EDU 6526 Nonlinguistic Representations

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.

ISTE Standard 2 Reflection

For the ISTE 2 standard, I developed this question: Utilizing technology, how can I create formative and summative assessments that facilitate student growth and excitement that enriches the classroom experience?

In doing research for this question, I came across the Khan Academy and was immediately intrigued.  In serving students’ in special education, I will have to be open to all teaching tools that have the potential to increase student learning.  The Khan Academy is a free resource that teachers and students can use that provides students with videos to watch and matching assessments to take.  The classroom experience is flipped for students and teachers.  The lessons are viewed at home and during time in class, students’ are assisted in trying to utilize the lesson material to solve problems.  There is the potential to alter the dynamics in a classroom to increase peer to peer and teacher student interactions.  There will be challenges with students finding time and resources necessary to take advantage of Khan Academy but it also has the additional benefit of increasing family involvement.  The Khan Academy videos and assessments could be utilized for specific students or the whole classroom.

From my classmate Michael Warren, I have also been introduced to a great link that contains suggestions for utilizing different technologies that will benefit the different learning strengths that students’ possess.  The site is focused around Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and provides technological tools that are a good match for the different multiple intelligences.  A challenge faced in special education is trying to design lesson material with students’ strengths in mind.  This article will facilitate in the process.

From our course reading materials, I enjoyed reading about the possibility of creating virtual laboratories for conducting science experiments in the NMC Horizon Report.  The report touts the potential of providing students with greater access to costly equipment that most schools might not be able to afford (p 32).  This could potentially lead to an enriched classroom experience for both students and teachers. As a teacher, if the opportunity arose, I could choose to purchase computer equipment that could serve multiple benefits across subject matters instead of just a science specific piece of equipment that only served one function.

In designing lessons, a question that I will ask myself is: Am I taking full advantage of all the technological resources at my disposal to increase student learning and growth?  In order for me to be able to answer this question accurately, I will need to stay up to date myself on the potential tools available.  This class has increased my knowledge of how I can increase students learning opportunity through technology.  I’m sure it will continue to do so.

Links and Reference

http://www.calpoly.edu/~lfose/articles/Exploring_Technology.pdf

https://www.khanacademy.org/#mission-statement

Johnson, L.,(2013). The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K12 Edition.

New Media Consortium, 1-44.

 

EDU 6132: Module 3_ Cognitive Development

Prompt: What are some general factors (Module 1) that have an impact on student development and learning? How will you adjust your philosophy of instruction to manage these factors and promote student achievement? What does the table (shown below) suggest about our ability to manage factors that influence student achievement? (I invite you to copy-paste the table into your reflection for reference.)

The general factors that have an impact on student development and learning are highly debatable.  Pressley and McCormick (2007), provide us with a visual chart depicting the debatable topics; Nature v. Nurture, Stage v. Continuous, Universal v. Culture-specific, Traits v. Situations, Active v. Passive, Lasting effects v. Transient effects (p. 16).  I believe very strongly that the environment that a child develops in will have much more influence than their DNA. Similarly, the culture will dictate the opportunities for learning to occur. I believe that learning occurs more gradually than just flicking a switch, and moving onto the next stage. Finally, I believe the child must be actively involved for learning to occur, and this will have lasting effects.

My philosophy of instruction is to be a facilitator of engagement, thinking, and growth within the classroom.  I hope to do this by utilizing an array of instructional techniques that require students to engage, think, and learn.  I hope to create a duality of engagement, where functioning properly, the students and I will be equally engaged.  I, in figuring out and adjusting their appropriate level of zone of proximal development (ZPD), and the students’ with the content. The ZPD, are tasks “children cannot accomplish independently but can accomplish with assistance” (Pressley and McCormick, 2007, p.156).

As a Special Education Teacher, I will encounter students with unique disabilities that will uniquely impact their ability to learn.  Each student will have specific learning goals stated in their individualized educational plans (IEP’s).  My instruction will focus on meeting each students IEP goals.  I find the HOPE standard, H2 – Honor student access to content material, to be applicable for this reflection. Each student’s disability will create a unique challenge.  I will need to create learning environments that will best accommodate these needs in order for the student to meet their IEP goals, while working with the class content material. I will include reflection time in my weekly schedule to assess what is working and what could be changed.

The table below speaks to our failure in meeting the needs of Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic populations that are represented in our schools.  These minority groups have been forced to function at a historical cultural disadvantage within the American society.  As a white male teacher, I will need to take every opportunity to learn about the different cultural aspects of my students, and incorporate this knowledge into my instructional practices, to be of best service, ensuring every student finds the content material accessible.  Improving the data on this chart will take intentionality in creating school cultures that will allow these minority groups to succeed.
chart module 3

Pressley, M. & McCormick, C. B. (2007). Child and adolescent development for educators. New York, NY:

Guilford Press.

vision for success

I envision learning effective teaching skills through SPU’s ARC program, and utilizing them in practice through my internship when applicable.  I will do this by putting forth my best effort academically to take full advantage of the learning opportunities presented.  I will use the HOPE principles for my goals in working towards competency.  During my internship, I will seek out opportunities to incorporate the skills I am learning in the classroom, to be of better service to my students.

My work ethic, dedication, compassion, and strong desire to see students learn will enable me to be a successful teacher.  I will strive to create a classroom that is inclusive, supportive, and embraces the learning potential of every student.  In doing so, I will create a community of learners in which we will all be able to reach our full potential.