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.