Standard D           Promotes EquityStatement of Philosophy: EquityLesson Plan: My Personal ArtifactLiterature CirclesPoet...
Statement of Philosophy: Equity        All classrooms are diverse. Whether that diversity is drawn along gender, cultural,...
My Personal Artifact Lesson  The following lesson plan is one example of how I differentiated learning and promoted equity...
PART A: LEARNING STANDARDS, ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS & GOALSEssential Questions        What is culture? What types of items or ...
PART B: THE INSTRUCTIONAL PLANA. Introduction Initiating EngagementI will introduce this lesson by bringing in my own arti...
o   Sense-Making        I will bring the class back together after the partner work is finished to discuss what was learne...
Literature Circles   During my last few weeks of the practicum, I implemented literature circles. I had learned a lot abou...
My Poetry Book RubricI included four different types       10of poemsI followed the definition of each     30type of poemI...
Reflective Essay: Standard D        The students in my practicum classroom were a diverse group. Ability levels ranged fro...
All students went through the same processes of meeting in groups, performing roles and discussingliterature, but the text...
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Standard D: Promotes Equity

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This document shows how I promoted equity and diversity in the classroom. There is a lesson plan where students brought in personal artifacts, a description of literature circles and a poetry project and also a reflective essay and statement of equity.

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Standard D: Promotes Equity

  1. 1. Standard D Promotes EquityStatement of Philosophy: EquityLesson Plan: My Personal ArtifactLiterature CirclesPoetry ProjectReflective Essay
  2. 2. Statement of Philosophy: Equity All classrooms are diverse. Whether that diversity is drawn along gender, cultural,learning style or socioeconomic status does not matter. What matters is that teachingacknowledges this diversity and celebrates it. As The Dreamkeepers by Gloria Ladson-Billingssays, “culturally relevant teaching fosters the kinds of social interactions in the classroom thatsupport the individual in the group context.” (p. 82). Everyone is an individual and this must beremembered even when building a community of learners. I believe that curriculum and lessonsmust address the uniqueness of the students in a classroom. Curriculum should not be completelypre-determined without knowing anything about the students. Curriculum should be flexible sothat teachers can alter it based on student needs, interests or ability levels. There are numerouseffective ways to differentiate instruction based on content, process and product. This needs to beat the forefront of teaching. Each student can succeed. A teacher has to facilitate curriculum toallow all students to succeed. Success may look different for students, but I believe it isattainable by all. At the heart of differentiated instruction is social justice. Every child deserves the right toan excellent education. Whether that child is rich, poor, black, white, developmentallychallenged or at the level of a genius. As a teacher, I will always remember that no matter what,each child deserves an education. I believe that social justice is also about educating the wholechild, the whole person. Each child should understand that they are an important member ofsociety. Education is not always about learning math facts or how to write a paragraph.Sometimes it is about learning respect, self-respect, compassion, responsibility and courage. TheHabits of Mind in the Boston Citywide Learning Standards speak to these elements of socialjustice. I believe these are just as important and critical as the Massachusetts CurriculumFrameworks and should be at the forefront of teaching with social justice. To teach is to take on the responsibility of the future. It is an acceptance that you caninspire a life. Teaching is not all about facts and information. It is about instilling a passion forknowledge into all students; a passion to continuously explore, experiment and challenge. Ibelieve teachers should be passionate about knowledge and should be passionate in the beliefthat all students are worthwhile individuals that will succeed.
  3. 3. My Personal Artifact Lesson The following lesson plan is one example of how I differentiated learning and promoted equity in the classroom. The lesson asked students to bring in a cultural artifact from home to share with the class and then share in more detail with one student. While I was planning, I realized not all students may have an available cultural artifact so I added in that students could bring something in that wasimportant to them. Student choice for what to bring in is one aspect of differentiation. Another element of differentiation that I included is the processes that the students will do in the lesson. If I askedstudents to just write a paragraph only, not all students would be successful. Instead, I asked students to speak about their artifact in a whole class format, speak with an individual about their artifact, use agraphic organizer to gather information and finally draw a picture of another student’s artifact. Students had a chance to speak, write and draw. This allows students who are not strong in one area shine in another. This provided various points of access for understanding.Overall, this lesson promotes equity. Students had a chance to share something about themselves that is important. They were able to listen to one another and broaden their understanding of diversity and respect for each other. They were able to see that even though people can be different we all have something to share and be proud of. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes My Personal ArtifactReading-Grade 4February 10, 2011 (Thursday)60 minutes 1:00 – 2:00Lesson Overview:This lesson will ask students to bring in a personal artifact that represents something from their cultureor family or something that makes them a unique individual. Students will present their artifact to theclass and will then interview one student to get more information about his or her artifact. This lesson isbeing done in conjunction with the reading of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes because in thebook there are many examples of Japanese artifacts. The goal is for students to personally connect withthe book and to learn something new about each other.
  4. 4. PART A: LEARNING STANDARDS, ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS & GOALSEssential Questions What is culture? What types of items or traditions represent Sadako’s culture? Why does Sadako wish on a crane? Does she believe in the legend? What kind of person is Sadako? Is there a lesson you can learn from her?Goals (this lesson addresses the first essential question) Content/Understanding Goals o How culture can be represented by physical items or traditions o Each individual has something unique and special about themselves o Sadako’s cultural items were important to her, just as each student’s item is important Technical Skills o English Language Arts – Language – General Standard 1: Discussion 1.2 Follow agreed upon rules for class discussion and carry out assigned roles in self-run small group discussions (p. 13) o English Language Arts – Language – General Standard 3: Oral Presentation 3.5 Make informal presentations that have a recognizable organization (p. 17) Habits of Mind o Respect for Diversity: Students will recognize that even though they have different backgrounds, they all have something to be proud of. They will recognize similarities and differences between each others’ artifacts and will value that each is important. o Consideration and Compassion: Students will build trust and respect with one another by sharing something personal.Curriculum Framework English Language Arts – Reading and Literature – General Standard 9: Making Connections 9.5 Relate a literary work to artifacts, artistic creations, or historical sites of the period of its setting (p. 40) English Language Arts – Composition – General Standard 19: Writing 19.11 Write brief summaries of information gathered through research (I consider research to be interviewing a partner) (p. 72) Braintree Public Schools Department of English Language Arts Category: Realistic Fiction with a Challenge -Relating to the events in the story; personal connections
  5. 5. PART B: THE INSTRUCTIONAL PLANA. Introduction Initiating EngagementI will introduce this lesson by bringing in my own artifact and sharing with the class something about myPortuguese culture. This will show them what I expect them to share about their own items and willallow them to learn a little more about me. About a week before the lesson I will also send home a letterto parents explaining the activity and asking for their help in locating an artifact.B. Assessing Ideas/Understanding o Initial / Prior Ideas – I will assess their initial ideas about artifacts by listening to what they have to say during their quick presentation of their artifact. I will listen to whether anyone makes a connection to Sadako. For example, someone might say his/her artifact is like Sadako’s kimono because he/she wears it. o Developing Ideas – I will assess their developing ideas by reading what they write about their partner’s artifact. I will be able to see what they learned about someone else’s culture or about something important. I will also ask whole class questions about why they think we are doing this lesson in conjunction with reading Sadako and what types of artifacts Sadako could have brought in.C. Materials and Resources o Personal artifacts showing culture or an important aspect of each student’s life o Graphic organizer to interview partnerThe rational for using individual personal artifacts is to help the students make a connection betweenthemselves and the character of Sadako in the book. The book can be challenging because of all theJapanese cultural items, so it help the students to see that they too have cultural items and items thatdescribe them. It is also a good way for students to practice their presentation skills informally and theirresearch/interview skills informally.D. Processes – Questions o Initiating Exploration Students will each have a turn to show the class their artifact, explain what it is and why it is important or what cultural significance it has o Looking Closer I will break the class up into partners where they will talk with each other more in-depth about their artifacts. Each partner will write up three reasons why their partner’s artifact is significant to them. The students will have the opportunity to question each other and discuss their thoughts.
  6. 6. o Sense-Making I will bring the class back together after the partner work is finished to discuss what was learned from doing this activity. I will also make connections to Sadako by asking what she could have brought in to our class today.E. ProductsStudents will produce a completed graphic organizer that describes what their partner’s artifact is andwhy it is significant. Students will also produce a drawing of their partner’s artifact.F. ClosureI will wrap up this lesson mainly during the sense-making portion. I will not ask students to formallywrite a “what did I learn” or “why was this important” but I will initiate a whole class discussion on thesequestions.PART C: FLOW OF LESSON / TRANSITIONSThis lesson will run for one hour. I will plan about 35 minutes for each student to present his or herartifact and 25 minutes for the students to interview one another, fill in the graphic organizer and sketcha quick picture of their partner’s artifact.
  7. 7. Literature Circles During my last few weeks of the practicum, I implemented literature circles. I had learned a lot aboutliterature circles in the Literacy class as part of the graduate program and I was excited to put them intoaction. I learned that literature circles are an excellent way to utilize differentiation effectively. I workedwith Miss Chiles to split the class into groups of students at similar ability levels. We then selected three biographies, one of Walt Disney, one of Rachel Carson and one of the Wright Brothers that the lower group, mid level group and higher group would read. As the literature circles progressed, I was able to leave the mid level and high group to work very independently and I spent more time with the lower group helping them along to understand and connect with the text. It was wonderful to see how somestudents thrived on the autonomy and were motivated and focused. It was also wonderful to watch the lower group progress as they embraced their roles and started having great discussions without much assistance. Literature circles promote differentiation because each student is able to read a piece of literature that is on level and connect with it, comprehend it and discuss it in ways that are appropriateto his or her ability. This activity showed me that all students are capable of success, even if that success looks slightly different. Poetry BookI designed and implemented a poetry project with differentiation in mind. I asked the students to createa final product of four poems that would be put together to form their own poetry book. I differentiated by giving the students six different types of poems to choose from. They were able to choose their favorite four types to write. This allowed students who were not strong poetry writers to choose onesthey felt most comfortable with. I also encouraged a few strong writers to try out all six types. I was very pleased with the results of this differentiation. The strong writers ended up writing all six types with enthusiasm and a couple students wrote more than six. The struggling writers were able to focus in on just four and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  8. 8. My Poetry Book RubricI included four different types 10of poemsI followed the definition of each 30type of poemI included at least one picture 20for each poem that helped thereader know what the poem isaboutMy cover page includes a title, 15my name, the date and a borderI have no spelling errors 15My poetry book looks neat 10 Points EarnedTOTAL POINTS EARNED ________________ / 100
  9. 9. Reflective Essay: Standard D The students in my practicum classroom were a diverse group. Ability levels ranged fromvery low to very high. I quickly realized that not all students are capable of doing the same work.Over the course of the practicum, I also saw why all students should not be expected to do the samework. Students should be pushed to succeed just past their level of comfort. The same assignmentcan bore one student and be way beyond the reach of another student. Assignments and instructionhad to be consistently differentiated to meet the needs of particular students. Math was a subject where differentiation had a large presence. One example ofdifferentiation that I used was having a challenging math game called Zupels always available forearly finishers in math. There were two students in particular who were fast finishers and enthusiasticZupels players. Having the game available allowed those students at a high math ability to spendsome time on a challenge. Another way I differentiated in math was by splitting the class into groupsto work. At times, I would assign students who were low and high to work together so the higherstudents could help the more struggling students. At other times, I would split the groups by ability.One of the first tasks I undertook in the practicum was working with small groups of students whowere struggling on a particular topic. While Miss Chiles worked on more challenging aspects of thattopic, I reviewed and reinforced the basics with small groups. As the practicum progressed, our rolesreversed. I would continue on with the larger class lesson and she would spend some time withstruggling students. Because Miss Chiles is the science teacher for the whole fourth grade, I got to teach scienceto three different classes. In one of the classes, there was an ELL student with extremely limited useof English. I had to always differentiate for this student by allowing him to use a Mandarin to Englishdictionary and drawing pictures or orally describing instead of writing. It was interesting to workwith this student because he demonstrated a strong understanding of the science concepts by workingwith the materials and by the pictures he drew. It would be wrong to expect this student to do all ofthe same work as the other students because of his limited knowledge of English, but he was able inhis own way to demonstrate an understanding of science. With my Reading class, I created a few projects and lessons that were designed withdifferentiation. One of those projects was the poetry book. Students were able to choose what typesof poems they wrote and if they wanted to write more than the four minimum. Students’ finalproducts looked different, but all were able to demonstrate they understood poetry at an appropriatelevel for them. Another Reading project that exemplified differentiation was the Literature Circles.
  10. 10. All students went through the same processes of meeting in groups, performing roles and discussingliterature, but the texts used and expectations for each group were different. One group was expectedto take the autonomy in stride and discuss the more challenging text deeply. One group was expectedto start with some guidance and fairly quickly assume the responsibility of the group independently.A third group was expected to need more guidance with the reading and performing of roles. It wasnot expected that this group would take on a completely independent look. Surprisingly, this groupbecame more independent and hard working than Miss Chiles or I expected. Even though the groupswere differentiated, all students were able to succeed at reading a novel and building discussionsaround it. I loved implementing Literature Circles. I think they are an excellent way to differentiateand ensure all students can be successful. I hope to continue these in my own classroom. Another Reading activity that showed differentiation was some guided reading work that Idid. I broke the class into three groups and selected three picture books all about a person during thecivil rights era. There was a challenging book, a mid level book and low book. The students read thebook that was on their level and then all students completed the same story board activity to work oncomprehension. Even though the texts were different, all students learned a little about civil rightsand practiced reading comprehension. There were a number of students in the class that were on IEPs. One way I had to modify forspecific students on IEPs was by allowing for extra time to complete work. I also had to modify somemath homework so that particular students only did the odd numbered problems instead of the wholesheet. I also had to remember that during tests and quizzes some students were allowed the use of amultiplication chart. Alpha Smarts were another IEP requirement for a couple of students. Many ofthe IEP students were also required to have individualized pull out assistance with specialists.Keeping track of all the IEP requirements was the most challenging part of differentiating for me.While planning, I had to keep in mind what students would be in the room or out of the room at aspecific time. While planning for the Reading class I also had to plan based on when the resourcespecialist teacher would be in the room co-teaching. Sometimes, I also found it challenging to keeptrack of what students needed to finish what work. Some students were much slower finishers thanothers, so I had to plan accordingly with time for catch up. However, for the students who were allcaught up with everything I had to have some extra work or activities available. Of course, silentlyreading was always an option, but some students would always be reading if I did not plan extra. Differentiation and accommodations played a large role in my practicum experience. I amhappy that I was in this situation because it made me realize that differentiating can be done andshould be done to ensure that all students have a chance to succeed.

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