Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sociocultural Aspects of Schooling for ELs

An issue that one of my EL students has is her teachers tend to only provide directions one way (verbally) and the teachers often speak pretty quickly. The student has a hard time being able to process verbal directions especially when it is being spoken quickly. I am guilty of doing this as well. She came up to me the other day in class after I explained an activity and she felt really lost. She didn't know what to do. I realized that was my fault. The action I am going to take is providing more clear and concise instructions and demonstrations. After I explain the activity, I am going to demonstrate the activity. So, at that point even though she may not understand my verbal directions, she may get a better idea of what to do after the demonstration. After the demonstration, I am going to check for understanding. Once I have students start the activity, I can work with her and re-explain or demonstrate the activity again to help her. I think the verbal directions and demonstrations help the entire class as well as my EL student.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Brain-based learning

My lesson design is based on helping students develop their pre frontal cortex. This area of the brain utilizes decision making, planning, and social interactions. In order to help improve this area, I make lessons that have students work in groups where they must make decisions to solve problems or develop strategies for a game. Students must plan to solve objectives, and students have to be able to interact with one another to complete the activities. During lecture we discussed good chemicals in the brain. Dopamine is one of those good chemicals. Dopamine helps information flow to higher levels of the brain. Some strategies to help boost dopamine are achieving challenges, physical activity, kindness, interacting well with peers. My lessons are designed to incorporate all of these strategies. Since it is a PE class, physical activity is very important. Lectures and instruction time are limited so that students have the optimal amount of time for learning and being physically active. My lessons provide students with progressions. Each progression adds more difficulty to them. This provides challenges for the students. Kindness and interacting well with peers go hand in hand. Teamwork is very important in physical education. I emphasize respect and providing affirmations to one another, which promotes a positive and safe learning environment. Lessons are designed to have students engage in team building activities. Also, respect and affirmations are built and emphasized in every lesson. My overall lessons are designed to access memory lanes through procedural and emotional memory. When a skill in physical education it is important to provide numerous repetitions. This allows the students to become more proficient at the skill. Each lesson has a lot of movement involved, which helps procedural memory. For emotional memory, I add music into the lessons. I will let students bring in their own head phones that they can listen to. I also bring in a lot of enthusiasm. One of my students always comments about how she has never seen any as excited as I am about PE. So, I know my students see my enthusiasm. According to the power point, a student's brain grows through active participation, physical activity, and repetition in a variety of ways. As you can see from the examples provided, I implement all of those in my lessons to help students learn. Students are actively engaged in the learning. As mentioned early, 90% of class time is dedicated for students to be engaged in activities that help them learn a variety of skills. Students begin in simple drills to start learning a skill, and then students are progressed in more challenging activities where they can apply the skill in game-like situations. It does no good in physical education to lecture about how to perform a skill. In order to learn the skill, students must practice it, and must be able to have enough time to get plenty of practice.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Management Plan

I added a preventive and corrective management strategies. The new strategies are in bold Management Plan Introduction My management plan is based on my educational philosophy of essentialism. I think it is important that students are provided with a positive and safe (both physically and emotionally) learning community where students are able to learn. That is why it is important to implement a variety of management strategies that will maintain that positive environment. I want students to develop a sense of belonging in the classroom. I plan on using cooperative discipline, synergistic, and positive classroom discipline to develop the students’ sense of belonging in the class. In physical education, it is vital that students get plenty of opportunities to practice the techniques and tactics in a variety of sports so that they can be proficient in those sports. It is important that there are management plans in place that allow classes to run smoothly, which allow for optimal amount of time for active engagement. The other strategies I plan on implementing are assertive, non-coercive, self-control, and discipline through inner control. Preventive Management 1. Preventive class management is a great way to develop a positive learning community and establish rules, routines, and expectations for the entire year. One way to prevent disruptive behavior is using the assertive approach, which establishes a set of rules, positive recognition, and corrective action (Canter, 1976). With this approach, I will select three to five rules that focus strictly on the expected behavior of students in the class. For example, one of my rules will be: respect students and the teacher by listening attentively while others are speaking. When students demonstrate this rule to me, I will positively praise them for following the rules. If students break the rules, there will be consequences. This fits my essentialist philosophy. I believe that classroom discipline is important because students need to learn how to live in a civilized society that has rules and consequences. 2. When it comes to making the rules, it is important that I emphasize rules that will highlight the core values of the school (Curwin & Mendler, 1983). Highlighting the core values of the school not only reflect what I believe student behavior should be, but also the faculty/staff and the parents of the students (Curwin & Mendler, 1983). The rules are made as a collective group to ensure a positive and safe learning community in the school as well as in the classroom. Once the rules have been explained, I will model the behaviors that I expect of the students. This is what is expected of an ideal essentialist. Teachers are expected to be good role models for their students (Grant & Gillette, 2006 pg. 320). Then, when rules are broken I will have consequences that never go against the core values. 3. I want students to develop a sense of belonging and have ownership in the class. This is done through developing classroom synergy with the students (Charles, 2000). I think it is important students get to make decisions about how the class should be organized. This includes developing rules for behavior. Once decisions are made, students agree on their decisions by signing a behavior contract. Charles, 2000 notes that once that has been established, teachers should immediately begin developing a sense of family in the class. There are many activities that I would implement in the beginning of the year that would have students working together through cooperation, communication, trust (emotionally and physically), and problem solving. 4. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, it is important that classes run smoothly because students need plenty of opportunities to practice the skills. Glasser, 1995 explains one way to ensure that classes run smoothly is to implement a quality curriculum that meets the students’ needs. This type of curriculum would include activities where there is enough equipment that each student is engaged and is not sitting out. The curriculum should also involve activities that students enjoy. 5. Once the rules have been established, the way to help students follow the rules is by implementing an incentive program (Jones, 1970). Every student should have the ability to earn rewards for the desired behavior. There are consequences for students who do not follow the rules, but there are usually no rewards for students who follow the rules. In order to support good behavior, students should be rewarded for it. The rewards can be something very simple from school supplies, lunch passes, etc. 6. Along with having students develop a sense of belonging in the class through classroom synergy (Charles, 2000) I want to establish a “working with” classroom environment that is centered on students’ underlying motives to help them develop positive values and an enjoyment for learning (Kohn, 1996). Some of the strategies that Kohn provided about a “working with” classroom environment are better suited for classroom teachers. However, there are a lot of strategies that I could use in my physical education class. For example, Kohn describes a learning center classroom as one where the teacher is constantly moving around so that it takes time for students to find them, students are constantly talking about activities, the teacher’s voice is respectful, genuine, and warm. Students are engaged in discussions and frequently ask questions. Also, there are different tasks going on at the same time. I have applied a lot of these strategies in my class, and I think they are valuable in creating a caring classroom. Supportive – 1. Reinforcing good behavior throughout the year is to help students to counter fear of making mistakes (Albert, 1996). It is important to explain to students that mistakes will be made, everyone is going to make them, you can learn from mistakes, and there will be mistakes made in every process. It is also valuable to explain to students that teachers make mistakes too. This is especially true in physical education. I told my students during the first week that P.E. is one of the hardest subjects because everyone is going to see how well you perform. It is much different in a classroom, students never have to know what another student got on a math test, but every student in your class will know how well you can perform physical activities. That can be very hard for students and they can face a lot of ridicule from the students who have a higher skill level. So, it is vital to explain to them that it is ok to make mistakes. 2. To help students continue to maintain appropriate behavior in the class, I will use the follow up structure (Kagan et al., 2004). There are four follow up structures to choose from. The first one is to establish new preventive procedures. The second one is to establish moment-of-disruption for the next disruption. The third is to implement a follow up structure. An example would be a same side chat. The last strategy is to offer training in a life skill. I think the first strategy is good because it has you reflect on past experiences. This gets you to think about what you can do to be better, rather than keeping the same procedure. This fits into my essentialist philosophy because if students are going to be functional members of society, they have to know what is appropriate behavior and what is not. If you support students’ positive behavior, students begin to understand that this is how they should behave. Then students will transfer this to being a positive and well-behaved member of society. 3. As mentioned earlier, students will have ownership in the class. So, a good way to make sure students are being held accountable for their behavior is to hold class meetings that discuss future activities and behavior (Kohn, 1996). These class meetings well help me determine if I need to improve the activities to engage students more. Also, the meetings can be a way to ensure students are being held accountable for the behavior. 4. To continue supporting appropriate behavior, it is important to consistently give positive praise to students who are demonstrating the positive behavior (Canter, 1976). The positive praise will increase students’ self-esteem, continue to encourage good behavior, and continue to build a positive classroom environment (Canter, 1976). I can provide positive praise in a variety of ways. I can encourage students to continue the behavior, I can say thank you for maintaining appropriate behavior. Along with that, I can send positive notes and phone calls home to the parents. 5. Another way to help support students is to provide individual students with sufficient help (Jones, 1970). If students are not clear on the rules or need further explanation I should clarify them. As an essentialist, students should have the basic knowledge of the rules. If students do not know the rules, they will not follow them. I can help students before, during, or after class to develop strategies that will help them improve their behavior. Corrective 1.One way to handle consequences is allowing for students to develop responsibility for their actions. Consequences are handled by applying the three R’s of reconciliatory justice: restitution, resolution and reconciliation (Coloroso, 1994). An example of this would be students have to realize what they did wrong, what they can do to improve this behavior, and reconcile with the people they harmed. 2. Along with Coloroso, 1994 idea of applying the three R’s of reconciliatory, I think it would be valuable to implement genuine apologies (Kagan et al., 2004). Genuine apologies consist of three parts: a statement of regret or remorse, statement of appropriate future behavior, and the request for the acceptance of apology. This puts the responsibility of the consequence in the student’s hands. Having the student write these down could be a way to make students establish a behavior contract. The contract would include the student agreeing to the appropriate behavior in the future as well as consequences if the rules are broken again. 3. When students misbehave and the teacher becomes irritated, the situation can become much bigger than it should be. Therefore, it would be good to discuss the misbehavior with the student later (Albert, 1996). Curwin and Mendler, 1993 also feel that allowing time for both parties to cool down before discussing the issue. Bringing up the issue later in the day or the next day, the student and I will be calmer. This will make for a more respectable and sensible conversation on how to resolve the misbehavior. 4. There needs to be consequences for broken rules. If there are no consequences students will continue to misbehave. That’s why I plan to implement the discipline hierarchy (Canter, 1976). Each time a student breaks the rules, the consequence increases in severity. For the first offense, the student will be warned for breaking the rule. For a second offense, the student will be placed on a two-minute timeout. The timeout must not be too long because I do not want to take away from their learning time. For a third offense, students will get a phone call home. Fourth offense, I will arrange for a parent teacher conference. For the fifth offense, student will go to the principal’s office. This aligns with the idea of essentialism. Rules and consequences are a huge part of society. Students have to learn and understand that rules are in place for a reason and if they are broken, there are consequences for it. 5. In more traditional procedures for discipline, there is usually a winner and a loser. I think a more appropriate way to handle discipline is the no-lose conflict resolution (Gordon, 1989). This provides a solution that will have benefits for both parties. I think this would work really well when students are getting into conflicts with one another. When both sides feel like they were treated equally, everyone benefits and behavior can be improved. 6. Throughout the year, there are going to be times when students make a mistake. Students might break one of the rules of the class. They may not turn their HW in on time, etc. It is important that students realize that it is ok to make mistakes. A strategy that I thought would help correct a misbehavior is allowing students to redeem themselves and correct their mistakes (Jackson, 2010). This goes along with the supportive idea from (Albert, 1996) when it is explained that it is important to support students when making mistakes. If we are to emphasize to students that it is ok to make mistakes, then when should not punish them for making them. Instead, allow students to make up for their mistakes in a way that will not alienate them or make them feel bad for making a mistake. One way to do that is find common ground between the teacher and student. The example provided in the text explained that a teacher had a student come into class early the next day with his HW with a snickers bar for arriving late to class and not having his HW. The candy bar was common ground between the student and teacher. It was also a tangible way for the student to redeem himself. Some teachers may find common ground with less tangible items (Jackson, 2010). Conclusion There are a variety of management plans. No one plan is better than the other. I think I would benefit as a teacher by picking and choosing certain aspects from each plan and trying to come up with one management plan. As an essentialist, I feel that it is important that students understand rules and why we have them in place not only in the classroom, but in society as well. They also have to learn to accept responsibility for their actions and accept the consequences. With that being said, there are a variety of strategies that represent different philosophies. As a educator, I think it is valuable to apply a variety of philosophies and not just the one you relate to the most. References 1. Albert, L (1996). Belonging and cooperation. Discipline through belonging, cooperation, and self-control. 93-99. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from the World Wide Web: 2. Canter, L., & Canter, M. (1976). Discipline through assertive tactics. Twentieth- Century Pioneers in Classroom Discipline. 65-69. Retrieved September 20, 2012 from the World Wide Web: 3. Charles, C.M., (2000). The synergistic classroom. Discipline through synergy and reducing causes of misbehavior. 245-262. Retrieved September 20, 2012 from the World Wide Web: 4. Coloroso, B (1994). Inner discipline. Discipline through belonging, cooperation, and self-control. 99-104. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from the World Wide Web: 5. Curwin, R., & Mendler, A. (1983). Discipline through with dignity. Discipline through dignity and hope for challenging youth. 168-172. Retrieved September 21, 2012, from the World Wide Web: 6. Glasser, W. (1985). Noncoercive Discipline. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from the World Wide Web: 7. Jackson, R.R. (2010). Start where your students are. Educational Leadership, 67 (5), 6-10. Retrieved October 12, 2012, from the World Wide Web: leadership/feb10/vol67/num05/Start-Where-Your-Students-Are.aspx 8. Jones, F. (1970). Positive classroom discipline. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from the World Wide Web: 9. Kagan, S., Kyle, P., Scott., S (2004). Authoritative input. Discipline through same- side win-win strategies. 151-165. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from the World Wide Web: 10. Kohn, A. (1996). Beyond discipline. Three bridges to twenty-first century discipline. 84-89. Retrieved September 20, 2012. from the World Wide Web: 11. Kohn, A (1996). What to look for in a classroom. Educational Leadership. 54 (1), 55-55. Retrieved October 12, 2012, from the World Wide Web: leadership/sept96/vol54/num01/What-to-Look-for-in-a-Classroom.aspx

Sunday, October 7, 2012

EDSS 555 Lesson Assessment

My lesson was designed around Early Advanced standard for listening and speaking - Participate and initiate more extended social conversations with peers and adults on unfamiliar topics by asking and answering questions and restating and soliciting information. The topics of the lesson were biomechanics and weight lifting. Students were unfamiliar with the topic. I used two formative assessments and one summative assessment. The first formative assessment I used was observation. Since the standard talks about students participating and initiating social conversations with peers and adults, I walked around and listened in on students conversations. I would ask students about the concepts that they were going over during the activity. Another formative assessment was having students think-pair-share the following questions: At which point during an exercise, were you performing an eccentric contraction, and at which point were you performing a concentric contraction? How do you know if it was eccentric or concentric? My summative assessment was a worksheet that students turned in at the end of class. The worksheet had students answer questions about the concepts they learned about during the class session.