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Task 1.1.1

Guiding Prompts From the Contextual Factors Chart, choose one factor that you believe will have the most impact on student learning from within each of the following three categories: community, district, and school.

a. Identify your chosen community factor. Based on your chosen community factor, identify one possible instructional strategy and one learning activity that you could use in your classroom to further student learning. Provide a rationale that explains how the identified strategy and activity connect to the chosen factor.

The community factor that I am choosing for this activity would be the one that struck me the most, the factor that almost 21% of our community is below the poverty line. This is something that as a classroom teacher, I need to be aware of because some of my students might actually come from the 21% of the population. An instructional strategy for this factor would include modeling how to use resources for an upcoming project. A project might call for resources such as scissors, glue, construction paper, and glitter to make a poster for a project. To ensure that all of the students are knowledgeable of how to use the materials, I would have the students come to the carpet, and I would have all of the materials set out in front of me. I would be sure to sit at their level so all students could see. I would start out by reading aloud the project directions. Each time I would come to a point where the directions called for a resource to be used, I would pick it up so the students would see which resource I am talking about. I would then read the directions one more time and then demonstrate, having the students observe (ex: how to hold scissors, how to correctly place dots of glue, cut construction paper, and use glitter without having a mess). After the demonstration, I would have a physical example of how the project should be completed. This example provided in class would benefit the students who hardly ever have access to these materials and a fresh mind-set on how to use them. Should students not have the appropriate resource, they would be allowed to check out the materials from me. A learning activity that I would implement in the classroom would be career and character development. This would help the students in this area tremendously. At first we could look at the question what does it mean to get a good job? We would make a chart and list qualities you would need to have a good job such as: good education (high school diploma, college diploma), good attitude and character, etc. We would then look into the different careers, such as: business, education, etc. This would help the students in this area (below the poverty line) to begin thinking about a successful career and perhaps a chosen field they would like to study. This could be a motivational tool for things such as not dropping out of high school, working hard towards a goal, and having good qualities of a successful person. For character development, we would give insight to a character word or lifeskill each week. Some examples of these words could include: perseverance, respect, integrity, friendship, etc. We would define the word and then provide examples in everyday life, whether at school or perhaps in a movie. The students would have to identify this trait in some shape, way, or form. This activity provides a great connection since the students are learning how to act towards others, especially in a school setting with their peers, teachers, and classmates. How the instructional strategy and character development learning activity relate is that the students are learning how to use objects efficiently, much as they would have to do with real jobs and

in other areas such as college. The instructional strategy also offers a chance for the students to gain a deeper insight into what the directions are calling for, which is a huge factor in any aspect of life. Both of these strategies are preparing the students who come from underprivileged homes the opportunity for success not only in school work but in their future lives as well.

b. Identify your chosen district factor. Based on your chosen district factor, identify one possible instructional strategy and one learning activity that you could use in your classroom to further student learning. Provide a rationale that explains how the identified strategy and activity connect to the chosen factor.

The district factor that I am choosing for this activity would be that almost 20% of our student population is ELL or English Language Learners. One instructional strategy that I would need to implement in my classroom is the way I differentiate instruction for these learners. The way instruction would be differentiated for the students would include clear and precise directions with repetition as needed. Extra time on assignments will be provided, especially for students who struggle learning English. On quizzes or tests, the students could easily go see the ESOL teachers, however, should one not be available during this time, the students would come see me. I also need to know about the family as whole, finding out things such as: Can any of the parents speak English? Can both parents speak English? Can only one parent speak English? How well does the child know the English language? I will also need to determine how I will communicate with the parents, collaboration with the ESOL teacher and asking someone to serve as a translator during meetings. One learning activity that I would use in the classroom would be to have the students who are English Language Learners (ELL) have a peer buddy during instructional times. This would be done by having a student who does well in a subject help that struggling student. They could help read directions, explain content material, and/or tutor the students during the learning process. This would be beneficial to both the non-struggling student by giving him extra practice with the content material and the struggling student, who would have a buddy (also someone who might not seem intimidating) and could explain the material for better comprehension of the task.

c. Identify your chosen school factor. Based on your chosen school factor, identify one possible instructional strategy and one learning activity that you could use in your classroom to further student learning. Provide a rationale that explains how the identified strategy and activity connect to the chosen factor

The school factor that I have chosen for this activity is the ethnic percentages of the school. The ethnic in the school where I am student teaching: 52% Caucasian, 32% African-American, 11% Hispanic, 3% Other, and 1% Asian. With these percentages and breakdown of the schools ethnic breakdown, I need to determine how to provide instruction to reach all of the ethnic groups. My school is currently working toward closing the achievement gap between African-American students and Caucasian students in reading and math content areas. With learning activities in mind, I would need to differentiate instruction in the areas of reading and mathematics. To differentiate instruction, I would pull focus groups for math. To get this data, I would need to concrete pre-assessment or observations on the students. From the information gathered, I could separate students based on what elements they struggle and need extra assistance with. An example would be if were learning how to change fractions to a decimal and six students are struggling with changing the numerator and denominator using multiplication (when changing the

denominator) I would pull these students and work on this strategy with just that set of students. This strategy could also be effective in reading. This could be incorporated during independent reading time, since I can pull a group of students (generally low readers from the class) and work with them at the guided reading table on a strategy. An example would be having the six lowest or struggling students come to the table and I would review inference with them using a text. This almost models a guided reading group. The students are getting valuable RTI time and extra assistance in a smaller group setting.

Task 1.1.2

Guiding Prompts From the Contextual Factors Chart, choose one factor that you believe will have the most impact on student learning from within each of the following two categories: classroom demographics and knowledge of students.

a. Identify your chosen classroom-demographics factor. Based on your chosen classroom-demographics factor, identify one possible instructional strategy and one learning activity that you could use in your classroom to further student learning. Provide a rationale that explains how the identified strategy and activity connect to the chosen factor.

The classroom factor I have decided to address would be the fact that there are six students who are in the gifted and talented program. With these six students, the instruction will need to meet the levels of my low, middle, and high students. The instruction for my gifted students will need to meet their own unique learning needs; otherwise, these students will become disengaged in the learning process. To help with this matter, I will need to find content that is on their level of rigor and meets their needs. For example, the traditional lecture and review examples out of the textbook are seemingly too easy for the gifted and talented students. These students need to have more independent and rigor work to keep them engaged in learning. An instructional strategy would be learning to change fractions into decimals. The way the book teaches it is considered easy to the gifted students. To make this more challenging, the students will be assigned a box of dominos. From the dominos, they are to determine the fraction represented and apply the knowledge of changing fractions into decimals for that specific fraction. To make it even more engaging, I will have the students have pair up and determine who has the highest decimal, making it a fun and educational lesson. A learning activity would go concurrently with the instructional strategy. The learning activity would lean towards differentiated instruction; however, the teacher is not giving much scaffolding. The use of think-pair-share would come into play. In a math activity, the students have to guess the number of beads under a cloud (activity name: Beads Under the Cloud). The students are first asked to look at the problem and just think. They do not need to worry about solving it; they are observing and taking notes about what they see (patterns, relationships, etc.). Then after an time period (generally five minutes), they would pair with a partner and share ideas or concepts they found and begin working on the problem cooperatively. After a period of thirty to forty minutes of working on the problem together, they could share their ideas in class through presentations or representations, such as a chart with their thinking laid out in a clean and clear process.

b. Identify your chosen knowledge-of-students factor. Based on your chosen knowledge-of-students factor, identify one possible instructional strategy and one learning activity that you could use in your classroom to further student learning.

Provide a rationale that explains how the identified strategy and activity connect to the chosen factor

An instructional strategy would continue to be differentiated instruction to students who receive gifted and talented services. One learning activity could be a problem such as mathematics. The students who receive gifted services would be in strategy groups working on the same math problem or concept on their level of need. For this group, the students would need to use higherorder thinking to solve challenging problems (and if timed, less time than other students). The students could analyze and process the problem with little to no scaffolding, bring in prior knowledge, relate it to new content, and work collaboratively. New and challenging ways would be explored with gifted students, and problem solving skills would become independent. Scaffolding of students would become less and less at a faster rate than that of average and below-average performers.

Task 1.2.1 a. Select two resources from the completed chart and describe how you would use each in your classroom to support student learning.

21 Century Grant (Daily Tutoring)- this resource is great for struggling students who are in this program. As the teacher, I notice which students grasp a concept and which students have difficulty with a concept. This program is essential to struggling learners because they are with tutors who spend one-on-one time with the student helping him understand the concept, which is something the classroom teacher can rarely do! If I notice a student who needs extra assistance and he is currently not in the program, I could ask his parents if he could be placed into the program to get that essential one-on-one tutoring to help with the content. Math Manipulatives- This is a great resource to use in a subject area that is challenging to many students in fifth grade. The use of manipulatives would help the students visualize the problem more easily. Students in the class who are tactical learners would greatly benefit by using the manipulatives because they greatly help their learning style they are able to touch and manipulate the objects. This is also a good way to support the learning of struggling students. With the use of these manipulatives, it might help them see the concept in a whole new perspective, such as seeing something they did not without the use of manipulatives.

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b. Select a particular characteristic that you listed under Knowledge of Students in the Contextual Factors Chart. Describe how a resource, different from the two listed in Guiding Prompt A, could enhance student learning based on the particular characteristic selected.

Instructional Specialist- The characteristic I have chosen to use from the Knowledge of Students section in the Contextual Factors chart is that some of the students have never traveled too far from their homes. This will make instruction about topics such as oceans and landforms difficult for them to comprehend. The other students probably have enjoyed, explored, and have a concrete foundation of knowledge on this topic. However, with the students who have never been to or experienced the beach, I need to learn how to make the instructional choices fit their needs. This is where the school instructional specialist comes in. The instructional specialist at our school, could help me formulate and plan lesson ideas and obtain visual images, sounds, etc. so the students who do not have a working schema could began to formulate one.

Task 1.2.2. a. Based on the compilation of information from the students' interest inventories, analyze one example of how this information would influence an instructional decision you would make in your classroom.

One example of how the information from the student surveys could be influential to the instructional decision in the classroom is that it would help me understand the interests of the majority of my students. With this information, I could gear my lessons to their interests to keep them engaged in the lessons I will teach. An example from the survey is that most of my male students are sports minded, all of the male students have a clear interest in sports ranging from soccer, basketball, and prowrestling. With this, the instructional decision to help the male students focus would be to add sports scenarios to subjects such as mathematics. This tactic could also be used to help a student to extend a problem, should he not get the initial problem or complications arise. My female students interests lie in cheerleading, dancing, and drawing. An example of how I could incorporate this into my lessons would be to have the female students draw out the problem in math.. This tactic could also be used should there be any complications; I could have them draw out their reasoning. For example, should the students have trouble with multiplication, they could draw out the problem using graphics. If they are not able to comprehend fractions, perhaps having them draw the fraction bars would be beneficial to their learning.

b. Using one student's completed interest inventory, analyze how you would use one item from the inventory to promote the student's engagement and learning

The student whose interest survey was selected happens to be a female student performing on grade-level. When analyzing her interest survey, it was noted that she has a great amount of background knowledge in history, especially since the fact that both of her parents serve in the military. She noted that her favorite subject is American History, which is covered in the fifth grade standards. I would engage this student during social studies instruction by using a lot of demonstrations and highlighting military figures and what branch of the military they are in. I have noted that when military comes up in a social studies lesson, she immediately perks up and is almost always on target with her answers. I will continue to do this as she has a keen interest in this subject matter.

Task 1.2.3 a. Describe one example of how your method of communication addresses the demographic differences in the classroom.

The method I chose for communication was an introductory letter to the parents of the classroom. This letter was to inform the parents of my students teaching experience. The letter included an overview about my teaching including my major, the university I attend, where I grew up, my future educational goals, and favorite hobbies. The method I used to send the letter home helped address the differences in my students background. I chose to send th e letter home with the students signed papers folders. The reasoning behind sending the paper home in this folder is that is that all items in this folder are to be checked by the parents. This was the best choice instead of e-mail since some of the students in my class do not have access to the Internet and could not retrieve the letter, should this method be used. Using this way ensured that all of my students and their parents received this information. Before sending the letter home, I told the

students how important it was that their parents see this letter, so that they are better informed about me. I did not require any of the students to bring the letter back to school.

b. Describe how your method of communication fosters interaction between you, your students, and their families

This method of communication helps foster interaction between the students, their families and me. In the letter, I provided my e-mail address and stated that they are free to send me e-mails should any questions or concerns arise during my student teaching experience. I also assured them that as a student teacher; I want all of my students to become successful learners. I also reminded them that through the guidance and interactions between the cooperating teacher and me, their child will continue to receive the best education possible!

Task 1.2.4 a. Describe one example of a classroom rule or procedure. Explain how the rule or procedure facilitates instruction, enhances student learning, or impacts the learning environment.

Bring ALL materials to class and be prepared to learn. This rule or procedure helps to facilitate instruction because the students should have the necessary materials for class. This helps to minimize the distractions that are caused by students asking to borrow a pencil, notebook paper, etc. from the classroom teacher, which ends up wasting a good three to four minutes of valuable instruction time. When the students know to come to class prepared, the teacher can begin instruction on time and that will help maximize the potential for a great lesson. It will also help enhance the student learning since the students can focus solely on instruction. If all students come prepared for class, this diminishes the distractions caused by a student asking for a material that he did not bring to class. The focus of the student will be on the instructor and not in his binder or desk looking for materials.

b. Describe one example of a technology rule or procedure. Explain how the rule or procedure facilitates instruction, enhances student learning, or impacts the learning environment.

Remind 101 Remind 101 is an app for a mobile phone. In this generation, technology is really making an impact in our world of education. With Remind 101, the teacher (or I) can send reminders through a text messaging system for things such as school spirit day, upcoming quizzes or tests, homework changes, etc. This impacts the learning environment since students and their parents are notified of changes and upcoming events. This is a huge difference from writing a note in an agenda or sending a note home to the parent. Now, they can receive this notice within a matter of seconds. This is a great app for getting in touch with parents and sending out important reminders that could get lost if on paper.

c. Describe one example of a behavior management rule or procedure. Explain how the rule or procedure facilitates instruction, enhances student learning, or impacts the learning environment.

Rockin Behavior & Ticket System

This behavior management procedure is called Rockin Behavior. This system is aligned with our class theme, which is Rock and Roll. Each student begins each day in the green areas of the guitar. Throughout the day, the students choices affect whether or not they move up (in a positive manner) or they move down (in a negative manner). Each color represents a praise or consequence. The students have come to realize that with the move down, a loss of a privilege is the result, such as silent lunch, no recess, or a phone call home. The teacher has the students move their clips after a positive enforcement or a negative enforcement. Tickets are our reward system for positive behavior following our schools lifeskills system. If a student is caught demonstrating exemplary behaviors the student is awarded one ticket. With this one ticket, the student is allowed to move his/her clip up to the next color. If the student reaches the top of the guitar by the end of the day, he/she receives five tickets for Rockstar Behavior. The students can earn ten tickets and redeem them for small prizes such as candy, dollar store prizes, or a Backstage Pass (which has options for free time, extra recess, or no homework pass.) The students work hard to earn these tickets, and the system enforces positive behavior in the classroom.

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