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Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
Work sample first grade detective descriptives writing workshop tasha grant
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  • 1. Detective Descriptive’sWriting Workshop Topic: Descriptive Words Concept: Creativity and Expression By: Tasha Grant First Grade Writing Unit Winter 2008
  • 2. Table of Contents Chapter PageInstructional Setting………………………………………………… 1 3Family Communication Plan……………………………………….. 2 15Unit Rationale………………………...…………………………….. 3 18Unit Outline…………………………...……………………………. 4 21Assessment Plan……………………………………………………. 5 26Learning Plan……………………………………………………….. 6 46Lesson 1: Clicker Clues!.…………………………………………… 7 53Lesson 2: Tools of the Trade……………………………………….. 8 62Lesson 3: 100th Day Collections……………………………………. 9 80Lesson 4: Monsters, Monsters Everywhere!...................................... 10 87Lesson 5: Science Detectives……………………………………….. 11 93Lesson 6: The Mystery Begins……………………………………... 12 103Lesson 7: The Usual Suspects……………………………………… 13 108Lesson 8: Mrs. Gove‟s class, in the cafeteria, with the napkin…….. 14 111Post Assessment Data Display……………………………………... 15 117Assessment Analysis……………………………………………….. 16 124Summary of Student Growth………………………………………. 17 127Analytical Essay……………………………………………………. 18 141Resources…………………………………………………………… 19 145Appendix A: Pre-assessment Work Samples………………………. 20 147Appendix B: Formative Assessment Work Samples……………….. 21 156Appendix C: Final Performance Task Work Samples……………… 22 165 2
  • 3. Instructional Setting 3
  • 4. Part I: Community, School, and Classroom contextsCommunity: The school is located in a retirement community with a population of 34,237. The city islocated in the valley of the Rogue River and much of the community and its activities revolvearound this feature. The economy of the area was at one time based upon the timber industry buthas since diversified to include a mix of light manufacturing, secondary wood products, retailtrade, tourism, and recreation and service based industries. The climate in the area is mild; withtemperatures ranging from the mid 20‟s to high‟s right above 100. This mild climate and outdoorinspired living led the community to be featured in a national magazine as one of the top tenplaces to retire and since then the retirement population has boomed. This population boomfueled the expansion of the medical and retirement facilities in the valley. Another result of thesteadily increasing retirement population was an increase in housing prices to the point where theaverage family in the area cannot afford to purchase a home. The average home price in the areais $231,700 an increase of over 200% since 2000 when the average home sold for $111,200. Themedian household income is $37,400. The racial composition is as follows: White, non-Hispanic—90.1%; Hispanic—5.4%; Two or more races—2.9%; Native American—2.5%; otherrace—1.6% (total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted as other races).Based upon the information from the City-Data website, it is easy to conclude that thecommunity is not that diverse. The community is served by six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two highschools. For the past one and a half years the library has been closed due to lack of funding.This has put a burden on the community in many ways. A makeshift library was created this past 4
  • 5. summer as an effort by teachers in the valley to continue exposing the students to great literatureand the joy of reading. Thanks to the hard work of many community members, the libraryrecently reopened. Another resource in the valley is the vast population of retired people. Manytimes these folks are looking for opportunities to help out in the community and would love tocome to the school and be involved in reading with students.School Setting: The mission of the school is to create “a community dedicated to academic success,social responsibility, and the pursuit of lifelong learning.” The guiding principles are to providea caring environment that enhances self worth, guiding children to make responsible decisions,that each individual has unique talents, prepare students to appreciate and contribute to ourmulticultural, diverse, global society, set high standards, and that families are partners ineducation. The school has 17 classroom teachers, a P.E. teacher, a music teacher, a special edteacher, and a reading specialist for a total of 21 teachers. All of the teachers except the specialed teacher are female. The school has 390 students, 74% of whom qualify for free or reducedprice lunches. The racial composition of the school is as follows: 82% white, non-Hispanic;16% Hispanic; 2% American Indian; <1% Asian/Pacific Islander; <1% Black, not Hispanic.There is a slight difference in the racial composition of the school as compared to thecommunity. This difference is mainly between the White, non-Hispanic totals and the Hispanictotals. I believe that the cause of this discrepancy is the fact that the school is one of twoelementary schools in the district that has programs for ELL students. The school is alsorecognized as a Title I school, which means that the school receives additional funding to 5
  • 6. provide supplementary instruction in the areas of reading and math instruction for students. TheTitle I reading specialist and trained instructional assistants work with students both in individualclassrooms and in the reading room. A speech therapist visits the school on a regular basis towork with students who are referred for services. The child development specialist visits theschool several days a week to teach lessons on positive interactions and consult individually withstudents. The school day lasts from 8:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Students are given a 45 minute lunch,of which 15 minutes is allotted for eating and 30 minutes for recess. There is also a 10 minutemorning recess. Students also are out of the main classroom for music and P.E. They attend oneor the other every day. In the fourth grade students are given the option to participate in stringinstruments, and in fifth grade they can choose to play band instruments. These programs are inaddition to the regular music classes. The school is a Positive Behavior School (PBS). This means that the emphasis is oncreating proactive strategies to encourage positive school environments. Strategies used at thisschool include „Caught Slips‟ in which the teacher marks a box stating whether the behavior wasresponsible, respectful, safe, or for helping others. The slip then gets entered into drawings forrandom things, like books or lunch with the principal or teacher. Read at Home is a school wide program to encourage students to read at home everynight throughout the year. Each student chooses a book and takes it home where they read to anadult for at least 15 minutes each night. The adult then signs a slip that is returned with thestudent stating the book that was read and whether or not the student had trouble reading.Throughout the year students can earn classroom parties, t-shirts, and other prizes. 6
  • 7. One of my favorite features at this school is the morning announcements. After the mainannouncements and Pledge of Allegiance, the composer of the week is announced with a shortstatement about the composer or music. Then a five minute piece of classical music is playedover the intercom. I feel that this sets the mood for the rest of the morning.Classroom Setting: I am currently student teaching in a first grade classroom. There are 25 students rangingin age from six to eight years old. Three students are ELL students, and one of the ELL studentsis from a home with deaf/mute parents. One student is only in the class for a short time duringthe morning calendar/story time and in the afternoon for 30 minutes following lunch time,always with a special ed teacher or assistant. There are 10 girls and 14 boys in the classroom.The desks in the classroom are arranged in random groups around the room—four to a group.The classroom is controlled chaos. There is organization, but it is very difficult to see. Theteacher has been in the same classroom for some time (I believe for 9 years now). The daily schedule places a heavy emphasis on reading and math. The day begins withseatwork in the students‟ count-to-100 journal, and then the class moves to the carpet forcalendar time. Following calendar, a story is read to limit the reading instruction missed by thethree ELL students. The students then spend 90 minutes in a reading block before recess in themorning. After recess they spend 30 minutes writing in their journals and then the students go tolunch. After lunch the students have their „double dose‟ of reading instruction. The mostintensive students go to the reading room for another 35 minute lesson. Students in theclassroom spend the time working on grammar and spelling. After „double dose‟ the studentsthen move on to math. During the middle of math, students leave for P.E. or music (it depends 7
  • 8. on the day of the week) for 40 minutes. When they return to the room they spend several minutesfinishing math and then move to the carpet for sharing.Part II: Individual Learners and Adaptations Student One is a student who comes from a split household. Her mother is in prison andshe lives with her dad and grandmother as well as two brothers. She is slightly overweight anddoes not seem to have clothes that fit her properly. The clothes that she does have do not appearto be washed, and the CT has taken her jacket to be washed on one occasion. She is in theintensive group of readers. At the start of the year, she could recognize few letters and lettersounds. She attended kindergarten at the same school and would have been in the kinder-plus(five days a week instead of just two) class if she had better attendance. She seems to makeprogress as long as she makes it to class on time. She gets frustrated easily, especially whengoaded by other students. Student Two is one of three ELL students in the classroom. He is a well adjusted studentand is in the second highest reading group. He is currently working with the speech therapisttwice a week. In some instances he needs quiet to complete work and if the room is not quiet hegets frustrated and upset. He likes playing sports like football and soccer, which could signal thathe is a kinesthetic learner. He has recently been saddened by the fact that his dad has moved toTexas to find work. Student Three is a quiet student. He is in the intensive reading group and is makingsteady progress. He goes to the Title 1 room for instruction every day after lunch for half anhour. He always has a ready smile. He comes from a large family (he is one of eight children),although I believe he has only a few siblings at home. He speaks of visiting his brothers in a city 8
  • 9. two hours away. One of the subjects he was most looking forward to this year is math, eventhough he sometimes struggles. The next student is Student Four. Student Four is only in the classroom briefly during themorning routines. The rest of his day is spent in the special ed classroom. While he is in theclassroom, he always has an assistant with him. He has a difficult time paying attention andsitting still, and on a few occasions, trouble controlling his temper. His brain development is atabout a three year old level. The goal for Student Four is to increase his time spent in themainstream classroom. The rest of the students are reminded of how to model behavior forStudent Four, and it is amazing to see them acknowledge him when he is acting appropriatelyand ignore him when he is causing a disturbance. Student Five is another student in the most intensive group. She is currently undergoingassessment for learning disabilities. She has vision problems and requires her glasses for reading.At the beginning of the year she recognized just three letters and no letter sounds. She seems tohave difficulty with memory (per her mom, who is actively helping to diagnose what is causingStudent Five‟s difficulties). Twice a week she meets with a speech therapist. She is in the Title 1room during writing group for one on one instruction. She is an only child. Student Six is the son of one of the teachers at the school. He is a benchmark student andis happy to do his work. He recently moved to the highest reading group and is continuing to dowell. Every once in awhile he can get a little chatty and cause the students around him to get alittle rowdy. He is the oldest child in his family, with a new little brother on the way, and both ofhis parents are very involved in creating his success. 9
  • 10. Student Seven is a student from a large family. She is generally a happy student andrarely causes a disturbance. She is overweight and has mentioned that it is painful to sit criss-cross on the carpet in the morning. Although she works hard, she often struggles during reading.She is in the third highest reading group. Her family came to the open house and conferences. Student Eight is a shy student. He comes out of his shell when given responsibility.Lately he has been acting out at school. I believe this could be due to the fact that he recentlybecame a big brother. He has one older brother as well. His parents are divorced, and I believe helives with his father. In his journal he writes about his grandparents a lot. He is a student that is atbenchmark. Student Nine is an outgoing student who likes to be around her friends. She is atbenchmark and completes her work quickly as long as she is not distracted by her friends. Sherecently became a big sister for the second time and is enjoying it immensely. She completes herread-at-home while reading to her new little brother. Her mom volunteers in the classroom oncea week, and both of her parents are active in her education. Student Ten is an exceptional, hard working student. She works quietly and is rarely offtask. Her family seems like they are always on the go, and because of this she is about 25 booksbehind in the read-at-home program. She is in the second highest reading group. She likes to tellstories about her life and often talks about the horses her family races. Student Eleven comes from an interesting background. Both of his parents are deaf-mute,and a translator is brought in for conferences and open house nights. He learned to speak fromthe TV and his older sibling. He is quiet and most of the time has a difficult time followingclassroom instruction. He often seems confused by the directions and lost when writing in his 10
  • 11. journal. He is one of three students pulled out in the morning for ELL instruction. He is alsopulled out of the classroom twice a week for speech instruction. Student Twelve is one of the most interesting students in the classroom. He is anemotional guy who often has difficulty controlling his behavior. When upset and frustrated hewill often cry and cause a disruption in the class. He is in the intensive reading group, howeverhe reads quite well. There are two reasons he was placed in this group—It is a boost to hisconfidence and he does very poorly on the nonsense word fluency timed test that is one of theplacement indicators at this school. He does best with one on one interaction. I believe that this isdue to the fact he recently became an older brother after being the only child for six years. It wasrecently discovered that he will be a big brother again soon. He is especially volatile when inclose proximity to Student Seventeen. He likes to be moving around. Student Thirteen is in the highest reading group. She is more than willing to read toanyone who will listen. Her parents are highly involved in her education, and her mom is in theclassroom during writing several days a week. Student Fourteen is another student in the highest reading group. He is a happy studentwho excels at all tasks placed in front of him. His parents are not involved at school, althoughthey do seem to support his academics at home. Student Fifteen is a fun student who always seems to be moving in hyper-drive. She hasone speed and that speed is fast. She has a difficult time focusing if there is too much noise, soshe often uses noise blockers. Because she is distracted easily, she is often finishing worksheetsduring recess. She would be a very successful student if she could focus on finishing her work.She is currently in the third highest reading group. She is raised by her mom and I don‟t believe 11
  • 12. that her dad is involved in her life at this time. She is obsessed with superheroes, especiallyBatman. Student Sixteen is one of the quietest students in the classroom. He seems wary of adultsand does not want to let people into his world. He is in the most intensive reading group and ismaking progress, however he has little support at home. Student Seventeen is an engaging student. He is one of the most disruptive students inthe classroom and is on a behavior plan. Every day he takes a notebook home with a note to hisparents detailing his day. His parents are divorced but his time is split equally between the two(i.e. he may fall asleep at his mom‟s and wake up at his dad‟s). His attention has increasedsteadily since the beginning of the year. He is a benchmark student when he focuses oncompleting his work and not drawing in his notebook. Student Eighteen is a student who is more concerned with her extracurricular activitiesthan her schoolwork. Her family is very busy with activities for her older sister and her. Almostevery morning she has an excuse for why she has not done her read-at-home. She is close tostudent three and she helps whenever he is in the classroom. She is a benchmark student. Student Nineteen is an excellent student. She is supported by her parents who help her tosucceed. She seems to deeply ponder ideas and sometimes these ideas cloud her emotions. All ofthe girls want to be her friend and it can cause problems when all of the girls are crowded aroundher desk begging her to be their partner. Student Twenty is a sweet student who wants to increase his knowledge. He is in the topreading group and is one of the few students who chooses to read chapter books when given thechoice. When I asked him if he wanted to read to me he answered “Yes, I want to improve my 12
  • 13. reading so I can do better today.” He is close to his mom, with whom he lives. His dad is also inhis life, and they both work with him on his reading. Student Twenty-One is a student who loves music. Whenever music is playing in theclassroom he is moving to the beat. He is in the third highest reading group and often struggles.He talks about his mother frequently and I have only heard him mention his dad on a fewoccasions. Student Twenty-Two is a student who gets bored easily and does not like to follow therules. She is constantly wandering the room and needs direction to get back on task. She is one ofthe more advanced students in the classroom and I believe that she needs a more challengingenvironment. When she gets frustrated she will complain and throw a fit. She and her sister areraised by their father. She rarely gets to visit her mother (a week in the summer and several daysover Christmas vacation). Student Twenty-Three is a student who is happy to get his work done. He is in theintensive group for reading. He is raised by his dad and his grandparents. All of them came tothe open house with him, and they all seem to be happy just like the student. Student Twenty-Four is the third ELL student, and is the shyest student in the classroom.He struggles with worksheets but easily succeeds with a little help. He has a large family and Idon‟t believe that either of his parents speaks English. He can get emotional at times, and if hefeels that the work is too difficult, he will complain of a stomachache. 13
  • 14. Bibliography:http://www.city-data.com/city/Grants-Pass-Oregon.htmlhttp://www.greatschools.net/modperl/browse_school/or/491#from..Tab 14
  • 15. Family Communication Plan 15
  • 16. Dear First Grade Families, My name is Mrs. Grant and I am a student teacher in your son/daughters firstgrade classroom. This opportunity is the last step I will take before receiving myMaster of Arts Degree in elementary education from Southern Oregon University and I’mvery excited to be here at Riverside. I have been in the classroom observing and workingwith Mrs. Gove since the beginning of the school year and will be working with yourchild until the middle of March. The last two weeks of February I will begin teaching a unit on descriptive words.This writing unit will help your child discover how he or she can use descriptive words toenhance their writing. As the time nears, I will be sending home specific activities thatyou can do with your child to support this skill. Please feel free to contact me at anytime with any questions or concerns. Youcan contact me by phone at 218-0099, or by email at tashagrant8@hotmail.com. I’m looking forward to getting to work with you and your child in the upcomingweeks. We will have many wonderful experiences and opportunities to learn and grow inthe days ahead.Sincerely,Mrs. Grant 16
  • 17. Dear First Grade Families, These past two weeks I taught my work sample unit on descriptive words toyour child. The kids had a blast learning how to enhance their writing, and I had ablast watching the connections being made in their brains! The students participated in several projects over the past two weeks. They createdtheir own “Descriptive Word Dictionary” full of words to describe shapes, colors, sounds,smells, tastes, and textures. They also got to “get their hands dirty” when we examinedrocks, sand, and gemstones. The students’ final project was to write clues aboutthemselves. I put these clues together into a book that we read as a class. They werevery excited to see their pictures and guess who wrote each clue. If you would like to discuss your child’s results from this unit, please feel free tocontact me at anytime with any questions or concerns. You can contact me by phone at218-0099, or by email at tashagrant8@hotmail.com.Sincerely,Mrs. Grant 17
  • 18. Unit Rationale 18
  • 19. Writing is a form of communication that can convey many thoughts and ideas. It isimportant for a good writer to use descriptive words in their writing. This allows the reader toform a picture in their head based on the writer‟s description. In this unit on descriptive words Iwill teach the first graders the importance of using descriptive words in their writing. Expression and creativity will be explored as students develop their understandings ofadjectives and how these types of words can enhance writing. Creativity in writing is animportant concept for students. As this concept develops, the students will begin expanding theirword choice and expressing themselves in a more fluid way. These concepts are important for students so that they may become successful writers. Asthese skills develop, their writing will become more interesting to read. This will fuel thestudents‟ desire to write more stories. As this desire increases it will encourage the student tobecome a better reader with a larger vocabulary so that they may continue to write more stories.Students will expand their knowledge of diversity as they study descriptive words. Literature willbe incorporated into the unit that will show students the many ways descriptive words can beused. Special emphasis will be put on the descriptive words that are used to describe the differentcharacteristics of people. Whether a person is big or small, short or tall, this unit will emphasizehow every person is special for many reasons. The enduring understandings of this unit show students how communication caneffectively be used. At this point in the year students have been writing daily in their journal forfour days a week. The writing is developing, but there are few if any descriptive words used. If astudent is choosing to describe an object, the word choice is most often limited to describing the 19
  • 20. objects color. However there are many different ways an object can be described and this idea iswhat students will discover throughout the course of the unit. My unit design reflects my personal philosophy of education. I will utilize my love oftechnology for the first lesson to fully engage the students in the unit. From there I will leadstudents on an adventure to discover how descriptive words can enhance our writing. I believethat students will learn best when presented with a project that relates directly to their lives. Inthis unit, students will be working together on a project that relates to the Positive BehaviorSystem in place at the school. 20
  • 21. Unit Outline 21
  • 22. Detective Descriptive’s Writing Workshop Topic: Descriptive Words Concept: Expression Grade Level: 1st gradeFocus StandardsStandards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas, including relevant examples, facts, anecdotes, and details appropriate to audience and purpose that engage reader interest; organize information in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas, sentences, and paragraphs; and use precise words and fluent sentence structures that support meaning. Standard: Writing Benchmark EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.Knowledge Skills*Vocabulary: learn different adjectives and *Evaluate and edit writing to includedescriptive words to use when writing descriptive words*Placement of descriptive words in *Communicate using descriptive words insentences writing*Word choice—when to use which word to *Support main ideas with descriptivemake the most sense wordsImplied or Stated Understandings/Big Ideas*Descriptive words help the reader to create a picture of a person, place, or thing*Focused descriptions support the main idea*A variety of words is the key to making writing interestingStandards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Write narrative, expository, and persuasive texts, using a variety of written forms—including journals, essays, short stories, poems, research reports, research papers, business and technical writing—to express ideas appropriate to audience and purpose across the subject areas. Standard: Writing Applications: Expository Writing (K-3) 22
  • 23. Benchmark EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or event using words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.Knowledge Skills*Vocabulary: words that describe how *Use the five senses to describe objects,something looks, feels, smells, tastes, or people, places, or eventssounds *Express ideas*Five senses: touch, taste, hear, smell, seeImplied or Stated Understandings /Big Ideas*Words can appeal to our senses*Descriptive words should be used in all of our writingStandards: Science Common Curricular Goal: Understand structure and properties of matter Standard: Matter Benchmark SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.Knowledge Skills*Physical properties—weight, size, color, *Analyze objects based upon physicaltexture propertiesImplied or Stated Understandings /Big Ideas*Every object has physical propertiesStandards: Career Related Learning Common Curricular Goal: Develop skills to assess personal characteristics, interests, abilities, and strengths. Standard: Career Development Benchmark 1: Demonstrate career development skills in planning for post high school experiences.Knowledge Skills*Positive characteristics people can have *Identify positive characteristics in self.Implied or Stated Understandings /Big Ideas*Self assessment (using descriptive words) can build self esteem. 23
  • 24. Support StandardsStandards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas using oral, visual, and multi-media forms in ways appropriate to topic, context, audience, and purpose; organize oral, visual, and multi-media presentations in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas and elements; use language appropriate to topic, context, audience, and purpose; and demonstrate control of eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, inflection, gestures, and other non-verbal techniques. Standard: Speaking Benchmark EL.01.SL.05: With guidance, use descriptive words when speaking about people, places, things, and events.Standards: Mathematics Common Curricular Goal: Patterns and Functions: Understand patterns, relations, and functions. Standard: Algebraic Relationships Benchmark MA.01.AR.01: Sort and classify objects using one or more attributes by observing relationships.Standards: Arts Common Curricular Goal: Apply the use of ideas, techniques and problem solving to the creative process and analyze the influence that choices have on the result Standard: Create, Present, and Perform Benchmark AR.03.CP.02: Explore aspects of the creative process and the effect of different choices on one‟s work.Standards: Career Related Learning Common Curricular Goal: Select and use appropriate communication strategies in family, school, community, and workplace settings. Standard: Communication Benchmark 1: Demonstrate effective communication skills to give and receive information in school, community, and workplace.Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that:  Communication is enhanced through the use of descriptive words.  All objects can be described.  A good description helps readers visualize what the writer is describing.  Descriptions that include the five senses help the writer to express ideas and immerse the reader into the story.  Descriptive words captivate and engage the audience.Essential Questions:  How do descriptive words make our writing better? 24
  • 25.  Do we have to use descriptive words in our writing?  What can be considered a descriptive word?  What makes writing great?Task Analysis:Students will know:  Words that can be used to describe the five senses (taste, look, feel, smell, and sounds)  Words that can be used to describe physical properties (weight: heavy, light; colors; size (large, small); texture (smooth, rough)  That descriptive words come before the noun in the sentence (the blue cat; the smelly garbage)Students will be able to:  Choose effective words to convey the description  Evaluate and edit writing to include descriptive words  Read a description and then choose the picture to match  Think critically about their writing  Describe themselves using self assessmentStudents will understand the following Big Ideas:  A variety of words is the key to making writing interesting  Self assessment (using descriptive words) can build self esteem.  Every object has physical properties  Descriptive words should be used in all of our writing  Words can appeal to our senses  A variety of words is the key to making writing interesting  Focused descriptions support the main idea  Descriptive words help the reader to create a picture of a person, place, or thing 25
  • 26. Assessment Plan 26
  • 27. Final Performance Task: GRASPSImagine that you are a detective. Several students around Riverside School havebeen seen performing good deeds, but nobody caught a good enough glimpse ofthese students to determine who will receive the caught slip. In each instance ablurry picture was taken of the student. The teachers and staff have narrowed downthe students and think they are all from a specific classroom: room #7, Mrs. Gove‟sclass. It is your job to write a description of yourself to aid in the investigation.After every description is finished, the class will work together to determine whowas “caught being good”. 27
  • 28. GRASPS Students will effectively use descriptive words to create a selfGoal: description. You are a detective gathering clues to help solve the mystery. You willRole: attempt to discover which students were „caught being good‟ around the school.Audience: The teachers, staff, and your classmates at Riverside. Around the school, several good deeds have been performed but no one knows who did it. Brief glimpses of these special students have led theSituation: teachers to believe that the students are from this classroom. The teachers want to discover who these special students are so that they can reward the students with “caught slips” for their actions. You need to write a description of yourself that includes at least threeProduct, clues to your identity. These clues need to include a description of yourPerformance, and appearance (how you look) as well as a description of your personalityPurpose: (how you act). Once all of the descriptions are completed we will work together to name the student that the clue is describing. Your description should include: At least two clues about your appearance--remember to be specific! At least one clue about your personality. Are you always happy, serious,Standards and quiet? Include it in your description!Criteria for Success: A description of what and where you were “caught” around the school. You will be expected to collaborate with your classmates and use the clues provided to make decisions. 28
  • 29. Final Performance Task Rubric Descriptive Word Self Description “Caught” Clues Choice Clues Description Clues ParticipationScore3 Description Description Student clearly Always stays includes obvious includes 3 or more described what they standing if clue details like hair and clues about the were “caught” applies to self eye color and not so identity of the doing, including and/or sits down if obvious details, like student. where it happened. clue does not apply. personality description.2 Description Description Student included Sometimes stays includes only includes 2 clues that they were standing if clue obvious details like about the identity of caught but did not applies to self hair and eye color. the student. include details. and/or sits down if clue does not apply.1 Description lacks Description Student did not say Never stays clear identifying includes 1 clue they were caught in standing if clue details about the about the identity of the clues. applies to self student. the student. and/or sits down if clue does not apply. 29
  • 30. Prior Knowledge InventoryWriting samples—Students will complete a writing sample about an object. The object will beplaced at the front of the class, so that every student is writing about the same object. I will tellthe students to describe this object so that somebody who couldn‟t see it would be able to draw apicture of the object. Through this assessment, I want to know how students are usingdescriptive words in their writing currently. I want to know the type of words students use,whether or not the students are placing the words in the correct place in the sentence, andwhether or not they are choosing the best words for their description. This assessment will helpme to determine which students will need the most help in the writing groups. It will alsouncover potential misunderstandings about descriptive words (either the types of words that aredescriptive or the placement of these words in the sentence). At the end of the unit, I will havestudents repeat this process and then compare their two descriptions. This will show them howthey have improved over the two weeks and help them to build their confidence in their writingabilities.Word choice—This pre-assessment will see students choosing the descriptive words from a listof grade appropriate words at my desk on a one-on-one basis. I will go through and highlight thewords the students know as descriptive words at this time. As a modification, for some students Iwill be reading the list of words. This assessment will help me to determine each student‟scurrent vocabulary of descriptive words. It will also help me to determine if there is a certaintype of descriptive words that I do not need to touch on (such as colors). I will use this same listat the end of the unit to determine what the students have learned over the course of the unit.What’s in the bag?—I will ask the students (on an individual basis) to feel an item in a bag andthen describe the item to me. I will record the words each student uses on a list. This will show 30
  • 31. me the student‟s skill in easily creating a description of an item. It will also assess the vocabularythe student possesses.Formative AssessmentsDescriptive word dictionary—Students will create a dictionary of descriptive words. It will beorganized into several sections. This dictionary will show what words students are learning andbecome a tool that they can use in their everyday writing. I will be looking for a developingknowledge of descriptive words.100th day collection clues—Every student will bring a collection of 100 items (all of the sametype) to school. They will then write descriptive clues about the items and have the otherstudents try to guess which collection is theirs. The students will be asked to write three cluesabout the item. Students will assess the quality of the clues as they are trying to determine whichclues describe which collection. This will show me if the skills of each student are increasing asthey learn more about descriptive words.Pre-write graphic organizers—Students will fill in a bubble graphic organizer aboutthemselves. Each bubble will have a different feature about themselves that they will write aboutin their final performance task.Summative AssessmentFinal performance task—Imagine that you are a detective. Several students around RiversideSchool have been seen performing good deeds, but nobody caught a good enough glimpse ofthese students to determine who will receive the caught slip. In each instance a blurry picturewas taken of the student. The teachers and staff have narrowed down the students and think theyare all from a specific classroom: room #7, Mrs. Gove‟s class. It is your job to write a descriptionof yourself to aid in the investigation. After every description is finished, the class will work 31
  • 32. together to determine who was “caught being good”. Each description will need to include atleast three physical features and one personality descriptor.Writing samples—Students will re-write about the same object that they wrote about for thepre-assessment. This will show me how their descriptive writing abilities have improved over thecourse of the unit. It will also allow students to see how their writing has improved.Word choice—Students will be assessed to see how many more words they can choose from thelist compared to at the beginning of the unit. 32
  • 33. Stuffed cow the students‟ wrote about:Contents of the paper bag:Ribbon, mint tin, post-it note, spoon, rock, seed starter-dehydrated dirt, dried cranberries,chocolate chips, magnet, plastic baggie, duct tape (sticky side out) 33
  • 34. Descriptive Word Checkhard Cat shiny pink shoebasket Soft book dull bigcandy Blue body sour roundfish Sweet seed dog housered Fast picture sticky roughhot Ball purple bat pillow 34
  • 35. Detective Descriptive’s Dictionary of descriptive words 35
  • 36. Smells 36
  • 37. Tastes 37
  • 38. Sounds 38
  • 39. Textures 39
  • 40. Colors 40
  • 41. Shapes 41
  • 42. Emotions 42
  • 43. Sizes 43
  • 44. My 100 Collection1.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________2.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________3.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________4. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________5.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 44
  • 45. Details WebFill out this details web to help you organize your ideas. 45
  • 46. Learning Plan 46
  • 47. Learning ObjectivesPre-lesson: Pre-write about a stuffed cow, descriptive word choice, and „what‟s in the bag‟activity.Tuesday, February 17thLesson 1: Clicker Clues!Using Turning Point and the clicker technology, I will read several short sentences about mydog, with the students trying to choose which dog is mine from a series of photos of differentdogs. The first sentence will be “my dog is cute.” Next sentence will be a little bit moredescriptive, and so on. After the slideshow, we will have a discussion about what descriptivewords are and why they are needed in our writing.Objective 1: The students will identify the descriptions in the slideshow, through use of theclicker technology, that allow them to determine the answer to the question “which dog is mydog?”Objective 2: Students will share with a classmate the different types of descriptive words thatthey know.Instructional Strategies:TechnologyBrainstorming and DiscussionStandards being addressed:SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.Modifications/Adaptations:  Use Turning Point chart to make sure every student is participating.  Read questions aloud so that every student has the opportunity to understand question.  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to classWednesday, February 18thLesson 2: Tools of the TradeIn this lesson students will create a “toolbox” of descriptive words that they can refer tothroughout the unit. After creating the dictionary, students will use the new words in their dailywriting journal.Objective 1: Students will create an 8 page dictionary of descriptive words (under the headings:smells, tastes, sounds, textures, colors, shapes, looks, sizes) with at least 3 descriptive words perpage.Objective 2: Students will write in their journal and highlight all of the descriptive words in theirwriting. 47
  • 48. Instructional Strategies:BrainstormingGames: Word sortsStorytellingVisualsCooperative learningStandards being addressed:EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or eventusing words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.Modifications/Adaptations:  Pair students who have difficulty reading with students who can help them out.  Repeat directions as needed.  Spend extra time with groups that are not getting it.  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to classThursday, February 19thLesson 3: 100th day CollectionStudents will bring a collection of 100 items to school in a paper bag and then will write three tofive clues about their collection. The students will then share their clues with the whole class.Objective 1: Students will be able to describe their collection using three to five different typesof descriptive words in their journal.Objective 2: Students will listen to their classmates‟ clues and then using the clues make a guessabout what kind of item is being described.Instructional Strategies:VisualsWriting and journalsStandards being addressed:EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or eventusing words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.EL.01.SL.05: With guidance, use descriptive words when speaking about people, places, things,and events.Modifications/Adaptations:  Have starter prompts available for writing the clues: My objects are… or My 100 collection has…  Work one on one with students as needed. 48
  • 49.  Special attention: EW and RG. Make sure these two are on task.  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to class.Friday, February 20thLesson 4: Monsters, Monsters Everywhere!I will read a description of a monster one sentence at a time and have students take the time todraw what I have read. After the entire monster is done, students will walk around the room in aconga line to look at every picture. We will have a discussion about how all the monsters lookeddifferent.Objective 1: Students will be able to construct a drawing using pencil and crayon on white paperthat corresponds to the description read out loud.Objective 2: Students will compare and contrast the different drawings in a whole classdiscussion.Instructional Strategies:Drawing and ArtworkMovementStandards being addressed:EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or eventusing words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.EL.01.SL.05: With guidance, use descriptive words when speaking about people, places, things,and events.Modifications/Adaptations:  Repeat the instructions for creating the monster as needed.  Have a written set of instructions posted on screen.  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to class.Monday, February 23rdLesson 5: Science DetectivesStudents will make observations and use student-made rules to build an understanding of solidearth materials (rocks, sand, and gemstones).Objective 1: Students will create rules to sort and classify the different earth materials.Objective 2: Students will be able to describe the different earth materials on a graphic organizer.Objective 3: Students will write two to three sentences about one of the materials from theirgraphic organizer, highlighting the descriptive words that they have used.Instructional Strategies:Brainstorming and DiscussionGraphic Organizers 49
  • 50. Manipulatives, experiments, labs, and modelsCooperative LearningStandards being addressed:MA.01.AR.01: Sort and classify objects using one or more attributes by observing relationships.SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.Modifications/Adaptations:  Monitor RG to make sure he is completing work  Monitor frustration level of EW. Partner with helper if needed (EC or TT are good partners for him.)  Ask questions to groups as needed: What color? How does it feel in your hand? How big or little is it?  Provide starters for writing (My rock is… or The gem has… or The sand is…)  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to classTuesday, February 24thLesson 6: The Mystery begins…Students will be told that several kids in our classroom have been seen around school beingespecially respectful, responsible and helpful. The teachers who saw these actions did not get aclear look at the student, but they really want to find out who it was so that the student can getthe caught slip. Each student will have to write a self description to aid in the investigation. Toget started, each student will create a graphic organizer today. After the graphic organizer iscomplete students will start writing about themselves.Objective 1: Students will complete a graphic organizer listing four or more different detailsabout themselves.Objective 2: Students will apply the information gathered in their graphic organizer to the firstdraft of their self description.Objective 3: Students will identify the descriptive words that I have used in the sample by raisingtheir arm whenever I read a descriptive word.Instructional Strategies:Graphic OrganizersWriting and JournalsVisualsProject-based learningStandards being addressed:EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or eventusing words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.Modifications/Adaptations: 50
  • 51.  Monitor RG‟s work to make sure he is completing the graphic organizer and writing. Partner him with classroom helper if needed. If he finishes, he earns a couple of minutes drawing.  Check with EW periodically to gauge frustration level. Partner him with classroom helper if needed.  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to classWednesday, February 25thLesson 7: The Usual Suspects…Students will be learning about adjectives that can be used to describe their personalities. Theywill continue writing their descriptions of self.Objective 1: Students will identify the words in the read-a-loud story that are descriptive of thecharacters during class discussion.Objective 2: Students will edit their writing from the previous day to include at least 4descriptive words.Instructional Strategies:Brainstorming and DiscussionStorytellingWriting and JournalsProject-based learningStandards being addressed:Standard: Career DevelopmentBenchmark 1: Demonstrate career development skills in planning for post high schoolexperiences.EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or eventusing words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.Modifications/Adaptations:  Monitor RG‟s work to make sure he is completing the writing. Partner him with classroom helper if needed. If he finishes, he earns a couple of minutes drawing.  Check with EW periodically to gauge frustration level. Partner him with classroom helper if needed.  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to classThursday, February 26thLesson 8: Mrs. Gove‟s class, in the cafeteria, with the napkin…Students will reveal their clues and the students will work together to decide which kids werecaught being good around school.Objective 1: Students will read the typed version of the other students‟ descriptions in front ofthe class. 51
  • 52. Objective 2: Students will solve the mystery of the students „caught being good‟ by listening tothe descriptions being read.Instructional Strategies:Project-based learningRole playsVisualization and guided imageryStandards being addressed:EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or eventusing words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.EL.01.SL.05: With guidance, use descriptive words when speaking about people, places, things,and events.Modifications/Adaptations:  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to class  Monitor RG and EW‟s carpet time behavior. If needed give them jobs (holding up the pictures) or remove to desk.  I will help students who have a difficult time reading the other student‟s self descriptions.  I will walk around the room to help students fill out the self evaluation. 52
  • 53. Lesson 1: Clicker Clues!Grade Level: 1Subject areas: WritingMaterials needed:Turning Point Software and ClickersComputerProjectorScreenPowerPoint presentation: My DogPart 1: RationaleFocus and purpose:The purpose of this lesson will be to introduce descriptive words and the importance of thesewords in our writing.Objectives:Students will be able to:  Identify the descriptions in the slideshow, through use of the clicker technology, that allowed them to determine the answer to the question “which dog is my dog?”.  Share with a classmate the different types of descriptive words that they already know and use.State Content Standards:Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas, including relevant examples, facts, anecdotes, and details appropriate to audience and purpose that engage reader interest; organize information in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas, sentences, and paragraphs; and use precise words and fluent sentence structures that support meaning. Standard: Writing Benchmark EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.Standards: Science Common Curricular Goal: Understand structure and properties of matter Standard: Matter Benchmark SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical propertiesAssessments:PowerPoint clicker responsesObservations of students 53
  • 54. Selection of Instructional Strategies:  Technology: I will be using the clicker technology because the students get really involved when using the clickers and it is easy for all students to participate, no matter their level.  Brainstorming and Discussion: This strategy will help students construct their own meaning of descriptive words in a way that makes the most sense in their own mind.Modifications and adaptations:  Make sure to partner students who have a difficult time staying on task are partnered with a peer who will keep them on task. Students to keep an eye on: Rylin, Ethan, Trinity, Maizy.  Repeat directions individually as needed.  Use Turning Point chart to make sure every student is participating.  Read questions aloud so that every student has the opportunity to understand question.Part 2: ProcedureConcept or rule to be discovered: Descriptive words are important to use in our writing.Open 10:15 1. Students participate in slideshow where they are voting on which dog10 minutes is my dog. Each slide will show a sentence that is a little more descriptive about my dog and then each student will choose which dog they think is mine. After each guess we will look at how the class answered-more specifically, did they all choose the same dog, or was it all random?Body 10:25 2. Have students come sit on carpet. Write a sentence from slideshow on5-8 minutes the white board. Read each sentence to the kids and have them turn to a friend and tell the friend which word in the sentence told them which dog to pick. Regroup after each sentence and have kids share which word they chose. Underline this word in the sentence. Continue with all of the sentences from the slide show. 3. Tell students that each of the words that we have chosen to underline is a type of word called “descriptive words” or “adjectives”. This means that these words can be used to make a noun (person, place, or thing) or event more specific.Close 10:30 4. Students will write in their journals about a topic of their choice. They15-20 will be encouraged to go into greater detail about their topic.minutesPart 3: Resources 54
  • 55. 55
  • 56. 56
  • 57. 57
  • 58.  I have a dog. My dog is big. She is fluffy. She isn‟t spotted. Her fur is all the same color. She has pointy ears. Her fur is golden. 58
  • 59. 1st Vote: 2nd Vote: 3rd Vote: 4th Vote: 5th Vote: 6th Vote: Final Vote:1st Vote: 2nd Vote: 3rd Vote: 4th Vote: 5th Vote: 6th Vote: Final Vote:1st Vote: 2nd Vote: 3rd Vote: 4th Vote: 5th Vote: 6th Vote: Final Vote:1st Vote: 2nd Vote: 3rd Vote: 4th Vote: 5th Vote: 6th Vote: Final Vote:1st Vote: 2nd Vote: 3rd Vote: 4th Vote: 5th Vote: 6th Vote: Final Vote:1st Vote: 2nd Vote: 3rd Vote: 4th Vote: 5th Vote: 6th Vote: Final Vote: 59
  • 60. Part 4: Reflection After overcoming several technical difficulties, this lesson was a success! I had planned to use theTurning Point software and the clickers to have the students vote on which dog they thought was mine.However, when I transferred the slide show from my computer to the classroom computer, the slideshowwas just a black screen on every slide. Luckily I had planned for this eventuality. I had created a basicslide show with just three screens instead of the ten that I had originally planned on (see the resourcesection). I had also typed up the statements that I wanted the students to vote on, as well as creating a slipof paper for the students to record each vote. The slip of paper for voting worked even better than usingthe clicker. This is because students could see how their voting changed as the description got morespecific. The students were engaged from the beginning. I believe that this is because I often tell storiesabout my dog in my journal examples that I share with the students. As I monitored the classroom, Inoticed that all of the students were actively participating in the voting. After all the voting wascomplete, students were able to choose which words in the statements were most helpful in making thedecision about which dog was mine. This led into a discussion about descriptive words very nicely. There are several things I would change if I were to teach this lesson again. The first thing wouldbe to make sure that the students were voting in pen or marker. I noticed that after hearing the final clue,students were changing their previous guesses to all match the final guess. It would be more beneficial tothe students to be able to see their first vote as compared to the final vote when discussing the statementsand the descriptive words. The second thing I would change would be to spend a little more timediscussing the different rounds of voting and comparing the different votes. This would have been easilypossible using the Turning Point system, but the low-tech version made this more difficult. It would havebeen nice to have a visual representation of each round of voting (as well as incorporating math into thislesson). My CT also made a great suggestion for the journal writing portion of the lesson. She said itwould be good for the students to go back and highlight the descriptive words in their writing. I plan onincorporating this into the students‟ future writing in this unit. 60
  • 61. I know that students met the objectives through my observations and their responses during theclassroom activity. The students were able to determine—with 100 percent accuracy—which dog wasmine. They also shared with a friend what words helped them make a choice when they were voting. Iheard responses of „fluffy‟, „golden‟ fur, and „pointy‟ ears. One student responded that the word “dog”helped her to make the choice, and we were able to discuss why this wasn‟t the best choice (the dog is thenoun, every choice possible was a dog). I was left with questions about the voting. If I had been able to graphically represent the votes,would this have helped students to better understand how the descriptive words in the statements made iteasier to vote on the correct dog? 61
  • 62. Lesson 2: Tools of the TradeGrade Level: 1Subject areas: Writing/VocabularyMaterials needed:24 “Detective Descriptive‟s Dictionary of Descriptive Words” booklets1 box filled with items of different textures1 box filled with cotton balls dipped in different smells, kept in Ziploc bags1 box filled with items of different tastes1 box filled with items that make different sounds1 box filled with items of different sizes1 box filled with items of different shapes1 box filled with pictures of people showing different emotions1 box filled with crayons of different colors3x5 cards for each box with the descriptive words for students to match to the items6 different mad-lib style storiesPart 1: RationaleFocus and purpose:Students will expand their vocabulary of descriptive words and create a dictionary of differentwords that they will be able to use in their writing.Objectives:Students will be able to:  Create an 8 page dictionary of descriptive words (under the headings: smells, tastes, sounds, textures, colors, shapes, looks, sizes) with at least 3 descriptive words per page.  Write in their journal and highlight all of the descriptive words in their writing.State Content Standards:Standards: Science Common Curricular Goal: Understand structure and properties of matter Standard: Matter Benchmark SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Write narrative, expository, and persuasive texts, using a variety of written forms—including journals, essays, short stories, poems, research reports, research papers, business and technical writing—to express ideas appropriate to audience and purpose across the subject areas. Standard: Writing Applications: Expository Writing (K-3) 62
  • 63. Benchmark EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or event using words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.Assessments:Descriptive Word DictionaryHighlighting in journalSelection of Instructional Strategies:  Brainstorming: This strategy lets students‟ work together to build their vocabulary of descriptive words.  Games—Word sort: This strategy will have students matching a descriptive word with an item that visually represents the word. This will help students make the connection between the item and the word that describes it.  Storytelling: This strategy will reinforce the idea that descriptive words are meant to be used in our writing, while giving students examples of how this can be done.  Visuals: Students will examine the items in the boxes to make connections to the words that describe the items.  Cooperative learning: This strategy is important because it helps students learn from the peers and learn to work together in groups.Modifications and adaptations:  Pair students who have difficulty reading with students who can help them out.  Repeat directions as needed.  Spend extra time with groups are not getting it.Part 2: ProcedureConcept or rule to be discovered: Students will build their vocabulary of descriptive words inthis lesson.Open 10:15 1. Students will be sitting on the carpet and I will bring out the boxes of5 minutes items. I will demonstrate how the stations will work, with help from student volunteers. 2. I will demonstrate with descriptive words for sounds. We will record our findings in a larger version of their dictionary booklet. After, students will go back to their desk and start working at the stations.Body 10:20 3. Students will return to their desks and work as a group to explore the20-35 contents of the box or bag at their group. Each student will be responsibleminutes for recording the words in their dictionary. The students will have 2-4 minutes for each box before I signal to switch boxes. 4. After all the boxes have been completed, students will return to the carpet to discuss the next part of the lesson: completing the mad lib. We will complete one together before the students head to their writing group 63
  • 64. to complete the mad lib.Close 10:50 5. Students will come to the carpet and share their version of the story.10 minutesPart 3: ResourcesDescriptive Word Stations: At each station, students will match the object or the picture to thecard that describes the item. Two of the stations have objects, and the rest are matching the wordcard to the picture card. The two stations with objects are textures and shapes. The other sixstations are: emotions, sizes, tastes, smells, and two color stations. Textures: Shapes:Descriptive Word Stations: 64
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  • 75. A Day At The Zoo!Today I went to the zoo. I saw a ____________(adjective)_____________(noun) jumping up and down in its tree. Hehopped quickly through the large tunnel that led to its__________(adjective)__________(noun). I got some peanutsand passed them through the cage to a gigantic gray__________(noun) towering above my head. Feeding thatanimal made me hungry. I went to get a __________(adjective) scoop of ice cream. It filled my stomach.Afterwards I had to__________(verb) __________ (adverb) tocatch our bus. When I got home I begged my mom for a__________(adjective) day at the zoo. 75
  • 76. The Great New Toy!There is a new toy on the market that has everyone saying____________(Exclamation)! It is called the ____________(Sound)____________(Adjective) ____________(Noun) box and will be in stores in____________(A Month). The ____________(Sound) ____________(Adjective)____________(Noun) box is a new gadget that lets you do just about anything!It ____________(Verb)s, it ____________(Verb)s, it even serves____________(A Drink)! It is easy to operate and requires no instructions! Youcan also have it custom made to be any size you want up to____________(Number) inches and ____________ (color) or glow in the darkwith no extra charge! The original product is pocketsized and____________ (color). There are ____________(Number) jacks on the productfor 6V DC power and for upgrades and addons. You can add headphones,____________(Plural Noun) , monitors, ____________(Plural Noun), and more, anduse them all at the same time! 76
  • 77. In The Jungle!I walk through the color jungle. I take out my___________(adjective) canteen.Theres a ________(adjective)parrot with a _______________(adjective) ____________(noun)in his mouth right in front of me in the___________ (adjective)trees! I gaze at his _________(adjective)______________(noun).A sudden sound awakes me from my daydream! Apanther "s" _______________(verb) in front of my head! I_______________(verb) his _______________(adjective)breath. I remember I have a packet of _____________(noun)that makes go into a deep slumber! I _______________(verb) it away in front of the _______________(noun).Yes heseating it! I _______________(verb) away through the____________(adjective) jungle. I meet my parents at the tent.Phew; Its been an exciting day in the jungle. 77
  • 78. Part 4: Reflection This lesson was a little rough for me. The students seemed to enjoy getting to movearound from station to station and playing the matching game. However I greatly underestimatedthe time that this lesson would take. In my lesson I estimated that creating the dictionary wouldtake about 20-25 minutes and then students would have time to write in their journals. This wasnot the case! As I was watching the students at the stations and the clock, I made a decision to letthe students stay at each station for longer than I had planned. This allowed the students to fullyexplore the different stations and record the words in their “Detective Descriptive‟s DescriptiveWord Dictionary”. This left no time for the students to write in their journal, which wassomething I was really aiming to have the students do each day. I believe that the stations wouldhave run more smoothly had I demonstrated step by step each station, showing the cards at eachstation and how the cards matched. I spent a lot of time going from station to station showingstudents how each station worked, or what card matched with what picture. Although thestudents did ok moving from station to station, the transitions could have been a little smoother.Several times groups of students ended up at the wrong station. The next time I do this type oflesson where students are moving around the room I will have the stations numbered anddemonstrate moving from station to station. I know that I met one of my objectives, but not the other. Every student that wasin class created the dictionary, and the next day I saw many of the students using theirdictionaries during journal time. I did not meet the second objective, mainly because we ran outof time. I enjoyed teaching this lesson even though there is a lot I would change. I believe thatchildren learn best when they explore their world creatively instead of sitting at their desk. When 78
  • 79. I teach this lesson again, I will plan for two or three stations a day, instead of the eight that thestudents participated in during this short time. If the students were only at two or three stations aday they would have time to use their newly learned words in their writing on that same day. Ibelieve that this would put more emphasis on the words and help the students to gain a bettergrasp of how the words are to be used. After this lesson I was left wondering if students were really making the connectionsbetween the pictures and the words or if they were simply going from station to station andwriting down all of the words on the cards. 79
  • 80. Lesson 3: 100th Day CollectionGrade Level: 1Subject areas: WritingMaterials needed:Each students‟ “100” collectionDictionary of Descriptive WordsWriting JournalsThe Secret Olivia Told Me by N. Joy100th Day Worries by Margery CuylerMy 100 collectionMy clues: My objects are round. My objects are small. My objects are red, orange, yellow,brown, blue, and green.Part 1: RationaleFocus and purpose: Students will begin using descriptive words in a structured writingassignment.Objectives:Students will be able to:  Describe their collection using three to five different types of descriptive words in their journal.  Listen to their classmates‟ clues and then use the clues to make a guess about what kind of item is being described.State Content Standards:Focus Standards:Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas, including relevant examples, facts, anecdotes, and details appropriate to audience and purpose that engage reader interest; organize information in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas, sentences, and paragraphs; and use precise words and fluent sentence structures that support meaning. Standard: Writing Benchmark EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Write narrative, expository, and persuasive texts, using a variety of written forms—including journals, essays, short stories, poems, research 80
  • 81. reports, research papers, business and technical writing—to express ideas appropriate to audience and purpose across the subject areas. Standard: Writing Applications: Expository Writing (K-3) Benchmark EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or event using words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.Standards: Science Common Curricular Goal: Understand structure and properties of matter Standard: Matter Benchmark SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.Support Standards:Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas using oral, visual, and multi-media forms in ways appropriate to topic, context, audience, and purpose; organize oral, visual, and multi-media presentations in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas and elements; use language appropriate to topic, context, audience, and purpose; and demonstrate control of eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, inflection, gestures, and other non-verbal techniques. Standard: Speaking Benchmark EL.01.SL.05: With guidance, use descriptive words when speaking about people, places, things, and events.Standards: Career Related Learning Common Curricular Goal: Select and use appropriate communication strategies in family, school, community, and workplace settings. Standard: Communication Benchmark 1: Demonstrate effective communication skills to give and receive information in school, community, and workplace.Assessments:Written cluesObservationsSelection of Instructional Strategies:  Visuals: Students will be bringing in their own visual. This is important because it will be an object (100 of an object) that they will have chosen.  Writing and journals: Students will begin developing their ideas about using descriptive words in their writing.Modifications and adaptations:  Have starter prompts available for writing the clues: My objects are… or My 100 collection has… 81
  • 82.  Work one on one with students as needed.  Special attention: EW and RG. Make sure these two are on task.Part 2: ProcedureConcept or rule to be discovered: Students will be exploring the use of descriptive words in theirwriting.Open 10:15 1. I will remind students of the story we read in the morning called “The10 minutes Secret Olivia Told Me.” We will discuss secrets and how it is important to keep a secret. 2. Next I will introduce the writing for the day. I will tell them that their object needs to stay a secret. I will model with my 100 objects. Students will be able to guess my object. 3. Students will be encouraged to use the dictionaries they created to get ideas for describing their objects.Body 10:25 4. The students will write in their journal, creating 3 or more clues about25-30 their object. I will circle the room, helping students with ideas if theyminutes need help. 5. When students are done, they will continue writing in their journal until the rest of the students are completed. 6. Students will now get the chance to be detectives! Students will take turns reading their clues while the rest of the class tries to guess what the student is describing.Close 10:50 7. We will have a discussion about the different clues. Questions: What10 minutes made an item easy to guess? (What kind of clues?) Would you have been able to guess what somebody brought in if they hadn‟t used color descriptive words? Shape descriptive words? (etc.)Part 3: ResourcesRead, Write, Think Lesson Plan: Descriptive Writing and the 100th day of Schoolhttp://readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view_printer_friendly.asp.?iid=891Cuyler, Margery (2000). 100th day worries. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.Joy, N. (2007). The secret olivia told me. East Orange, New Jersey: Just us Books, Inc. 82
  • 83. My 100 Collection Clues:My objects are round.My objects are small.My objects are red, orange, yellow, brown, blue, and green.My collection has the letter “m” on it. 83
  • 84. My 100 Collection1.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________2.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________3.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________4. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________5.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 84
  • 85. Part 4: Reflection Students were excited for this lesson! The 100th day of school was a very big deal for thefirst graders and this lesson was built on that excitement. In this lesson students were able tomeet all of the objectives. Every student wrote clue after clue about their 100 collection. Eachstudent‟s description had at least three clues about their object. There wasn‟t enough time forevery student to share, but we made it through all but 6 of the students. Several aspects of this lesson went very well. Before the students went to their desks towrite the clues, I had a discussion with the students about secrets and how sometimes we don‟twant to tell because then it won‟t be a secret anymore. This was to prime students to not sharewhat their collection was before it was time to share on the carpet. The students were so excitedabout this that they wanted their privacy “offices” for when they were writing their clues. I washappy to oblige and the students got to work very quickly. When students were done writingtheir clues, I had them move to the carpet with their clues and they started sharing. Students didvery well at listening to the clues and making guesses based on the clues. I was also impressedwith the different types of descriptive words that students were using. Besides just describing thecolor, students were describing the shapes, smells, and textures of their objects. This showed methat they were meeting the objectives for this lesson. There were only a few things I would revise to make this lesson run more smoothly. Thefirst thing would be to set a timer during the clue writing time. Several students were notmotivated to get started. I feel that a timer would help these students get going. This would alsohelp me to keep the lesson moving. The next change I would make would be to have each 100collection placed in a paper bag. This would make it easier for students to keep their object a 85
  • 86. secret. I feel that this would help students by letting them have their item at their desk withoutfear of a classmate seeing it. After this lesson I was left wondering if students would have been this excited aboutwriting if it hadn‟t been a secret to keep from their classmates. Did this aspect of the lesson makethe students more excited to participate? Does the back story behind a lesson make a lesson asuccess or a bomb? 86
  • 87. Lesson 4: Monsters, Monsters Everywhere!Grade Level: 1Subject areas: ArtMaterials needed:Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakMonster descriptionMy drawing of the monsterWhite paperCrayonsPencilsPart 1: RationaleFocus and purpose: Students will use their knowledge of descriptive words to draw a monsterbased upon the description that is read to them. After the drawings are completed, students willwalk around the “gallery” and look at other interpretations of the monster description. Studentswill then come to the carpet for a discussion about the differences observed in all of the differentdrawings.Objectives:Students will be able to:  Construct a drawing using pencil and crayon on white paper that corresponds to the description read out loud.  Compare and contrast the different drawings in a whole class discussion.State Content Standards:Focus Standards:Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas, including relevant examples, facts, anecdotes, and details appropriate to audience and purpose that engage reader interest; organize information in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas, sentences, and paragraphs; and use precise words and fluent sentence structures that support meaning. Standard: Writing Benchmark EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.Support Standards:Standards: Arts 87
  • 88. Common Curricular Goal: Apply the use of ideas, techniques and problem solving to the creative process and analyze the influence that choices have on the result Standard: Create, Present, and Perform Benchmark AR.03.CP.02: Explore aspects of the creative process and the effect of different choices on one‟s work.Standards: Career Related Learning Common Curricular Goal: Select and use appropriate communication strategies in family, school, community, and workplace settings. Standard: Communication Benchmark 1: Demonstrate effective communication skills to give and receive information in school, community, and workplace.Assessments:ObservationsCompleted drawingsSelection of Instructional Strategies:  Drawing and Artwork: This strategy will allow students to see how descriptive words can be useful in creating a picture to the reader or listener.  Movement: I want students to have the experience of walking around an art gallery to compare and contrast the different interpretations of the monster description.Modifications and adaptations:  Repeat the instructions for creating the monster as needed  Have a written set of instructions posted on screenPart 2: ProcedureConcept or rule to be discovered: Written or oral descriptions can be used to create a picture inour heads or on a piece of paper. Each interpretation, though, will be a little different.Open 10:15 1. Have students meet me on the carpet after recess. Prepare students for5 minutes our art project. Tell students that they will be listening to my description of a monster, and as I am reading the “clues” the students will be recreating the monster on their own paper. Discuss the descriptive words that I will be using: colors, shapes, textures, etc.Body 10:20 2. Students will migrate back to their desks. Instruct students to take out20-25 crayons and a pencil. Make sure to tell students we will only be usingminutes crayons because the texture this will create in our drawing (makes the monster look more life-like). Have students leave pencil on name tag until after each clue is read. 3. Start reading the clues, waiting between each one before going on. Walk around classroom to make sure that each student is with me before continuing onto the next clue. 88
  • 89. 4. Have each student write their name on the back of the drawing and place the drawing on top of their desk and have students line up at door. 5. Once students are lined up, lead them on a walk around the classroom to look at each students drawing, ending with students on carpet.Close 10:40 6. Show students my monster. Ask students to think about all of the20 minutes different drawings. Questions: What types of differences did you see in the drawings? Is it possible for everyone to draw the exact same picture? Or will there always be small differences? (If there is time, have students that did not get to share their 100 collection clues go today)Part 3: ResourcesSendak, Maurice (1963). Where the wild things are. New York, New York: Harper Collins.My monster drawing: 89
  • 90. How to Draw a Monster:1. Draw a large circle for the head.2. Add two floppy antennae to the top of the head. There is a tiny square at the end of each antenna.3. The body of my monster is shaped like a sideways oval.4. Now add two skinny legs with bouncy ball feet.5. My monster has 4 arms, but 3 are on one side of the body and only one arm is on the left hand side.6. Each hand has just three fingers.7. Then add the face. The monster has three square shaped eyes. One is in the center of his head, and the other two are on either side of his face. If his head was built like ours, the two eyes would be in the same place as our ears.8. The monster‟s nose is like two triangles turned sideways, with only the points of the triangles touching.9. The monster has a silly grin on his face.10. Now it is time to add some color. He has really long, green and orange striped hair on his head. The hair is about the length of a pinky, and it covers his whole face. The fur on his body looks like a tie-dye shirt. This fur is shorter and spirals all around the body. The fur is red, yellow, and blue.11. The fur on his legs and arms are each a different color—the arms are purple, silver, brown, and pink. One leg is black, and one leg is gold.12. Make the fur look really fuzzy on the monsters arm and legs. 90
  • 91. Part 4: Reflection I was worried about this art lesson. I wanted a lesson that incorporated the descriptiveword, „detective‟ theme. I finally found something that I could modify to fit for this lesson onthe Monster Exchange website. I knew I wouldn‟t have enough time to do the full MonsterExchange project (this involves having the kids draw their own monster, then writing adescription, posting it online, waiting for another class to read your description, draw a monsterand post their drawing online), but I liked the idea of creating a drawing based on a description. Idecided to draw my own monster, write a description and then have the students recreate mymonster. For the most part this lesson went well. Students were able to recreate the monster basedupon my description, which shows me that they were able to meet my first objective. Howeverthere were some differences that helped lead to a discussion that showed me students were ableto meet my second planned objective. The discussion was cut short because of a fire drill, but Icould tell that students were on their way to fully comprehending that a description helps tocreate a picture for the listener/reader. I struggled with classroom management during this lesson. I should have set up a specificsignal at the beginning of the lesson so that I would be able to move through the descriptionmore quickly. When I do this lesson again, I will be sure to post the description of the monsteron the overhead so that students who take longer drawing will be able to keep up without havingto interrupt me for the next step. The gallery-walk “conga line” worked very well. Students walked around the room in aconga line until they had seen every drawing. I talked with students about looking at each and 91
  • 92. every drawing as we walked around. Students were a little wild and loud while walking around,but they quickly calmed down when they got to the carpet. Although we were able to have a short discussion about the differences, I am leftwondering what other connections students would have made if we would have had more time totalk about this lesson. 92
  • 93. Lesson 5: Science DetectivesGrade Level: 1Subject areas: Science, WritingMaterials needed:BoxesSandGemsRocksNewspaperScoopsPencilsPaperMagnifying lensesTraysGraphic OrganizersDave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop by Stuart J. MurphyPart 1: RationaleFocus and purpose: Students will make observations and use student-made rules to build anunderstanding of solid earth materials using descriptive words.Objectives:Students will be able to:  Create rules to sort and classify the different earth materials.  Describe the different earth materials on a graphic organizer.  Write two to three sentences about one of the materials from their graphic organizer, highlighting the descriptive words that they have used.State Content Standards:Standards: Science Common Curricular Goal: Understand structure and properties of matter Standard: Matter Benchmark SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical properties.Standards: Mathematics Common Curricular Goal: Patterns and Functions: Understand patterns, relations, and functions. Standard: Algebraic Relationships 93
  • 94. Benchmark MA.01.AR.01: Sort and classify objects using one or more attributes by observing relationships.Assessments:Graphic organizerWriting that has descriptive words highlightedSelection of Instructional Strategies:  Brainstorming and Discussion: This strategy will show me how students are exploring the ideas of descriptive words as they apply to objects we find in our world.  Graphic Organizers: These organizers help students to keep their thoughts about what they are learning organized in a way that is easy to access at a later time.  Manipulatives, experiments, labs, and models: By letting the students “get their hands dirty”, I am letting them construct their own meanings for the descriptive words that they are learning.  Cooperative Learning: I feel that it is important for students to learn how to work in a group setting from the earliest time as possible. This teaches students cooperation and communication skills that will be needed throughout life to be a productive citizen.  Writing and journals: Students will start refining their use of descriptive words in their writing.Modifications and adaptations:  Monitor RG to make sure he is completing work  Monitor frustration level of EW. Partner with helper if needed (EC or TT are good partners for him.)  Provide starters for writing (My rock is… or The gem has… or The sand is…)Part 2: ProcedureConcept or rule to be discovered: Students will discover that objects can be sorted and classifiedbased upon their physical properties.Open 10:15 1. Engage: Remind students of Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop by5 minutes Stuart J. Murphy. 2. Ask students “How can these items be sorted and described using descriptive words?” Hold a gemstone, a rock, and a baggie of sand so the students can see them. Write answers on board. 3. Review with students the different ways we can describe things: size, shape, texture, and color. 4. Go over safety items: use all senses except taste, keep rocks, sand and gems on desk. Tell students that they will use their eyes, ears, and hands to explore the rocks and sand.Body 10:20 5. Explore: Students get 2-3 minutes to explore the rocks and sand for20-25 each sense. Post slides for each sense with descriptive words that students 94
  • 95. minutes might use. 6. Explain: Model describing the materials. Hand out graphic organizers and walk around to make sure students understand and to ask questions about what students are doing. 7. Elaborate: Have students come to the carpet and share one or two of the adjectives they used for rocks, then sand, then gemstones. Discuss how the qualities of the objects apply to other types of materials.Close 10:45 8. Evaluate: Students will take one material and write two to three10-15 sentences about it with the adjectives from their chart.minutesPart 3: ResourcesMurphy, Stuart J. (2000). Daves down-to-earth rock shop. New York, New York: Harper Collins.Pictures of rocks, sand, and gemstones: 95
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  • 101. Part 4: Reflection This was, by far, my most favorite lesson to teach! I enjoyed getting to see how the kidsexplored the different materials. I felt that this lesson was most aligned with my chosen standardsfor the unit. Students were clearly able to meet the objectives for this lesson. I know this from theobservations I made as the students were exploring, the content of their graphic organizers, andthe descriptive sentences that each student wrote at the end of the activity. There are several aspects of this lesson that I felt could have gone better. Classmanagement was okay during this lesson, but I felt that this lesson could have run moresmoothly. I also had to replace several of the plastic baggies that were holding the sand (almostevery table had a sand leak). In the future, I would look for stronger, thicker plastic baggiesinstead of using plain Ziploc bags, or even using plastic science dishes with lids. It would havebeen nice to have more time for this lesson. I wonder if students would have benefitted frommore time spent on this activity so that they could have better described each object. There were a lot of neat features in this lesson that I will be sure to use again whenplanning other lessons. The story that I read really prepared the students for exploring thematerials. It also helped the students to think of ways that our items could be described (color,size, textures). The students also benefitted from the several minutes getting to just explore thematerials before they had to focus on describing the items. It would have been interesting to seeif the classroom management would have been better if I had only handed out one item at a time(first rocks, then sand, last the gemstones) instead of giving these materials all at once. I wouldalso make sure that I had enough materials for every student, as some of the students werehoarders and kept all the materials on their own desk instead of sharing. I had planned forstudents to explore and complete the graphic organizer on their own, but I quickly saw that this 101
  • 102. wasn‟t working. I switched the lesson so that the students were examining the materials and thenfilling in the graphic organizer at my cue. I then had the students share the details for that itemright then instead of waiting until the end of the lesson. I basically combined steps 6 and 7 fromthe lesson plan. It was a huge help for the students to post the descriptive words for each section.Finally, the evaluation went well too. I made the sentences the “ticket” to get to leave for lunch,and students quickly wrote a description of one of the items. This is the type of lesson that I am most comfortable teaching. I feel that it aligns mostclearly with my philosophy of education. I was clearly the “guide” in this lesson, but the studentswere definitely the “explorers”. 102
  • 103. Lesson 6: The Mystery Begins…Grade Level: 1Subject areas: WritingMaterials needed:Student writing journalsPencilsGrammar book, pg 159HighlightersClues about studentsPart 1: RationaleFocus and purpose: In this lesson, students will learn how to use a detail web to organize theirthoughts for writing about themselves.Objectives:Students will be able to:  Complete a graphic organizer listing four or more different details about themselves.  Apply the information gathered in their graphic organizer to the first draft of their self description.  Identify the descriptive words that I have used in the sample by raising their arm whenever I read a descriptive word.State Content Standards:Focus Standards:Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas, including relevant examples, facts, anecdotes, and details appropriate to audience and purpose that engage reader interest; organize information in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas, sentences, and paragraphs; and use precise words and fluent sentence structures that support meaning. Standard: Writing Benchmark EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Write narrative, expository, and persuasive texts, using a variety of written forms—including journals, essays, short stories, poems, research reports, research papers, business and technical writing—to express ideas appropriate to audience and purpose across the subject areas. Standard: Writing Applications: Expository Writing (K-3) 103
  • 104. Benchmark EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or event using words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.Standards: Science Common Curricular Goal: Understand structure and properties of matter Standard: Matter Benchmark SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physicalAssessments:Graphic Organizer: Details WebJournal WritingSelection of Instructional Strategies:  Graphic Organizers: The graphic organizer will help the students to keep their thoughts about themselves organized.  Writing and Journals: This strategy will allow students to gain more practice in writing descriptively.  Visuals: The blurry pictures will help the final performance task seem more lifelike.  Project-based learning: This strategy helps the student to look at the final project as something that really affects them. This should raise their interest in writing an especially good description about themselves.Modifications and adaptations:  Monitor RG‟s work to make sure he is completing the graphic organizer and writing. Partner him with classroom helper if needed. If he finishes, he earns a couple of minutes drawing.  Check with EW periodically to gauge frustration level. Partner him with classroom helper if needed.  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to classPart 2: ProcedureConcept or rule to be discovered: Students will discover how organization can help our writing.Open 10:15 1. Students will be told that several kids in our classroom have been seen5 minutes around school being especially respectful, responsible and helpful. The teachers who saw these actions did not get a clear look at the student, but they really want to find out who it was so that the student can get the caught slip. Each student will have to write a self description to aid in the investigation.Body 10:20 2. Explain and model filling in a details web graphic organizer about20-25 myself. (The topic of my writing—me—will go in the center of the web.minutes Around the center are details about me. These details show how I look, feel, sound. I will then use these details to create a picture of myself for 104
  • 105. readers) 3. Give directions for students to work on pg 159 in the grammar workbook and complete details web. Instruct students that if they finish the graphic organizer they shall begin writing about themselves, highlighting the descriptive words in their writing. 4. Have Frogs at front table, and Ladybugs at the back table (if there is a helper) 5. Five minutes before coming back to the carpet, have students grab a highlighter and highlight each descriptive word in their graphic organizer and writing.Close 10:45 6. I will share a clue or two about what the students were seen doing, and5 minutes some details that I believe describe the students who were “caught.”Part 3: Resources 105
  • 106. Details WebFill out this details web to help you organize your ideas. 106
  • 107. Part 4: Reflection I was not as comfortable teaching this lesson as I was teaching the previous lessons.There were several aspects of this lesson that went well, and just as many that didn‟t. The storyat the beginning of the lesson was one thing that went well. The students sat on the carpetenthralled with my story about students getting caught doing the right thing around campus.Transferring this excitement to the writing was difficult though. About half of the students weregroaning as I explained that they would be writing a description about themselves. I know that I met the objectives set for this lesson because I approved each graphicorganizer before students could begin writing. The self description was completed by almost allof the students, but the details used were not the greatest. Every student chose to use similardetails: hair color, eye color, hair length. The students did not choose a great variety of details. Itwould have been helpful to model the graphic organizer and descriptive writing in greater detail.If I were to teach this lesson again, I would make sure to discuss more about what each studentneeds to include in their description. I would also make sure that students need to make sure thattheir description will fit only them and could not describe someone else in the class. At this pointI think it would help if I chose several descriptions from stories we had read in class thatdescribed the characters in creative ways and share these with students again. I believe that my insecurities with this type of lesson arise from my fear and/or mildhatred of direct instruction from my days as a student. I remember sitting in class and beingbored out of my mind, and I don‟t want my students to have this type of experience. I am leftwondering how I can avoid this insecurity and make a direct instruction lesson more memorablefor my students. 107
  • 108. Lesson 7: The Usual SuspectsGrade Level: 1Subject areas: WritingMaterials needed:Student writing journalsPencilsHighlightersCameraThe Faithful Friend by Robert San SouciPart 1: RationaleFocus and purpose: Students will be learning about adjectives that can be used to describe theirpersonalities. They will continue writing their descriptions of self.Objectives:Students will be able to:  Identify the words in the read-a-loud story that are descriptive of the characters during class discussion.  Compile a list of 5-10 personality and action descriptive words in a whole class discussion and record these words in their descriptive word dictionary.  Modify their description of self in their journal to include specific personality and action details about themselves.State Content Standards:Focus Standards:Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas, including relevant examples, facts, anecdotes, and details appropriate to audience and purpose that engage reader interest; organize information in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas, sentences, and paragraphs; and use precise words and fluent sentence structures that support meaning. Standard: Writing Benchmark EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.Standards: Career Related Learning Common Curricular Goal: Develop skills to assess personal characteristics, interests, abilities, and strengths. Standard: Career Development 108
  • 109. Benchmark 1: Demonstrate career development skills in planning for post high school experiences.Assessments:Writing journalsObservationsSelection of Instructional Strategies:  Brainstorming and Discussion: Students will work together to think of different types of personality and action descriptive words.  Storytelling: This strategy will allow students to see how descriptive writing is used to enhance the final draft of a story.  Writing and Journals: Students will continue writing in their journal to develop their use of descriptive words.Modifications and adaptations:  Monitor RG‟s work to make sure he is completing the writing. Partner him with classroom helper if needed. If he finishes, he earns a couple of minutes drawing.  Check with EW periodically to gauge frustration level. Partner him with classroom helper if needed.  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to class  Talk with Frogs and Ladybugs about what they would like to write and make notes to help them keep track of their thoughts. As they tell me the sentence they would like to write, I will make dashes on the lines of their journal for them.Part 2: ProcedureConcept or rule to be discovered: People can be described by their actions and personalities, notjust their appearances.Open 10:15 1. Read the story The Faithful Friend by Robert San Souci.15 minutes 2. Discuss how the author used words to describe each of the characters and the actions that they took throughout the story.Body 10:20 3. Brainstorm different kinds of words that can be used to describe20-25 personalities (hardworking, lazy, grumpy—think of the 7 dwarves fromminutes Snow White—happy) 4. Create a list of “strong action verbs” to use instead of go or went (run, walk, skip, ride, march, hurry). 5. Have students get out their journals and instruct them to continue writing their description about themselves. (Frogs at the front table and Ladybugs at the back table)Close 10:45 6. Have students come to the carpet and share one or two more clues10 minutes about what the students were seen doing and their supposed personalities. Take pictures of each student to put with their description. 109
  • 110. Part 3: ResourcesSan Souci, Robert D. (1995). The faithful friend. New York, New York: Aladdin Paperbacks.Part 4: Reflection This lesson was another one that could have gone better. Although it was better thanyesterday‟s lesson, I failed to meet any of the objectives that I had set. I ended up changing thelesson so that students were describing what they were “caught” doing around the school. Thestudents were able to complete the self descriptions and what they were caught doing, which wasa positive of this lesson. However I obviously wasn‟t clear enough in my directions. Studentsneeded a lot of clarification during this lesson. My classroom management is another area thatcould have been better. One student did not complete any of the assignment and ended up havingto be moved to another room because of the distraction that he was causing to the other students. I am glad that I had this kind of experience with this lesson. It showed me the importanceof planning out all of the details when planning a lesson. I also learned that it is not a good ideato change a lesson on the fly like I did. In the future, I will work harder to stick to the lesson thatI have planned instead of changing at the last minute. I would benefit from attending workshops on writing that would boost my writing skillsand knowledge of these skills. I feel that it would also be beneficial to attend a workshop on howto increase students‟ readiness and willingness to write. 110
  • 111. Lesson 8: Mrs. Gove‟s Class, in the cafeteria, with anapkin…Grade Level: 1Subject areas: WritingMaterials needed:Typed descriptions of each student with their picture attachedAll the clues about the students “caught being good”Grammar book pg 162: Self EvaluationStuffed cowLined paperTimerPencilsPart 1: RationaleFocus and purpose: Students will share their descriptions of self and act as detectives to solvethe case.Objectives:Students will be able to:  Write a description of the stuffed cow on the lined paper in 10 minutes.  Solve the mystery of the students „caught being good‟ by listening to the descriptions being read.  Complete a self evaluation of their writing on a yes/no chart.State Content Standards:Focus Standards:Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas, including relevant examples, facts, anecdotes, and details appropriate to audience and purpose that engage reader interest; organize information in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas, sentences, and paragraphs; and use precise words and fluent sentence structures that support meaning. Standard: Writing Benchmark EL.01.WR.07: Use descriptive words when writing.Standards: Science Common Curricular Goal: Understand structure and properties of matter Standard: Matter 111
  • 112. Benchmark SC.03.PS.01: Describe objects according to their physical propertiesStandards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Write narrative, expository, and persuasive texts, using a variety of written forms—including journals, essays, short stories, poems, research reports, research papers, business and technical writing—to express ideas appropriate to audience and purpose across the subject areas. Standard: Writing Applications: Expository Writing (K-3) Benchmark EL.01.WR.17: Write simple expository descriptions of a real object, person, place, or event using words that help the reader to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear what is being described.Standards: Career Related Learning Common Curricular Goal: Develop skills to assess personal characteristics, interests, abilities, and strengths. Standard: Career Development Benchmark 1: Demonstrate career development skills in planning for post high school experiences.Support Standards:Standards: English Language Arts Common Curricular Goal: Communicate supported ideas across the subject areas using oral, visual, and multi-media forms in ways appropriate to topic, context, audience, and purpose; organize oral, visual, and multi-media presentations in clear sequence, making connections and transitions among ideas and elements; use language appropriate to topic, context, audience, and purpose; and demonstrate control of eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, inflection, gestures, and other non-verbal techniques. Standard: Speaking Benchmark EL.01.SL.05: With guidance, use descriptive words when speaking about people, places, things, and events.Standards: Career Related Learning Common Curricular Goal: Select and use appropriate communication strategies in family, school, community, and workplace settings. Standard: Communication Benchmark 1: Demonstrate effective communication skills to give and receive information in school, community, and workplace.Assessments:WritingSelf evaluationSelection of Instructional Strategies: 112
  • 113.  Project-based learning: Students will get to use their writing to solve the mystery we have been working on this week.  Role plays: Students will be playing the role of detective when listening to their classmate‟s descriptions.  Visualization and guided imagery: This is an important strategy because the students will be listening to descriptions and creating the images of the student in their head.Modifications and adaptations:  Repeat directions to ES, DT, NG, and BC as they return to class  Monitor RG and EW‟s carpet time behavior. If needed give them jobs (holding up the pictures) or remove to desk.  I will help students who have a difficult time reading the other student‟s self descriptions.  I will walk around the room to help students fill out the self evaluation.Part 2: ProcedureConcept or rule to be discovered: The descriptions we use in our writing help to create a picturein the reader‟s mind.Open 10:15 1. Tell students that we will be doing several different things today. First,15 minutes they will write for 10 minutes about the stuffed cow. 2. After this is done, remind students of the mystery we are trying to solve. Retell the story and review the different clues that have been revealed so far.Body 10:30 3. Sit at front of class and instruct students to stand up at the start of each20-25 description. Have students stay standing as long as the description couldminutes be describing them. Model once or twice with simple clues (I am a boy, all boys stay standing). 4. Start reading the descriptions. Before turning the page, have students make guess (if more than one student is left standing) at the end of the description. Show the picture of who wrote the clue. 5. After the story have students go to the carpet. Have a discussion about how we solved the mystery. What kinds of descriptions were the most helpful? Were you able to make a picture in your head as I read the descriptions?Close 10:45 6. Have students return to their desk and take out their grammar5 minutes workbook and turn to page 162. Read the questions and wait for each student to show me thumbs up once they have completed the question.Part 3: Resources 113
  • 114. Part 4: Reflection This lesson went much better than the previous two days‟ lesson. The students wereengaged throughout the entire lesson. I was worried that today would be a bust like the previoustwo days. The students proved me wrong though. They stayed on task throughout the wholelesson and were actively participating during the main portion of the lesson. The only thing that I would change about this lesson was my classroom management.Students were so excited during the clue reading portion of the lesson that they were getting alittle too loud and time was wasted waiting for the students to get quiet for the next clue. The restof the lesson went very well. The students were excited when they saw the book full of cluesabout themselves, complete with their picture. I had every student stand up while I stood next tothe Elmo. As I read the clues, students sat down if the clue DID NOT apply to them. This was avery good assessment to see how well students understood the power of descriptive words.Several times throughout this lesson there were clues that could have applied to more than onestudent. When this happened, we discussed as a class what would need to change in thedescription to make it better and more descriptive of the person who actually wrote the clue.There was also a clue in which we had to clarify what long and short were in regards to hair. Onestudent had very long hair that had recently been cut off to her shoulders. In her opinion, her hairwas short. But to other students in the class, her hair was long. I had to then create a rule inregards to hair length (if you can pull it back into a ponytail, then it is long). By the end of theclass, it was apparent that the students understood which words were the descriptive words andwhich words didn‟t help. Students were anxious to discover which students had been “caught”too. 114
  • 115. I met all of my objectives except the final one, that students would complete a selfevaluation. I would have met the last objective, but time ran out and the students needed to get tolunch. I know that students met the other objectives through their participation in class. 115
  • 116. Post Assessment Data Display 116
  • 117. 117
  • 118. Figure 1 This chart represents the results of the descriptive word check. I decided that there weretwo ways I wanted to look at the data from this assessment. First, I wanted to see the percentageof words chosen by the student that were actually descriptive words. This would show me if theirdiscernment between descriptive and non-descriptive words became more refined over thecourse of this unit. Second, I wanted to examine the number of descriptive words the studentswere able to choose at the beginning of the unit as compared to the end. This showed me whethertheir adjective vocabulary had increased over the two week unit. Overall the students did very well. In total, there were seven students who showed adecrease in their performance over the two weeks. Three of these students (students 1, 9, and 11)had percentages that decreased in regards to the percentage of words chosen that weredescriptive, however their number of descriptive words chosen overall increased. Two of thestudents (students 5 and 13) who decreased in the percentage of descriptive words chosen out ofthe total number of descriptive words, but they stayed the same or increased in their discernmentbetween descriptive and non-descriptive words. The final two students (students 15 and 22)decreased in both areas. Six students were able to find every descriptive word (students 2, 6, 12,17, 19, and 23) and four students were able to choose descriptive words with 100 per centaccuracy (students 12, 14, 19 and 20). The biggest gains were made by student 12, who increaseda total of 81 percent in both categories. 118
  • 119. 119
  • 120. Figure 2 This chart represents the scores of the first graders on the pre-assessment writingassignment as compared to the scores on the final write about the stuffed cow. I scored thewriting using a rubric from the Scott Foresman reading text that the school employs for gradingwriting (see Resources). The groups used to breakdown the data were the leveled groups that thestudents are placed in for reading. The placement in these groups is based on the observations ofthe teacher and the student‟s scores on the nonsense word fluency and DIBELS testing. Thefrogs are the group who scored the lowest, and the bees are the group that scored the highest. Ithought it would be interesting to see how the writing of these students compared to theirplacement for reading. My first conclusion after looking at these scores was that the Frogs did worse on the finalwrite than they did on the pre-write. I believe that the reason for this is that the final write was ashorter time period (only 10 minutes) as compared to the pre-assessment writing time of about30 minutes. The rest of the students increased their scores by an average of 3 points. 120
  • 121. 121
  • 122. Figure 3 The final performance task went very well for the students. There were only twostudents who did not succeed in meeting the final performance task goals. Both of these studentsreturn to class about half way through the writing time, and this could be affecting theirperformance. The rest of the students achieved the learning goals for this unit. 122
  • 123. Assessment Analysis 123
  • 124. The pre-assessments were somewhat helpful in evaluating the students‟ readiness for thisunit. I was able to discover what kinds of words students thought were descriptive words, theircurrent vocabulary of descriptive words, and whether they were using these words in theirwriting. Through the descriptive word check I was also able to reveal the students‟misconceptions about descriptive words. The descriptive word check had a mix of adjectives andnouns, and all but one student chose some nouns as descriptive words during the pre-assessment. There were several things that I would change about my pre-assessments to make themmore appropriate and helpful. The first thing I would change is the writing pre-assessment wherethe students are writing about the cow. I did this pre-assessment during the students‟ time at mywriting table during journal time. About 6 students a day focused the entire writing time (about30 minutes) on writing about the cow, with prompting from me about describing it as if someonecouldn‟t see the cow. I would change this so students are all writing simultaneously for a setamount of time, like I did during the final assessment. I believe that this kind of writing wouldgive me a better view of how students were using descriptive words on their own, without myinput. The next thing I would change would be the descriptive word check. Instead of havingstudents tell me whether or not a word is a descriptive word, I would put the descriptive words insome sentences (probably 5 or 10 sentences). I would read the sentences to the students, andhave them underline the descriptive word in the sentence. This would ensure that students couldsee the context of the word. Several words were confusing to students and I had to explain themeaning before they could make a decision. I also had students who thought every word couldbe a descriptive word on the word check. I feel that using sentences would help with this as well.The final pre-assessment was a favorite of the students. In this pre-assessment, students reachedinto a paper bag and described the items inside. There was only one thing that I would change 124
  • 125. about this pre-assessment: I did this activity after the descriptive word check this time, but thenext time around I would have the students do this activity after the writing and before thedescriptive word check. The descriptive word check gave many students ideas for words to usewhen describing the items in the bag. The final performance task was an opportunity for the students to apply what they hadlearned about descriptive words in an activity that specifically applied to them. Overall theperformance of the students was great. The majority of the students were able to meet theobjectives for this task, with only two students who were not able to meet all of the goals. 125
  • 126. Summary of Student Growth 126
  • 127. Student One is a student who comes from a split household. Her mother is in prison and she lives with herdad and grandmother as well as two brothers. She is slightly overweight and does not seem to have clothes that fither properly. The clothes that she does have do not appear to be washed, and the CT has taken her jacket to bewashed on one occasion. She is in the intensive group of readers (frogs). At the start of the year, she could recognizefew letters and letter sounds. She attended kindergarten at the same school and would have been in the kinder-plus(five days a week instead of just two) class if she had better attendance. She seems to make progress as long as shemakes it to class on time. She gets frustrated easily, especially when goaded by other students. Student One was able to meet half of the objectives for this unit. She scored a 10 on thefinal performance task, which was an average, passing score. Her strengths in this assignmentwere the self description and describing what she was caught doing. Her weakness in thisassignment was choosing a variety of descriptive words and then following directions during theclue phase of the assignment. The cow writing assignment was difficult for this student. Shescored better on the pre-assessment than she did on the final. I believe that this is due to severalfactors. During the pre-assessment students were sitting in a small group and had more time towrite, but for the final write students had to complete their description in 10 minutes with nohelp. The descriptive word check was another area in which she did okay: she met in one area,but did not meet in the other. Her percentage of words chosen that were descriptive wordsdecreased by 5% over the course of two weeks. However the percentage of descriptive wordschosen out of total number of descriptive words increased by 19%. What this tells me is that shewas able to discern more readily between the descriptive and non-descriptive words at the end ofthe unit. I believe that this student would benefit from being in class more often. She missed twodays of instruction in an eight day unit. I believe that this affects her in two ways: she missesinstruction and she is not used to classroom routines like the other students, due to the highnumber of days that she misses. Student Two is one of three ELL students in the classroom. He is a well adjusted student and is in theladybug reading group, the third highest. He is currently working with the speech therapist twice a week. In someinstances he needs quiet to complete work and if the room is not quiet he gets frustrated and upset. He likes playingsports like football and soccer, which could signal that he is a kinesthetic learner. He has recently been saddenedby the fact that his dad has moved to Texas to find work. 127
  • 128. Student Two did very well in this unit. He increased his performance in every area. Hisscore on the final performance task was 10. His scores on the cow writing assignment increasedby 3 points over the course of the unit. His scores also increased on the descriptive word check.He was one of the few students to choose all of the descriptive words. I believe that he benefittedfrom the two lessons in which students were moving around the classroom. In the future I wouldsuggest lessons that utilize the kinesthetic learning abilities of this student. Student Three is a quiet student. He is in the intensive reading group (frogs)and is making steady progress.He goes to the Title 1 room for instruction every day after lunch for half an hour. He always has a ready smile. Hecomes from a large family (he is one of eight children), although I believe he has only a few siblings at home. Hespeaks of visiting his brothers in a city two hours away. One of the subjects he was most looking forward to this yearis math, even though he sometimes struggles. Student Three struggles in writing. He had the lowest score on the final performance task(7) due to the fact that he did not follow directions and did not write a self description. Thedescriptive word check was difficult for him as well. He did not get to do this during the pre-assessments because he was absent. He chose 5 descriptive words out of the 30 total words onthe word check, of which 16 total words were descriptive words. His percentage of descriptivewords chosen out of the total number of descriptive words was 31%. Of the words he chose (hechose 13 total words as being “descriptive”), 38% were descriptive words. His scores on the cowpre-write and final write were the same. He wrote almost the exact same words on the final as hedid on the pre-write. I believe that this student‟s writing will increase in quality and quantity ashe becomes a better reader. I feel that this is the only thing holding him back from becoming abetter writer. I would recommend more reading for him (both on his own and listening to read-a-loud) to build his confidence with words and sentence structure, and to increase his vocabulary.His writing is more productive when he has a structured assignment, including writing frames. The next student is Student Four. Student Four is only in the classroom briefly during the morning routines.The rest of his day is spent in the special ed classroom. While he is in the classroom, he always has an assistant withhim. He has a difficult time paying attention and sitting still, and on a few occasions, trouble controlling his temper. 128
  • 129. His brain development is at about a three year old level. The goal for Student Four is to increase his time spent inthe mainstream classroom. The rest of the students are reminded of how to model behavior for Student Four, and itis amazing to see them acknowledge him when he is acting appropriately and ignore him when he is causing adisturbance. Student Four is not present in the classroom during writing. Student Five is another student in the most intensive group (frogs). She is currently undergoing assessmentfor learning disabilities. She has vision problems and requires her glasses for reading. At the beginning of the yearshe recognized just three letters and no letter sounds. She seems to have difficulty with memory (per her mom, whois actively helping to diagnose what is causing Student Five’s difficulties). Twice a week she meets with a speechtherapist. She is in the Title 1 room during writing group for one on one instruction. She is an only child. Student Five is another student who struggled during this unit. She was absent for thefirst week of the unit which contributed to this outcome. Her scores decreased on both thedescriptive word check (from 81% to 69% descriptive words chosen) and on the cow writingassignment (from a score of 12 to 6). Her final performance task score was an 8, the secondlowest in the class. She is able to tell me a descriptive word with a lot of prompting, but she isunable to do this on her own. Her strength is her creativity in her story writing; however herweakness is that she needs one-on-one help to write anything. She can often verbalize thesentence she wants to write, but she has difficulty forming the words and writing them on thepaper. In the future I would make sure that she is supported with peer helpers or teacher help. Student Six is the son of one of the teachers at the school. He is a benchmark student and is happy to do hiswork. He recently moved to the highest reading group (bees) and is continuing to do well. Every once in awhile hecan get a little chatty and cause the students around him to get a little rowdy. He is the oldest child in his family,with a new little brother on the way, and both of his parents are very involved in creating his success. Student Six excelled in this unit. He was excited for all of the assignments and stayedengaged at all times. At the end of the unit he was able to find all of the descriptive words on thedescriptive word check, and he chose 8 fewer non descriptive words than on the pre-assessment.On the cow pre-write he scored higher than the rest of the students did on the final write (22). Iwas not able to see if his writing improved on this assignment though, because he did not turn inthe final write before taking it home. The final performance task was a task he excelled at aswell. He scored 11 out of 12 on this assignment. He would have scored a perfect 12 if he had 129
  • 130. elaborated on what he was “caught” doing. His strengths during this unit were the quickness withwhich he picked up the descriptive words. He came into the unit with large vocabulary ofdescriptive words. In the future I would make sure that this student continues to enjoy writing byusing interesting prompts. Student Seven is a student from a large family. She is generally a happy student and rarely causes adisturbance. She is overweight and has mentioned that it is painful to sit criss-cross on the carpet in the morning.Although she works hard, she often struggles during reading. She is in the third highest reading group (ladybugs).Her family came to the open house and conferences. Student Seven performed at level in this unit. She scored a 10 on the final performancetask. This score tells me that she was able to describe herself, what she was caught doing, andthat she participated in the clues portion of the assignment. The cow writing assignment was asuccess for her as well. She increased her score by 4 points over the two week unit, which wasabove the class average. Her scores on the descriptive word check did not change by an extremeamount—she chose one more descriptive word and one more non-descriptive word at the end ofthe unit as compared to the beginning of the unit. She is not typically a hard worker, but from myobservations during this unit she worked hard throughout the entire unit. In the future, I wouldrecommend more hands on activities to keep her connected to the unit goals. Student Eight is a shy student. He comes out of his shell when given responsibility. Lately he has beenacting out at school. I believe this could be due to the fact that he recently became a big brother again. He has oneolder brother as well. His parents are divorced, and I believe he lives with his father. In his journal he writes abouthis grandparents a lot. He is a student that is at benchmark. Student Eight did an awesome job during this unit! His description on the finalperformance task was one of the best in the classroom. He scored a 12, which was the highestscore possible. His scores on the descriptive word check both showed positive gains. In the pre-assessment, he chose 4 out of 4 descriptive words for 100% accuracy. During the finalassessment he increased these numbers to 13 out of 14 words. These scores tell me that hisdescriptive word vocabulary increased over the course of the unit. The scores on the cow-writing 130
  • 131. increased by 4 points over the course of the unit. His performance, especially in the writingassessments, was above average. Throughout the entire course of the unit he was payingattention and following along with the class, which has not been the case recently. His strengthsin regards to this unit, is his skill at writing. His challenge was his limited vocabulary that he wasworking with. This tells me that his writing quality will increase as his vocabulary grows larger.In the future I would focus on giving this student more challenging reading material, either forreading on his own or with a parent. Student Nine is an outgoing student who likes to be around her friends. She is at benchmark and completesher work quickly as long as she is not distracted by her friends. She recently became a big sister for the second timeand is enjoying it immensely. She completes her read-at-home while reading to her new little brother. Her momvolunteers in the classroom once a week, and both of her parents are active in her education. This student struggled with the concepts of this unit. I believe this is because she was notgetting to write about what she wanted to for the two weeks of the unit. She complained onseveral different occasions about not getting to write in her journal. Her score on the finalperformance task was 9, which was at the lower end of the spectrum in comparison to the rest ofthe class. Her written self description did not really fit her looks. She described herself as havingshort, brown hair but in reality her hair is blonde and longer than her shoulders. Her score on thecow writing did increase by 4 points. Her description on this assignment showed me that hervocabulary increased over the course of the unit. Her descriptive word check scores went inopposite directions. Her percentage of words chosen that were descriptive words decreased by8%. She was only able to choose one more descriptive word during the final assessmentcompared to at the beginning. Her strength is her ability to work well with others. I paired herwith Student 12, who was having difficulty staying on task during a lesson, and she was able tohelp him succeed and complete his work without the usual whining and complaining that he isknown for. It was a challenge for her to not get her way in regards to choosing the topic for her 131
  • 132. writing. It would be beneficial for her to have to write on specific topics more frequently so thatshe will be prepared for the writing that will be required in the coming years. Student Ten is an exceptional, hard working student. She works quietly and is rarely off task. Her familyseems like they are always on the go, and because of this she is about 25 books behind in the read-at-home program.She is in the second highest reading group. She likes to tell stories about her life and often talks about the horsesher family races. Student Ten met or exceeded the goals for this unit. She scored an 11 on the finalperformance task. Her score on the cow writing assessment increased by 2 points during the unit.Her scores on the descriptive word check increased by about 15% in each area. Throughout theunit she worked hard and made small gains. Her strength was her ability to choose from a largevocabulary of words for her writing. Her challenges in this unit were relying on her own ideasfor her writing. She has a tendency to talk ideas over with her table group, and you can see theseideas throughout all of their writing. I would recommend that she be placed at a table by herselfwhen writing so that she can work on developing her own ideas instead of relying on herclassmates. Student Eleven comes from an interesting background. Both of his parents are deaf-mute, and a translatoris brought in for conferences and open house nights. He learned to speak from the TV and his older sibling. He isquiet and most of the time has a difficult time following classroom instruction. He often seems confused by thedirections and lost when writing in his journal. He is one of three students pulled out in the morning for ELLinstruction. He is also pulled out of the classroom twice a week for speech instruction. Student Eleven struggles everyday with writing. His background has made it difficult forhim to form complete sentences on his own. This unit was no different. His scores on the cowwriting remained the same. The descriptive word check had results going in both directions. Hispercentage of the words chosen that were descriptive words decreased by 9% over the twoweeks. His percentage of descriptive words chosen out of the total number of descriptive wordsincreased from 25% to 56%. These scores reflect the fact that he chose 14 more words during the 132
  • 133. final word check compared to the beginning. He scored a 9 on the final performance task, whichwas at the lower end of the passing scores. Student Twelve is one of the most interesting students in the classroom. He is an emotional guy who oftenhas difficulty controlling his behavior. When upset and frustrated he will often cry and cause a disruption in theclass. He is in the intensive reading group, however he reads quite well. There are two reasons he was placed inthis group—It is a boost to his confidence and he does very poorly on the nonsense word fluency timed test that isone of the placement indicators at this school. He does best with one on one interaction. I believe that this is due tothe fact he recently became an older brother after being the only child for six years. It was recently discovered thathe will be a big brother again soon. He is especially volatile when in close proximity to Student Seventeen. He likesto be moving around. Student 12 did well in this unit, especially on the descriptive word check. His scores onthis activity increased by 81% in both areas for which I calculated the percentages. He was oneof only two students to choose all of the descriptive words and only the descriptive words in thefinal assessment of this activity. These scores tell me that he has built his vocabulary ofdescriptive words throughout this unit. He scored 9 on the final performance task. He wouldhave scored higher except he did not go into detail beyond his hair and eye color, and he did notdescribe where and when he was “caught”. His score on the cow writing increased by 9 pointsover the two weeks. This was the greatest gain made by any student. Even though he made greatgains, he struggled with several aspects of the unit. He became extremely frustrated during thesecond lesson. I believe this was because it was a new type of learning in the classroom. Thestudents had never worked in stations all at once like in this lesson. I purposely paired him with astudent that I thought would help, but this was not the case. During another lesson he becamefrustrated and I paired him with a different student. This time, the peer was a good helper, and hewas able to work through this frustration and complete the assignment. In the future I wouldmake sure to have one-on-one time to discuss what to expect during a “new” lesson. I would alsopair him with a peer that can help him to succeed. 133
  • 134. Student Thirteen is in the highest reading group. She is more than willing to read to anyone who willlisten. Her parents are highly involved in her education, and her mom is in the classroom during writing severaldays a week. Student Thirteen performed well during the writing portions of this unit. Her score on thecow writing assignment increased by 4 points, which was more than the class average. Her finalwrite was focused on just the cow; while her pre-write was a rambling 4 page long play-by-playof what was happening in the classroom that day. On the descriptive word check, she chosefewer descriptive words at the end of the unit than she did at the beginning. She excelled at thefinal performance task though. She had the most descriptive writing in the class. She included 7sentences describing herself, and three things she was “caught” doing, and one of those threeactivities had 3 details. She received a score of 12 on this task. A challenge for this student is totake her time and focus on the specific activity that is going on. She tends to rush through theassignment to be the first one done. This leads to carelessness in her spelling and conventions.In the future I would give her a timer and have her focus on a specific task for the length of thetimer, without changing to any other topic for that period of time. I think this would help her tocorrect many of her own mistakes and focus more readily. Student Fourteen is another student in the highest reading group (bees). He is a happy student who excelsat all tasks placed in front of him. His parents are not involved at school, although they do seem to support hisacademics at home. Student 14 came into the unit with a strong grasp of what a descriptive word was, and hewas already using descriptive words frequently in his writing. He had 100% accuracy on thedescriptive word check, and he chose two more words the second time around. His score on thecow writing assignment increased by 3 points, which was the average amount of increase for theclass. He received a 10 on the final performance task, which was the average score. I think thathis vocabulary increased during the unit, but he already had a firm grasp on what a descriptive 134
  • 135. word was and how to use it in a sentence. In the future I would challenge this student by givinghim extensions to do on top of the regular assignment. Student Fifteen is a fun student who always seems to be moving in hyper-drive. She has one speed and thatspeed is fast. She has a difficult time focusing if there is too much noise, so she often uses noise blockers. Becauseshe is distracted easily, she is often finishing worksheets during recess. She would be a very successful student if shecould focus on finishing her work. She is currently in the third highest reading group. She is raised by her mom andI don’t believe that her dad is involved in her life at this time. She is obsessed with superheroes, especially Batman. Student 15 performed at level during this unit. She started the unit choosing 50% of thedescriptive words on the word check. Over the course of the two weeks, her score decreased by6% (she chose one less word on the final check). Her first score on the cow writing assignmentwas a 12, which was average for the class. She did not turn in the final write. Her score on thefinal assessment was a 10. She used enough clues about herself, but did not vary the choice ofwords to describe herself. Her strength in this unit was her ability to stay focused. Normally thisis difficult for her. I believe that she was able to do this because I incorporated activities that lether move around instead of just staying still in her seat. Her favorite lesson was lesson #5 usingthe gemstones and rocks. I believe that she will benefit from more lessons that incorporatemovement to help her stay on task. Student Sixteen is one of the quietest students in the classroom. He seems wary of adults and does not wantto let people into his world. He is in the most intensive reading group and is making progress, however he has littlesupport at home. Student 16 seemed to really enjoy this unit. He struggled with the cow writingassignment, with his score only increasing by one point from a 6 to a 7 over the course of the twoweeks. His scores on the descriptive word check increased over the unit as well. At the end ofthe unit he chose 4 more descriptive words than at the beginning of the unit. His percentage ofwords chosen that were descriptive words was 42% at the beginning and 50% at the end. Hisscore on the self description final assessment was a 10, which was right with the rest of the class.I feel that he made gains during this unit, especially considering his reading level. He did 135
  • 136. struggle with staying on task during the writing portion of the unit, but he is always quick to getback to work when I catch him. I believe that by improving his reading his writing can only getbetter! Student Seventeen is an engaging student. He is one of the most disruptive students in the classroom and ison a behavior plan. Every day he takes a notebook home with a note to his parents detailing his day. His parents aredivorced but his time is split equally between the two (i.e. he may fall asleep at his mom’s and wake up at his dad’s).His attention has increased steadily since the beginning of the year. He is a benchmark student when he focuses oncompleting his work and not drawing in his notebook. Student Seventeen did ok in this unit when he was able to focus on the tasks. His score onthe final assessment self-description was a 9. He was removed from the classroom during thiswriting assignment because of the disruption he was causing. His description included manydetails about himself, but he omitted any mention of getting “caught” doing something goodaround school. If he had included this in his description, it would have been a higher score. Hisscore increased by 4 points on the cow description writing assignment, from a 13 to a 17. He didwell on the descriptive word check. At the beginning of the unit he chose 6 descriptive words outof 12 total chosen (he chose 38% of the descriptive words on the word check). By the end of theunit he was able to choose 16 descriptive words out of a total 17 words chosen. This means thathe identified every descriptive word on the check, and chose one word that was not descriptive. Ibelieve that this student would benefit from more challenging assignments. I believe that he actsout when he does not feel challenged. Student Eighteen is a student who is more concerned with her extracurricular activities than herschoolwork. Her family is very busy with activities for her older sister and her. Almost every morning she has anexcuse for why she has not done her read-at-home. She is close to student three and she helps whenever he is in theclassroom. She is a benchmark student. Student Eighteen was only present for the first 4 days of the unit. At the beginning of theunit she was able to identify descriptive words on the word check with 60% accuracy; howevershe only identified 19% of the total number of descriptive words. She scored a 13 on her cow 136
  • 137. writing assignment, which was one of the slightly above average scores at the beginning of theunit. I believe that if she had been in class for the final 4 days that she would have excelled at thefinal performance task. Student Nineteen is an excellent student. She is supported by her parents who help her to succeed. Sheseems to deeply ponder ideas and sometimes these ideas cloud her emotions. All of the girls want to be her friendand it can cause problems when all of the girls are crowded around her desk begging her to be their partner. Student Nineteen was an expert on descriptive words when we started the unit! She wasable to identify 100% of the descriptive words on the word check with 100% accuracy, both atthe beginning and end of the unit. Her writing on the cow at the beginning was a score of 14, andat the end she scored a 19. Her score increased by a total of 5 points, which was about theaverage class increase of 3 points. She scored a 10 on the final performance assessment. I hadexpected her to score higher, but she did not elaborate on what she was “caught” doing. In thefuture I would support her knowledge and skills by incorporating more literature that used manydescriptive words. I would then have her choose words from these books to include in her ownwriting. Student Twenty is a sweet student who wants to increase his knowledge. He is in the top reading group andis one of the few students who chooses to read chapter books when given the choice. When I asked him if he wantedto read to me he answered “Yes, I want to improve my reading so I can do better today.” He is close to his mom,with whom he lives. His dad is also in his life, and they both work with him on his reading. Student Twenty started this unit as one of the strongest writers in the class. He frequentlywrites several page long stories and was already including color descriptions into his writing. Hisscore on the cow writing assignment increased by 4 points, from a 15 to a 19, over the course ofthe unit. His score on the descriptive word check was lower than I expected at the beginning. Hehad an accuracy of 60%, but he only chose 38% of the descriptive words on the word check. Bythe end of the unit he had an accuracy of 100% and he chose 81% of the descriptive words.These scores tell me that his vocabulary of descriptive words grew during the unit. His score on 137
  • 138. the final performance task was 11, which exceeded the class average. During this unit hisknowledge of how to use descriptive words and his vocabulary of what words to use hasincreased. In the future I would support his continued use of descriptive words by activelyencouraging him to re-read and edit his writing to make it exciting by using descriptive words. Student Twenty-One is a student who loves music. Whenever music is playing in the classroom he is movingto the beat. He is in the third highest reading group and often struggles. He talks about his mother frequently and Ihave only heard him mention his dad on a few occasions. Student Twenty-One stayed at about the same level after the unit as he was before theunit. His accuracy on the descriptive word check increased by less than 10%, from an accuracyof 47% to 56%. The number of descriptive words that he was able to identify increased from 8words to 15 words over the course of the unit though. He stayed about the same on the cowwriting assignment. His score only changed by 1 point, from a 12 to a 13. His score on the finalperformance task was a 10, which was right in with the class average. I believe that this studentwas excited to learn during this unit, especially for lesson #5, but he would have benefitted frommore one on one time together to support this skill. Student Twenty-Two is a student who gets bored easily and does not like to follow the rules. She isconstantly wandering the room and needs direction to get back on task. She is one of the more advanced students inthe classroom and I believe that she needs a more challenging environment. When she gets frustrated she willcomplain and throw a fit. She and her sister are raised by their father. She rarely gets to visit her mother (a week inthe summer and several days over Christmas vacation). Student Twenty-Two was absent for three days during the middle of the unit. She missedthe day in which we were writing the clues for the final performance task, however she waspresent on the day that the clues were presented. She was able to participate in the guessing gamewith the clues. Her score on the cow writing increased by 4 points over the course of the unit,from a 9 to a 13. She did not do that well on the descriptive word check. At the beginning of theunit she was able to choose half of the descriptive words with 53% accuracy. However at the end 138
  • 139. of the unit she chose 44% of the descriptive words with 50% accuracy. She would havebenefitted from being present in class for the three days that she missed. Student Twenty-Three is a student who is happy to get his work done. He is in the intensive group forreading. He is raised by his dad and his grandparents. All of them came to the open house with him, and they allseem to be happy just like the student. I was surprised with Student Twenty-Three‟s knowledge of descriptive words at thebeginning of the unit. Although he is in the lowest reading group, he was able to identify all ofthe descriptive words with 80% accuracy at the beginning of the unit, and all of the descriptivewords at the end of the unit with 94% accuracy. His scores on the cow writing did not changeduring the unit. He started with a score of 9 and that is what he got on the final write too. Hisself description for the final performance task was excellent though. He included details thatwere definitely original to him, but he did leave out a description of what he was “caught” doingaround school. If he would have included this description, he would have received a score thatexceeded the class average. He does well with a lot of support from the adults in the room. In thefuture I would make sure that he is able to work close to an adult so that he can ask questions asneeded. Student Twenty-Four is the third ELL student, and is the shyest student in the classroom. He struggles withworksheets but easily succeeds with a little help. He has a large family and I don’t believe that either of his parentsspeaks English. He can get emotional at times, and if he feels that the work is too difficult, he will complain of astomachache. This student moved the day before the unit began. 139
  • 140. Analytical Essay 140
  • 141. I began the process of writing this unit with a fear of getting the standards and lessonsaligned in a way that would make sense to the first graders. I chose the standards based on theoutcomes I wanted from the students. This unit was an introduction to descriptive words toenhance the writing. My main focus was on building the students‟ vocabulary and knowledge ofwhat a descriptive word is, as well as how to use these words in a sentence. I feel that this unitwas somewhat aligned but it could have better. The standards were well chosen and aligned,except for the career related learning goal. I should have switched the focus standard (careerdevelopment) and support standard (communication) for my career related learning goals. Thecommunication standard was clearly met at multiple times throughout the unit while the careerdevelopment standard was skipped when I changed lesson 7. The enduring understandings werealigned with the standards and the lessons. Each of the questions and understandings were met atdifferent times during the unit. The lessons were well planned and aligned to a point. When Imade it to lesson 6, the alignment fell apart. At this point, I strayed from the standards and thestudents lost interest. The assessments were aligned with the learning goals of this unit. Throughthe assessments I was able to determine the students‟ vocabulary and how they were usingdescriptive words. I chose a variety of instructional strategies to engage the wide range of learning styles inthe classroom. There were 14 different instructional strategies used throughout this 8 lesson unit.The strategies that I used most often were brainstorming and discussion, cooperative learning,project based learning, and writing/journals. These strategies were important for me to usebecause I feel that these strategies are the most effective way for students to construct knowledgefor themselves. Most of the lessons were engaging for the students; however two wereparticularly difficult for the students to become excited about. These lessons were lesson 6 and 141
  • 142. lesson 7. The strategies that I chose to use for these lessons could have been engaging andexciting, but I did not develop the back story for the project as well as I should have. In thefuture I will monitor the student engagement more closely to better realize when I need to shiftthe direction of the lesson. I believe that my instructional strategies reflect “best practices” byallowing students to learn by discovery instead of direct instruction. Students were enthralled during lesson 5! I began the lesson by reading Dave‟s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop. This book had a lot of information about rocks and gemstones. Studentslearned about rocks in addition to the different ways that the rocks can be described in thislesson. Students learned about different types of rocks and different ways that these rocks can beclassified. There are many ways that I feel this unit could be strengthened. Because the primaryfocus of this unit is to improve the students writing, I would increase the amount of free writingthat students are doing during each lesson. This would be impossible, though, with the amount oftime that I was working with. I ran out of time in 4 of the 8 lessons. I could teach the lesson oneday, and then have the students write on the next day. Another option would be to increase eachlesson by 15-20 minutes to give students the time to process and then write in their journals. Thenext way that I would improve the unit would be to introduce more content to the students. Itaught students vocabulary, but they would benefit from more instruction on ways to place thewords in their writing. I think it would be more effective to teach this unit after teaching thestudents about nouns and verbs. Students had some knowledge of nouns and verbs, but notenough to be clear in identifying these types of words. The final two things I would changewould be lessons 6 & 7. Students did alright on these lessons, but I felt like the unit would havebeen strengthened if I changed these lessons. In lesson six I would have the students complete 142
  • 143. the graphic organizer along with me on the Elmo. I feel this would give students a better idea ofwhat kinds of details were expected. Lesson seven could have been combined with lesson 6 anddone over two days instead of one. Transitions are everything! This was the number one thing that I have taken away fromteaching my work sample unit. I found that the more creative I was with the transitions, thebetter they went. One of the amazing words during the first week of my work sample was“migrate” so I used this word throughout the day when students needed to move from the carpetto their desks. I also added how the students were to migrate by choosing animals that migrate inthe wild (butterflies, caribou, geese, etc.). The students did amazing with this strategy. Another thing that I learned during this unit is to write down my observations. Thiswould have aided me greatly when I was assessing the students. Taking notes would have cut mygrading time in half and helped me to make more comments about the students‟ progress duringthis unit. I also learned that it is not important to change a lesson in the five minutes before you aregoing to teach the lesson, unless you have properly planned for this eventuality. I did this onlesson seven without proper planning and I felt like it was a huge failure, for me and the students.In the future, if I wasn‟t comfortable with the lesson for the day, I would postpone the lessonuntil the next day and continue with what the students had been doing the previous day. The final observation I made about myself, as a teacher and student, is that I am not a fanof direct instruction. There were lessons during this unit in which students would have benefittedfrom direct instruction, but because of my fear/hatred of direct instruction it didn‟t happen. Thisis an area of my teaching that I will be focused on improving in my upcoming units. 143
  • 144. Resources 144
  • 145. Websites:Read, Write, Think Lesson Plan: Descriptive Writing and the 100th day of Schoolhttp://readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view_printer_friendly.asp.?iid=891Books:Cuyler, Margery (2000). 100th day worries. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.Joy, N. (2007). The secret olivia told me. East Orange, New Jersey: Just us Books, Inc.Sendak, Maurice (1963). Where the wild things are. New York, New York: Harper Collins.Murphy, Stuart J. (2000). Daves down-to-earth rock shop. New York, New York: Harper Collins.San Souci, Robert D. (1995). The faithful friend. New York, New York: Aladdin Paperbacks.Scott Foresman Reading Text, Teachers Edition, Unit 3Scott Foresman First Grade Grammar Workbook, page 162Software:Turning PointPowerPoint 145
  • 146. Appendix A:Pre-assessment work samples 146
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  • 155. Appendix B:Formative Assessments 155
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  • 164. Appendix C:Final Performance Task 164
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