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Sherry LAE 6339

INSIDERS INStructIonal DEsign for a Real Student


To practice techniques for learning from your students how to teach them better.
To practice designing instruction based on students interests and abilities.

Big Questions: Who + What + When/Where + Why + How = Good ELA teaching
What does it mean to be a young adult? What literature should be read by young adults?

This assignment involves an interpretive process of gathering information, analyzing that
information, and writing about what you learn. This process will be synthesized into a student case study
that includes artifacts, an analysis of each artifact, and an overview of an instructional sequence based on
what you learned about the student. You will need to write up a one-page (approximately 250 words)
analysis about each artifact and what you have learned from it; the instructional sequence should include a
rationale for what texts, Big Questions, assignments, and objectives you have chosen, as well as at least
three lesson plans. You must include at least one text, and it cannot be one we have addressed in class.
Part I: Observing a student
For Part I, choose a student in your field placement classroom who can teach you something: a
student that you find puzzling, or who seems different from you. Talking through this
choice with the cooperating teacher or with a partner may be helpful (partners should
choose two different students). You will also need to obtain verbal permission from the
student to become a focus. Decide on a pseudonym for the student (or let the student
choose it) and use it in all artifacts and notes.
Artifact 1: Observation of student
Write field notes about a focused observation of the student you choose. Negotiate with the teacher how best
to observe the student. Try to see the classroom and its activities from this students perspective, developing
an inside-out perspective. Your objective is to see and hear how the student engages with teacher and
peers in the language arts classroom. Some activities may be academic in nature, others may not. Make
notes of your observations while in the classroom, and add details as soon after leaving the classroom as you
can. Use the following field note system to try to separate your observations from interpretations:
Time/Participants Observation


Sherry LAE 6339

Artifact 2: Interview with Student
Further develop this inside-out view in a student interview that does not include the
teacher. Use the interview as an opportunity to learn about this students life and home
resources. What funds of knowledge does the student bring to the classroom? What
literate practices and resources does the student engage in outside of school? What are
this students perspectives on school and on this English class? What stories does the
student tell about his or her life? If possible, audio record the interview and transcribe illuminating parts.
Artifact 3: Sample of student work
Collect a sample of representative student work. This should be a piece of work that is more
or less typical of this student. Consult with your teacher to help you do this and be sure to
remove the students name from the work and replace with a pseudonym.
Artifact 4: Interview with teacher
Interview the teacher, to gather further information about this student. Try to learn more about the teachers
perspective on the student. If possible, audio record the interview and transcribe illuminating parts of it.
Artifact 5: Interview with school or community person
Interview someone else in the school (not the teacher) or the community who knows and works with the
student. Your objective here is to gain yet another perspective on the student. Consider asking the student or
the teacher for help finding this person.
Part II: Designing Instruction
For part II, you will use what you have learned about this student to design an instructional sequence. The
sequence should include the following parts:
Rationale Which text(s) have you chosen to address with this student, and why?
Big Question(s) What organizing inquiry have you chosen to address with this student, and why?
Assessment(s) What task(s) would provide evidence that you have addressed the Big Question?
Plans How will you break down the Big Question into objectives, address them through activities, and
assess them for each lesson?