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.


Internship Seminar Reflection

As my time at SPU is winding down.  I will reflect on HOPE standard E1 – Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice  In order for me to continue to learn and grow as I enter the teaching profession, it will be helpful to have an awareness of the different stages that I might go through as a teacher.

In module 9 of our internship seminar course, we were provide with an article entitled The Winding Path: Understanding the Career Cycle of Teachers, by Susan K. Lynn.  This article does an excellent job of identifying the potential stages of a teacher; pre-service, induction, competency building, enthusiasm and growth, career frustration, career stability, career wind down, and career exit.

The SPU program has emphasized the importance of reflecting and I have found great value in doing so.  I am just wrapping up my pre-service stage and am searching for a place where I will be able to enter the induction stage.  I would like to find a school climate, and administration that is aware of this critical stage in my career, and supportive.  The enthusiasm and growth stage sounds like the most desirable stage that I hope to inhabit.  Prior to getting into this stage, I will have to enter the competency stage.  Knowing this, is extremely beneficial to my career.  I need to make sure that I am focusing on developing and becoming competent as my main goal in the first few years without taking on too many additional activities at the expense of developing competency.

I will bring enthusiasm to my classroom from day one, and by incorporating a reflection time into my schedule I will be able to increase my awareness of my teaching operational stage and make necessary adjustments to ensure that I am working efficiently and effectively to facilitate student growth.

LYNN, SUSAN K. The Winding Path: Understanding the Career Cycle of Teachers. The Clearing House March/April 2002.