Standard D:Promotes EquityTeacher Candidate: Jill CameronStatement of Philosophy on EquityLesson showing Differentiated LearningSample of Assignments which Highlight ModificationsReflective Essay No. 4 “Equity does not mean everyone gets the same. Equity means everyone gets what they need.” (Quote is paraphrased from a statement made by Rick Riordan, children’s author.)
Statement of Philosophy on Equity It is my belief that what is equitable is not always fair and what is fair is not always equitable. This idea drivesmy personal approach to equity in education. As a part of my practice, I strive to know my students and more specificallywhat they need to be successful lifelong learners. In order to meet student needs, I employ not only research basedpedagogical practices, but personal strategies developed through careful study and interaction with my students, theirfamilies, and the greater community. It is only by knowing where they come from and what they bring to the classroomthat I will be able to reach them. To this end, I believe it’s important to note the role of diversity in the classroom. Diversity is one of our greateststrengths. Yet like the definitions implied by the word itself, diversity is an ever moving target. It may manifest alongacademic, gender, creed, ethnic or socio-economic lines, but all students have something unique to offer that enrichesthe classroom experience by challenging misconceptions, promoting personal growth and a healthy community, andencouraging thoughtful dialogue and critical thinking skills. I endeavor to develop an equitable teaching practice bycelebrating and supporting these differences in the classroom through relevant instruction and personal reflection. The heart of my philosophy is this: teachers are a student advocates. They build their students up by helpingthem to develop the tools they need tobe successful; a word which has a different definition for all who seek it. Toupdate a statement made by Rick Riordan, I would like to say that my philosophy can be simply explained as such;“Equity does not mean everyone gets the same. Equity means everyone gets what they need.”
Lesson showing Differentiated LearningDate: 2/27/13School: The Peirce School, Arlington MA Grade: 1Class: MathTopic: Twos, Fives and TensClass Composition: The class is made up of students, between the ages of 6 and 7 who come from the surroundingneighborhood. There is limited racial diversity and some ethnic/theist diversity with no language barriers. The socio-economic profile is roughly flat and there are varying degrees of academic readiness. In math, students display aparticularly wide range of ability, though this can be addressed with simple support in most cases.STANDARDS: Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Operations and Algebraic Thinking, grade 1. P.38 o Add and subtract within 20. Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to add 2). Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use mental strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13). Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Number and Operations in Base 10, grade 1. P.38-39 o Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract. Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two- digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten. Given a two-digit number, mentally find 10 more or 10 less than the number, without having to count; explain the reasoning used. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Speaking and Listening, grades PreK – 2. p.37. #1-3: o Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges. Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. o Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
Understanding Learning Goals/Instructional Objective:Essential Questions: Learning Goals: (p. 88 of Number Games and Story Problems. TERC) Students will develop strategies for organizing sets of objects so that they are easy to count and combine Students will develop a sense of the size of the numbers up to 100 Essential Questions: What are some strategies for organizing sets of objects so that they are easy to count and combine? How does the size of a group of 10 compare to the size of smaller groups (like twos and fives)?The Learning Experience/Task/Challenge:lesson overview and task description:.Upon returning from library, students will be instructed to sit around the edges of the morning meeting rug to begin their50 minute math block. Over the last few months, the first grade has collectively focused on the idea of “base 10” and is atpoint at which the teachers would like to build on the concept. To this end, the lesson will start with an informalassessment to be treated as a test by the students. I will introduce the assessment on the rug. To begin, I’ll place a largehundreds chart on the rug and take out a few opaque geometric blocks, and then I will lead the students through a shortmental warm up. I’ll start by giving the students a number and asking the group to mentally calculate what “10 more” thanthe number given would be. Volunteers will take the geometric blocks and place them over the answer on the hundredschart. We will discuss the answers and look for patterns. The purpose of this warm up is not just to introduce the conceptbut to inform me of where the students are and who needs what type of support in order to complete the assessment. OnceI’m satisfied that the students are thinking in the right vein and ready to engage, I will introduce the worksheet. We’llreview the instructions as a group, run through an example or two and then I’ll allow time for questions. Once thedirections are understood, the students will go back to their seats and complete the worksheet silently (as if it were aformal test). They will have roughly 15 minutes to complete the worksheet and I will provide verbal and nonverbal cues tohelp keep them on task during those 15 minutes.If students finish early, they’ll be allowed to read or explore the hundreds chart silently. Once the majority of the class hascompleted the worksheet, I’ll call everyone over to the rug to begin the second portion of the lesson. If some students arestill working on the assessment, they’ll be required to complete it before joining the rest of the class on the rug. Oncewe’re settled I’ll introduce the class to a “game”. The game is really just an exercise that employs dice, counting cubesand game mats designed to hold 30, 50 r 100 cubes. The idea is that the students will, with a partner, roll two dice, add thedots on the top of the dice together and then add the same number of cubes to their game mat. To introduce this idea, I hada volunteer “play” the game with me while other students offered strategies and advice on what moves to make once thedice were down. I gave the students about 15 minutes to play as many rounds of the game as they could and then wereconvened on the rug to discuss what we learned.Work products generated:Students will hand in an assessment to be graded. (I’ll provide a copy of the assessment on Wednesday)attached any worksheets:See above
Materials and Technology to Support Teaching & LearningMaterials and quantities:22 assessments, 22 pencils, 22 erasers, 22 dice, 11 game mats, counting cubesTechnology- ID if and how technology will be used to support learning: N/APhysical Space- describe arrangement of physical space:Students will begin on morning meeting rug and move throughout the classroom to and from their clustered desks duringthe duration of the lesson.Instructional Procedure Identification and/or Time Teacher Role/Key Things to Student Role/Response Anticipate Purpose of Allotme Remember/Prompts, Questions & the full range of student thinking Teaching/Learning nt Probes and responses Phase Review 2-3 I will gather the students on the Students will sit around the minutes morning meeting rug and lead a brief morning meeting rug and review of our last math lesson. participate in a class discussion reviewing Monday’s lesson (patterns) Introduce today’s topic 5-10 Before introducing the assessment, I will Students will be seated around the minutes warm the students up with a few edge of the rug, displaying good exercises uses a 100s board. Then I will listening skills. They will be introduce the assessment/worksheet, required to participate in the 100s review the instructions, go through an board activity and ask questions example and provide time for questions about the assessment Practice 15-20 I will dismiss the students back to their Students will work silently at their minutes seats and monitor them for seats and are allowed to ask understanding while they complete the questions as needed. They will assessment. About 15 minutes in, I will need to put their names on their start giving verbal and nonverbal cues to papers and pass them in to the indicate that they should complete the ‘”finished bin” when complete. worksheet and start transitioning to the Once done students will have the next part of the lesson on the morning option of reading or exploring the meeting rug hundreds chart, silently, while they wait for the next direction. Introducing the game 2-5 I will introduce the game by showing the Students will listen and ask minutes students the playing pieces and giving a questions when appropriate. One brief overview. More importantly, I will student will act as a model and use a student volunteer to help me play “play” the game with me to help a round so that the students can see teach his or her classmates the how the game is to be played. I will ask rules. for student input after each roll to ensure that those not “playing” are actively engaged. There will be time for questions
Practice/gameplay 10-15 I will assign students partners and then Students will cooperate with their minutes actively monitor the classroom, partner to play the game. They will providing support and redirection be expected to stay on task, share, where/if needed and keep their voices at a respectable volume. They will also be asked to help clean the classroom after gameplay is over. Review/assessment 3-5 10-15 minutes before the end of the Students will clean up their minutes period, I will have the students clean up workspace and return to the rug. their workspace and return to the rug They will participate in a discussion where we will review the lesson of the lesson and provide examples together of what stumped them and strategies they used to when they were stuck/or when they succeeded.Equity, Diverse Learners & Culturally Relevant Instruction:Instruction will include many opportunities for movement and collaborative work. The goal of this is to help support thosechildren who learn through discussion or are kinesthetically inclined. The game also provides visual, spatial and tactilesupport to those who need it.Differentiation: students will work at varying paces on this project. There will be extra work provided for the studentswho work at a faster pace and I will be able to assess those that go at a slower pace during the initial activity. Studentswill also be supported by being able to counting blocks and dice during the game. Some students may be permitted to usehundreds boards if they are really struggling with the assessment. Our IEP student will not be in the room for this lesson.Literacy and Communication:The roll 10 game will provide lots of opportunity for verbal communication and problem solving.
Sample of Assignments which Highlight ModificationsThis lesson, a part of the TERC program, naturally lent itself to differentiation. The last portion, the “game”, included 3sets of game boards or mats; one with 30 squares, one with 50 squares and one with 100 squares. For example:30 Board: 50 Board100 Board
All of the students were familiar with hundreds boards, however, they weren’t all familiar with the spatial concept of100. Students at the lower level could use the 30 board and move up as they felt more comfortable. Conversely, thoseat grade level could start with the 50 board and those above the level could start with the 100 board. If these optionswere too easy, the teacher can increase the degree of difficulty by only allowing students to complete a row when theirdice roll gave them a number that would fill the exact number of remaining spaces.
Reflective Essay No. 4 On the surface, the first grade classroom that I taught in appeared to have little diversity. However, on after aweek of observation and discussion, with both my supervising practitioner and the children, I realized that my firstimpression was grossly inaccurate. The class offered a wealth of diversity, and challenged my initial understanding of theword. I now know that I brought bias to the room; I viewed diversity through the lens of my personal experience in aracially diverse urban school and used that experience to make a judgment on the makeup of the student body. Ilearned to leave my preconceptions at the proverbial door; entertaining them did not serve my desire to deepen mypractice, nor did it serve the student’s right to a quality and challenging education during my student teaching tenure.Understanding this from the start helped me better meet the needs of my students through proactive and responsivedifferentiation of instruction. This is the diversity to which I referred: there were 23 students in the class and there were more boys than girls.Most students came from upper socioeconomic backgrounds, more than a few were bilingual, first generationAmericans, others were performing above grade level, some were repeat students still struggling below grade level, onehad an IEP, but most students were at level. These are all shallow scenarios that I was prepared for, what I wasn’tprepared for was the hidden diversity: or the impact that the children’s’ home lives would have on their needs in theclassroom, and how I would need to modify my interactions with them to make the lessons meaningful. It is because ofthis that I don’t believe that my most important interaction and efforts at differentiation can be shown on a lesson plan. Before I became fully immersed in learning who my students were, I learned who needed extra support and whoneeded to be challenged. These two things are ultimately the same; they can be easily identified through surface levelinteractions. The degree to which the student must be supported does require more in depth observation,documentation and discourse, which fortunately for me was initiated by my supervising practitioner and had beenongoing since the start of the school year. To help these two types of students succeed I did a number of things; for theupper level children I provided alternative worksheets, or often, a challenge at the end of a lesson, given to all students,which would provide them with the opportunity to apply and extend the knowledge they gained during the lesson. Imade certain that the challenges were optional so as not to single anyone out in an obvious way. For the below levelstudents, I attempted to provide the same discretion because I believe it is important to their success and continued
interest in learning that they not feel “less than” their peers. For these students I also provided alternative worksheets, Iscaffolded lessons to ensure that they would have tools and anchor charts available in obvious places to support theirneeds, I encouraged their involvement as student volunteers during modeled instruction, often worked with them oneon one, and I made sure that they felt that their opinions were heard and valued. In fact, I encouraged all students toparticipate in class discussion and worked to create an environment in which students learned how to communicatewith one another respectfully and openly. Communication is an extremely important skill to develop at any level, but especially in the first grade. It’sessential for children who are at the cusp of the concrete operational level of development, but still in thepreoperational level to learn to communicate as they start to develop logical thinking and a sense of abstract thought.It’s also important that they use these skills to foster a sense of shared experience. A few of my students spoke differentlanguages at home. Fortunately for them, that is something with which my supervising practitioner and I can identifywith at varying levels. I tried to make sure they felt proud of their heritage by establishing a common ground. Therewere always culturally relevant books available in the classroom, and each day before we all said goodbye, I offered anew way to say it, whether it was in French, Spanish, polish, or Czech. The students loved this and actively sought to usethese new words, or provide their own. Most importantly, it fostered an inclusive environment. While on the topic of communication, I would like to touch on the thing that I found most challenging aboutbeing in a heterogeneously grouped classroom, and it had nothing to do with the gender breakdown of the students. Ifound that helping students to succeed, despite the challenges they faced at home, to be the largest challenge I faced.Communication amongst other teachers, the administration, the onsite social worker, the afterschool care provider andthe child’s parents was essential to supporting the child’s basic needs in the classroom. One example was particularlyheartbreaking; he had no home support. He badly wanted to succeed and please people, but didn’t have the tools tomake it happen. The child was so starved for attention that he was unable to differentiate between positive andnegative attention. Incidentally, he was also one of the lower level repeats, which likely occurred largely in part due tohis home life. This means that he was a beneficiary of differentiated instruction; however, he was also benefited byhaving a teacher who thoroughly believed in classroom equity. For example, given that many of his peers came frommiddle to upper socio-economic homes, they often had elaborate, organic, and highly nutritious snacks. This child had a
casein, or milk protein allergy, that manifested in a raw looking rash which was evident all over his (usually) exposedarms. On more than one occasion, he came to school with string cheese, a yogurt and no lunch money. As a result, bothhis teacher and I notified the office and school nurse and made sure that we had alternatives available should he needthem, and he often did. This may not be differentiation in the traditional sense, but I believe it should still be considered.A child spends most of their waking hours in the classroom and everything that happens in the school is an essential partof their education. Equitable teaching goes far beyond instruction. It is exemplified by making sure every student has thetools that he or she needs to succeed, be it a different set of math problems, an extra challenge, or something as simpleas an edible snack.