This week in EDU 6526, we studied chapter 3 Cues, Questions, and Advanced Organizers, and chapter 4 Nonlinguistic Representations, from Classroom Instruction That Works by Dean, Hubble, Pitler & Stone. In addition there were also some helpful videos that went along with the readings. For this blog post, I will focus on self-assessing myself in my use of Nonlinguistic Representations.
I am fortunate to have been able to student teach at a school that realizes the effectiveness of ELL strategies for all learners. We had a few professional development days in which we were able to analyze the frequency that we used some of these techniques. This had been an ongoing professional development and was referred to as High Leverage Teaching Moves for Language Acquisition. These High Leverage Moves were listed on a chart as: pictorial input chart, comparative input chart, color coding, A/B partnerships, vocabulary, chants, visual aids, and cues/signals. Part of this process for the teachers at this school was to keep this chart in a visible place, and track the amount of times that they were able to include these teaching strategies. I also found this to be helpful during my student teaching.
In self-assessing my use of nonlinguistic representations, I would put myself as a 2.5 out of 5. A lot of my classroom lesson plans involved having students draw pictures to help illustrate concepts such as the greenhouse effect. I also had students draw cotton maps to draw the potential path their clothes might have taken from seed to shirt. I had students draw garbage maps to track how our waste is handled. I was also intentional about trying to find an image to go with vocabulary words. In utilizing A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works, by Pitler and Stone. There are several areas that I could improve my instruction in Nonlinguistic representation. Kinesthetic movement is a suggested practice to utilize. I would love to try and use movement more in the classroom. I was able to observe a teacher that had placed an A, B, C, and D on the different walls of his classroom. He was able to use this for learning activities by giving blind pre-assessments. Students would then switch papers and go to the area that represents the different letter for each different question as they were read aloud. It was a great way to get students moving, take all the pressure off from being right, and it was a memorable activity to see how the rest of the class was thinking.
An additional type of Nonlinguistic activity that is mentioned in the handbook is utilizing manipulatives in classroom activities. I would like to do a better of job of creating more hands on experiences for my learners in the future. For a lesson on culture, I cooked a special family waffle recipe with the sixth grade students. The level of engagement in this hands on learning activity was awesome. Afterwards, I was left wondering how I could create similar activities for different areas of instruction. As I continue to grow as a teacher, I plan on incorporating more nonlinguistic activities into my lesson planning. Students really enjoy them and they are proven to be effective. There is a strong correlation between enjoyment and learning.
Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B. (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.
2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Pitler, H. & Stone, B. (2012) A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. 2nd edition. Alexandria,
VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.