Meta-reflection for Standard 1: Instructional Planning

I created this document, Launching Reading Workshop: The First Twenty Days of School, with my  first grade team. This document demonstrates my instructional planning competency by aligning specific objectives with Washington State Standards in reading and communication as well as providing lists of suggested read alouds and shared reading materials. We also placed each lesson into separate strands where each lesson would best be taught during a ‘balanced literacy’ program (i.e. Reading Workshop). Once our data was compiled I created the final product template. This artifact directly impacts student learning as it ensures that Washington State Standards are being addressed and has focused objectives and literature to support deep understandings of those particular standards and objectives. My school is transforming our literacy program from Success For All (SFA) to a Balanced Literacy approach. Creating this document aided our first grade team in better understanding the Balanced Literacy approach and ensuring that we have the tools necessary to teach our students effectively in the fall. This artifact demonstrates competency regarding standard 1: Instructional Planning: Designs and monitors long and short-term plans for students’ academic success.

https://oswook.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/launching-reading-workshop.docx

Below is a direct link to all artifacts that I feel have implications regarding instructional planning.

https://oswook.wordpress.com/category/standard-1-instructional-planning/

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Consultation-based academic interventions for children with ADHD

This article is a follow-up on a previous study that randomly placed students with ADHD into two groups. One group was taught by teachers receiving Intensive Data-Based Academic Intervention (IDAI) consultation and the other group was taught by teachers receiving Traditional Data-Based Academic Intervention (TDAI). The IDAI teachers received consultation on creating interventions based on assessment data. They were also provided feedback and modeling. The TDAI group of teachers created interventions based on teacher’s choice and did not receive feedback or modeling.

To read more: Academic Journal Abstract SPED

Instructional Strategies: Environment, Interest, Inquiry, Assessment

Creating meaningful learning experiences begins with the learning environment. “The teacher-arranged environment [is] an active and pervasive influence on the lives of children and teachers throughout the school day. In the processes of teaching and learning, the physical environment…provides the setting for learning and at the same time acts as a participant in teaching and learning” (1999). Not only is the arrangement integral to the success of students’ behavior and academic independence but the culture and community that is developed through collaborative efforts between the teacher and the students is also an essential component. The instructional strategies addressed in this paper foster effective and nurturing learning environments that promote cooperation and inquiry. To read more Instructional Strategies

Teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Learning Activity Types: Curriculum-based Technology Integration Reframed

This article is comforting in the sense that it reassures me, as an educator, that technology knowledge (TK) is a “conceptualization…to be developmental, evolving over a lifetime of generative interactions with multiple technologies” (2009, 398). But is also daunting because, as Harris, et.al., state on page 399, “the flexible use of tools becomes particularly important because most popular software programs are not designed for educational purposes.” So, this begs the questions, What do I do? and How do I begin to organize the tangled Web?

The article begins to answer my questions through examples of the multiple uses of whiteboards and various examples of specific teachers integrating technology and content successfully and the importance of collaborative brainstorming. But, what activity goes best with what technology?

Harris, et.al., help begin the tedious organization and brainstorming task by providing tables on pages 408-411. These tables “help teachers become aware of the full range of possible curriculum-based learning activity options and the different ways that digital and nondigital tools support each” (2009, 400). Which also lends itself to instructional differentiation via the multiple tools and uses for each tool.

As the article convinced me, content knowledge and technology have evolved together and must, rather, will continue to do so, “Content (be it physics of engineering or sociology) shapes new technologies and offers new uses for existing technologies, while at the same time the affordances and constraints of technologies shape how this content is represented, manipulated, and applied” (2009, 400). Doesn’t this imply the necessity of integrating technology knowledge and content knowledge so that our students can be successful and influential citizens in our future democratic society?

Harris, J., Mishra, P., Koehler, M. (2009). Teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge and learning activity types: Curriculum-based technology integration reframed. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(4). 393-416.

Effective Vocabulary Instruction

Vocabulary is and must be taught in schools yet so many teachers don’t know how to effectively and efficiently integrate vocabulary instruction into their classrooms. Vocabulary instruction isn’t only necessary for English language learners but for the general education population as well. We, as teachers, have (or should have) a knowledge of prepositions, conjunctions, suffixes and prefixes, nouns and verbs but do we understand that there are certain words that will give us the most bang for our buck? Do we know what the best teaching practices are for promoting vocabulary growth in our children? I will highlight some of the teaching practices that I have found most beneficial including high frequency words and word utility, strategies to teach word relationships and awareness, and the importance of reading and conversation. To read more:

Effective Vocabulary Instruction

Maximizing Motivation

Motivation is the key to effectively educating children. There are three main aspects to maximizing a child’s motivation to read: choice, collaboration, and competence (Gaskins, 1998). “One reason that motivation and engagement may influence the development of reading comprehension is that motivated students usually want to understand text content fully and therefore, process information deeply” (Guthrie, et. al., 2004). Read more in the following document: Maximizing Motivation

Teachers, Not Technicians

Reflecting on my own instructional practices regarding technology, I discovered that I am in the adoption phase of the five stages of the instructional evolution to integrating technology in the classroom.

The stages, defined by Judith H. Sandholtz and Brian Reilly, are quite interesting: Entry; Learning the basics of using technology, Adoption; successfully using technology on a basic level consistent with existing instructional practices, Adaptation; using technology to increase productivity, more frequent and purposeful, Appropriation; use of technology with no effort to accomplish instructional and management goals, Invention; technology is a flexible tool, learning is collaborative, interactive and customized; new teaching and learning practices emerge (2004).

I feel that I am stuck in the adoption phase because of two main reasons; time and availability.

Time is needed not only to plan and collaborate but also to explore new  instructional strategies and learning practices surrounding technology use. In the Everyday Mathematics curriculum explorations are a key component to initially addressing critical concept information.  This exploration phase allows the students to discover and begin to define concepts on their own or with peers to begin making connections and thinking about their background knowledge before the teacher begins the presentation of new information. This effective instructional strategy should be implemented in educators’ professional development regarding technology’s implications for teaching and learning practices.

Availability of technology equipment and professional development opportunities of various kinds is necessary. There is only so much one can do to get more equipment so I have begun to assert my creativity in order to enhance my students’ learning experience surrounding technology. For example, this bportfolio gave me a great idea for my class next year. Seeing as I only have a couple computers in my room, I thought that it would be a good practice for the class as a whole to compile our reflections of learning into a summary on a blog page.  This way students, teachers, and parents are connected to the experiences occurring in the classroom. When parents ask, “What did you learn at school today?” There will no longer be a passing of silence but a “Look at our blog!”

Also, like many of our students, we learn differently.  Like David Wicks stated in his brief summary of our voice threads, what one can do with a handbook another needs to be face-to-face and so on. Professional Development also needs to be more focused on instructional practice rather than – this is how you use an online grade-book or make a graph. I want to know how to better engage my students and prepare them for our ever-changing world of technology.

Overall, technology needs educator buy-in. Technology use in instruction must become a district culture if it is going to be utilized effectively and effeciantly for all educators and students.

Sandholtz, J. H., Reilly, B. (2004). Teachers, not technicians: Rethinking technical expectations for teachers. Teachers College Record, 106(3), 487-512.

Growth Portfolio in Mathematics

Attached is a sampling of Kaitlin’s growth portfolio that shows her progress in backward number sense and numeral identification. The first table in this document is Kaitlin’s initial assessment of these skills and is followed by intervention assignments as well as follow-up assessments of both her backward number sense and numeral identification skills.  These artifacts illustrate her exceptional growth in these mathematical concepts.  Student Growth Portfolio

A Partnership for Success

A partnership between communities, homes, and schools is vital to the success of all children. A partnership implies that all parties involved have equal responsibility to foster literary development in all aspects of a child’s life. A common vision targeted at high expectations is necessary for student achievement.  A Partnership for Success

Launching Reading Workshop

I created this document, Launching Reading Workshop: The First Twenty Days of School, with my  first grade team  in June 2008. This document demonstrates my instructional planning competency by aligning specific objectives with Washington State Standards in reading and communication as well as providing lists of suggested read alouds and shared reading materials. We also placed each lesson into separate strands where each lesson would best be taught during a ‘balanced literacy’ program (i.e. Reading Workshop). Once our data was compiled I created the final product template. This artifact directly impacts student learning as it ensures that Washington State Standards are being addressed and has focused objectives and literature to support deep understandings of those particular standards and objectives. My school is transforming our literacy program from Success For All (SFA) to a Balanced Literacy approach. Creating this document aided our first grade team in better understanding the Balanced Literacy approach and ensuring that we have the tools necessary to teach our students effectively in the fall. This artifact demonstrates competency regarding standard 1, 3, and 6.    Launching Reading Workshop

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