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Tolson 722 Final Report


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Tolson 722 Final Report

  1. 1. Final Project Report – Revolutionary War in South Carolina Sarah Tolson Executive Summary (10 points) After identifying a need of interactive South Carolina history content for my third grade students, I was able to analyze the specific needs of my students and pinpoint a specific area of content that would be challenging for my students. After deciding on the Revolutionary War in South Carolina, since there is a lot of information that the students need to learn and many hard topics to understand, I began to design a storyboard for a Bookbuilder project. I then developed the interactive Bookbuilder project based on the Revolutionary War in South Carolina support documents provided by the South Carolina Department of Education. I added “tutors” to my book to help scaffold students with vocabulary, provide them with thinking prompts, and comprehension questions. As I implemented the Bookbuilder in my classroom, I was able to evaluate its effectiveness and how my students were doing with the content. After using formative and summative assessments, I modified my Bookbuilder to better meet the needs of my learners and reviewed specific content within my classroom. Analysis (20 points) Objectives The purpose of my Instructional Systems Design project, or ISD project, was to create interactive media to help students learn about the Revolutionary War and its impact on South Carolina. More specifically, my objective stated: “Using Bookbuilder, my students will learn about the Revolutionary War and how it affected our state of South Carolina--they will demonstrate mastery of understanding by passing the unit assessment with a score of 80% or greater” (Wiki) I decided to use a teacher-created unit test to assess their understanding for this objective. I also used the state standards and support documents to create my baseline of what students should already know and what the students should learn as we covered the Revolutionary War. The South Carolina social studies standards indicate that children should be able to “summarize the course of the American Revolution in South Carolina, including the role of William Jasper and Fort Moultrie; the occupation of Charles Town by the British; the partisan warfare of Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens, and Francis Marion; and the battles of Cowpens, Kings Mountain, and Eutaw Springs (Social Studies Standards)” My third grade teammate and I also decided to integrate a third grade Common Core State Standard in English Language Arts into this unit, specifically Reading Informational Text Standard 3: “Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect” ( We emphasized the sequence of the Revolutionary War, as well as cause and effect.
  2. 2. We implemented another objective: “Using his or her exemplar text, the student can sequence the major events of the Revolutionary War in South Carolina by creating a timeline of events.” Process Used for Analysis A majority of my analysis was based on teacher observation and student data. As a teacher, I have learned what helps the students in my class and ways to better meet their needs as learners. Using this information and knowing that my students thrive using interactive media, I knew I would have to create a product that was technology-based and interactive. Also from knowledge about my students, I knew that a majority of them were below grade level, especially when it came to independent reading levels. At the beginning of the school year, I had students that ranged from beginning of first grade reading levels (emergency students) to beginning of third grade reading levels (on target students). Of course, as the school year progressed, so did their reading levels. Yet I knew I would have to make my project feasible for all of my students, no matter their independent reading level. I knew I could do this by creating additional support for my lower readers—text read aloud and vocabulary support. Needs Analysis When I first started teaching third grade content at the beginning of the 20122013 school year, I was told that we “taught” South Carolina history by telling the students stories. If they got it, great, if they didn’t, oh well. I was also told their text book was too hard. Being new to third grade and being overwhelmed with the content and lack of resources, I knew teaching South Carolina history would be a huge challenge. However, this was a challenge I would gladly accept. I quickly determined that the textbook wasn’t too hard for a majority of my students but also determined an even greater problem—the textbook did not even align with the standards that my students would be tested on at the end of the year! I decided not to use the textbooks and shelved them for the rest of the year. I needed to create my own “textbook” but I wasn’t sure of where to start. Throughout the school year, I lived off the South Carolina Social Studies Support Documents. Those were sort of my “history Bible,” per se. I tried my best to rephrase them to provide to my students to put them on, what I thought was, their level. Since I was researching a lot about common core standards and exemplar informational texts used within the classroom, it hit me one day to simply give my students the support document information as their “textbook.” I thought it would be too hard for them and my lesson would completely bomb—but it didn’t. Surprisingly, my students enjoyed the challenging text and, even though I had to do some extra explaining, we learned how to mark the text together and practice close reading strategies. Slowly, the other third grade teachers began to follow my lead and stop “telling” history and actually teaching the history and close reading strategies.
  3. 3. I strongly believe these close reading strategies and “marking up the text” was what helped my students be so successful in certain areas of PASS. Every single one of my students last year was below grade level and not one was reading at the correct independent reading level when we took PASS in May 2013. Even though a majority of third grade students were reading below target, we had some of the highest passing rates in social studies that our school had ever seen. We also had a 92% pass rate when it came to determining vocabulary in text, by far the highest pass rate our school ever had in vocabulary. Using these PASS scores, I knew what we had been doing in social studies clearly was working for our students. I decided to continue using the social studies content in the same way, as well as integrate science content in a similar manner this year. However, I determined a need for this ISD project at the beginning of the school year. Although I was overjoyed with the progress we were making in social studies content, I noticed that their scores on the content that revolved around the Revolutionary War were significantly lower than their scores on the other social studies content. Even though these PASS scores reflected my students’ from the previous year, I knew that I could improve on the Revolutionary War content. I was also able to determine that the problem wasn’t a lack of motivation, as other teachers assumed, but a lack of knowledge. The children simply couldn’t learn the information by being “talked at” nor did they learn strategies to apply as they were reading. By supplying students with the strategies they need for close reading, not only for PASS, but also for college and careers, it was easy to identify that the true problem was based on lack of knowledge. Content Analysis The content analysis for my project was fairly simple. I simply took the support documents and used that information as my content. I knew it would be valid and complete, as well as cover everything my students needed to know, since it directly aligns with the state standards. Of course I added some additional information and did some research for myself so that I could add to the instruction and discussion that was taking place in my classroom. Reflecting on my product, I believe the content included was challenging for the children to understand because it was the first major war we encountered in South Carolina history and it was tough for them to understand the specific battles that occurred. To help with this, I believe a strength that helped in my classroom was reenactments. The students and I reenacted the battles of the Revolutionary War, which helped them understand the difference in Patriot/Partisan warfare and the British style of attack. This helped them understand how the battles were turning points in the war as well as the importance of South Carolina war leaders. In the future, I would try to continue having more visual aids for my students. Learner Analysis As mentioned earlier, my students have a wide range of independent reading levels. Using the Independent Reading Level Assessment guide, or IRLA, from
  4. 4. American Reading Company’s 100 Book Challenge program, I determined their levels as follows: Reading Level Beginning of First Grade Middle of First Grade End of First Grade Beginning of Second Grade End of Second Grade Beginning of Third Grade Number of Students 1 2 2 1 3 4 By knowing the wide range of reading levels and abilities in my classroom, I determined that my product would need to work for all the students, which could be done through text being read aloud. I also knew that integration vocabulary support would benefit all of my students, many of whom have smaller vocabulary word banks. I also determined, through observation, that my students were lacking a strong technological background. A personal goal of mine was to incorporate various technologies into my classroom and encourage my students to use more technology, familiarizing themselves with computers, SMARTboards, etc. I also realized my students had a difficult time typing on the computer or simply using a browser, so I continue to develop these skills. Students need to be familiar with computers and able to type effectively to prepare for Smarter Balanced assessments, which will be taken electronically. By creating a product that would be featured online, such as Bookbuilder, my students would have to use technological skills, such as typing in web addresses, using an internet browser, and typing responses. Context Analysis My product was used in my classroom through a presentation on my SMARTboard. I was able to teach my students how to use Bookbuilder as well as cover the content, which aligned with their exemplar text that they marked up as we did our close reading. We also used the exemplar text and Bookbuilder to create timelines of the Revolutionary War in South Carolina After my students seemed to understand how to use Bookbuilder, we went to a computer lab and students accessed Bookbuilder, reading and utilizing the tools and tutors at their own paces. They could then use these skills to access Bookbuilder at home or the public library. My students really enjoyed using Bookbuilder and the tutors. This allowed for the content to be presented to all students in a similar manner, but also met the needs of my lower achieving students by scaffolding them. As I reflected over the integration of my Bookbuilder, I would have probably benefited from using a short url generator to provide the link to my students. I had
  5. 5. originally emailed the link to my teammate and simply clicked it in my email for myself, but my students couldn’t do that. I then provided a link to the Bookbuilder from my class Wiki page, but, at that time of the year, students still couldn’t get there independently. (They can now!) I believe it would have been best to simply generate a short url, print it on small slips of paper, and provide those url slips to my students for easy access in the school computer lab, at home, or the public library. Design and Development (20 points) Description of the Instruction Setting, Activities, and Sequence My product was used within my classroom. The Bookbuilder will be presented on the SMARTboard as students have the same text on their desk (referred to as their exemplar text). The students’ desks are organized so they are in groups (and allowed to assist each other) and can easily see the SMARTboard and whiteboard. Sequence of Activities 1) The lesson began with reflecting on previous content (causes of the Revolutionary War). We made a list of what we remembered. 2) We reviewed who the Patriots and Loyalists were, comparing and contrasting each group as well as their ultimate goal of the war. 3) I brought up the Bookbuilder and a student helper passed out their r exemplar texts. Students prepared their highlighters and pencils. 4) I briefly introduced students to Bookbuilder and showed them how to use it before we began, as not to distract from the content. 5) We prepared for our close reading. We begin by sectioning our text (simply drawing a line under the first paragraph so the text doesn’t seem so overwhelming; we take it one paragraph at a time). 6) I began reading the Bookbuilder/exemplar text’s first sentence. a. We always read the sentence all the way through and then go back to break it down. b. We draw a box around vocabulary terms that we don’t know and use context clues or other vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of each word, writing a synonym or brief definition above the boxed word.
  6. 6. c. We underline important information as we read and highlight the main idea or key point of the paragraph. 7) We continued this close reading throughout the Bookbuilder/exemplar text. It always begins with “I do,” slowly turns into “we do” as the students help me, and then they generally finish “you do” independently. i. Note: We have a thirty minute block for social studies daily, so we covered as much as we could during this block. We simply stopped when we ran out of time, quickly summarized what we read, and placed our work in our WIP (Work In Progress) folders. Before beginning the next day, we would summarize what we had read and then pick up where we left off. We simply did our close reading through Wednesday. 8) After we had read the exemplar text/Bookbuilder using our close reading strategies and summarized what we had read, we worked together to create timelines. I provided each student with a sentence strip and paper cut outs of the events of the Revolutionary War as they prepared their scissors and glue. 9) We looked at the events that we needed to sequence, then referred back to the text to put them in order. a. This resulted in a lot of discussion and evidence-finding to defend our sequencing. i. We then glued our events onto our sentence strips to create a timeline. (This proceeded into Thursday’s lesson). ii. While working on their timelines, we reenacted the battles that occurred in South Carolina to help students understand the difference between partisan warfare that was being used in South Carolina and the way the British traditionally attacked during war. 10) On Thursday, we reviewed the content and timelines, reenacted the battles, and described the Revolutionary War leaders to prepare for their assessment. Development Process Supporting the Instructional Approach To design my instructional product, I simply began with the support document. I read it and then reread it, changing any “the student should know” text to better fit the content. I made sure the text would read properly for my students and was in sequential order. I then broke the text down into sections that made sense for the Bookbuilder presentation, as I would if I was creating a PowerPoint slideshow. I used this to create my storyboard.
  7. 7. I then implemented this text into Bookbuilder, section by section as I selected page layouts. After adding the text, I went back to add pictures to my Bookbuilder, as well as recordings of myself reading the text to my students. Lastly, I went back and added the information/text for my coaches, one coach at a time. For example, I started with the vocabulary terms and ended with the pondering prompts. Development Process Model Designed with Major Components 1) Testing and evaluation plans-Students will be evaluated at the end of the unit with a unit assessment and at the end for the year with the PASS test. 2) Practice activities-Students will have opportunities to practice their close reading using their exemplar text, as well as practice sequencing events using their timelines. 3) Feedback mechanisms-Students will be provided with verbal feedback throughout the lessons, as well as written feedback on their timelines and assessment.
  8. 8. 4) Introductory presentation of instruction-Instruction will be presented by recalling previous content and activating prior knowledge. Students will also be introduced to Bookbuilder and its features. 5) Motivational strategies-Students will be motivated with motivational strategies that have been incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum, such as ClassDojo for behavior motivation. 6) A list of materials in your instructional package-Materials needed include a SMARTboard, speakers, exemplar texts, link to Bookbuilder, timeline cutouts, sentence strips, scissors, glue, pencils, highlighters, unit assessments, and, preferably, access to a computer lab. Evaluation (40 points) Key Development Decisions and Justification Key Development Decisions and Features to Make Instruction Effective • A developmental decision that I made was to make sure the events were sequenced in the correct order in the text and images to help students sequence the events of the Revolutionary War for their timelines. • I decided to include the feature of a coach for vocabulary words, since many of my students have underdeveloped vocabularies. I decided to select vocabulary terms on each page and have a coach, Dictionary Dave, define the selected vocabulary words, as well as read the definitions aloud for students. • Another decision I made to help make learning more effective was to include a coach for comprehension checks, Inquiry Ivan. Inquiry Ivan simply asks a question and students can respond to the question in the textbox at the bottom of each page. This allows for a quick comprehension check before students could progress. • I decided to include a coach called Pondering Polly, more geared toward my higher achieving students, but applicable to all students. Pondering Polly asks questions or makes statements to get students thinking about how or why something may have happened—emphasizing some cause and effects of the Revolutionary War and scaffolding higher order thinking. • Although difficult to find non-copyright images, I tried to find images that would help students visualize and understand what was taking place in South Carolina. • I decided to record myself reading the text on each page to meet the needs of my students that are at lower independent reading levels, so they were not disadvantaged. These students can comprehend at a higher level than they can read independently, so hearing my voice reading to them can help them grasp the content more effectively.
  9. 9. Key Development Decisions and Features to Make Instruction Easy to Use • A developmental decision that I made was to make sure the Bookbuilder was easy to use was to include Dictionary Dave to provide definitions of unknown words. This helped make instruction easy for the students, since they did not have to refer to a dictionary to determine the meaning of the words, but simply click to have the definitions appear and words read to them. They also didn’t have to decipher which meaning was most appropriate, as I pre-selected definitions for them. This made instruction easier on me as the instructor as it also saved a lot of time, since my students spend a long time using dictionaries. • I decided to have the text read aloud to students, if they choose, to help make instruction easy for the students who are not reading on grade level. By having the text read aloud, all students can achieve mastery of the content and students are not at a disadvantage due to their reading level. • Using Bookbuilder was a decision to make the instruction easy for my students since Bookbuilder is user-friendly and does not need much instruction to use. I did not have to spend a long time covering how to use Bookbuilder, but simply showed them as I used it and then they could use it independently. Evaluation My formative evaluation took place online as my peers used a Google Forms survey to evaluate my Bookbuilder project and provide constructive feedback. I asked peers to evaluate whether it aligned with standards, the effectiveness of the text, photos, and coaches, whether or not they could use it in their classroom, and provide additional feedback. The results of my evaluation supplied me with feedback that I could use to improve my project. Everyone agreed that it aligned with the standards and my coaches were effective. They also agreed that the text and photos were appropriate for third grade students. Most of my peers said they could use my Bookbuilder in their classroom, or ideas from it to help benefit their own students. Some constructive feedback I received included a suggestion for adding maps of the battles and to improve my dictation. I love the idea of adding maps, and I’m uncertain of why the dictation sounds poor quality through Bookbuilder while the file on my computer sounds fine. However, I would improve using both of these ideas before implementing my Bookbuilder again. I conducted my summative evaluation by giving my students their unit test on the Revolutionary War in South Carolina. It was a test that had multiple choice questions, some sequencing, and some open-response questions. They were allowed to use their exemplar texts and timelines on this assessment, since they will have passages and visual aids to assist them on the PASS. I did not want to test their memorizing skills, but instead assess how they can apply the reading strategies and find evidence in the text.
  10. 10. My students averaged a score of 79% on their summative assessments. As stated on my Wiki, I do not think it was a valid representation of student scores since I had a student who received a zero because of issues outside of school. Without averaging in this student’s score, the average increases to 86%, which I believe is a more valid representation and meets my objective. My students did well with the multiple choice and finding evidence in the text to support their answers. They referred back to the text when trying to answer the questions. However, many of my students struggled to answer the open-response questions using complete sentences, so I took points off. However, most of them had the social studies content present in their answers, they were just missing the sentence structure that we have been focusing on so far this year or not reading and following the complete instructions. In summary, I believe my Bookbuilder, along with the exemplar texts and timelines, had positive effects on student achievement. Throughout the unit observations, class discussions, and assessments, I was impressed with the content my students could retell. I strongly believe my students understand the Revolutionary War in South Carolina, as well as the importance of partisan warfare, and the Revolutionary War’s impact on South Carolina. Expected Maintenance and Distribution Requirements I do not expect much maintenance for maintaining my project, since the history of South Carolina’s role in the Revolutionary War will not change. The only way I could see the content changing is if South Carolina changes the standards or support documents in future years. However, the support documents were recently changed and this indicator was not greatly impacted. I also do not know of any issues for distributing this product nor expect any issues in the future, since it is available publicly through Bookbuilder’s book section under the name Revolutionary War in South Carolina. It will have a permanent display in this library, as well as my Wiki page and Educational Technology portfolio. One issue that may arise is if someone does not have access to the internet. However, this process could be applied to a PowerPoint presentation in a very similar manner, although may lack the coaches without intrinsic PowerPoint skills and devotion of time. You could even take a screen capture of the Bookbuilder to make available offline. I believe my product is not completely “finished” as it will always be a work in progress. I believe good instructional designers, as well as effective teachers, are always tweaking their work to improve on it and make it better. Also, even though it may have worked for my students this year, that doesn’t mean it will work for the group of students I have the following year. Good instruction is modified to best meet the needs of the current group of learners.
  11. 11. References (10 points) Brown, A., & Green, T. D. (2011). The essentials of instructional design: Connecting fundamental principles with process and practice. (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. (2006). Design process bubble map. Retrieved from CAST. (2006). Udl bookbuilder. Retrieved from Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2012). Common core state standards: Reading informational text grade 3. Retrieved from http://www.core Hileman, J., & Cline, G. Z. (2011). Independent reading level assessment (irla). (2nd ed.). United States of America: American Reading Company. South Carolina Department of Education. (2011, August 18). South carolina social studies: Academic standards. Retrieved from Instructional-Practices-andEvaluations/documents/FINALAPPROVEDS SStandardsAugust182011.pdf South Carolina Department of Education. (2011). South carolina social studies: Support documents. Retrieved from Tolson, S. (2013). Tolson722 wikispaces. Retrieved from http://tolson722. Written Report Points (Total points = 100)