Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chapter 5 QTC

You have now read several views about intelligence. What do you think about intelligence?
Is it one trait or many? more heavily influenced by nature or nurture? a fixed capacity or a
modifiable ability? Articulate your views in a paragraph of 6-8 sentences.

I agree with Ormrod and many theorists that intelligence can be modified through experience and learning. Every person has a different level of intelligence depending on specific criteria such as what task, concept, or social habits. Intelligence is especially important in the evolutionary exchanges between men and women; men and women perform at different levels at each of these specific criteria and search to find equilibrium through each other. Intelligence is influenced by both nature and nurture, but more heavily by nurture. It depends of the practice of skills, and behaviors you associate with what intellect you are trying to increase. Someone may develop new abilities based off of prior knowledge and personal experiences that they can relate to. 

Field Trip: Live Blogging

"Dear utk, autism is my prism, not my prison." - Such strong, meaningful words.

   I was watching the assistant place her hand on the back of Barb and push on it when she needed to type the letter and guide her around the keyboard. It makes me tense watching her do that because I know that Bard had to be so frustrated trying to type. We watched a movie, "Autism Speaks" in Special Ed, that was very similar to Barb's situation. The woman in the documentary was in front of an audience as well wanting to tell her story. It took a very long time to type what she wanted to say; all the most important to maintain patience. Barb, like the woman in the documentary  was passionate about history and allowed them to be external and discuss with others about their interests. It is so neat to be able to see it first hand. I know that how she thinks inside explains her intelligence. It is amazing to me that she has written an entire book of her brilliant view of life, and yet cannot yet relay it through verbal words. It is apparent that it is crucial to be patient with Barb and try to understand how outbursts. I wonder if Barb feels trapped on the outside....she know on the inside that she is intelligent and not trapped by her autism, but sometimes can't relay that information physically. 

1. Be the best you can be
2. Persevere
3. Remember we are all the same
4. Understand (let him or her live inside their autism)
5. Keep an open-mind, 
6. Empower (should have choices and decision making power). 

These describe how she truly feels and wants to be portrayed. We as teachers can use these ideas for all of our students to recognize and be patient with their differences.  

   There is NO standard brain. This hit me hard during the presentation. Just like any culture, person, race, etc. is different, so is the brain. No judgement or comparisons. There are structural and functional differences. They relate better to objects rather than people. We must be able to recognize their needs that the brain wants them to have. Stimulation, thrill-seeking, exploration...There are some of the most intelligent people and can be significant entrepreneurs. Everyone has their place, their strengths and weaknesses. Barb has found her purpose and peace which allows her to have a happy and full life. Autistic people have BENEFITS- they are not hopeless or helpless. We must help find who our students are, and be that purpose. We have to connect and be where they are. We will understand what makes them happy and possible expressive language.I would enjoy reading her book in order to understand her thoughts and see life through her perspective.  

We are all diverse and important to this world.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Group Differences

I read the article "Gay-Straight Alliances and school experiences of Sexual Minority Youth." The article was about sexual minority's three experiences they have in school: victimization, isolation, and campus climate. These students are often neglected and abused physically or emotionally by family members, or even their peers at school. They also feel isolated because they don't have anyone to go to for support and have trouble creating new relationships. Finally, they campus climate highly affects their academics and personal lives.They experience a "hostile" environment which increases the likelihood of skipping classes. All of these experiences make school seem like an unsafe place and also are associated with sexual minority youth's plans to not continue their education after high school. One way to make schools more welcoming for sexual minority youth is to adopt "Gay-Straight Alliances." These are student led clubs open to youth of all sexual orientations with the purpose of supporting sexual minority students and their heterosexual allies and also reducing prejudice, discrimination, and harassment within the school. GSA's can be found in both high school and colleges. A survey found that GSA's in schools: provide information about topics such as coming out, connecting with supportive faculty and staff, finding staff mentors, or assisting youth to develop coping strategies for living in a frequently hostile world. GSA's also increased a sense of identification for sexual minority students in their schools. The students felt much safer at school, had support for sexual minority staff, and were more interested in attending school and coursework. 

Overall, I didn't find this article to be too surprising. Although I did not know that there were such things as GSA's, it would seem that any club or organization for minorities would make school seem like a safer and more welcoming environment. These are fairly new clubs, and as the article questioned, I also wonder how open students are to their membership in the club. I feel like it would take a while for students to get comfortable within the club, before coming out or admitting to being in a sexual minority group. I think these types of organizations are a great resource for students who are struggling in school. I hope to be a source of support for all of my students, and hope that I could make an positive impact on these students as well. 

Some things I did find interesting: In a sample of sexual minority students, 74% of participants believed that their school campus was "homophobic." In another group, students in their first year of college believed that their colleges would be better off if only heterosexuals attended them. It is important to make every student feel accepted at school. Some students get involved with Greek life, others with SGA or religious groups, but these students also need a safe place to go, such as GSA's. Hopefully word spreads about this club and more college campuses can adopt them. On the other hand, EVERY student must take initiative on how they are involved and perceived. If they want to make a change, they take initiative and be a an active part of that change. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 3

Chapter 3
(3.1) Personal and social development can have a major influence on both individual student learning and the learning environment as a whole. Identify a case from the CSEL guidelines that you would like to address in your paper. Then, examine the possible developmental factors that could be influencing your target student(s) or classroom in the case study. Consider all dimensions of personal and social development, including cognitive, language,social,emotional, and moral development. 

Case study: 
You are particularly frustrated with a seventh grade group of students that appears to engage less and less with learning and more and more with one of your highly amusing leaders of the class. Cherie is really funny, but does not show good judgment in choosing appropriate times and ways to be funny. Yesterday she tripped Carmen as she passed her desk on the way to get a chair for a guest in our class. The day before, Cherie made rude noises throughout small group presentations. Today Cherie jumped up while Tommy was reading a poem about a battle, a poem that appeared engaging to the majority of the students; she started pretending she was shooting a gun at other students. Several joined in the pretend battle and disrupted the class to the point that Tommy could not finish reading the poem.  

   According to Erikson’s statges of psychologic developemnt, students at the adolescent age become curious about who they will be as an adult. This can be a confusing and awkward time period for middle school students. Many are struggling to find their sense of place, personalities, and where they fit in (Ormrod pg. 71). Students who are acting out in the classroom may be doing so in order to gain attention from myself and other students Cherie may have realized that her peers may have mixed feelings about her, and is therefore acting out in order to gain acceptance from them and make herself look better socially. Cherie may be struggling with discovering her sense of self. According to Ormrod, “adolescents tend to behave in ways that mirror their beliefs about themselves” (Ormrod pg. 68). These beliefs and feelings are largely self-constructed at the middle school age. In relation to Ormrod’s text, Cherie may have a negative self-perception and will be less likely to succeed academically, socially, and phsycially (Ormrod pg. 68). She may not see herself as a good student and therefore may pay less attention, cause problems, and avoid following directions. Also during the middle school age, students are beginning to think logically. Cherie clearly understands the behavior and the reactions she expects to receive from her peers based on that behavior. 

(3.2) Check out tables 3.1 (p. 75), 3.2 (p. 83) and 3.3 (p. 91) with particular attention to the age ranges you are interested in teaching. Identify your personal favorite ways that an educator can promote a child’s sense of self, perspective taking, and moral reasoning skills.

   One strategy that I liked from table 3.3 was "involve students in group projects that will benefit their school or community" (pg 91). I think this is important for many reasons. First, I want to emphasize group work in my classroom so that students have the opportunity to build knowledge off of their peers and also learn from a different perspective. School is also a place to promote and teach social skills to students at this age. It is important that students learn to socially interact with others, as it is an important life skill. They must be able to work and communicate with others throughout their academic careers, and also in their future careers. It would also be an opportunity for students to do something for the community and learn to give back to others. It would be a great way to create well-rounded students. 

   Another strategy that I would implement in my classroom would be to provide them with a supportive and optimistic community that focuses on their potential and success as stated in table 3.1 (pg. 75). The first day of class would be an opportunity for me to get to know each of my students individuality  I would like to know what their goals are, what drives them, what are their strengths and weaknesses, etc. Based on what I learn from my students, I would try to include things that students like in my lessons, and be sure to praise students for their strengths. Helping them build up their weaknesses would also be a part of my role as a teacher in order to maximize student success. I want to be sure to be as positive and encouraging as I can, because those were the type of teachers at my middle school that truly impacted my life in a positive way. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chapter 2

(2.1) One of the most cited theories of human development is that of Swiss biologist Jean Piaget. After reading about Piaget’s basic assumptions (p. 27-32) look with particular attention at the stage of child development you would like to teach. The other most cited theory of human development belongs to Russian developmentalist Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development leads us to expect greater diversity among our same-aged students than Piaget. Given these two influential theorists’ ideas on cognitive development, how might you accommodate students who are not yet working at the level of their peers?

   From a standpoint of a future middle school teacher, I would expect that each student in my classroom is learning through their own creativity and gaining knowledge on different levels than their peers. On one hand, Piaget's assumptions are that children are active and motivated learners, construct knowledge rather than absorb it, learn through accommodation  and interact with their environmental  In general, "children think in qualitatively different ways at different ages" (pg 29).  Vygotsky theory states that children develop increasingly advanced and integrated schemes through assimilation and accommodation (35). One way to accommodate students who are at different working and knowledge levels based on these theories combined, is to let the students class-wide peer tutor. Students can pair up and work with one another. This will also give them the opportunity to use their strong skills to help those who may be lacking in that subject, or vice versa. They can also learn to construct knowledge from one another by learning from different perspectives and using those ideas to build on their own experiences. It is necessary to encourage peer-tutoring, because in an ideal classroom, students are at a variety of levels of learning. 
   Students may also work on class projects in order to get hands on experiences. They may have a choice to create it the way they would like (as long as it would fit directions) and construct it with their individuality  This way, I could see where each student stands academically, and at the same time, hold them accountable to create something that would meet their maximum ability. For example, students could create a "cell" cake, poem, movie, etc. in a middle school science classroom. This would hopefully give students the opportunity to be able to learn in their own way and create something based on their background and interests, but still learn the material needed to master the lesson. They would have the opportunity to walk and talk themselves through a task to construct new knowledge. It would be better to allow lee-way for those students who are not yet on the same levels as their peers. 

(2) Theories in educational psychology promote the idea that language plays a critical role in cognitive development. Examine Table 2.2 (p. 51), paying particular attention to the age range that you are interested in teaching. Consider how you might incorporate or adapt the strategies presented for use with your own students.

   Strategies suggested for middle school students include: assign reading materials that introduce new vocabulary, introduce some of the terminology used by experts in various academic disciplines, conducted structured debates to explore controversial issues, ask students to consider the underlying meanings of common proverbs, and explore the nature of words and language as entities in and of themselves. I will be teaching in a middle school science or social studies classroom. I think it would be very beneficial to have my students do research or hands on projects that require them to use the professional language used in the unit. I also think it could be very fun and interactive if I used a debate type scenario in order for my students to learn. For example, a debate on the topic of evolution. Students could research the arguments for and against evolution and create their own debate teams to perform with in class. Not only would this require students to research and learn terms, but they would also be discussing and breaking down a theory. This could be helpful later on in their academic careers when they must explore new theories in their other classes. It will also be beneficial in that students will have to explore controversial issues, use professional language, and use their thinking skills on the spot. I believe these would be useful tools and strategies to incorporate in my classroom because they not only focus on science or social studies, but will also incorporate reading and writing skills as well. Students that are able to take skills from one class and apply it to another subject are likely to have greater success in their academic careers. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chapter 10

Which of the learning activities/skills can you think of that lend themselves to learning through modeling?
   We as teachers can model behaviors we want to see from our students. For example, if we get frustrated as teachers, we should model good behavior by calming ourselves, keeping a positive attitude, and using kind words. This type of situation could occur when we make a mistake for example. We do not want to over exaggerate our behaviors in front of our students. If we make a mistake, we pick right back up. This models to our students that even their teachers fail, and it's okay for them to do as well, as long as they can keep themselves composed about it. Another way we can model self-regulation to our students is by keeping the classroom organized and having a positive environment. We can allow students to have more freedom in the classroom, if we first model good behaviors and class rules. Once students know what is acceptable behavior, there will be a more likelihood that they will compose themselves in the classroom and stay on task. A final skill that students could inherit from modeling would be how to work and communicate with peers. As teachers, if we can model professional relationships with other staff members and administration, our students may pick up on how we communicate effectively and use those skills inside or outside the classroom. Modeling professionalism, organization, and a positive attitude will be beneficial for our students as they progress through school and life. 
How might self-efficacy and self-regulation contribute to the intervention plans you use in your case study?
   I think it is very healthy and necessary to implement self-regulation strategies in my classroom. It prepares students for the lesson, keeps them on task, and gives them the feeling of empowerment when they are in control of their own success or even failures. As for the middle school case study, I could use self-regulation to keep the entire class on task, and also allow Cherie to self-regulate her behavior on the side. Her disruptions not only stem from her behavior, but it also creates chaos for the whole class. I could discuss with Cherie that if she feels like her behavior is going to cause a disruption, or she feels obligated to act out, that she can self-regulate. At times like these, she can take a "time-out" from the lesson and either write out her feelings and thoughts in a journal, take deep breaths and count to 20, or even keep a stress ball with her. Hopefully these would be ideas that would keep Cherie from acting out against other students, and take her boredom,  anger, or jokes out on something other than her peers. This will help me too because there will be less class distractions, and more on-task behavior. Cherie and I can sit down and develop a self-regulation plan if these ideas don't work. I can discover what makes Cherie happy and calm, and we can implement these together. If Cherie does a good job handling self-regulation, I will be sure to reinforce her for implementing and following the plan. We may also even have the chance to discuss how effective the plan is. For example, what skills does Cherie want to learn or obtain? Are there changes in her performance and attitudes? These are important aspects to consider when evaluating self-regulation. As a class, we could begin every day with a "question of the day," class discussion by passing around a ball, or even just taking a few minutes to get out materials and prepare for the lesson. Hopefully these strategies will have all my students in the mindset to learn and stay on task.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chapter 9 QTC

How would you define successful mastery of your lesson objectives from a behavioral view of learning?
The behavioral view of learning can include people's behaviors being the result of their experiences with the environment, a change in their behavior, and forming associations among stimuli and responses (Ormrod 286). In general, behavior occurs from past experiences and how students react to those experiences. This is also when someone wants to achieve or avoid something, and it is followed by a punishment or reward. 
If my student's skills on a task improve, I will see how their performance of the task might improve if they remember how they did it before, or what they did wrong. I might also be able to tell if there has been successful mastery of lesson objectives if my students are able to stay on task and there aren't as many classroom distractions. I would be able to assume they have learned because they would not feel the need to "master" it anymore. They have also learned because they might act as if they do not need as much help from me, or their behavior changes so that they are not working with or relying on their peers as much. 
This image really helped me understand and remember what behaviorism means. What I take from this image is that people, or even animals will perform certain behaviors to achieve their intended objective. The mouse would climb on top of a lever to ring a buzzer, which would in turn provide him with food.  

Consider your CSEL intervention case study.  Are there tools from a behaviorist view for either encouraging productive behaviors or discouraging undesirable behaviors that you could apply to the case?  What are they?
In my middle school case study, Cherie is the "behavior problem" in my classroom. Cherie does things like trip other students, makes rude noises, and interrupts other students while they are talking. This is undesirable behavior in my classroom, and there are important steps I would have to take to discourage her behavior. First, I would have the point the behavior out to Cherie and her parents. We would then have to come up with a solution about how we are going to resolve the problem. It is obvious that Cherie is not engaged in the lessons, nor does she want to learn. She knows that if she misbehaves, she will in turn have other classmate's attention which will then interrupt my lesson. Cherie knows I will have to stop my lesson in order to acknowledge her behavior. To discourage Cherie's behavior, one step that I could take would be to separate her from her classmates and put her by my desk. This is taking away her opportunity to collaborate and learn with other peers, and also know that I will always have an eye on her work and behavior. A way I could encourage productive behavior is to give those students who are paying attention and working a reward. This could come in the form of food, free time, sending nice notes home, etc.The other students who are joining in class interruption with laughter may not be inclined to do so if they know they will be rewarded for staying on task. Also,  if Cherie noticed her classmates receiving these awards for their good behavior, that may be an incentive for her to behave the same way. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chapter 8 QTC

Consider a lesson plan you might use. Which metacognitive skills/abilities are involved as students gain facility/knowledge in this domain? Think of an activity or lesson component that explicityly teaches one or more metacognitive and one or more problem solving skills.
   A lesson plan I have been developing is for a 6th grade Social Studies classroom. The goal of the lesson is to have my students research different cultures and create a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast two of their choice. It is important for these students to have the skill of comparing and contrasting, not just for Social Studies, but any subject. Also for part of this lesson, students will be in small groups discussing the main components of culture, and defining what culture means. Preparing for the activity will be done collaboratively, but students will work alone of the Venn Diagrams so they can use their individuality and creativty on it. A final part of the lesson will be having someone from a different culture come into the classroom and give a little presetnation on themselves and what their culture is about. This will give my students the opportunity to discover what other cultures may look like first hand.
   There are metacoginitive skills I expect to see from my students and their work. One skill is for them  use the knowledge they know about their culture, and apply it when thinking about what is important in another culture. For example, they already know what kind of clothes we wear, food we eat, our government structure, etc. Since they already know what the components of our culture are, they can apply what they know is "part" of a culture to research it in a different part of the world. In other words, they already know the background information, which they need to apply to gain new knowledge (the components of a different culture). Students will also gain knowledge from researching different parts of the world, and applying it to create their own Venn Diagram. They will be free to choose any cultures and express what they know about each one in the activity. Students will have to think about why cultures may be different. Why is the culture is Japan so different from that of India? Why are there so many different cultures? Where did it all start? I believe these types of questions will arise in many of my students and will make them want to research and discover more about what they still want to know.
   Another asect of Social Studies is learning about the different religions of the world. One activity I will have my students do is to create a project displaying the different religions. First, students will have to decide what method they want to use for the project. For example, will they create a powerpoint, a poster, a collage, etc. I want my students to be creative with this project, but also have to think about how they will present it to the class. Second, they must decide where they are going to get their information, and decide what is most important for the class to know about the religion they have been assigned. We will have previously discussed what they should know about a relgion in general, so I would hope that they could take the information I have presented and create something with that knowledge on their own. Although there will be more aspects to this project, these are what I believe to be the most important metacognitive and problem-solving skills they will gain from the activity.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chapter 7 QTC

Make a list of the sequence of skills necessary for ultimate mastery of the content of your lesson through a constructivist approach. 
- Students need to open their minds to the fact their beliefs may need revision. For example, they may have an idea of what culture means, but they should reflect on this while listening to how other students or myself define and explain it.
-Social constructivism skills. I will encourage a lot of classmate collaboration during my lessons. Students can communicate their ideas with each other, and build off of what others know. This can be anything from group discussion, projects, and other activities.  

I think it is also important to consider concept generation in my lesson. For example, if my class was doing a lesson on culture, I would want them to compare and contrast different cultures. For a constructivist student, they may think about the knowledge they are consuming instead of the actual facts about each culture. For example, if they created their own Venn Diagrams on two cultures, they would recognize that they have the ability to compare and contrast. 

Which of these learning activities/skills lend themselves to student’s individual or group construction?  How might you structure learning activities that lead students to discover these skills/these principles?

   Encouraging students to collaborate is something I find to be very helpful. Even as a college student, I believe I still learn best from building off of my peer's ideas. Also, each student has a different way to interpret concepts, such as culture. I will want to encourage my students to share their individual thoughts and ideas with myself and the class so we can create a community of learning. After today's class discussion, I realized many different activities I could apply to this one, simple standard. I had so many ideas, that it would be hard to narrow it down to a single approach. One idea would be to bring in someone from a different culture, and have them talk to the students about their culture and the uniqueness of it. Students could then compare their own culture to that of the speaker and experience it firsthand. Social constructivism may come in group discussions and collaboration on group projects. For example, I could give the students the opportunity to research a culture they are interested in (in groups). The groups could create a poster or some type of visual to present to the class. Not only would students get to research and be creative, but they can also present the material to other students at a level that is easy for them to comprehend. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chapter 6 QTC

What are the essential skills and/or learning outcomes you want your students to know and be able to do that relate to cognitive learning? 
   I want the students in my classroom to be able to store knowledge in the best way for them. I want them to learn through personal experiementation (hands on activities) and exploration on their own. I don't want them to rely on me to give them every peiece of information they have to know. Students will learn best if they try things on their own and learn from their mistakes and discoveries. I also wan them to be able to express how they learn with their peers in myself. It sometimes help open our minds to new learning strategies when when listen to and observe what others do. As we discussed in class today, I believe it is beneficial to be able to relate the material we teach to what students are already familiar with. If a student has a memory or thought to connect to the new learning material, they may be more opt to store it more quickly.
How might your knowledge of the memory processes guide your instructional decisions?
   From my experience in middle school, it was always helpful for me to use acronmyns to remember a process and information. For example, when I learned units of measurement in 6th grade, I rememberd Kangroos Hop Down Mountains Drinking Chocolate Milk. The first letter of each word represented the unit of measurement and how to "hop" to and from measurements. I will try to incorporate little things like along the way in my lesson. I know it may not help all students, but it can be useful for the time being. I also know that each person learns differently and needs tasks that will allow them to use their appropriate skills. I will make sure that each of my units have different types of activities so that students have equal opportunity to learn. We will do hands on activities, use visual aids, and also use thought-provoking questions during class discussion. Finally, I have experienced that in order to have something "stick," it has to be a memorable experience. I hope to be creative and fun in my classroom so my students remember my impact and what I have taught them.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Teaching and Learning

Teaching: Teaching is the way educators relay important information, concepts, standards, and learning to their students. Teaching involves educator and student involvement. Teaching also includes collaboration and relationships between the school, student, and parent to help a student succeed. 

Learning: Learning is the way knowledge is acquired. People learn in a variety of ways; they can learn visually, mentally, or physically. Learning is also a process- the process of exploring and breaking down new information to be stored in our memory. 

It is difficult to give each of these a single definition. Also, it was hard to put these actions into words because they seem to just "happen." Usually the definitions found on the internet are so simple, yet no one person has the exact same thoughts about them. Teaching seems like it would only be applied to a classroom, but I also considered it as a definition in everyday life. Teaching begins at birth and is what shapes us to be the people we are.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chapter 15 QTC

Turn to p. 559 in Ormrod’s text.  Now, imagine that you are meeting with Ingrid’s grandmother today to explain her scores on the recent standardized achievement test pictured at the bottom of p. 559.  What will you tell her about Ingrid’s performance? her strengths? her weaknesses? 
   I would tell Ingrid's grandmother that after being tested in multiple subjects, her tests revealed where she stood academically in terms of standard deviation units. I would explain to her what Ingrid mastered, but also what she needed to improve on. Ingrid's strengths would include reading comprehension, science, and social studies. Her weaknesses would be in spelling and math computation and that she was below average, average, and even slightly above average in those subject areas. I would also tell Ingrid's grandmother that some of Ingrid's below average scores could have to do with the amount of error that might have affected her performance on the test. Also, in a normal distribution, Ingrid was in the middle percentile where she scored average and slightly above average (displayed from the numbers being closer together at the bottom of her results).  

If grandmother asks you what she could be doing at home to help strengthen Ingrid’s skills, what will you suggest? 
   If Ingrid is well above average in reading, social studies, and science, she probably doesn't need to spend much time studying these areas, but she should briefly review them to keep the information fresh on her mind. For spelling and math, I would suggest that Ingrid's grandmother call out words to Ingrid, and have her spell them out. She could also research game sites on the internet for Ingrid to match, spell, and even sound out words. For math, it would be helpful for Ingrid to use flashcards, and maybe include some fun in the "all around the world" math game. I would tell her that it would be helpful to provide Ingrid with some type of motivation or incentive. If Ingrid knows that she has done poorly, I'm sure she wouldn't be too excited about studying for that subject, and expects to struggle when doing so. Taking practice tests, playing games, and reviewing would be a general place to start.
   After today's class, I was trying to think of ideas about how to help my students feel less anxiety towards TCAP testing. This site had 5 creative ideas to use in the classroom in preparation for the test. I will want to remember the part about using the internet for games (like jeopardy), so the students won't think I am just trying to drill TCAP information into their heads. I would also like them to be more hands on with their learning and preparation, so this was a helpful site for me!

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Licensure area: grades 4-8
Lesson plan objective: Each student will demonstrate knowledge of latitude and longitude. Students will be able to locate and draw coordinates for given lat and longs on a map. 
Informal Assessments: 
   1. After discussing the definition of latitude and longitude, the students will be able to recite the definition of each to a partner.
   2. Students will come to the board and point to a given coordinate on a map
   3. I will have latitude and longitude lines on the floor with tape and have each student walk to a coordinate. 
   4. I will give each student an orange and have them draw lines of latitude and longitude with a sharpie. 
Formal Assessments: 
   1. I will give daily quizzes over information covered. 
   2. Chapter tests on latitude and longitude. 
   3. Essay question responding to when they may need to know or use this skill. 
   4. A vocabulary map related to the terms.

Norm-referenced assessment vs criterion-referenced assessment:
   These two types of assessment are very different, yet, they share both advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion, one advantage of norm-referenced assessment is that when content knowledge is compared with all others around the country, those weaker performing schools will know what content areas they need to improve. Schools want their students to know specific knowledge, so they may focus more on these areas in order to improve their students' academic skills. An advantage to criterion-referenced assessment is that the teachers will be able to identify which students are struggling and also what they know. This could help them gauge what they still need to cover or stress further. I was having a hard time coming up with specific disadvantages for each, but in general, both type of assessments focus on comparing students. This CAN be a good thing, but I believe it is important to know each student individually in regards to their academic levels. Each student learns and tests differently, so it is hard to say who we should compare to. 

Chapter 14

1. Write some ideas for three or four types of assessments

   There are many different kinds of assessment. One kind is an informal assessment. These are spontaneous, or unplanned. Some examples of this type of assessment might be having students show a thumbs up or a thumbs down if they understand a concept. Another idea might be to circulate around the room while students work to see if they are meeting the objective. Another type of assessment is the criterion-referenced assessment. These types are when you look at a research based criterion to find out what students have and have not accomplished. Since I will be in the middle school social studies classroom, and idea might be for the students to list the capital cities of all 50 states with correct spelling. This will indicate what students have mastered or not mastered. A third assessment is standardized testing. Some ideas that come to mind are cumulative tests that I could give at the end of a unit. An obvious idea for this type of assessment is the TCAP test that students are required to take at the end of each school year. Paper-pencil assessments are written response tests that may require students to write an essay or answer questions in complete sentences. In social studies, students may have to write about the factors that led to the American Revolution. 

2, Pros and Cons of standardization 

   In my opinion, one pro of standardization is that it truly is reflective of a students abilities. It will turn out reflected on the effort they gave in class (most of the time). Another pro is that if a student moves to a different school system, the new staff can look at the student's score to see where they stand academically. Finally, unless there is a specific circumstance  each student receives the same standards. In other words, there is fairness in standardization (special needs students get accommodations). One con of standardization is that some students may have test anxiety or be poor test takers. Their exams may not correctly reflect their academic abilities in the classroom. Another con is that teachers are pressured to teach to the test. It allows for less creativity in the classroom. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unit 1: Chapter 13

1. How will you create a learning environment that is conducive to learning?

   To create a learning environment that is conducive to learning, it is first important to consider classroom management. At the beginning on the school year, I will set out the classroom rules. I will first create my own set of rules, knowing that throughout the year, they may need to be tweaked. To include my students in the rule-making, I could ask them what they think would be important rules to follow in a classroom, and add those to the list. I believe this will allow the students to feel like they are a part of the way the classroom functions. I will arrange my classroom so that it is easy to interact with others at the appropriate times. I will put the desks in rows horizontally so students are still facing forward and looking at me, but when it is time for group work, they will have someone beside them to work and discuss with. This will also allow me to walk around the room and monitor their work and behavior. I would hope to have a lot of interaction with my students, both as a whole and individually. This will allow me to form relationships with my students. I want to know the strengths and weaknesses of each student so that I can help them get to their full potential. I also need to understand different learning abilities and disabilities, as well as personal differences. I would hope to give students constructive criticism so they will know how they can improve their work. I will hold students accountable for their work and explain to them (from the rules) what kind of work it will take to receive a certain grade. To create a positive climate in my classroom, I will let my students know that they should set specific goals for themselves, and should work towards those goals throughout their academic careers. I would also want them to feel comfortable in my classroom. To accomplish this, I would encourage a lot of group work and discussion. This will give the students an opportunity to get to know each other, but also learn from each other. I will want to have routines of how work will be completed, turned in, what to do after it is completed, and etc. Although I want to keep an orderly classroom and keep the students on task, I also believe it is important to give the students options. These options could be assignments we do, activities  or how we spend class time. All of this is important to keep my classroom managed and conducive to learning. I know along the way in my teaching career, I can expect bumps in the road, and have to alter my classroom environment. In this type of career, I would expect to constantly be learning and improving myself and my classroom. 

2. Develop a full continuum of responses dealing with your CSEL case study. 

   I am dealing with the middle school case study. When trying to deal with a disruptive student student that seems to be the "leader" of the class, there are many things I would consider as a teacher. This would be a noisy, active, and disruptive classroom. Since Cherie disrupted the class repeatedly, I would have to enforce the rules consistently; I could not imagine ignoring this behavior. If I let any of this misbehavior slide from Cherie, I could expect that she would continue to disrupt my classroom. If i wanted to address the problem in class at the time it was happening, I would cue Cherie with a stern look or signal her to stop so she knew her behavior was unacceptable. On the other hand, cueing may not work for Cherie. If not, I would let her know which rules she has broken, and discuss the consequences to her privately after class.I would not want to call her out in class and give her the feeling of "empowerment." I would want to know why she continually disrupted my class. For her behavior, I would give her the choice of if she would rather try to listen quietly and not interrupt the class anymore, or if I would need to move her closer to my desk by herself so she can stay focused, and know I am monitoring her behavior closely. If the problem continued after our conversation, I would rearrange the desks to where she wouldn't have any close contact to friends, the group of students who are engaged with her, or a classmate she liked to pick on. This would also isolate the students who were reinforcing her behavior. I do realize that she may still disrupt the class by yelling out, making jokes, etc. If Cherie was continuing this behavior after I have tried these options, I would have a conference with her parents. I would let her parents know that her behavior has continued over a period of time, and that her behavior has been reflected in her grades. I would want to let them know that in order for Cherie to be successful in the future, she must learn to stay focused and stay on task. I would want to get her parents' input on ways we can help fix the problem, and the ideas they could discuss with her at home.For the tripping incident, I would let Cherie know that tripping a student is not tolerated in any classroom or school, and that she could really harm someone by doing that. I believe it would be necessary to send her to the administrator for an event such as this (a classroom punishment would not be sufficient enough). I haven't yet come up with a theory or strategies for building motivation, but I hope to find one I can identify with as we cover different units. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Unit 1: PLE Post

First PLE Reflection: 

1. What are your personal objectives for the class?
   I have many personal objectives for Educational Psychology. First, I want to understand and explore how students think and express themselves. I want to better myself as a future educator by learning how to communicate effectively with children, parents, other teachers, and even other students in our current class. I want to learn more about myself by exploring the course content to find what most interests me. I also want to learn how to be the best educator I can be, and also feed off of other student's personal theories in our classroom. In the end, I hope to stretch my thinking in the classroom, and see how far I can push myself. I am usually a shy student, but my hope is that I can openly express my thoughts. I feel like we have already established a comfortable classroom environment, which emits a positive outlook on what is to come.

2. What do you want to explore deeper?
   I would like to explore what it will be like to be a new teacher, and what to expect in my first year. I expect to have many surprises and learning experiences, but I would hope to have an understanding of what is expected of me, and how to be the most effective first time teacher. I want to explore the best methods for teaching children, and the most effective way to convey the material to every student. I also hope to understand how to know each student individually, and how I can pick out their strengths and weaknesses to better their education. I believe this will be a very important aspect of teaching. I am excited to explore the topics in this class and hopefully better prepare myself in managing my own classroom one day!

Unit 1 Questions to Consider: Chapter 11


1. How might you enhance motivation and affect your students using the theories of motivation?
    I would incorporate multiple motivational theories in my classroom to try to push my students to their fullest potential. I believe that choice is important for a student to grow and learn. For example, I believe cognitive theories will enhance motivation by encouraging each student's creativity. i would encourage their strengths by asking questions that may spark their individualism and room for thought. I would let them know what is expected for a good grade, and what they can easily do to obtain a grade they want. I believe that giving a student a "choice" (whether it be an assignment, book, idea, game, etc.) at times will allow them to choose what they are more comfortable and excited about.
   Another theory I believe will enhance motivation is humanism. I would hope that as a teacher, I could get to know each of my students well enough to know what gets them going. I would give them opportunities to express themselves, alone, or in front of the class. I believe this will allow them to feel comfortable with me and their peers, and also feel valued and unique. Along with our class discussion about goals and Affective Domain, I think it would be fun to motivate my students by finding out their goals and what encourages them to do their best. Letting them know that they are working towards their goals in their school work, will hopefully push them to be avid learners.
   I would also hope to encourage parent involvement with their children and their work. Having a parent's approval of their work, and encouragement, will let a child know that multiple people receive satisfaction from their work.

2. Which theories of motivation are most helpful and instructive for you? 
   I believe the social cognitive skills work best for me in my adult years. As a young child, I did see the approval of my parents and teachers. It made me feel successful and proud whenever I would receive praise on my work. I tried to work my hardest to please others. On the other hand, it also made me happy to receive good grades. It was an important part of my life, and I think my parents knew that if I had that satisfaction as a young child, then I would also feel that as an adult. As a college student, I have become more motivated by myself. I give myself certain goals to meet, and without even having to think, I know that making good grades is a part of my expectations. I always strive to be the best I can be, and I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know that putting in hard work will result in good grades.