TIE535 Instructional Design AUSL Fall 2012 TPA Task 2: Instruction Commentary Template1. In the instruction seen in the clip(s), describe strategies you used to engagestudents in learning tasks to develop skills and strategies to comprehend orcompose text.a. Cite examples of strategies aimed at engaging all your students and examples aimedat engaging specific individuals or subgroups. If you described any of these fully inthe lesson plans or the planning commentary, just reference the relevant description. One major strategy I used to engage specific individuals and subgroups was todifferentiate the reading that each group was responsible for. I used my students’reading scores from their 8th grade NWEA (map) test to place them into groups. Thereading had seven different sections, so I first ranked the sections by difficulty. Idetermined the difficulty based on the concepts that were in the sections as well as thevocabulary that the students would be responsible for explaining to their peers. I alsodivided the reading because I knew that it would be a challenge for all of my studentsto sit and read the entire three pages in the same time frame during class. Byjigsawing the material, I knew that students would benefit because they were onlyresponsible for focusing on a small part of the text. I kept students responsible for allof the material and engaged during other groups’ presentations by providing studentswith a graphic organizer to fill in while the other groups presented. When completing my planning commentary, I noticed that several of mystudents have trouble finishing tasks so I also put them in groups with classmatesthat I knew would keep them on task. The group assignment was open tointerpretation of how students presented the material following the set guidelines Icreated of what to include on their visual. I let students determine what type ofpresentation they wanted to do because I have a lot of students with different learningstyles. I knew that some students would want to present their material in a traditionalway, but I also knew that I would have students who wanted to present it in a creativeway through poetry, song, or a skit. In the video clips, it is apparent that studentschose to present their material in different ways.b. How did these strategies reflect students’ academic or language development,social/emotional development, or cultural and lived experiences? These strategies implemented support students’ academic, language, andsocial/emotional development in several ways. These strategies reflected students’academic development because students were responsible for finding the main idea ofthe text, identifying and defining key words, and determining a way to present that
would make the material easily understood by their peers. Identifying the main idea oftext as well as meaning of words (vocabulary) are skills that are part of the collegereadiness standards for reading. The focus on meaning of words supports students’language development because I am expanding their vocabulary. By incorporatingthese skills into my lessons, I am providing opportunities for academic growth. Mainidea and meaning of words are skills that can be transferred between academicsubjects and are tested on the AUSL interims and ACT exam. Most importantly, theseskills are ones that my students will need to know how to do on their own to be readyfor college. Social and emotional development was implemented in my lesson through theintentional planning and structure of cooperative learning groups. I spent time tocreate the cooperative learning groups in a way that would promote socialdevelopment especially in the sense of working with peers who students may nottypically interact with. I always emphasize that our class is a “team” and in our classwe all work together towards our objectives. I saw students flourish in the groups Iplaced them in with other students that they may have never spoken to before. It wasa difficult task to divide students by reading levels and different social groups, but Iam glad that I did because they were productive in their groups. I used the planningcommentary to observe which students worked best with each other, and whichstudents were counterproductive to the learning of specific peers. I purposelyseparated the students that I knew would hinder each other’s progress on the task.2. Cite examples of language supports seen in the clip(s) to help your studentsunderstand that content and/or participate in literacy discourse central to thelesson.a. How did these strategies reflect students’ varying language proficiencies andpromotetheir language development? In social studies, a lot of the vocabulary I use is unfamiliar to the students.Throughout my video clips, I have provided several examples where my students or Ielaborated on specific language that students need to know. For example, in the firstclip of the “Do Now” I emphasize that by the end of the period, all students will be ableto define Latin America. One of the reading groups had the definition of Latin Americain their reading and when they presented it I had them emphasize it to the class (notseen in video). In the video clip after the “Do Now”, I had students preview the mapbefore answering the questions. The Yucatan Peninsula was a place that wasinhabited by the Mayans which were a main aspect of the unit on Latin America wewere working on. I had students clarify that it was not just a peninsula, but had aspecific name that is important to their understanding of the content. During anactivity where students analyzed documents and answered questions, one of thequestions contained information about the source line which I had not previouslyexplained. As seen in the video, I had the student I cold called for that response sharewith the class how to find the source line, and then I emphasized what the source line
was. We read and analyze primary and secondary source documents almost daily so itwas important that I highlighted that term. I have a lot of students in my class thatare English Language Learners so it is important that I always review vocabulary thatwe use in class as well as content knowledge.3. Describe strategies for eliciting student thinking and how your ongoingresponses further their learning. Cite examples from the clip(s).Strategies I used to elicit student thinking were to preview the material, use a do nowquestion that addressed a concept students struggled with in previous days, andmaking students explain their thinking. For the “Do Now”, students were asked toanswer the question “Why is Latin America called Latin America?” In the video, I coldcalled a student and he gave me his response to the question. I also cold called twoother students, and then addressed that by the end of the class, students would beexperts on that question. By telling them that they would have the answer before theyleft, they had their eyes and ears ready to identify that information in the lesson.Another thing I did in the video clips was to have students explain their thinking. Forexample, I cold called one student to give me his answer and then prompted him tothink further by explaining how he knew that answer since it was not in the reading.He was able to explain that he found the information in a previous activity whichshows he was able to transfer that knowledge to this reading. I also provide evidenceof eliciting student thinking when the students are presenting their information and Iask them to define their vocabulary word “descendants”. Although it was in theirreading, they did not have access to their reading while they were presenting and itmade them think about what the word meant and how to define it. I explicitly toldstudents in one of the video clips that I would ask them to provide clarification if theyleft anything out of their presentation which guided them to deeply think about theirreading while they were in their groups. As I walked around, I saw that many studentsunderlined or circled information in their reading although I never told them to do so.4. Reflectiona. Reflect on students’ learning of concepts and academic language as featured in thevideo clip(s). Identify both successes and missed opportunities for monitoring allstudents’ learning and for building their own understanding of skills and strategies forcomprehending and/or composing text. One missed opportunity for vocabulary and content knowledge was when I hadstudents answer what the title of the peninsula in Mexico that the Mayans inhabited,but never asked any students to clarify what a peninsula actually is. It has a specifictitle I was looking for (Yucatan Peninsula), and because I was focused on themidentifying the specific name, I missed the opportunity for students to explain what a
peninsula actually is. I also established guidelines for the students in their readinggroups, but did not model how to pull information from the text. I assumed thatstudents would know how to dissect the information, but when students presented ingroups I found that some students missed the main ideas of their reading. Anotheropportunity I missed for student learning and thinking was when I directly gavestudents the five senses and how to implement them. Something such as identifyingfive senses seems elementary, but instead of me listing them off to students I couldhave had them identify them. Sometimes I find that I give students definitions andexamples without first having the students attempt to identify them on their own. Ihave a variety of learners in my classroom, but I am confident that if given theopportunity to think about content, concepts, and examples more frequently mystudents would be successful in providing the answers.b. If you could do it over, what might you have done to take advantage of missedopportunities or to improve the learning of students with diverse learning needsand characteristics? If I had the opportunity to do this again, I would provide an opportunity forstudents to think-pair-share to support the learning of my students with diverselearning needs and characteristics. Students with diverse learning needs benefit fromthink-pair-shares because they have the opportunity to pair up to communicate andshare ideas with their peers. I typically cold call students to ensure that I am giving allstudents an opportunity to actively engage in class, but I could have just as easily coldcalled students after a think-pair-share. Another thing I would do is model my readingskills or do a think-aloud of how I read. A lot of my students are lower readers, and byintentionally grouping them with similar level readers I found that the strugglingreaders were all in the same group left to figure out how to identify the main ideas anddetails from the reading that I was looking for. I would also spend more time onspecific definitions which is something that I sometimes rush over or do not return to.I am thinking about implementing a vocabulary log for each unit with upcoming unitsso that students can track the vocabulary and have more at-bats to use thevocabulary in different contexts.