Classroom and Student Characteristics Teacher Candidate: Sarah Baugher Date: October 17, 2008 Cooperating Teacher: Shelly Baerwald School/District



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Classroom and Student Characteristics

Teacher Candidate: Sarah Baugher Date: October 17, 2008

Cooperating Teacher: Shelly Baerwald School/District: Medical Lake High School

Grade: 12 Supervisor: N/A

Lesson Title: Button, Button
1. Classroom rules and routines that affect the lesson: This classroom has very little structure, and classroom rules and behavior expectations have not been discussed with the students. This affects the lesson in the sense that I must expect and plan for dealing with disrespectful behavior without reprimanding students or stopping the lesson.
2. Physical arrangements and grouping patterns that affect the lesson: The students are arranged in traditional rows with the teacher delivering the lesson at the front of the room. Though this makes it difficult for the instructor to interact equally with all students, it is easy for the students to arrange themselves into groups.
3. Total number of students: 30 Females: 14 Males: 16 Age Range: 17-18
4. Describe the range of abilities in the classroom: Most of the students perform below grade level in writing ability. About ten of the students perform at grade level, and two perform above.

5. Describe the range of socio-economic backgrounds of the students: These students are primarily middle-class. Only 17% qualify for free or reduced lunch programs. There are no students whose parents make enough to qualify them to be described as upper-class, and most students are solidly middle class.

6. Describe the racial/ethnic composition of the classroom and what is done to make the teaching and learning more culturally responsive: The classroom is primarily white. There is one African American student and two Pacific Islander students. As a general rule, there are no special modifications in the lesson to accommodate these three students.
7. How many students are LEP? One
8. Describe the range of native languages and what, if any, modifications are made for LEP students: One student speaks primarily Philippino, though he is fluent enough in English to not usually need special modifications. I have found that when I do lessons in English conventions, he needs to have them explained to him again on a one-on-one basis, which I do when most of the class is engaged in group work.
9. How many special education and gifted/talented students are in the class and what accommodations, if any, are made for them? There are no students in this class that have been identified as requiring and IEP or gifted/talented accommodations.
10. How many 504 students are there? What accommodations are made for these students? There are no students in this class that have been identified as having a physical limitation that affects their performance in the classroom.

11. Are there any additional considerations about the classrooms/students for which you need to adapt your teaching? There are several students in this class whom the other teachers and the students themselves have described as coming from very broken homes. Many students are extremely sensitive to any mention of abuse, and they become hostile when another student or teacher questions them regarding their home situation. As such, I avoid directly mentioning families, but I allow students opportunities to write about them during open-ended entry tasks.

There is also considerable hostility towards those of alternative sexual orientations among students in this classroom, and there is one student who is constantly referred to as “fag” by his classmates, though it has never yet been done in front of me. I do not know whether this student is homosexual or not, and I don’t think it matters. I don’t want to discuss it with the students because I don’t want to risk embarrassing the student in question, but I do wish to maintain a classroom atmosphere in which all students feel safe. If I had the opportunity, I would do this by establishing classroom behavior standards with the students, and I would allow the students themselves to come up with what they think are acceptable behaviors in the classroom.


Instructional Plan
Learning Targets
In this lesson, students will use journal-type writing to examine their feelings about money and what it means to them in the context of Richard Matheson’s short story “Button Button.” They will do so by determining the theme of the short story and do more free writing to determine whether or not they agree with the theme.
Essential Academic Learning Requirements
Reading EALR 2: The student understands the meaning of what is read.

Component 2.1: Demonstrate evidence of reading comprehension

GLE 2.1.3: Apply comprehension monitoring strategies during and after reading: determine importance using theme, main ideas, and supporting details in grade-level literary text.
Writing EALR 2: The student writes in a variety of forms for different audiences and purposes.

Component 2.2: Writes for different purposes

GLE 2.2.1: Demonstrates understanding of different purposes for writing.
Assessment Strategies
The students will turn in the two journals they write in the course of the class period. These two journals will be graded on a pass/no credit basis based on whether or not they completed a satisfactory volume of writing (about half a written page each). They will also complete a worksheet handed out by the teacher which assesses whether or not the students understand factual information about the story. This assignment will be worth ten points and will consist of five short questions of two points each.
Grouping of Students for Instruction

The students will do two journal entries: one at the start of class and one part way through instruction. These activities will be completed individually. The students will briefly share their reactions in small groups after the completion of each entry, followed by a whole-class discussion of what we observed.

Learning Experiences
Introduction: When the students come in, there will be the following journal entry prompt on the board: “What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want others to describe you?” The students will work on this question for ten minutes while the instructor completes house-keeping activities.
Learning activities: After the students share in small groups with each other for about five minutes, the teacher will facilitate a whole-class discussion about some of the things the groups observed that individuals help in common. The students will then spend about five to ten minutes reviewing the story (they will be expected to have read it the previous evening). The teacher will then post another journal entry question: What was the theme of the story? Do you agree or disagree? When is it acceptable to do something immoral for money? They will be given ten minutes to complete this second journal entry.
Closure: The students will again discuss their entries for five minutes, followed by a whole-class discussion for a few minutes. The teacher will at this time determine whether the students understand the theme of the story. The teacher will also give a short explanation that the value of money is not the same in every culture, and that in some societies the acquisition of money is actually dishonorable. The students will be given their homework assignment, which is the worksheet with the ten questions.
Instructional Materials
-Whiteboard

-Markers


-Enough copies for each student of “Button Button” by Richard Matheson

-Enough worksheets with the factual questions regarding the story

Name_________________________ Class__________ Date_______________

Answer each question in 1-2 sentences.

1. Was Arthur Lewis in favor of pressing the button? Support your answer with a quote from the text.

2. What did Norma do with the card that Mr. Steward gave her? Why?

3. How did Arthur die? Why do you think the author chose to have him die this way?

4. Is Mr. Steward right about Norma not knowing her husband? Support your answer with one quote from the text.

5. What do you think is the theme of the story? There are many right answers to this, so as long as you support your answer you’re good.

Name_________________________ Class__________ Date_______________


Answer each question in 1-2 sentences.
1. Was Arthur Lewis in favor of pressing the button? Support your answer with a quote from the text.

2. What did Norma do with the card that Mr. Steward gave her? Why?

3. How did Arthur die? Why do you think the author chose to have him die this way?

4. Is Mr. Steward right about Norma not knowing her husband? Support your answer with one quote from the text.



5. What do you think is the theme of the story? There are many right answers to this, so as long as you support your answer you’re good.

Instructional Plan Rationale
Learning Targets

  1. The learning targets of this lesson directly meet state learning requirements. They meet reading EALR 2 by demonstrating evidence of reading comprehension via the worksheet they must complete about the short story. The students determine what the theme of the story is and thus meet GLE 2.1.3. They also meet part of writing EALR 2 by demonstrating that they understand there are many purposes of writing. In this case, they understand that writing can be used to organize one’s thoughts and prepare them for more in-depth writing.
  2. The lesson on the short story is part of a larger unit on decisions and consequences. The students read several other short stories that chronicle the consequences of a certain decision. The culmination of this unit is a story that the students write. It must be a short story, either fiction or non-fiction, in which they describe a decision and the consequences of that decision.


  3. Part of the learning experiences in this lesson involves demonstrating that different cultures have different consequences for certain actions. During the whole-class discussion, the students will be asked to think about whether any of their families have different consequences for bad behavior. For example, how does each of the students’ families deal with lying?

  4. Because there are no 504 students and only one LEP student, little modification to this lesson is needed. I explained the lesson again to the LEP student while the rest of the class was working, and he had no difficulty understanding or completing the assigned material.


Assessment Strategies

  1. The writing portion of the lesson is not graded based on conventions or on length, so all students can succeed equally regardless of their individual abilities. When the students complete the worksheet, they will be allowed the opportunity to work in groups, thus ensuring that all students have a chance to understand and complete the material.

  2. One again, the lone LEP student will not be graded down based on lower writing ability, because the writing is not graded based on ability in this instance. During the whole class discussion, all students will have the opportunity to share what decisions and consequences mean to their cultures and families. This makes the lesson available and relevant to students of all cultural backgrounds.


Learning Experiences
  1. Once again, this lesson is responsive and available to students of all cultural backgrounds and does not penalize LEP students. This lesson can be understanding to gender differences, because it follows inevitably that students will discuss the differences in consequences between boys and girls for different decisions. The students may also discuss whether consequences are different for those of different SES, according to their interests.


  2. There are no 504 students in this class, so minimal accommodation is needed.

  3. Once again, students will have the opportunity to discuss what differences their respective cultures possess when it comes to determining the consequences for certain decisions.

  4. When the students discuss decisions and consequences with the whole class, the question will almost certainly arise: how do we as a society reconcile these cultural differences in determining consequences? How do we do it now? Do we do it well? What will we need to change?

  5. Working in self-chosen groups promotes a feeling of support among students, especially at this developmental level. At the same time, sharing what they discovered in their groups and allowing the class to discuss these insights creates a feeling of inclusiveness among all students.

  6. In order to complete the lesson, students must complete tasks at multiple levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. While students must demonstrate knowledge and understanding to learn the meaning of theme and how it applies in the story, they must also synthesize and evaluate by applying these principles to their own lives and thinking about how these principles might mean different things to members of other cultures, genders, language groups, and SES backgrounds.


Family Interactions

While I was not given the opportunity by my master teacher to interact with the families of my students, if I was given that opportunity, I would send home written correspondence. It would contain a recommendation to the parents to discuss decisions and consequences with their kids, and would explain the unit and the rationale. For a few nominal points, I would require that the letter be brought back signed by the parents. However, because I know that many students’ families are not supportive and it might be hard to get these correspondences signed, I would offer an alternative to these students, namely, to write a paragraph describing what decisions and consequences mean to them and what personal experience they’ve had with the consequences of a poor decision.




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