very caring. Often times, I think that children get so caught up in themselves, peer groups, and popularity to notice their effects on other people. As a teacher, it is my job to provide not only academic learning experiences, but social learning experiences that promotes students to think about other people and the effect that they may have on them.

As a full time teacher that has my own classroom next year, I  need to remeber to integrate lessons that focus on the stability and closeness of my classroom enviornment. If students feel safe, valued, and accepted, I have provided them with the foundations to overall sucess.

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Standards & Outcomes: Building Off One Another

O1. – Offer an organized curriculum aligned to standards and outcomes: Teacher-candidates align instruction to the learning standards and outcomes so all students know the learning targets and their progress toward meeting them.

The learning goals and standards in a classroom should be transparent to all students. Each student should be informed as to what is expected and their progress should be made aware through timely feedback and creating expected learning targets. Being aware of standards and tracking each student is very important as an educator and helps the students immensely.

As evidence I have attached a file in which show 3 different lesson plans of one unit on the concept of area in mathematics. Before planning the activities of my lessons, I wanted to make sure the lessons were aligned to 3rd grade Common Core Mathematics standards and outcomes, and that my lessons built off one another. This is directly related to O1 by providing a curriculum in my internship that is not only aligned to standards and outcomes, but to provide lessons that build off of each other based on the standards and outcomes. For example, my first lesson of the unit was aligned to CCSS 3.MD.5: Recognize area as an attribute of plane figures and understand concepts of area measurement. As a learning target that students could check back in with throughout the lesson, I posted that they should be able to use different size square units to describe the area of a shape, and discuss the meaning of using appropriate sized square units. Students checked in with the learning target during the beginning, middle, and end of the lesson. The second lesson was aligned to CCSS 3.MD.6: Measure areas by counting unit squares. As a learning target that all students understood and checked in with before, during, and at the end of the lesson, I wrote that students should be able to demonstrate describing the area of a shape by identifying the amount of square units in it. The third lesson in the unit uses the Common Core State Standard 3.MD.7: Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition. In order for students to track their progress toward meeting the standard, I created a learning target that stated students should be able to find the area of a rectangle by multiplying its base by its height. For a more detailed example of my unit, please see my attached Evidence of Area Unit.

Because my students were able to check in with the learning targets of each lesson in the unit before, during, and at the end of my lessons, I was then able to go back and re-teach any areas of misunderstanding that either the student or I noticed. It also allowed students to take ownership in their accomplishment of the learning goal of the day.

Although I want to make sure the pacing of my lesson does not drag (knowing that checking back in with the learning target constantly does take a large chunk of time) it is important that I make sure all my students know the learning target and their progress toward meeting them. The next steps I would like to take is creating a more engaging way of checking in with the learning targets at hand.

 

 

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Providing a Challenge for All Students

O2. – Offer appropriate challenge in the content area: Teacher-candidates plan and/or adapt curricula that are standards driven so students develop understanding and problem-solving expertise in the content area(s) using reading, written and oral communication, and technology.

As an educator, I should be able to provide an appropriate curriculum that both relates to learning goals and challenges students. It is important to make personal goals with each student to allow ownership of their understanding. I must understand that each student learns differently, so I must use a variety of tools for problem solving- whether it be written, oral communication, or technology. Most importantly, it is imperative that all students feel challenged in my classroom, as motivation to learn will decrease if the learning opportunities are not at the appropriate learning level.

As my evidence of this standard, I have a lesson plan in which I differentiate the activities and instruction based on the ability levels of my students. After giving an introductory lesson to the day’s activities, I split my students into groups A, B, and C. Group A, my students that needed extra assistance, worked collaboratively at a round table with extra resources such as classroom tutor and concrete math manipulatives. Group B, the average middle scoring students in my classroom, worked on the activity independently or in partners at their tables while I provided an accelerated lesson and activity to group C, which were the most advanced students in the class. To see my evidence of this lesson, please click my Lesson Plan Link.

This is directly related to O2 by providing an appropriate challenge for each student in my classroom. The challenge for group A was the activity itself, so I made sure I supported them so they were able to succeed. The challenge for group B was for them to work independently or in partners on an activity they may have otherwise used a lot of assistance on. However, my focus was for this lesson was to provide a challenge for students that would have found the activity that both group A and B were doing very boring and easy. Instead, I provided them with an accelerated activity in which challenged their thinking.

What I learned by providing this experience is that although it takes time to provide a challenging, level appropriate lessons and activities for each student, the extra step taken ensures that each is provided with an opportunity to grow as a learner. It is my job as a teacher to make sure all students go home with a positive outlook on their classroom experience, whether it is the student who finds everything too easy and craves a challenge, or the student who needs extra assistance and resources in order to be successful. The accomplishments of my students rely on my ability to meet my students where they are at, and I will always be a continual learner in this area.

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Website Finds

http://www.studenthandouts.com. You can use this website to find a handout for just about anything in the classroom- from attendance sheets to graphic organziers. You can search by grade level and/or subjects!

http://www.comicmaster.org.uk. This website is awesome. Students can create and design their own graphic novels, including characters, dialogue, and special effects. Students can save their work and come back to it, and print it when finished. Great way to integrate technology into writing, and kids would love to do this!

http://www.curriki.org. This website is a K-12 global community for teachers, students, and parents to create, find, and share free learning resources that enable personalized learning.

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Data Collected Through Assessments

P3- Practice standards-based assessment. Teacher candidates use standards-based assessment that is systematically analyzed using multiple formative, summative, and self- assessment strategies to monitor and improve instruction.

Teachers must access themselves as educators and effectiveness in order to create both student and personal growth. This should be done in a systematic and honest manner using formative and summative strategies to monitor and improve instruction.

As evidence, I have included a screen shot of a rubric used for grading pre and post assessments aligned to CCSS 3.MD.5 that I gave my students during a unit on area, as well a student example of the assessment. In addition, I created a graphic summary of scores. Through giving my students assessments and creating a graphic summary of the scores, I was then able to reflect as a teacher.

Pre-Assessment Scores

Pre-Assessment Scores

 

Example of Student Work

Example of Student Work

Post Asessment Scores

Post Asessment Scores

 

 

On the pre-assessment, the average score was 2.9 points out of 7 points (41.4 %). The median was 3/7 points and the mode was a score of 3. For the students who scored 6, the points missed were typically because they forgot to label the appropriate square units, or made a silly mistake like miscounting square units. The reason why so many students scored three is because they received half credit on all points because they did not label the appropriate square unit, and therefor only received one point on questions 2, 3, and 4. For students that scored lower than two, all of them did not correctly label square units, didn’t know how to multiply to find the area of a rectangle, did not correctly count square units to find the area of a shape, and all except for one student did not know how to draw a 5 by 4 rectangle. On the post assessment, the results increased immensely. The average score on the post assessment was 5.7 points out of 7 points (81.4%). The median of the scores was 6/7 points and the mode was a score of 6. Those who demonstrated perfect scores correctly solved the problems and labeled the correct square units, demonstrating knowledge of the academic language learned throughout the unit. Most of the students who scored 6 didn’t multiply correctly on question four, but did however label the correct square units, and thus only received one point. For those students who received 5 points, about a third of those students did not multiply correctly, or were off by one number. One of the students who received a 5 on the post assessment did not count the square units correctly in question 2. The two lowest scoring on the post assessment received a 4 because they did not demonstrate academic language and multiplied incorrectly on number 4.

To increase my effectiveness in this area, I would love to work off of the data collected through different types of assessments to meet individually with studnets and target areas of strength and growth.

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MSP Proctor Training

E3 – Exemplify an understanding of professional responsibilities and policies: Teacher-candidates demonstrate knowledge of professional, legal, and ethical responsibilities and policies.

Teachers must demonstrate knowledge of responsibilities, both ethically and legally, in accordance with professional policies. As an educator, I must be aware and alert for any inappropriate situations and/or abnormal student behaviors.

As my evidence for this standard, I have uploaded a photo of notes taken during a staff meeting in which highlighted my obligations as a proctor during the Measure of Student Progress (MSP) test. It notes what I am to do before the students take the test, such as being clear with directions, accommodating for students with IEP’s, preparing test strategies, providing a positive environment, as well as making sure the name is correct on the testing booklet. My notes also demononstrate  my professional responsibilities which include reading directions verbatim, staying with students, checking out materials with the asst. principle the morning of the test, as well as actively monitoring and rearranging students if need be.

Notes from MSP Proctor Training

Notes from MSP Proctor Training

This directly demonstrates my understanding of professional responsibilities. It was my responsibility to ensure that standard procedures were followed. According to the Code of Professional Conduct for Education Practitioners in the State of Washington, by being a proctor I am ensuring understanding of test protocol and accuracy of student demographics, watching for irregularities during testing, and documenting any unusual or inappropriate behaviors during testing. If I had went into the testing area and disregarded my professional responsibilities and policies, I would be breaking WAC 181-87-060, which is disregard or abandonment of generally recognized professional standards. Relating to student learning, I would have been giving my students an unfair advantage of success.

As I become a full time teacher, my next steps will be to familiarize myself with other Codes of Conduct in Washington State. The more aware I am of my professional responsibilities, the safer the environment in my class will be.

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