Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sociocultural Aspects of Schooling for ELs

I found a really interesting concept that was addressed in the Making Content Comprehensible for Secondary English Learners book. They talked about in Chapter 10 how to address reading development for English learners. I really liked the idea that was brought up where we need to provide adolescents with instruction that incorporates a rich variety of source materials. Students, especially English learners, need assistance in learning how to deal with differences in their reading and writing. I feel that teachers of all subjects tend to leave them behind on this concept. Therefore, it is ideal to incorporate graphic organizers that greatly assist students in recognizing the differences when they compare and contrast aspects in their readings. It not only helps the English learners but also helps the other students in the classroom.

Monday, October 15, 2012

EDSS 521 Lesson Planning Blog Post #2

I feel that my in my overall lesson designing that I try to incorporate the knowledge of the students brain. I try to make my lesson memorable and also refrain from doing the same activities over and over again. It is pivotal to avoid getting in a rut because you often lose the interest of your teenage kids.

I have learned a lot of about using proper memory lanes in my class. I try new interactive activities and incorporate music in to my lesson designs. This really keeps the students interested in the content and makes the class more memorable. If they get to see visual art of the baroque period and listen to music from Mozart, the kids are going to have a easier time remembering the baroque period because they have visual and auditory memory of the content. Also my CT does a very good job of relating the curriculum to his students lives. This use of emotional memory really speaks to the students. If there is one thing I could work on, it is to relate the content that we are learning to my students lives. Why is important to learn this? So what? I need to keep these questions in mind.

I think changing up the activities from a traditional lecture and giving them more interactive activities will really keep my students engaged. I will try to make my lesson more interactive. We have some interesting activities that we are doing during this unit! We are going to listen to a lot of music!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

EDSS 511 Classroom Mangement Plan

Classroom Management Plan



            When looking at the educational philosophes that I would like to implement in my classroom management I think of an experimentalist ideology. When I picture my classroom I often think of it as a team. I really love the cooperation that is taught through teamwork and I hope to incorporate those aspects in the teacher/student relationship. When thinking of strategies for good classroom management I absolutely loved Cooperative discipline. The aspect of sharing the power with the students is a scary proposition but it can enhance the behavior of the classroom. You are not babysitting them; you are molding them into adults. Thinking of some other discipline strategies that I really liked include: Beyond Discipline, Discipline with Dignity, Inner Discipline, and Assertive Discipline.

Preventive Approach

            Preventative approaches are often the most important way to combat poor student behavior. Often if you set up good preliminary classroom rules then your students should stay in line. If you have the sophomores I have then you know that it is their human nature to push the limit on every classroom rule. But my CT has established rules that help keep his students respectful and not completely out of control. Here are some strategies that I liked.

1.      Use privacy and eye contact when possible (Curwin and Allen Mendler, 1983). I have actually already used this strategy in my second period class. One of the kids kept trying to stare me down in the back of the classroom so I gave him constant eye contact and then told him that he needed to pay attention to the lecture. Giving the eye contact kept him in line for that day. He is a difficult kid to deal with so I hope that he doesn’t try to take advantage of me. That’s why we have so many effective strategies to use.


2.      Hold class discussions on the rules, their implications, and their consequences (Coloroso, 1994). I really think this is a great idea. When I was observing Hoover High School in Fresno I really got to see a good example of this. Mr. Bressard had his students get in groups and come up with class rules that they thought should be implemented in class. The rules were absolutely genuine and the kids took the class seriously. This also tied into what they were learning about in world history. They were creating their own “social contract” which is a concept when going over the Enlightenment.  


3.      Indicate politely what you want from student (Curwin and Allen Mendler,1983). I have always liked this strategy. If you model good behavior and ask your students politely to do things they will in some cases model good behavior. When I do class activities I am very polite when asking the kids questions on the various readings. Some tend to be very polite throughout class and model good behavior. I look forward to working on being polite to my class and hoping it translates in their classroom actions. 


4.      I like the idea of Disciplinary Hierarchy (Lee and Marlene Canter, 1976). This is absolutely amazing. I feel that every teacher uses some version of this Disciplinary Hierarchy. If they act out once then it is a verbal warning. If it is the fifth offense then they go straight to the principle. Hopefully after the first or second offense the kids will get the picture. If not it has a severe enough punishment that would scare younger students from being defiant because they don’t want to make their parents mad. Nevertheless it has a good preventative aspect to it from some kids because they don’t want to get in major trouble.


5.      I like the idea of speaking in a respectful and genuine tone to the students (Kohn, 1996). This is an absolute given especially since I want to model the behavior that I want my students to use in the classroom. If I use a genuine tone and steer away from sarcasm the students will feel comfortable in my classroom. If they respect me then they will respect my rules. Plus, I want them to respect one another and model that behavior to improve society. They often don’t learn it at home so they have to learn it at school.


6.      Knowing a lot about your students and their home life is very beneficial for teachers (Jackson, 2010). It is beneficial to somehow implement an activity where you get a sense of what home is like for your students. The teacher that Robyn Jackson coached in dealing with a student was very influential. She thought that he was very disrespectful because he would always interrupt the teacher to answer a question. She ended up finding out in a parent/teacher conference that that was exactly how his family acted. “Once she recognized that his interruptions were not because he couldn't control himself, that they were just how he processed information, she no longer saw them as annoying, but as evidence that he was thinking and eager to share his thinking with the class. (Jackson, 4).” It is important to find out information about our kids before we punish them.




Supportive Approach

            When thinking of Supportive approaches that I would want to implement in my classroom I like supporting a positive atmosphere in the classroom. My CT does this by establishing a class rule making sure everyone is showing courtesy and being respectful to their fellow students. I hope to use these techniques.

1.      Hold class discussions on the rules, their implications, and their consequences (Coloroso, 1994). If the students keep misbehaving, my CT will hold class discussions to either remind the kids of the three main rules of the class or remind people of the consequences of acting out against the class rules.  I definitely feel being a firm believer in the experimentalist educational philosophy that at the beginning of the year I will have the kids help me pick the rules for the class.  


2.      Get across to students that it’s OK, even beneficial, to make mistakes, and that no problem is so great that it can’t be solved. (Coloroso, 1994).



3.      Notice appropriate behavior (Albert, 1989-1996). My CT constantly tries to reward kids who use appropriate behavior in the classroom. If students are courtesy to other students and are respectful my CT rewards it with a Meyer buck which is equal to extra credit. If a student picks up some other students trash Mr. Meyer rewards that. Modeling and rewarding appropriate behavior also promotes it and ensures that these kids transfer it into the real world.


4.      Explain how students will be rewarded for following the rules (Lee and Marlene Canter, 1976). Similar to the pervious strategy that I labeled in this section. I like the idea if the kids act like adults then I as the teacher will treat them like adults. Giving them that sense of being an adult will make the learning process more tolerable and the classroom atmosphere will be very fun.


5.      I would like to cover the walls with students work (Kohn, 1996). I would like to provide evidence of student collaboration and teamwork. Often a poster that list rules on what you can’t do in the classroom is very assertive. I feel that if you also include pieces of work that students did well on, then they will get the feeling of appreciation and strive to become better students. They see that someone care about them in class then it will take more time to act out in class. They will have so much respect for you and your class.


6.      Taping into the students existing currency (Jackson, 2010). I liked the sense of the “currency of the classroom” idea that Robyn R. Jackson formulates in her article. We need to be mindful of “currency” that students already possess—or can obtain and effectively use—our accepted form of currency, they thrive. If we neglect this as teachers then we are setting the students up for failure. This is the only way that we can all cash in and live happy. This is perfect for teachers because we need to know what to look for to ensure the success of our students in the classroom.            

Corrective Approach

            This is an important approach because students are often going to push you to that limit. I have already experienced it in one of my CT’s classrooms at Orange Glen High School. I have a student that is very disrespectful and is not respectful. I guess it is a blessing in disguise because I am learning the proper skills to deal with a student that is very defiant and disrespectful. Here are some approaches I would use to counter this kid and not let him push my buttons.

1.      Move the student (either to another seat or to the "thinking chair"-less appropriate for high school students) (Albert, 1989-1996). My CT has used this strategy in his classroom. He has broken up kids that are very social with each other and moved them to areas of the classroom where they aren’t as social. This helps maintain discipline in his classroom. This is a strategy that I will use in my classroom. You can also use it to help support kids that might have disabilities. My CT makes sure they sit next to students who could provide extra help during instruction.


2.      Ask a direct question (Albert, 1989-1996). I like this concept because I have seen so many teachers use this strategy to keep their talkative students in line. If they are yakking away when the class is having a discussion that pertains to the reading my CT goes right to them and asks them to answer the question they are discussing in class. After being put on the spot they often stop talking to their partner and start paying attention to the class.


3.      Treat students as adults and make an unconditional commitment to help your students develop. Have them work out their problems (Coloroso, 1994). I like this strategy because it is very practical and educational. As teachers we are preparing these students for the next step in their life. So if we treat our students like adults then in turn we expect them act like adults. I feel like some students will act like adults but some are very immature. But I feel if you keep treating them like adults and they understand the benefits of being treated like adults then they will not act out in class. 


4.      Redirect students who are misbehaving (Curwin and Allen Mendler, 1983). I like this aspect because we as educators should constantly redirect kids who are misbehaving and work on teaching them skills in good behavior. My CT and I have not had to have a conference with a kid and redirect his behavior. I think there is one kid that we might have to start talking to because he is using inappropriate language in the classroom. I think this is a good strategy because you can really reach out to these kids and find out what the real problem is. Ask them “Hey what going? Why are you acting this way?” We have to constantly redirect these kids.  



            It is evident that creating and managing a classroom that promotes a safe and nurturing environment is not only beneficial for the student but also make the teacher’s life a lot easier. I have learned so much from these strategies and look forward to implementing them in my current CT’s classroom and my future classroom. I like creating a hands on classroom where we use activities that   

Friday, October 5, 2012

Accurate (i+1) Assessment for English Learners

So I created an assessment plan for one of my English learners named Aldo. He is CELDT level 2 (early intermediate) so I have designed a lesson plan that meets his needs. Keeping the (i+1) in mind I have used ELD Intermediate level standards for Aldo. This is the ELD standard that I highlighted as my goal in my lesson design:

ELD Standard Literary Response & Analysis
Cluster : 6 ES
Level: Intermediate
I: Use expanded vocabulary and descriptive words in parapharsing oral and written responses to texts

Keeping that in mind, I have created an assesment for the entire class that adresses this goal.
This is the assessment that I have come up with:


      B. Formative-Progress Monitoring:

1.Students are able to complete Quick write on legacy of Scientific Revolution. The meaning of this activity is to check and enhance the students understanding of the various scientists who contributed to the Scientific Revolution and questioned old beliefs. The students will be able to discuss in groups what they think are some major points they could add to their quick write. This is intended to help the EL and IEP students who could us the help from a group or partner.

Formality: Formal; the students will get a grade for their quick write response.

Implementation Method: written

Communication of Expectations: modeling critical thinking skills

Evaluation Criteria: Visual

Feedback Strategies: Written comments based on CAHSEE rubric for grammar and sentence structure.

2. Students are able to begin a packet that teaches the students how to use Document Based Questions. These assignments are intended to enhance their critical thinking and readings skills. Students will read the documents in class and highlight and take notes on specific words that may be confusing. Then the students will work on the assignment with a partner or in a group.

Formality: Formal. The students will receive a grade for their completion of the packet.

Implementation Method: written

Communication of Expectations: modeling critical reading and comprehension skills.

Evaluation Criteria: visual

Feedback Strategies: written comments and score

     C. Summative: The students will be asked to answer questions on worksheets about the reading. These worksheets will ensure their full understanding of the material.

Formality: Formal. The students will receive a grade for their completion of the packet.

Implementation Method: written

Communication of Expectations: modeling critical reading and comprehension skills.

Evaluation Criteria: visual

Feedback Strategies: written grade with comments.