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Kath Carr

ED 602
Reflective Journal
Spring 2016
How I build a strong student-teacher relationship

I am not a teacher but I build strong relationships with my students by;

1) Always listening to what they have to say and conversing with them on a daily basis.
2) By listening, I learn what interests the student. I am in the media center, so my platform is book
3) Discussing the likes and dislikes of the student and then recommending book titles based on
what theyve said.
4) If a student is concerned about a project or other assignment, I suggest a variety of online
resources that might be worth reviewing.
5) I do my best to make the students realize that they are important and that their opinions and
interests matter.
Four characteristics of a Learner centered teacher

1)Like their students, learner centered teachers are co-learners alongside of their students

2)Students whose teachers are learner centered realize that theyre unique set of needs are being
considered by their teacher.

3)Teachers model lifelong learning for their students

4)Teachers collaborate with their students to create/develop meaningful activities

I possess all of these characteristics. Whenever the opportunity arises, I converse and work with our
students to help them achieve their personal goals.
Results of the ALCP Teachers Belief Survey

I primarily line up with Scale #1- The Learner Centered Beliefs about Learners,
Learning and Teaching. On that I scored a 4. On scales 1 and 2, I scored 1.5

My score tells me that I am learner-centered.

Results of what my students want from school

In speaking with a couple of my regular visitors to the media center, each of

them said separately that they wanted to have more choices in their regular
classes. It is worth mentioning that both of them are in 7th grade, good
students from the traditional nuclear family structure. They both also
mentioned that they like the fact that people seem to genuinely care about
them and they appreciate when teachers/administrators/support staff help
How I reach difficult students

In the school settings in which Ive worked, Ive always made the extra effort to
reach out to the students that have been deemed difficult. I find that one of
the most important characteristics that one can possess is empathy. I am a
very good listener and I have always initiated conversations with students
difficult or not. I feel that its very important to really listen to what a student
has to say. They are growing as individuals and its important that they know
that they are genuinely cared about by their teachers and that what they have to
say really matters.
What I have learned to date

Learner centered practices are very effective methods of teaching and learning.
After reading the chapters, I feel that learner centered practices really address
the whole person-whether student/ teacher/ support staff or Administrator. By
addressing the entire individual, Learner centered practices are almost a
4 domains of LCP-#3 Developmental and
Social Factors

Of the four domains of LCP, I feel that I practice #11 (Social Influences on
Learning)under the domain of Developmental and Social Factors. My social
interactions and interpersonal relationships with students provide a welcoming
and safe environment in which they can flourish. Because I am not a teacher
but, my territory is the media center, I am aware of students lexile levels,
interests and abilities. By interacting and communicating with our students, I
am able to help them choose the right online resource or book that will
challenge them without overwhelming them.
Recommendations for overcoming the achievement gap

I use every interaction with students to gain insight into and understanding of
each students learning strengths and needs in the media center. I do this by
trying to get to know each of our regular students and even those that dont
frequent the media center, I try to learn a bit about them.

I support the learning of the whole child by engaging and finding out about the
interests and talents of our students and helping to contribute to their
becoming well-rounded individuals.
The condition that I could improve on..

Is #2 Students are asked to do only useful work Students are able to eat lunch
in the media center. Not always do they clean up after themselves. I could
certainly enforce the clean up rule a lot more. As well they are allowed to play
mcps approved games on the computers during lunch, I could start a coding
club or something to that effect.

Quality of Teaching, Accountability and student/teacher interaction. I believe

that if a teacher is not demonstrating professionalism with their students-not
challenging them, creating trust etc, this contributes to a lower achievement.
When students arent held accountable, that too contributes to low
achievement and if there is no interaction among the students/teachers, all of
these are factors that contribute to lower achievement. The same can be said
for positive spins on all of these factors.
Chapter 7 Elements/Opportunities

Core elements, Opportunities for: Choice, Challenge, Responsibility,Control,

Respect, Connect, Cooperation. Providing these opportunities in ones
classroom creates a learner centered environment.
Why do kids need a champion ?

When a teacher finds the positive in even the most negative of situations
among students, the student realizes that they are respected , cared for and
believed in. By being a champion for students, teachers have the ability to
make a difference in a kids life. When a teacher is an enforcer of positivity, a
student will gain self-confidence and likely model the behavior and it helps
contribute to the success of the student as a human being. They will become
contributors to their communities, and hopefully, they too, will inspire other
future generations the way that their teachers have inspired them.
Stages of The UbD process

Difficulties might result from creating assessments near
the end of a unit because:

Without knowing what end result the teacher is hoping to achieve does not
create a particularly organized nor enjoyable lesson for a student. It does not
lay out the appropriate, assessable framework that is necessary to learning that
which the teacher is hoping to teach.
Why is the alignment of the three stage UbD process

This alignment is important because the content and understanding in stage

one is what is assessed in stage 2 and and taught in stage three. If the stages
are not aligned, the learning that has become the students newfound
knowledge make negatively affect the students performance/assessment.
How do the results of the UbD process support
learner-centered principles?

In many ways but, especially in the Cognitive and Metacognitive domain of the
Learner-centered principles. The UbD process lines up with The Nature &
Learning process, it aligns with the goals of the learning process, the
construction of knowledge, and strategic thinking to name a few.
Describe your own experience with Universal Design for
Learning. What is the scope of your prior Knowledge?

I had not had any prior experience with UDL that I was consciously aware of
however, having worked with students who had 504 accommodations though I
didnt realize at the time, was actually a type of UDL. The students were
involved in their own educational success and the teachers were guiding them
towards their ultimate educational goals.
Is the curriculum disabled and/or disabling?Is there
flexibility in the curriculum?

As both an educator and parent, I have a unique perspective of this issue. My daughter is an extremely bright young
lady who has always struggled with her reading. Back in elementary school, she was in remedial reading classes every
year. We attempted to get her a 504 three times and because she constantly scored on-level or above in her Reading,
she was denied. She has always excelled in Math and Science and I believe that much of her success can be attributed
to the fact that she has had to adjust her learning methods to really listen, take cues and pull out the key elements to
whatever the subject content happens to be. I do feel that the curriculum is disabling because students are not average
and there is not a medium that fits every students abilities. When a student does not feel that they are succeeding
academically, often times they are made to feel dumb or stupid not necessarily by the teacher, but by the curriculum
that the teachers are required to use. They could be and quite possibly are, the brightest of the bright yet, because they
learn differently and are not necessarily able to pursue what interests them, they are made to feel like losers.
Have I mastered anything?

This sounds like a trick question to me! I wouldnt say that I have mastered
anything because, there is so much more for me to learn. If I were an expert in
anything, it would likely be how not to do certain things. I have made many
mistakes and I have learned from most of them. But, by making mistakes, I
might help prevent others from doing the same thing by telling them about my
own experiences. I am a lifelong learner, so, quite possibly, that is what i have
mastered. When something interests me, I want to learn more about it so, I use
print materials, ask experts my questions, use the internet and always listen to
feedback. Ultimately, Ill decide what I want to do with the information gathered.
What does growth mindset mean?

I believe that growth mindset is teaching oneself how to learn in a

non-traditional way. Finding ones passion, challenging oneself to become
better, faster, more knowledgeable. Asking the question, what learning method
works best for me? I believe that the ultimate challenger in growth mindset is
ones own self.
The Myth of Average

There is no such thing as Average when it pertains to a student. Those who

label a student average, do not know the damage that such a label does to a
students psyche. Average does not begin to describe the hidden talents that
a student might possess. The student who is average in math may be a
brilliant artist. The student who is average in science, may be the next J.K.
Rowling of literature. In my opinion, average is a label that needs to be
discontinued. Academic planning needs to stop viewing students as models of
one size fits all. Individual strengths and weaknesses need to be addressed
accordingly for the academic/social success of a student to be achieved.
What network does curriculum primarily
focus on

If Im not mistaken, I would have to say that the traditional curriculum primarily
focuses on the recognition network. An example of this is having students
memorize/recognize the alphabet. If a student is coming into ones ESOL
classroom and speaks Arabic, not English, they are not going to necessarily
recognize the English alphabet therefore, they also wont understand the words
that the individual letter create when put together.
The Affective network

The Affective network is the center of the head. It provides varying means of
engagement , the learners are motivated and have a purpose. The checkpoints
provide options for self regulation, sustaining persistence, and effort and
recruiting interest. An example cited in the book was closing the achievement
gap in inner city schools. It discusses the use of a writing assignment
reaffirming the students sense of self worth and integrity and this writing
assignment was used as an intervention a few times a year.
The Recognition network

The recognition network is located at the back of the head. It provides many
means of Representation and the learners are knowledgeable and resourceful.
The checkpoints include the provision of options, for comprehension, language
and math expressions and symbols as well as perception. A good example of
the Recognition network is learning to read. Letters are recognized in
groupings that create words.
The Strategic Network

The Strategic network is found in the front of ones head. It provides multiple
means of Expression and Action. The learners are goal directed and strategic.
Its checkpoints include executive function, communication & expression and,
physical action. An example of Strategic Network is fine motor skill functions.
Holding a pencil properly requires a proper strategy. In order to do so, you lay
out your plan. All of these networks are specialized and whenever youre
putting a strategy into action, other specialties are involved.
How do you distinguish the three brain
networks from each other?

In order for me to be able to distinguish the three networks from each other, I
will have to use my Strategic brain network collaboratively with my Recognition
network to effectively utilize my Affective Network. In reality, I will keep my
color coded graphic notes close to me so that I can confirm and at times
reiterate the principle that is being used in the learning environment.
Ways to incorporate UDL in teaching

I think that I would incorporate UDL in my teaching using the Strategic Brain
Network. Three ways in which I might incorporate UDL: I would help guide my
students while collaboratively setting a goal for that particular individual
through the utilization of multiple technology tools for constructing and
composing a research project that might include the use of Plickr or cahoots.
The student could choose their topic from an approved list and the project
could be done using a chromebook or desk top and exploring online databases
such as CultureGrams or Encyclopedia Britannica.
Goal for an Upcoming Lesson

I would love to work collaboratively with a group of students exploring how to

write code. It would be great to challenge and actively involve a group of
students at lunch time exploring the code writing tool http://code.org and
collaboratively write code for the learning experience itself. This was a website
that I explored and keeping in mind a variety of frequent flyers to the media
center, the lesson and graphics on it are very inviting and the program appears
to be easy to use.
A Poorly designed assessment

Because many of my previous college assessments are a blur, I think that Ill just mention my entire
highschool career. When I was in high school, UDL really did not exist. All students were assessed as
Average and if one fell outside of the norm then they were either taken out of the classroom to work
separately with a teacher (now resource) or not encouraged nor called upon to participate in class.
Collaboration between student and teacher really did not exist. The educational needs of the individual
were not considered and unfortunately, if a student learned differently, than they were considered
slow,retarded and disablednot only by their teachers but also their classmates. We werent a
particularly politically correct society back in the early 80s.
Dr. Roses From Bach to Lady Gaga

****- For the most part, I really enjoyed Dr. Roses presentation. I felt that his visual music explained
UDL very well. His visual graphics of adult musicians and children musicians really captured the
essence of the point that he was getting across. I loved the patterns, the content and the stories,
especially his discussion of his wife being pitch perfect and not singing in church because nobody
else had pitch perfection. I felt that his background as an organizational Psychiatrist was very
beneficial in his explanations with extra details peppered here and there. What I didnt love was when
he was quite literally and figuratively tooting his own horn or, trumpet in his case. I felt that he was a
bit too full of himself and it took away from the content of his presentation.
3 things I learned from E. Hartmann

By understanding the UDL framework and embracing a learners variability as

a strength, than the learning of an entire class could change and learning would
be improved for everybody.

UDL framework has been implemented mainly in non-inclusive classrooms.

UDL is the future.

Final Journal Entry

I believe UDL will ..be the educational wave of the future

In my classroom, I will implement UDL by creating accessibility for all

One concern I have about implementing UDL in my classroom is that I wont be

able to do it all at once

The most significant learning I have had about UDL is everything!

UDL is included in Common Core Standards in the curricula, goal setting, and
How am I going to use UDL and UbD to
make me a better teacher?

I am not a teacher however, I hope to eventually work with teachers on UDL and
UdD through the integration of user friendly (teacher and student)technology
integration into their curricula. Through the use of a wide range of technology
tools, literally brand new worlds can open up to the learners effectively
redesigning the classroom as we know it.