Practice Standards-Based Assessment

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.

W1 W2 W4

In most classrooms, you will find worksheets decorated with students work covering walls that were once barren. The worksheets are usually framed in student language and are products of the contents that have been taught to students. Most worksheets are written with consideration of the standards taught to students written in their own words using the classroom examples. In my 2nd grade classroom, this is no exception. We use worksheets in most lessons and hang them in visible places in the classrooms so students can refer back to them as the unit progress. The worksheets content acts as the curriculum standards and the usage is the assessment of students learning of the content being taught. In my own understanding, worksheets are tools that teachers use to practice assessment of the curriculum standards. As evidence, I have attached several worksheet samples used in our reading class to get students to better comprehend texts. Each worksheet contains the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) it is meeting in the top right corner.

In a PowerPoint presentation by Michelle Wildman, a student at Brooklyn College in New York, I learned of the effectiveness of worksheets in developing literacy skills. Wildman presented information proving that worksheets are effective in instructing and assessing learners in literacy skills. Multiple Intelligence Learning Theory (MILT) and Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (SLT) support incorporating worksheets into lessons. Wildman argue worksheets vary in the way they are designed (refer to evidence). In this way, different learners are able to complete the worksheets. It engages challenges as students learn to answer questions they would not be exposed to in a general discussion. Worksheets are a great tool to practice standards-based assessment as they allow teachers to monitor and improve their instruction (Wildman).

Worksheets are not just a decoration in the classroom; they are evidence of student’s success. In my 2nd grade classroom, students are using worksheets for various lessons. Though lessons are differentiated, the worksheets portions are the most effective in being able to reflect student’s performance in the classroom. In my future classroom, I will incorporate worksheets that are generated by students themselves. I will do this by using student’s own work and thinking during class discussions. This will allow students to build on to their own thinking and developing a deeper understanding of the standards.

Reference:

Wildman, Michelle. (2012). Are Worksheets Effective as an Instruction and Assessment Tool in Developing Literacy Skills? Brooklyn College. New York. Accessed 5/22/15 (Assessment Tool in Developing Literacy).

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Exemplify an Understanding of Professional Responsibilities and Policies

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

In my own understanding, HOPE Principle E3 is the teachers understanding and application of responsibilities and policies enlisted for all educators. Teachers should demonstrate an understanding of their professional, legal and ethical responsibilities and policies in the state they are teaching in. In my internship thus far, I have shown an understanding of professional responsibilities and policies by striving to create a learning environment that supports the fulfillment of all students, and ensured that every student receives the same amount of access to classroom material and resources. In addition, I have constantly reflected on feedback provided to me by professionals who have shown mastery in the field such as my mentor teachers, my school principle, and field supervisor. As evidence, I have attached written feedback by one of my mentor teachers in a recent literacy lesson. I have also attached the most recent observation commentary provided written by my field supervisor for a math and writing lesson (Evaluation 7 & 8).

Feedback

The Association of American Educators (AAE) has listed four principles of ethical conduct in which every teacher should be familiar with. In the first principle, Ethical Conduct towards Students, AAE states “The professional educator accepts personal responsibility for teaching students character qualities that will help the evaluate the consequences of and accept the responsibility for their actions and choices.” Teachers need to not only show success by the progress of each student but also as a citizen of the greater community of the republic. Principles two and three, Ethical Conduct toward Practices and Professional Colleagues, both emphasize the teacher’s ability to present themselves in a professional manner. Teachers need to be honest and show equitable treatment of all members of the profession. Lastly, Ethical Conduct Parents and Community explains how teachers should respect values and traditions, especially those of diverse cultures, represented in the classroom, school, and community. The five principles AAE listed are expectations all teachers need to abide and demonstrate understanding of their professional responsibilities and policies (Association of American Educators).

It is important for teachers to act with conscientious effort to exemplify highest ethical standards. This allows for teachers to gain an awareness that will aid their service to students. When teachers are fully informed of their roles, professionalism can be expected at every level. In an effort to always be up to date with professional responsibilities and policies, I plan to continue to seek professional development throughout my teaching experience. I will seek feedback from mentors, colleagues, parents and community members in order to remain competent in the field. This will allow me to be fully informed of my role as a teacher.

References:

Association of American Educators (AAE). Code of Ethics for Educators. (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2015, from http://www.aaeteachers.org/index.php/about-us/aae-code-of-ethics.

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Honor Student Access to Content Material

H2 – Honor student access to content material.
Teacher candidates use multiple instructional strategies, including the principles of second language acquisition, to address student academic language ability levels and cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

As I understand it, HOPE principle H2 is teachers understanding for all students to be properly informed of resources available to them inside and outside of the classroom. It’s important that students are aware of resources and services accessible to them. By having access to a great number of resources, students can nurture their interest in content materials. In my internship so far, I have honored student access to content material by taking the class to the library to check out books. Our class goes to the library every other Wednesday to check out books they are interested in or feature topics related to what the class is learning about. As a result, I have seen stronger student engagement during reading because they chose the books themselves. As evidence, I have attached our class reminder for library day and several pictures of how students spend their time at the library.Library 1

Upon their arrival to the library, the school librarian, Mrs. Roberts, reads a book while students sit in front of her and listen to the story. Mrs. Roberts engages the students by showing pictures, asking questions, and making comments as she reads the book. Following the book reading, students are dismissed to search for a book of their choosing throughout the library. Students learn how to search for a book using the computer, using genre, and author names to locate the book in the library shelves. If time allows, students are able to play academic games, watch videos, and read on the library computers on the online eBooks. Students are able to play a number of games varying from animal sorts, puzzles, and even typing games. Students are able to use Kindle for Kids on the Seattle Public Library website, and watch interactive videos on various subjects.

Library 2Library 3Library 4Students experience in the library is a great reminder of the importance of honoring student’s access to content material. In the library, our second grade class is read a book in their grade level, learn to search books on various topics, and play games or watch videos related to topics being learned in class. In my future classroom, I would incorporate library plans for each student. Students would create a plan of how they want to spend their time while in the library. I believe this will allow students to think about their available resources and how they want to use them in a better form.Library 5

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Practice Differentiated Instruction

P2 – Practice differentiated instruction. Teacher should build a language consistency that will allow the learned information from previous assignments to connect with new information from new assignments.

My interpretation of HOPE Principle P2 is that it explains the importance for teachers to learn and put into practice multiple pedagogies. Teachers need to have different approaches to teaching different learners in order accommodate students academic needs. In my internship thus far, I have gained the abilities to differentiate my instruction of curriculums. I have recently taught two literacy lessons in which my students learned how to visualize using text clues and background knowledge in order to understand what they are reading. I have attached the lesson plans I used to teach as evidence (Lesson 2.1 Lesson 2.2). In the first lesson, students acted out what they visualized from Eloise Greenfields “Rope Rhyme” as it was read in class. Later in the second lesson, students made visualizations from Eloise Greenfields “Honey, I Love” using text clues and background knowledge. Instead of acting out what they visualized, students made drawings of it. In both lessons, students practiced visualizing in different ways to gain understanding of the reading. I had students physically use their bodies to present what they visualize in the first lesson and draw what’s in their mind on the second lesson.

In both lessons, I have differentiated the instruction based on what I thought was appropriate for students learning. I had students show their understanding of the poem as they connect text clues to what they already know in both of the lessons. In the first lesson, I chose to have students act out what they visualized as the class read the poem. This strategy allowed students to come up with a mental image and even a movie of how they they were interpreting the text. Having students visualize what was happening in their mind and even act it out allowed kinesthetic learners, those that learn by doing, to comprehend the poem better. In the second lesson, I chose to have students draw what they visualized to show their understanding of the poem. Having students draw their interpretation of what happened in the poem combined auditory, those that learn by hearing, and visual learner, those that learn by seeing, to comprehend the poem better.

I strongly believe differentiation in instruction is important. It allows teachers become more effective in their abilities to teach. According to Bobby Hobgood, teachers who negotiate variables such as age, cultural background, cognitive ability, and physically challenges benefit from differentiating their instruction to accommodate the various needs of student population. Hobgood lists process, content, and product as critical areas in which differentiation needs to take place. In my case, I differentiated the process the students were learning the material in order to allow them to better connect with the content being learned. In my instruction of these two lessons, I learned that it is important for students to interact with the material through different methods, and both strategies were affective in allowing students to do so. One way I can improve in this area is by learning more teaching strategies that meet the needs of the many different learners in my classroom.

References:

Hobgood, B. (2013, January 1). Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice. Retrieved April 18, 2015, from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/every-learner/cover

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Family and Community Involvement

H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process.
Teacher candidates inform, involve, and collaborate with families/neighborhoods, and communities in each student’s educational process, including using information about student cultural identity, achievement and performance.

In my own understanding, HOPE Principle H4 underlines a key component to student’s success in school; support from family and community. I believe students not only need to be supported in the classroom but outside of the classroom as well. Our students recently participated in a school wide Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fair in which they were to come up with an idea fitting in the subjects listed above and share it with the school and community. Over ninety-five percent of the students in the school participated, each bringing a unique project completed at home with the help of family members. The students learned the challenges of brainstorming ideas, collaborating with a more knowledgeable other, and presenting the final work to an audience. As evidence, I attached the STEM fair flyer that was posted around the school and community and a few examples of the various projects the students presented.

STEM Poster STEM 1 STEM 2 STEM 3

The STEM fair very well relates to Lev Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory which focused on the connections between people and the sociocultural context in which they act and interact shared experiences. Specifically, the STEM fair relates to Vygotsky’s major them in the Social Development Theory; the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO). MKO is anyone who has better understanding or higher ability level than the learner and normally thought of as a teacher, coach, or an adult. In participating in the STEM fair, students work with an MKO in order to receive the necessary intellectual support when completing their project. It is important the students were able to work with an MKO. In this way, the students gained more knowledge about the chosen subject, a complete project, and support from the community in their appearance at the STEM fair (Mcleod).

In my own participation in the STEM fair as a viewer, I learned the impact involvement of family and community has in a student’s success. The students enjoyed being able to show off the hard work to a bigger audience. It was encouraging to witness students enjoying sharing the knowledge gained from completing the projects. In the future, I would integrate the experience such as the one gained from the STEM fair into the classroom curriculum. I would give students a chance to share that experience with their classmates. The sharing of working with families and presenting to community members would (hopefully) motivate students to work with families and community members more often. This experience would (hopefully) prepare students for roles in the greater society (Mcleod).

Reference

Mcleod, S. (2007, January 1). Vygotsky | Simply Psychology. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html

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Challenging Students Appropriately

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.

To me, the HOPE standard O2 means that teachers challenge students by teaching the standards that are aligned with their grade. It is when a teacher provides developmentally appropriate challenge to the students. In my second grade classroom, I was able to model HOPE standard O2 by writing a challenging lesson plan and teaching it to students. Our class is tackling the daunting task of gaining skills of reading and understanding poetry. In this particular lesson, I used Elloise Greenfields “Things” poem to teach students how to infer in poetry. The lesson focused on inferring to make sense of parts of the poem. Students first learned the definition of inferring, followed by examples of inferring in “Things,” and finally, students made their own inferences in the poem. At the end of the lesson, students were to present to the class an inference of why they think the author kept her poem in the end, followed by a drawing. As evidence, I have attached:

(Things Poem LP) a copy of my lesson script,

Things” Poem,

and a sample student work Students Work Sample.

Kimberly B. Moore believes students should be appropriately challenged to help engage and enrich their success in learning. In her article “Policies and Practices: Helping Teachers Build a Challenging but Achievable Curriculum,” Moore emphasize active learning, engaging lesson, and activities that vary in levels. Moore suggests balancing choice (child-initiated) and guided (teacher-directed) activities in order to provide students with the most advantageous combination for learning. Reflecting on my lesson, I am able to evaluate how I challenged my students. My introduction of the word and definition of “infer” allowed students to understand the actual meaning of the word. In the examples that followed, students were able to gain deeper understanding of the word and its context. In the lesson, students were to make whatever inference they are able to find in the poem. By having students make their own inferences, I am allowing students to apply what they learned however they want (Moore).

Challenging students thinking will allow them to reach their maximum potential. It is important that curriculums are appropriately challenged while engaging the students in the process. Reflecting on my students work, both teachers and students roles are critical in this process. Teachers need to evaluate their student’s work accurately to respond with the appropriate curriculum. I was able to evaluate my student’s work and see whether their application of the word “infer” was appropriate (successful) or too challenging (not successful). In future lessons, I would challenge my students by offering poems from different cultural backgrounds. It would strengthen their knowledge of different cultures while learning to interpret them in the same way (Moore).

References

Moore, K. (n.d.). Policies & Practices: Helping Teachers Build a Challenging but Achievable Curriculum | Scholastic.com. Retrieved March 7, 2015, from <http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/policies-practices-helping-teachers-build-challenging-achievable-curriculum&gt;.

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Honoring Diversity Development

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.

The ability for a student to succeed in a diverse environment is a success beyond measure. Students should be exposed to a curriculum that entails content they would not learn anywhere else. In my 2nd grade classroom, our students learned about Chinese New Year’s and all of its traditions and celebrations in its full affect. There was at least one lesson taught a day in a week worth of material covering the history, facts, and festivities that the holidays contain. Our students read books about children like them celebrating the holiday along with arts and crafts activities and readings pertaining to each celebration (of the many that are carried out). One way our class fully engaged in the holiday celebrations was when my mentor teachers and I gave students “red money” envelopes containing “money” earned in class. Students earn “money” through participation, completeness of work, and other random acts that are award worthy. It is a tradition for children to receive money from adults during the Chinese New Years. In the end, our students learned more about Chinese culture as a whole and the way celebrations are carried out during New Year’s. As evidence, I have attached a picture of the “red money” envelopes (front and back) our students received%22Red Money%22 Envelopes%22Red Money%22 envelopes back

and the crafts that were produced during the weeklong learning and celebration of the holidayChinese New Year's class crafts.

In the changed national, regional, and global contexts, the concept of culturally appropriate education is drawing much more attention of educators in curricular reforms across the nation. Curriculums should contain content that raises awareness of the positive value of cultural diversity and be able to promote a realistic and positive inclusion of history, culture, language, and identity. In “Culturally Appropriate Education Theoretical and Practical Implications,” Navin Kumar Singh highlights two key tasks for educators to consider when choosing a curricula: 1) deciding elements that are likely to affect education and schooling and 2) culturally appropriate pedagogy that focuses on educational competence in the global context as key to understanding learner centered-curricula. Kumar’s key points uniforms elements that were kept in mind when planning the weeklong lessons covering Chinese New Years. In order for the knowledge to fully sink into the student’s brain, it was important that 1) students experienced what they were learning and 2) understand the cultural concept behind the lessons (Singh).

By teaching our students about traditions of a holiday celebrated in a world different from theirs, they gain knowledge, respect, and awareness of the holiday. These gained insights will allow students to be culturally responsive in a diverse setting. Cultures and traditions are constantly mixing. It is important students are exposed to those different from their own. In the future, I would incorporate more celebrations of traditions as they are learned in class and less of the arts and crafts.

References:

Reyhmer, Jon. Gilbert, Willard Sekiestew. Lockard, Luise. Sing, Navin Kumar. (2011). Honoring Our Heritage: Culturally Appropriate Approaches for Teaching Indigenous Students. Culturally Appropriate Education Theoretical and Practical Implications. Arizona. Northern Arizona University. Retrieved February 26, 2015.<http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/jar/HOH/HOH-2.pdf>.

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