Thursday, October 18, 2012
When working with students who are English Learners, there can be a struggle in communicating what is being asked of them and what will be assessed. If the directions to a task are too complicated, the challenge may not be the task but understanding what the question is asking. In order to remedy this, students will be given "toolkits." These are booklets with definitions to subject area vocabulary, complete with examples and varying definitions for the students to fill out. Students will be able to customize their toolkits based on their own understandings and use them on assessments. Through this process students will be able to build up their academic vocabulary, learn to create usable definitions for their own thinking process, and focus on learning the skills necessary for a subject rather than the exact definitions for varying words. This will also get students in the habit of creating their own toolkits for vocabulary for other classes. They will be able to tie formal definitions, examples and any additional notes to help them with their individual learning needs.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Given that students require multiple forms of learning to help their brains grow, I create an environment where students can be mentally stimulated in multiple ways. This can be done through the use of music for transitions or during work time, stretch breaks, physical actions to remember vocabulary, picture reflection journals, etc. The purpose is to allow students various avenues of learning for their growth. Adolescents also require more specific direction and purpose and therefore when working through assignments and lessons, it will be important to work to develop students sense of perspective while creating tasks that are not based on deep understandings of perspective. Students are engaged in learning while they are working on assignments and focused by allowing students to make decisions regarding their own learning. Students will have their own personalities, needs and learning skills reflected in the activities. This then means that lessons require an understanding of students before details are established within the lessons.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
For the lesson I am designing the students will be required to represent their understanding of slope in various ways. To set up the assessment, students will be given the definition of slope, examples and equations of it. After taking notes the students will need to be able to write out their own understanding of slope. They must describe it in their own words, create examples on a graph, and identify it in an equation. This application of knowledge is at the advanced level with regards to applying "knowledge of language to achieve comprehension of...content areas." (ELD Standards, Reading Comprehension - Cluster 3) The student will also be working towards structuring "ideas and arguments in a given context by giving supporting and relevant examples." (ELD Standards, Writing Strategies and Applications - Cluster 2) The definition will not need to be a formal one, but rather a description to express their own understanding. The graphical example and equation will allow me to see if students are making the connections of slopes in the various forms they may encounter it.