EDU 6526 Video Analysis #2

Video Analysis #2-Middle Level P.E.

During my time last year as an Instructional Aid, I provided support during a period of P.E. for the students in my self-contained classroom.  For this reason, I chose to watch the video on P.E. instruction.  This video was a training video targeted for P.E. teachers. The instructors overall goal was to help teachers elevate P.E. instruction in order to ensure students leave the room each day feeling more “confident and competent”.

There were four objectives that the conference was highlighting for all teachers. The teacher was also asking the participants to think about them as he was instructing them: model respect, setting expectations, opportunities for success, and fostering social interactions.  All schools have some set of rules or expectations that they are trying to include building wide.  It was great to see these also be incorporated into the P.E. department.

One of the first instructional strategies we learned about was setting objectives.  The teacher in this video was very clear about the importance of doing this for the students for each activity.  In addition to the purpose/objective being clearly defined, the teacher also linked this together with formative assessment.  There was a form that he would use to assess students for a given activity.  For one of the activities that we watched, the teacher was having the other teachers participate in an activity in which providing support was the objective and area of assessment. There was a rubric that was provided for this activity that could be used to assess the students and give them feedback.  This is an excellent way of utilizing a strategy from our text of; “Provide students with an explicit guidance about what it means to expend effort” (p25).  Students will know exactly what is expected of them, how they performed, and how they can improve.

The teacher did an excellent job in this video of stopping play and requesting, “high five opponents and say well done”.  On another occasion, the teacher asked the participants to acknowledge their teammates for doing good work.  This was a great way to strengthen the community, foster positive social interactions, and keep things positive.  This acted to provide feedback, reinforce effort, and also provide recognition.  I thought it was great to have the students do this for each other in addition to the teacher.  The teacher also stopped the play at one point and commented on the effectiveness of a participant’s ability to provide support, the objective, through hand waving.  This was a great way to provide quick formative positive feedback specific to the objective.

Cooperative learning is necessary in P.E. in almost all activities.  This teacher placed a great emphasis on how he grouped the students together.  The groups were established with the intent of making sure that each student would have “opportunities for success”.  This was also how the teacher would be able to differentiate the instruction for the students. Depending on the activity and purpose, different rules could be set for the different groups that would allow everyone to succeed.  I really liked the idea of taking the time to group students together.  Groups could be made that would also ensure that the whole class would end up interacting with one another that would serve the purpose of fostering good social interactions.

In conclusion, I thought the instructional recommendations within this video would be great assets to any P.E. program.  From our text Classroom Instruction That Works, there are several strategies that are used in the video.  The most visible of these are setting objectives, providing feedback, reinforcing effort, providing recognition, and cooperative learning.  P.E. can be a place where only the athletic will leave having a boost in self-esteem.  I love that the instructor’s goal of ensuring that every student leaves his gym feeling more “confident and competent”.

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.

 

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EDU 6526, “Generating and Testing Hypothesis”

For week 7 in EDU 6526, we read Chapter 9, Generating and Testing Hypothesis, in Classrooom Instruction That Works, by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.  We also used the companion book a Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works, by Pitler & Stone, to self-assess our current performance in creating opportunities for our students that require them to generate and test hypothesis.

In self-assessing my-self in this area of instruction, I would have to give myself a very low score.  Unfortunately, I was not able to provide my learners with opportunities to generate and test hypothesis during my student teaching in World Geography. I am disappointed that I was unable to provide the opportunity for my students to work more with their own thoughts on the content material.  Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, state that I could do this in the classroom through “system analysis, problem solving, experimental inquiry, and investigation” (p138).

For one of my lessons on green energy, I first introduced some of the more standard green energies.  We made list of the pros and cons for each one and then, as a class, the students chose one that we should install at our school.  In the process, we worked as a class to put together a loose letter we would send to the principal to pitch our idea.  The students were doing some good thinking with the material, but that was the end of the lesson.  I could have, as the text suggest, facilitated the students in doing more in depth research as to their choice by having them, “try your solution, either in reality or through simulation” (p140).  There are some schools in the area that already have solar panels, we could have contacted them.  There might also be schools that might have other sources in action, we could have performed more of an investigation to find out what some other schools are already doing.  This would have taken more time, but it would have created a great chance for the students to do research, and potentially make connections with students at other schools, in essence breaking down walls.

A classmate of mine also commented on how effective these strategies would be in teaching about consequences for behavior.  In the self-contained room that I was a part of last year, the students had a course that dealt with social skills.  If I were teaching a class on social skills, there is some great material to use with the students to have them create dialogue around different challenging situations they may have encountered, experience, or are concerned about.

As a special education instructor, I will be trying to facilitate my students in utilizing their strengths in order to reach their educational goals.  However, I would also like to impart skills that will enable them to be able to navigate the complexities of the modern world.   As Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone write, “What we ultimately want students to be able to do is find issues that are important to them, gather as much information as possible from a wide variety of resources that represent various viewpoints and motivations, and test- to the best of their abilities-the viability of these claims in order to inform their own decisions” (p149).   I hope to be able to create these higher level thinking opportunities by building relationships, utilizing strengths, and providing the proper amount of scaffolding to enhance my students’ abilities to be critical thinkers.

References

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.

EDU 6526 “Identifying Similarities and Differences”

For this week in EDU 6526, we read chapter 8, Identifying Similarities and Differences, of our text, Classroom Instruction That Works, by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.  For this blog post I will be self- assessing my teaching performance in this area using, A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works, by Pitler and Stone.

In reflecting on my time student teaching, I would give myself a 2 out of 5.  This is an area that I would like to improve on.  One way that I used similarities and differences was in introducing students to the five themes of World Geography.  I made a power point slide that first defined the word theme for the students, and then prompted the students to identify some themes for the Seattle Seahawks.  With the Seahawks winning the super bowl this was a great way to get their attention, build excitement, and also activate their prior knowledge.  The students did a great job of identifying some of the themes for the Seahawks and then we moved on to the five themes of World Geography.  In initially studying the five themes of World Geography, we applied them first to the state of Washington and specifically the Seattle region to promote familiarity with the topic.

There were also lessons I taught were I could have done a much better job of having students identify similarities and differences.  For example, I taught a lesson on renewable and non-renewable energy sources. For this lesson, I introduced the major industries and then we made pro’s and con’s list for each one.  I could have also led the students in making a Venn diagram or a Comparison matrix as the Handbook suggest (Pitler & Stone, p247-248). This would have been a great way to get the students interacting further with the content, and tie it all together. Through participation in our classroom discussion, a classmate suggested using metaphors to compare our emotional states, specifically with anger.  This sounds like a great idea and I will have to do something similar next year.

According to our text, “many people consider these strategies to be the core of learning” (p119). The text also mentions the importance of variety among the different strategies, “comparing, classifying, creating metaphors, and creating analogies” (p121-2). I need to create activities that will focus on the latter two strategies.  There were times when I provided the students with analogies or metaphors but I didn’t have the students work to create their own.  An example of this came during a lesson on the greenhouse effect.  I had the students think about the schools double pain windows and then described my single pain windows at home and the heat exchange that occurred.  This is similar to the greenhouse effect and adding gasses is similar to adding layers of glass that will limit the exchange of atmospheric gasses.  However, I need to provide the students with increased opportunities to think on their own.

References

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.

 

EDU 6526 “Homework and Providing Practice”

This week in EDU 6526, we focused are attentions towards homework.  In doing so, we read chapter 7, Assigning Homework and Providing Practice, of our class text, Classroom Instruction That Works by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.  As with each week, we are to self-assess our teaching practice for these topics.

In self-assessing myself in the area of assigning Homework and Providing Practice, I would rate myself non-applicable.  During my student teaching, I was working in a self-contained special education classroom that had an agreed upon “no homework policy”.  The exception, was that students were asked to read each night at home for 30 minutes and keep a reading log.  Next year, I will be working in as an Elementary school resource room teacher.  How should I approach and assign homework for these students?

In Classroom Instruction That Works, they suggest that the amount of homework that students receive can be calculated by giving 10 minutes X grade level (p104).  They also mention a study that questions if homework should be given to students in the 2nd grade and lower.  As a resource room teacher, I will need to communicate effectively with the classroom teachers of my students to find out their current practices with assigning homework.  The text also mentions that schools should have homework policies in place.  What is my schools policy?  I might be able to help the classroom teachers out by making sure that any homework that is assigned will be differentiated to meet my student’s needs.  I will also make sure that any homework that I give will be, as the text suggest, with the purpose to “improve speed and accuracy” of a specific skill that has already been learned (p105).

Through-out my participation in the SPU ARC program, I have been extremely interested in creating ways that will increase familial participation in students learning.  Sending work home for students to do clearly creates learning opportunities for students to share with their parents.  However, as the text suggest, I need to make sure that the only role that parents are playing in their students homework is to be supportive in asking their child to put forth their best effort (p105).  I need to make sure that I am clear that they are not meant to instruct, or tutor their child during this time.  The student will be able to do all of the work on their own.  They will just need to be supportive and make sure they are able to create the time for the child to do the work.

Another strategy that I think I will employ is to have reflective conversations with my students as to the effectiveness of the homework.  Through participation in our course discussions, I was reminded of students coming back to middle school telling a teacher that they were not prepared for the amount of homework that they were getting in High School.  A peer was making the connection of homework preparing students for College.  Additionally, the importance of providing feedback is also highlighted in the text.  When I am providing feedback for students, I could also ask them to assess the effectiveness of homework that was assigned.  Working in a resource room, I will be trying to do all I can to help students catch up to the common core standards for their grade level.  In doing so, I will have to work efficiently with the team of educators at my school.

Reference

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.

 

 

EDU 6526 Video Analysis

Video Analysis- Third Grade Teaching Adjectives

I decided to watch video #1 third grade teaching adjectives.  This post will use the text Classroom Instruction That Works, by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone, to analyze this lesson.  The lesson starts out with the teacher asking the students to recall their prior knowledge by asking them if they remember what adjectives are.  Students give examples and then the teacher launches into the lesson.  The teacher was very clear in stating that they were going to work on adjectives in a new way.  This was a form of what are text recommends doing of connecting the learning objective to previous and future learning (p8).   However, I don’t know if she created a visual for the students to view.  Our text states that “it is important to communicate learning objectives to students explicitly by stating them verbally, displaying them in writing, and calling attention to them throughout a unit or lesson” (p7).  As an online observer I wasn’t totally clear on the learning target.  It was also hard to see all of the writing on the board.  Perhaps there was an area of the board or room where this was posted.  From my interpretation of the lesson, the learning target would have something to do with applying the five senses to improve the students understanding of adjectives

In going into this lesson, the teacher ask the students if they remember the five senses.  It is clear that they have worked on this before. As a class, they apply the five senses to come up with a good description of the ocean.  This is accomplished through guiding questions of the teacher. This could be considered a technique are text describes as an explicit cue (p54).  “Explicit cues activate students’ prior knowledge by bringing to mind relevant personal experiences or situations that they encounter on a regular basis” (p54).  This might not have been what the teacher was going for, but if the purpose is to activate prior knowledge, has everyone been to the beach?  Maybe something a little closer to home or even the school would work better.  What is the cafeteria like?  What is the playground like?  By using these situations, every students’ background knowledge will be activated.  This portion of the lesson could also almost be considered a form of what are text would call a narrative advanced organizer (p58 text).  Our text states, “this type of advanced organizer serves to engage students’ interest while at the same time activating their prior knowledge on a topic” (p 58).  The ocean, I think was perhaps used as a hook for students’ interest. If the teacher told more of a story it might better the fit into the category of a narrative advanced organizer.

The teacher did an excellent job of asking lots of questions during instruction.  Often these were in the form of inferential questions.  Our text mentions that by asking inferential questions, we are making our students access their prior knowledge thus creating a solid foundation for more learning to occur (p54). Specifically, when she asks them to use words that describe the Ocean and then the Oreo cookie.  Often times there will be several possibilities to these but they will still need to somewhat fit in.  The teacher does a great job of also accommodating student’s different responses. For example, when one student describes the ocean as quiet and the next person describes it as noisy.  The teacher wrote both down on the board as being possibilities. There was no right or wrong and I thought this was great.  Another thing that the teacher did during this questioning was to often repeat what the student had said.  I wasn’t sure of the purpose of this.  Was this for her own understanding or the other students?  In my own teaching, I did this for my own understanding as well as others. I also encouraged students to project their voice so their classmates could hear, and also there were times when I would ask students if they could repeat what their classmates had said.  I would stress during these interactions the importance of listening to each other’s insights and comments and the potential to build new thinking around our different thoughts.  For me, this relates to our texts chapter on reinforcing effort.  Listening, thinking, adding, and building upon each other’s comments, are characteristics of the learning community that I would like to see practiced my students.  It takes effort on behalf of the whole class in order to do so.

For summarizing and note taking the teacher provided the students with a type of teacher prepared notes (p90-1).  This was called a sentence web sheet that she handed out for the students.  It would have been great to get a quick glimpse of this worksheet.  However, the teacher was writing down student voice/responses that students were putting forth as descriptive adjectives around the Oreo: hear/sound, look like, smell like, feel, and taste.  “Teacher-prepared notes can also be in the form of a template that the teacher prepares and distributes to students.  By using this approach the teacher models how to take notes” (p91).  This is exactly what the teacher is doing in the video.

By including an actual Oreo in the lesson, the teacher is creating a type of kinesthetic activity.  Our text states, “As students engage in physical movement associated with specific knowledge, they generate a mental image of that knowledge” (p73).  The teacher also utilizes the text example of nonlinguistic representation of “generating mental pictures” with the example at the beginning of the lesson that uses the Ocean (p66).

Overall, I thought this was a very good lesson and the students looked to be engaged and participating.  Involving the Oreo brought a noticeable increased excitement level for the students that was fun to see.  I don’t think carrot sticks would create the same level of excitement, but I wonder if the same amount of engagement could be created using a healthier snack.  The lesson contains numerous techniques that are text mentions as being effective for creating student growth.

Reference

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.

 

 

EDU 6526 Summarizing and Note Taking

For week 4 of EDU 6526, we focused on chapter 6, Summarizing and Note Taking, of Classroom Instruction that Works.  Frequently, these are skills that teachers expect their students to be able to do.  Research has shown that students need to be taught explicitly, to ensure that students are able to pull out the important information that is contained within text and lessons.  Utilizing the companion text, A Handook for Classroom Instruction That Works, assisted me in self-assessing my teaching practice in these areas.

The process of self-assessment in this area of instruction helped me to identify this as an area that I need to improve upon.  I would score my-self 3 out of 5 for the note taking section.  Through-out my student teaching, I was very good at providing my learners with teacher-prepared notes and modeling for students how to use these effectively.  However, I generally found that I needed to be more explicit in explaining my expectations for note taking and the purpose behind notes. I always tried to incorporate questions in my lesson planning that would, if not in a student’s memory, require them to go back through their notes and try and find the answer.  At first, students looked at me with blank faces when I asked them to do this.  I had to model doing this for them, but after a little while, it became more routine and entertaining with students trying to find the answers in their notes.  This allowed me to access students’ prior learning, highlight important facts, link previous material to current, and stress the importance of writing legibly with proper titles to assist students in finding important information.

In reflecting on my teaching practice in summarizing, I would rate myself a 2 out of 5.  I would often start out each lesson by asking a student to summarize the previous days learning or remind the class of what we have been working on.  I also liked to provide an activity at the end of a learning segment that would allow students to summarize their learning.  However, I never explicitly taught my students how to do this.  I could be more effective in my teaching by utilizing the six different styles of summary frames: “narrative, topic-restriction-illustration, definition, argumentation, problem-solution, and conversation” (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, p83).  I also like the texts idea of creating posters around these different themes to serve as reminders for students.  It would be nice to be able to re-use these summarizing techniques without having to reteach them each time.  I think these frames could also be modified to fit the particular group of students that I find myself working with next year.

A classmate of mine also highlighted the use of reciprocal teaching to allow students to work on summarizing.  Utilizing the reciprocal teaching strategy asks students to work together to summarize, question, clarify, and make predictions (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, p88).  I particularly like this strategy because it can be done through cooperative learning groups.  By creating lessons focused on summarizing skills, making classroom posters for the different styles, and repeatedly having my students work on these skills, my learners will improve in their abilities to summarize important information in their classes, and sift through the immense amount of knowledge available through our technology World.

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.

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.