James is a first year English teacher in a low-income high school outside of a major metropolitan area. His students are of diverse backgrounds and equally diverse learning styles. As part of his opening unit, he is preparing to teach his class about the tools that authors use to make their writing more engaging. He decides to focus on symbolism, metaphor, and simile. He has already developed a vocabulary handout that defines each word and includes examples, but when he does an initial check for understanding he finds that most of his students are lost. Specifically, he finds that his students are having a hard time understanding what a comparison is. This makes the concepts of simile and metaphor impossible to comprehend. James decides to design a 45 minute lesson that clarifies for students what comparing is.
1. How might James structure his 45-minute lesson to include elements of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning?
2. What methods can James use to check for comprehension once the lesson is complete?
3. How might he follow up in ensuing class periods as a continued check of comprehension and to remediate students who may still not understand?
2. Sean teaches an art class in a public elementary school near Chicago. Many of his students come from difficult circumstances and he has worked hard to make his lessons engaging and accessible for a diverse group of learners. Still, he finds it is difficult sometimes to contain the boundless energy of 2nd and 3rd graders. Recently, he has been frustrated with off-task behavior such as talking, moving around the room, and horseplay. This is particularly a concern since his classroom has expensive and breakable art supplies. A colleague suggests toSean that he try channeling the energy by including aspects of kinesthetic learning in his room. He decides to plan kinesthetic movement into his next unit which is focused on clay sculpting. Specifically, he wants students to be able to correctly sculpt a small human figure in the act of running.
3. Describe a three lesson sequence that would allow Sean to include kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learning in his sculpting unit.
How can he structure the kinesthetic elements of his lesson in a way that makes his expectations and guidelines for the exercise clear?Beyond the kinesthetic movement associated with sculpting, how might Sean use the energy and movement of his students to aid in student learning during the unit?Sarah is a 7th grade math teacher at a small middle school that serves a farming community. She has worked at the school for four years and has learned that it is a community that thrives on three things: family, farming, and football. Every boy growing up in town has aspirations of varsity football glory, but most will end up spending their lives working the family farm. Walking into her third period class on the first day of school, she finds herself faced by 18 rambunctious teenagers. Even scarier, 15 of them are boys. As she begins the year, Sarah wants to grab her students’ attention by providing an engaging introduction to the practical value of math. Her first unit of the year introduces the adding and subtracting of fractions and she wants to build on the knowledge her students already have acquired, both in and out of school.Give an example of a specific strategy that Sarah can use to activate the prior knowledge existing in her classroom and steps she can take to implement it.What other resources might Sarah use to gain a further understanding of the existing knowledge base of her students?How might she combine what she knows about her students and the community with her unit focus (fractions) in a way that immediately engages the class?Megan recently accepted a job as a first year kindergarten teacher in a community that is primarily Hispanic. A majority of her students are second language learners and many have parents who do not speak English. Megan has never spoken a second language, ignoring two years of high school French that left her conversational but not very confident. She is worried and anxious about how best to bridge the language gap in her classroom. As she prepares for her first year as a teacher, she wants to be sure she does as much as possible to help make the transition easier and to facilitate clear communication between her and her students/their parents.What initial steps can Megan take in order to determine what level of language capabilities her students have? What resources can she use to help her?What strategies can she use on the first day of class to help determine the interests of the students in her classroom?How can she include aspects of her students’ language and culture in her plans for the school year?Steve is in the middle of his tenth year as an honors high school social studies teacher. As part of a unit on the Vietnam War, he is having his students read The Things They Carried, a Vietnam-focused novel. His specific interest is in conveying to students the social, economic, and cultural influence that the war had on people at home. As a culminating assignment to the three-week unit, he asks students to create a portfolio comprised of a number of smaller assignments that are to be completed during the reading. The portfolio is to include a journal entry written as one of the book’s characters, a photograph of one scene from the book, a letter home written by one of the characters, and five reading logs completed at various points during the reading. Steve wants to ensure that his students stay on track during the assignment and that they are not allowed to procrastinate and finish the assignment at the last minute.How can Steve structure the assignment so as to ensure students are completing the elements of the portfolio throughout their reading of the book?What responsibilities does he have at the outset in order to ensure his expectations are clear to all students?How might Steve enlist the help of other teachers on campus and parental support at home to help students reach each checkpoint?Eunice teaches 10th grade English in a suburban high school. Her third unit of the school year is focused on the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a book that she has taught many times, but the last time she did she was less than pleased with the results. As an end of unit assessment, she had students write an essay discussing how one specific character in the novel changes. While she did receive one or two fantastic essays last time around, the majority of her students seemed unable to analyze with the amount of depth she had hoped for. Many of her students ended up with C’s or worse on the essay and in many cases it impacted their overall course grade. This time around, she is hoping to improve results by properly frontloading the assignment and making her expectations more clear. After collecting the essays, Eunice is pleased with the overall organization and the amount of insight provided by the students. Unfortunately, she finds that many students have issues with spelling and grammar that need correcting.In presenting the assignment, what can Eunice do to ensure that her students have a clear understanding of her expectations for the assignment?How can Eunice use targeted feedback and revision to help remediate those students who struggled most on the assignment?How can Eunice properly recognize those students who contributed exceptional work?Lindsay teaches 12th grade earth science in a large suburban high school in an affluent community near Los Angeles. Virtually all of her students are college-bound and many have taken or are taking AP courses in hopes of getting a head start. While Lindsay enjoys the drive and dedication displayed by her students, over the past few years she has begun to feel that some of them are too focused on their GPA and have started to lose focus on the bigger picture value of an education. For some time, she has wanted to plan a unit with a culminating project that will both give back to their community and encourage lifelong learning in her students. She would like it to find a way to tie it to the final unit of the year which has a focus on California geology and natural resources.Describe one hypothetical culminating project that Lindsay could have her students do and explain specifically how it will reach her goals of a) giving back to the community and b) opening her students to the value of lifelong learning.What resources might Lindsay pursue in order to augment her community service and learning objectives?What obstacles do you see in planning a large scale project in service to a community?Nancy teaches at a middle school near Baltimore. She has been working for several years as a substitute teacher and teacher’s aide, but this is her first go round as a full time teacher. Prior to the first day of school, Nancy receives a list of three students in her class with Individualized Education Programs. In all three cases, the students are allowed modifications which will allow them extra time on assignments. Nancy’s anxiety is that other students in class will notice and will begin to question why they are treated differently. She wants to avoid a mutiny but also does not want to single out those students who are on IEP’s for fear of embarrassing them. She is also concerned with how the student IEP’s will impact her scheduling and timing.As a first year teacher, what resources should Nancy consult in terms of how best to handle this situation?Nancy becomes concerned that one student with an IEP does not actually need the accommodations listed or needs additional accommodations. What is the process for reviewing or revising a student’s IEP?Suggest a way in which Nancy can inform the class of the accommodations in a way that does not alienate any of the students in the classroom
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