The learners that I analyzed went to a rural public school located in a farming
community. It was an elementary school that served approximately 860 students in
grades kindergarten through fifth. I analyzed learners from a third grade class made up of
seventeen students. Each grade level in the school is set up in a team teaching format. I
only analyzed learners from the host teacher who taught the subjects Social Studies and
Math. I decided to focus on the subject of Social Studies and chose the following third
grade Georgia Performance Standard:
Map and Globe Skill
GOAL: The student will use maps to retrieve social studies information.
4. compare and contrast the categories of natural, cultural, and political features
found on maps
6. use map key/legend to acquire information from, historical, physical, political,
resource, product and economic maps
8. draw conclusions and make generalizations based on information from maps
The class that I analyzed was made up of seventeen students. The class
demographics are explained in the table below. The teacher I worked with gathered the
information from existing documents that describe each student. These documents were
given to her at the beginning of the year and assisted me in filling in each category. The
categories that I obtained information for include grade, age, gender, ethnicity, special
needs, and extenuating circumstances.
Class Information Chart
Grade Age Class Gender Ethnic Special Extenuating
Level Range Size Background Needs Circumstances
Third 8- 9 17 Male- Caucasian- 9 Gifted Divorced
Grade years students 10 African Program- Parents- #1, #6,
old Female- American- 5 #3, #5, #10
7 Hispanic- 2 #13 Retained- #2, #8
#10 medication- #9,
LD- #10 #10, #14
There are a total of 860 students that attend this elementary school of kindergarten
through fifth grade. I created a table that outlines the schools demographics put together
by existing information furnished from the county given to me by the classroom teacher.
School Information Chart
Gender Ethnic Background Location Socio-Economic
Male: African American: Rural Farming Free Lunch:
420 313 Community 61.7%
Female: Asian: Reduced Lunch:
380 1 11.5%
Caucasian: Paid Lunch:
Entry Skills & Prior Knowledge
In order to determine the prior knowledge and skills that the students already had
regarding this particular GPS I created and administered a pre-test. The pre-test
(Appendix A) contained 7 questions that directly covered different sections of the chosen
standard. Below is a table that contains the data of students’ test scores on the pre-test.
Student Total Total Number of Question Question
# Number of Questions Numbers Numbers
Questions Incorrect Correct Incorrect
1 5 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 5, 7
2 1 6 3 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
3 0 7 0 All
4 2 5 1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
5 3 4 1, 3, 5 2, 4, 6, 7
6 4 3 1, 2, 4, 5 3, 6, 7
7 0 7 0 All
8 0 7 0 All
9 2 5 4, 6 1, 2, 3, 5, 7
10 1 6 3 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
11 3 4 1, 2, 3 4, 5, 6, 7
12 5 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 5, 6
13 2 5 1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
14 0 7 0 All
15 1 6 2 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
16 4 3 1, 3, 5, 6 2, 3, 7
17 1 6 3 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
The results indicate that the students do not have a significant amount of knowledge
about map skills. Judging from the test it seems that many, if not all of the students have
seen a map before and have an idea as to what it is used for. As I watched the students
take the pre-test I was able to develop a clear understanding of their prior knowledge. A
lot of the vocabulary associated with map skills was unknown to the students and caused
them to struggle on several questions. Most of them had an awareness of the four
cardinal directions and seemed comfortable with those words, but approximately half of
the class was unable to correctly identify specific locations on the map based off of those
four directions. Also, most of the students illustrated that they do not know the
difference between the types of maps that exist.
Motivation and Strategies
The basis of my description on academic motivation is based solely on my experience
of teaching this standard in the past. What I have learned is that if you can make this
topic relevant to the students’ lives then they are much more motivated to learn about
maps. Basically, in order to motivate them you must teach them why this concept will be
important and beneficial to them directly. Also, on most occasions in the elementary
classroom the subject of Social Studies is not necessarily loved by the students. By the
third grade the students have not had a tremendous amount of exposure to this subject
due to the fact that a majority of instructional time in the lower grades is spent on literacy
and mathematics. This will definitely be a factor, causing students to be unmotivated to
learn this topic.
According to John Keller’s ARCS model for motivation there are four categories
related defined which include attention, relevance, confidence, and retention. The first is
attention. In each lesson the attention of each and every student must be gained from the
beginning. The first strategy I would use is an essential question for each lesson. I
would present the questions to the students at the beginning of the lesson and make them
aware that they should know the answer by the end of instructional time. This way the
students will be aware of exactly what they should learn throughout the course of the
The next element that must be taken into account is relevance. In order to motivate
any student to learn information it is vitally important to make the material at hand
relevant to their lives. One strategy that can be used in this case is outlined by Ruth
Small (1997) which involves relating the concept being studied to the students’ lives
directly. During my unit of instruction I would take the map concept and teach students
the skills needed through authentic activities based on real world experiences. For
example one culminating project I would use to teach these skills is to have the students
plan a trip in which they have to visit three different cities in Georgia. They must then
use the map to write driving directions for their trip, including the four cardinal
directions. Then the students would have to make a map of their trip, labeling specific
points, as well as create a map legend.
According to the ARCS Motivation Theory the next element related to motivation is
confidence. A teacher must allow the students to develop confidence in the material they
are learning as well as the activities they are completing. One strategy used to promote
confidence in students is to detail the desired outcomes and requirements of assignments
through rubrics. I would provide a rubric for the culminating project so that all the
students would know exactly what is expected of them. This will give them confidence
when completing the assignment instead of being confused or timid.
The last element of ARCS Motivation Theory is satisfaction. Small (1997) identifies
both intrinsic reinforcement and extrinsic rewards as strategies. Intrinsic reinforcement
entails producing the ability for a student to internally reinforce their own behaviors and
learning. This can be promoted by praise by the teacher and individual encouragement
which can certainly be utilized within this plan of instruction during every lesson.
Extrinsic rewards are external factors that promote student success. Grades are a key
example of this strategy, and can be used to motivate the student to learn and demonstrate
the map skills listed in the GPS I chose.
Educational and Ability Levels
Overall the majority of the students are performing on grade-level so far this year.
However, there are a few students with extenuating circumstances that are labeled below
grade-level. One student was retained based on standardized test scores from the
previous year, and a second student has a diagnosed learning disability. In order to
determine their appropriate ability levels the classroom teacher also helped me to create a
table, located below, that specifically details each student’s ability levels based on
independence, participation, and interaction. Each student’s ability level for each
category is ranked on a scale of high, medium, or low.
Student Level of Level of Participation Degree of Interaction
1 High High High
2 Medium Medium Medium
3 High Medium Medium
4 High High High
5 High High Medium
6 High High High
7 Low Low Low
8 Medium High High
9 Medium High High
10 Medium Medium Medium
11 High High High
12 High High High
13 High High High
14 High Medium Low
15 Medium Medium Medium
16 High High High
17 High Medium Medium
Within this group of students there are several different types of learner
characteristics. In order to identify each child’s specific learner characteristics I
administered a multiple intelligence survey (Appendix C with scoring directions) based
off of Gardner’s theory. The different types of learners were linguistic, logical-
mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. I had
a student in each of these categories, with several students’ scores qualifying them to fit
into many of the different types of learning styles. The total number of students that fit
into each learning category is displayed in the graph below.
Linguistic Logical- Musical Spatial Bodily- Intrapersonal Interpersonal
6 8 3 4 11 13 13
I found in the results that often times a student either fit into the linguistic learner
characteristic or the logical one, but had very few students whose scores placed them in
both categories. By identifying their different types of learning characteristics I will have
a better understanding of how each child learns, how they go about processing different
types of information, and have the opportunity to group them according to the learning
types, creating a lesson or activity that plays to each of their strengths (“Learning Styles,”
Culture and Ethnicity
This classroom is made up of students with various ethnicity and cultural
backgrounds. The three main ethnic groups represented are Caucasian, African
American, and Hispanic. Students from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds come
into a classroom with a varying assortment of prior knowledge. One strategy mentioned
by Davis (1993) in her article is to become informed of the history and background of a
variety of cultural groups. This will involve integrating instructional materials, such as
books, that explore different culture’s backgrounds into the classroom everyday. Also,
Davis (1993) suggests the strategy of never protecting students in a particular cultural
group. It is important for a teacher to be consistent and fair across the board. A teacher
must set standards for everyone in the classroom and remain true to them.
In the class I analyzed there are several Hispanic students. Y. Padron, H.
Waxman, & H. Rivera (2002) outline a variety of strategies specific to the Hispanic
population in their article. One strategy in particular that is named is cooperative
learning groups. This is defined as using small group instruction in order to allow
students to work together to create a learning environment where learning is maximized
(Y. Padron et al., 2002).
There are also several African American students in this class. One strategy that
Neely (n.d.) talks about in his article is using visual when presenting material. By using
visual aids it gives African American students a better chance of comprehending the
concept being taught (Neely, n.d.).
There were several students in this class that had special needs which were listed in
the table of student demographics, but will I list again in narrative format. The special
needs that are present in this class include: Three students in the gifted program, and one
student who has an unidentified learning disability and also receives speech services. In
the extenuating circumstances column of the demographics chart the classroom teacher
stated that three different students take medication, but did not classify them in a special
needs category or divulge specifics regarding the medicine that they take.
Attention Deficit Disorder
Although there are no students identified as having ADD in my particular group
of learners, it is a prevalent special needs area that most teachers encounter in their
classrooms. Therefore, I chose to obtain accommodations specific to this ADD/ADHD.
In the article Teaching Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
Instructional Strategies and Practices (US Department of Education, 2008) many
different strategies and accommodations are described. One specific strategy named in
this article is a structured academic environment. The structured nature of a classroom
allows for students with this disability to understand the expectations that are set before
them both behaviorally and academically every single day.
Learning Disabilities (LD)
There is one student in the class that is diagnosed with a learning disability. There
were no particular details revealed about the nature of the disability, but the child is
receiving Special Education Services. Garner (2007), in her article, focused on the
learning disability of Dyslexia. She described research known about the cause of this
learning disorder, as well as listed a number of effective accommodations. One
accommodation that was mentioned is the use of assistive technology. The author
explained that there are technologies that are available to assist the students in the reading
process by allowing them to hear the information instead of reading it independently.
Since my outlined GPS is Social Studies and not directly linked to teaching reading
comprehension, the accommodation of assisted technology would be extremely
beneficial. With this technology the student would be able to focus solely on the map
skills content instead of struggling with reading comprehension.
There are three students in this class that are identified as gifted learners. Although,
sometimes these students are left out of this category, these learners are also classified as
special needs. One accommodation that could be used in this particular unit of study is to
collaboratively develop, with the students, additional projects for them to do. This way
the students can expand on their learning by studying a topic more in depth (Georgia
Department of Education, 2004).
Third Grade Map Skills Pre-test
Unit Pre-Test: Map Skills
1. Which state is south of Georgia b. Alabama (AL)
(GA)? c. Florida (FL)
a. Tennessee (TN) d. South Carolina (SC)
2. Which state is east of Utah 4. What kind of map is the one
(UT)? located above?
a. Nevada (NV) a. Political Map
b. Colorado (CO) b. Physical Map
c. Arizona (AZ) c. Data Map
d. New Mexico (NM) d. Highway Map
3. What is the capital of Kansas 5. On the map above what does the
(KS) star mean?
a. Topeka a. Capital
b. Little Rock b. State
c. Oklahoma City c. Ocean
d. Austin d. Road
6. What does the red circle indicate 7. What does the brown
on the map? line ____ indicate on the map?
a. Major Town a. Major Town
b. Other Town b. Other Town
c. Major Road c. Major Road
d. State Capital d. State Capital
Question Number Number of Students Number of Students
Answered Correctly Answered Incorrectly
1 8 9
2 6 11
3 8 9
4 4 13
5 3 14
6 3 14
7 1 15
Learning Style Survey
MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES TEST
Where does your true intelligence lie? This quiz will tell you where you stand and what
to do about it. Read each statement. If it expresses some characteristic of yours and
sounds true for the most part, jot down a "T." If it doesn't, mark an "F." If the statement is
sometimes true, sometimes false, leave it blank.
1. _____ I'd rather draw a map than give someone verbal directions.
2. _____ I can play (or used to play) a musical instrument.
3. _____ I can associate music with my moods.
4. _____ I can add or multiply in my head.
5. _____ I like to work with calculators and computers.
6. _____ I pick up new dance steps fast.
7. _____ It's easy for me to say what I think in an argument or debate.
8. _____ I enjoy a good lecture, speech or sermon.
9. _____ I always know north from south no matter where I am.
10. _____ Life seems empty without music.
11. _____ I always understand the directions that come with new gadgets or appliances.
12. _____ I like to work puzzles and play games.
13. _____ Learning to ride a bike (or skates) was easy.
14. _____ I am irritated when I hear an argument or statement that sounds illogical.
15. _____ My sense of balance and coordination is good.
16. _____ I often see patterns and relationships between numbers faster and easier than
17. _____ I enjoy building models (or sculpting).
18. _____ I'm good at finding the fine points of word meanings.
19. _____ I can look at an object one way and see it sideways or backwards just as
20. _____ I often connect a piece of music with some event in my life.
21. _____ I like to work with numbers and figures.
22. _____ Just looking at shapes of buildings and structures is pleasurable to me.
23. _____ I like to hum, whistle and sing in the shower or when I'm alone.
24. _____ I'm good at athletics.
25. _____ I'd like to study the structure and logic of languages.
26. _____ I'm usually aware of the expression on my face.
27. _____ I'm sensitive to the expressions on other people's faces.
28. _____ I stay "in touch" with my moods. I have no trouble identifying them.
29. _____ I am sensitive to the moods of others.
30. _____ I have a good sense of what others think of me.
Learning Style Test Results
Student 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1 F T T T T F T F F T F F T F F F F
2 F F F T T F F F F F F F F F F F F
3 T T F T T F F F F F T F F T F F T
4 T F F F F T T F T F T F T F T T T
5 T T T F F T T T T T T T T T T T T
6 T T T T F F F T F T T F F T T F T
7 F F T T F T T F T F T T F F F T T
8 F F F F T T T F T F F T T F F T F
9 F F F F T T T F T F F T T T F T F
10 T F T T F F F T F T T F F T T F T
11 F F F F T T T F T F F T F T F T F
12 T T F T T T T F T T F T T T T T T
13 T T T T T T T T T F T F T T T T T
14 F F F F T T T F T F T F F F T F F
15 T T T T T T T T T F T F T T T T T
16 F T F F F T T F T F F T T F T T F
17 T T T T T T T T T T F T T F F T T
18 F F F T T T F F T F T T T T T T F
19 F T F T T T T F F F F T T T F T F
20 T F F T F F F T F F T F F F F F T
21 T T F F F T T F T F T F T F T T T
22 F F T F T F F F F T T T T T F F F
23 F F F T F F F T F T T F F T T F T
24 T T T T F T T T T F T F F T T T T
25 F F F T T F F F T F F T F T F T F
26 T T F T T T T F T F F T T T F T T
27 T T F F T T T F F T T T T T T T T
28 T T F F T T T F T F T T T T F T T
29 T T F F T T T F F F F T T T F T F
30 T T F F T T T F T F T T T T T T T
MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE SCORING SHEET
Place a check mark by each item you marked as "true." Add your totals. A total of four
in any of the categories A through E indicates strong ability. In categories F and G a
score of one or more means you have abilities as well.
A B C D E F G
Linguistic Logical- M usical Spatial Bodily- Intra- Inter-
Mathematical Kinesthetic personal personal
7 ___ 4 ___ 2 ___ 1 ___ 6 ___ 26 ___ 27 ___
8 ___ 5 ___ 3 ___ 9 ___ 13 ___ 28 ___ 29 ___
14___ 12 ___ 10 ___ 11___ 15 ___ 30 ___
18 ___ 16 ___ 20 ___ 19___ 17 ___
25 ___ 21 ___ 23 ___ 22___ 24 ___
Davis, B.G. (1993). Diversity and complexity in the classroom: consideration of race,
ethnicity, and gender. Tools For Teaching. Retrieved from
Garner, B. (2007). Focus on basics: connecting research & practice. World Education
(8), 2-43. Retrieved from GALILEO on September 16, 2009.
General accommodations for gifted students in the regular classroom, (2004). Georgia
Department of Education. Retrieved from GOOGLE on September 23, 2009.
Learning styles, modalities, and strategies. Learning Styles. Retrieved from
Neely, A.. Teaching african american students: a look at instructional methods and
cultural differences. The College of William and Mary. Retrieved from GOOGLE
on September 23, 2009.
Y. Padron, H. Waxman, & H. Rivera (2002). Educating hispanic students: obstacles and
avenues to improve academic achievement. Center for Research on Education,
Diversity & Excellence. Retrieved from GOOGLE on September 23, 2009.
Small, R. (1997). Motivation in instructional design. Eric Clearinghouse on Information
& Technology. Retrieved from http://ils.unc.edu/daniel/214/ Motivation
Teaching children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: instructional strategies
and practices, (2008). U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from GALILEO
on September 17, 2009.