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Standard 2: Instructional Design and Assessment

Facilitation of learning and achievement of all students (in accordance with the SBE Universal Education Vision and Principles), including the ability to:

f. Design and implement instruction based on Michigan Curriculum Framework (MCF), using multiple approaches to accommodate the diverse backgrounds, abilities, and needs of students and modify instruction based on assessment data.

One of the units that I designed for a 5th grade class was centered around three driving GLCEs. The first is found in the science content area. The focus of this GLCE is that students are able to describe the effect humans and other organisms have on the balance in the natural world. The students were able to gain first hand experience during a trip to the landfill. At the landfill, the students were able to see exactly where out trash goes, hear about the environmental effects that the landfill has and observe the sheer amount of space that trash takes up. After visiting the landfill, the students were able to take a closer look at their personal trash disposal habits in the class and lunch room. They were able to piece together that the trash in the landfill was produced from schools like theirs. The final projects that the students worked on also focused on the measure that they personally can take to positively effect the environment. Each group looked at a type of pollution of their choosing, discovered what caused it and its negative effects and finally researched and discussed ways that they could improve the environment.

The second GLCE is from the English Language Arts section in which the students use the writing process to produce and present a research project. This has two subsections: 1) a teacher approved topic, narrow focus questions and hypothesis, and 2) the use of a variety of resources to gather and organizing the relevant information according to central ideas and supporting details. Throughout the three weeks, the students were taught the proper techniques for researching in a variety of media. They were taught and practiced finding credible sources in the library and online. They also learned proper note taking and bibliography skills. Before completing their assignments, the students also had a conference with me and presented their project outlines.

The final GLCE is Social Studies in which students participate in projects to help or inform others. The presentation of the students’ projects at the Learning Fair for the community as well as making a formal presentation in front of the class fulfills this GLCE. The students spent just over two weeks researching a topic, interviewing teachers and classmates and conducting surveys. They then presented their findings as well as what they learned in class in the form of a movie and poster productions to help inform others their age about what they can do about various types of pollution.

When I first began this unit, it looked much different than its final product. Originally, I had planned on presenting different types of pollution each day and discussing their effects and what we can do to alleviate the various types of pollution. After my presentation, the students would have been given the opportunity to research on their own to make the presentations in groups. After several hours of observation, I realized that working in groups was something that this particular group of students needed to work on. I then created a group work rubric in order to track the progress that the groups made. While watching them work, I quickly realized that the students had no background knowledge on how to properly research. Students came to me with information copied straight of off websites such as Wikapedia. I then realized that I had to devote a significant amount of time to teaching the students how to research.

The students also did not seem to grasp what was meant when I said that tons of trash is thrown away daily in this area, so this prompted a trip to the landfill. They had no concept of the massive amounts of garbage was brought to landfills daily. In order to allow the students to better connect to what they were researching, the students were allowed to choose, in their groups, the type of pollution they wanted to research.

g. Understand, design, and implement grading processes and assessments, using multiple approaches to accommodate diverse backgrounds, abilities, and needs of students.

Monitoring progress of individuals as well as the class as a whole is an important component of teaching. Regular assessment allows a teacher to see what information the students have learned, what information may need to be presented again or if the student are on track towards the overall goal. Although short, the Maymester experience gave me the opportunity to asses my students at three different points in time using three different methods.

The first method is through looking at the student’s evidence of thinking. Evidence of thinking can be seen in classroom discussion, student work or conferencing with the student. In my unit, I looked at the work of the students for their evidence of thinking. Looking at the students’ work gave me an insight into the application of what the student has learned. While reading, the students recorded what they learned, but they also took the information they learned and questioned it or recorded other questions that arose. Students also took notes when we went to the landfill that they transcribed into an actual paper. The thought processes behind taking what you learned and putting it into your own words, shows a genuine grasp of the information. This proved the teacher with evidence of the students’ thought process and knowledge of the given topic.

The same of work that the students produce for teachers on a daily basis provide a helpful tool for assessment. Work samples in the form of scripts and charts were used to assess student learning throughout this unit. During our trip to the landfill, the students were asked to prepare questions and take notes on the presentation. When we returned to the school, the students were asked to answer some basic questions about the landfill the aid of their notes. The questions were to be answered in the form of an essay, answering all of the questions they could as completely as possible. Although many students completed the assignment well, only one or two were able to answer every question. This indicated to me that the students needed to review note taking. The adjustment was made so that the following lesson incorporated more note taking.

The final way I regularly assessed my students was through the use of a rubric to monitor group work. Based on my observations in the class, the students needed to work on group cooperation. The rubric was made to track the progress of the interactions of group members as opposed to the actual final production. This allowed me to monitor which techniques worked for making the students work together as a groups as well as individual progress.

All Standard 2 sub-standards

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