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Learner Analysis


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Learner Analysis

  1. 1. Melissa Lewis Learner Analysis 9/27/09 Introduction 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 Demographics 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
  2. 2. Grade years students 10 African Program- Parents- #1, #6, old Female- American- 5 #3, #5, #10 7 Hispanic- 2 #13 Retained- #2, #8 Speech- Takes #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 Profile Male: African American: Rural Farming Free Lunch: 420 313 Community 61.7% Female: Asian: Reduced Lunch: 380 1 11.5% Caucasian: Paid Lunch: 335 26.8% Hispanic: 134 Native American: 1 Multi-Racial: 16 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
  3. 3. (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 Correct 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
  4. 4. 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 lesson. 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
  5. 5. 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 Number Independence 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
  6. 6. 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 Learner Characteristics 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 Mathematical Kinesthetic 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,” n.d.). Culture and Ethnicity
  7. 7. 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.). Special Needs 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. Specific Accommodations
  8. 8. 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. Gifted Students 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).
  9. 9. Appendix A 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)
  10. 10. 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 Item Analysis
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. Appendix B 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 others. 17. _____ I enjoy building models (or sculpting). 18. _____ I'm good at finding the fine points of word meanings.
  13. 13. 19. _____ I can look at an object one way and see it sideways or backwards just as easily. 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. Appendix C Learning Style Test Results Student 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Question 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
  14. 14. 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 ___
  15. 15. Resources 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 Motivation Small.html Teaching children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: instructional strategies and practices, (2008). U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from GALILEO on September 17, 2009.