My Education Portfolio David J. Gonzalez EDF 2085/ Professor Qadri ESE and ESL Observations November 2012Lawton Elementary – Oviedo, FL Parkway Middle-Kissimmee, FL
Reflection Reflection on ESL/ESE/Ethnic Specific Students Last year, I had the privilege to observe for fifteen hours at Oviedo High School in the Biology and Anatomy Honors program. This year, it was quite different. It was not only a privilege, it was an honor. I had the chance to work with fifth grade students in the ESE and ESOL program at Lawton Elementary, and also observe the differences between counties in a seventh grade Social Studies ESE classroom in a more Ethnic Specific (Hispanic) school, at Parkway Middle. Mrs. Kelly, Miss Milan, Mrs. Scribner, Mrs. Goff, and Mr. Revell are part of and have created a multicultural demographic and curriculum (p. 16,22,49) that I found healthy and serious to these students with special needs. What I noticed very much in general in all classrooms, was the inclusion program and acceptance (p.160) of students by others that may be different to them. There was no such thing as segregation or separation (p.119), of any sort. Groups were strategically placed and made so students could be exposed to other students of different cultures, rather than staying amongst their own dominant culture (p.341) of choice. For example, in Mrs. Kelly’s classroom, students sat in groups of four- boy, girl, boy, girl; furthermore, a Florida native sat next to Priscolla, an Egyptian ESOL student, and another Florida native English speaking student, sat next to Quiroles, another Egyptian speaking ESOL student. Already at the fifth grade level, this allowed students and educators alike,for their cultural pluralism (p.41) to bloom and cross-cultural awareness (p.228) to expand for the better. Proxemics and Ebonics, (p.272), were critical at both schools with different demographics. You had an eighty percent Hispanic classroom in Osceola county, and the complete opposite in of twenty percent along with special needs in Seminole county. Teachers had to create IEP’s (p.400), sometimes weekly for fifteen to twenty individual students at a time for each individual special need parents requested of the educator. The educator not only had become understandable in their body language and tactics, she or he had to concentrate on behavior management programs (p. 402) to keep the classroom in control. For example, separating them in small groups to read together, or when it was becoming too loud, performing signals and verbal song and note to catch the students’ attention to be quiet, need attention, or congratulations. Specifically Mrs. Scribner, Mrs. Kelly, and Miss Milan for their ESE and ESOL students, they used the Kagen model very much so, in cooperative learning (p.335).
This helped educators not only establish the direction of where the classrooms progress wasgoing with better responses from the students, it allowed them to create authenticassessment (p.386) in preparation for state testing such as the FCAT that caters to the NoChild Left Behind Act of 2001, (p. 436). The accountability movement, (p. 450), was highly used where educators inthe mainstream courses needed assistance with special needs students with theirindividualized education plans. They usually had a specialist or even just a volunteeringmentor to help read to the student at times when the ESOL student was overwhelmed withstudents, or was working with one individual at a time. However, the administrative andcommunity involvement in Seminole County was higher than Osceola County, ironically whenthe higher rate of students needing assistance was in Osceola. Bilingual education wasprovided in Osceola county to make it easier for students to pass, however when it came tolanguage testing for English or FCAT reports, the student was not doing well- yet passed. My experience was overwhelming across the board, noticing the areas ofconstructivism and cognitive structures that need to be helped and created in both schools.Attention was given to these students, but not enough to feed them academically. We areseeing progress in acceptance in the classroom by students; now we need to work on betterand more authentic education from the more trained ESE and ESOL teacher in the inclusionprograms used.
Lawton Elementary – Mrs. Kelly 5th grade ESE/ Math & Reading During my observations,Mrs. Kelly performed many teachingstrategies that pioneered Kagancooperative learning styles. There wasnot one moment where the student couldloose focus, because she had a way ofbringing back the student into the lesson!Like the artifact to the right, the goalboard. The students would read togetherin unison what the goal of the day wasduring homeroom- then throughout theday, during activity groups and lessons,she would ask the students, “How do wefeel about our goal ?” And studentswould raise their hand with thecorresponding number. Four meaninggreat all the way to one meaning theyneeded help. Artifact 1
Lawton Elem.- Mrs. Kelly &Mrs. Scribner5th grade ESE/ESL Reading & Social Studies Artifacts 2-4: Social Studies newsletter, read together in small groups in Mrs. Scribner’s class. RULES- from Mrs. Kelly’s class read out loud during homeroom. Encouragement poster found in the hallway.
Lawton Elementary-Miss MilanESOL Teacher Grades 1-5 Artifacts 5-6: Miss Milan has 45-50 minutes with each group of specific language students. To the left, each student has to complete a Reading log each week and present it on Friday. To the right is a chart of difficult letter combination sounds that students say out loud together.
Inclusion ProgramAt the beginning of Mrs. Scribner’s Social Studies and Reading blockclass, all students, no matter what disability, ADHD, EMH, EBD, (untilthreatening to others), participate in an all reading together activity.Once the reading is done, Mrs. Goff, ESE and ESOL specialist showsup to the classroom to assist, and students are split up according totheir specific needs as shown above. The last picture below, areindividual learners- simply students needing more supervision thanmainstream students to keep focus. Mrs. Goff takes care of ESOL,Mrs. Scribner, with ESE.
Compare & ContrastMrs. Kelly expressed that cooperativelearning allowed students to retainknowledge better by vocalizing it more.She allowed the children to teach. Then,those students that were ESOL studentspictured on the right like Lydia, built herconfidence by speaking English andteaching the class as well. However, noticeMrs. Kelly giving her a little moreflexibility, empathy, and more explanationafterwards during assessment.
Communication is key !Quiroles and Priscolla areESOL students. They havebeen in the US for threemonths from Egypt, andcommunicate with Mrs. Kellyand share with the classabout their culture Maria from Colombia frombeautifully. the Roman Catholic faith and Lydia of the Muslim religion are the best of friends and help each other with their English! Mrs. Scribner originally from the Philipines, teaches students US History, to an African-American, Hispanic-American, and Swiss native group!
Teacher Interview with Mrs. Kelly & Miss Milan – Lawton Elementary (ESL)1. What teaching strategies do you use to accommodate non-native English speakers in your classroom? My class consists of Hispanic, Egyptian, Persian, and Muslim students. In a inclusive classroom- I limit the amount of paperwork, and do more activities which forces the non- native to speak, and causes cooperative learning to bloom in the classroom.2. What form of program is used? (bilingual, transitional, submersion, etc.)How did it help the ESL student. All students, including ESL, are inclusive. Only for 45-50 minutes during reading time, they are sent to Miss Milan (ESL specialist) to work with their reading skills. IE: Word problems are difficult.3. What kind of assistive technology or other educational resources areused for this particular group of students? Interactive Whiteboard, Think central, Textbooks online (different languages) available. Whiteboard is used to limit students from doing paperwork, but to have students vocalize and teach the class. Think central is a website that helps hispanic students for example with compare/contrast reading.4. What is your greatest challenge when teaching ESL students? Miss Milan and I have a great partnership with the ESL students where there is no consistent challenge. It really is only towards the beginning when the students are brand new, are afraid, and aren’t used to norms of American elementary education. The parents probably are the hardest to communicate with. Understanding school work.5. What forms of assessment would be best for non-native Englishspeakers? Have non-native students to vocalize, “show me” for a moment. Flexibility. With time, he or she will learn to write in English and do writing assessment with the others.
Teacher Interview with Mr. Revell – Parkway Middle School (ESE)1. What exceptionality do the students have? What grade level and what age are they? I teach 7th grade Social Studies gifted students. The other half of the day, I teach students who have ADHD,EMH, EBD. About 90 percent of my students at Parkway Middle in Kissimmee, Florida are hispanic. They range from 12 to 13 years of age.2. What needs do the children seem to have that are unique to this group? Commonto other children? What modifications in instructional approach are made? More visualitems in the classroom are needed. More items, for example, Science, not so much textbooks thatup to date, but field trips, desktops, labtops, to where the students can learn online research.3. What recommendations does the parent have for you, regarding what you mightprovide for children who have special needs? Sad to say, but most parents do not becomeinvolved with their child that has special needs until they have become threatening to otherstudents or the child has received a low grade. Parents (very few), that do become involved withtheir children that may have EMH, ADHD, etc. require an IEP specifically for them and requirestudents to go at their pace, rather than with the rest of the class.4. How have you been affected by the education policy directed at children withspecial needs. What modifications has the teacher made in teaching? What do you asa teacher still feel is needed? Definitely, where the inclusion program is also included in theBlock scheduling in our classrooms per week. It is very hard to have the students with disabilitiesanswer questions, catch up with, or understand what mainstream is working on becausesometimes their ESE specialist that pulled them out for 50 minutes every other day could notwork with them completely on the coursework. IEP’s are a definite must. Modifications are madein more group work rather than student assessment and paperwork.5. What type of assistive technology do you use to accommodate the special needsof your students There is a group of students that are hearing impaired where the teachers likemyself amplify our voices with a small microphone and surround system in the classroom.Blackboard Learn is used for parents to keep up with assignments as well.