BC: What I Learned from the unit | Parent help is a great way help students improve and practice at home. | Total body response helps students get and stay engaged | Always clarify inaccurate student responses | Use a checklist or tally system to ensure every student is participating
FC: Teaching Portfolio Lauren Thomas
1: My name is Lauren Thomas and I am a graduate from Michigan State University. I am currently in the year long internship at Maple Elementary School in Walled Lake Consolidated School District. In May, 2009, I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education with a major in Integrated Sciences. | About Me | I am very close to my family and have grown up always wanting to help others. | With my diploma at Michigan State University's College of Education graduation..
2: Philosophy of Teaching | My goal as a teacher is to maximize student potential, academically and socially, through differentiation of instruction and creation of a safe classroom environment. I am a firm believer in student engagement and participation, so in order to do this, students need to feel comfortable and be able to make mistakes in my classroom. I focus my instruction on the different backgrounds of students, academically and emotionally, putting an emphasis on individual experiences and applicable connections. I am a thorough planner who makes sure to involve all students in classroom interaction such as discussions, gallery students and workshop conferencing. I find elementary school a time for students to begin to enjoy school and I plan on doing my best to help them find that excitement that will continue with them as they move forward with their education.
3: In this unit, students will be learning a new poem weekly, allowing them to practice fluency as well as learn about different elements of literacy. They will first focus on understanding the meaning behind the poem, informing them about what the author was trying to say in the text. This is done through a whole group discussion, allowing them to be guided to find the poem’s meaning. Day two involves students deepening the meaning that they had determined on day one. They will make connections (primarily text-to-self), helping them to further develop their understanding of the poem as well as the purpose of reading the poem. On the third day, students will identify the rhyming words in the poem and understand how these help them predict the upcoming text. For example, if a student knew the word rhymed with night, it would give them a tool to use to figure out the other word is light. On the fourth day, students find the structural elements of the poem. These can be punctuation, descriptive words, repeating words, etc On the last day of this week long poem, students recite the poem by heart using a microphone in front of the whole class. There is a checklist ensuring that every student does the poem for the class. With the daily recitation of the poem alongside total body movements and different elements of literacy, this week long shared reading allows students to practice comprehension and fluency in a confident manner. | Unit Overview
4: The purpose of shared reading is to engage students, building confidence in reading, while also helping scaffold them into becoming better readers. I want them to be able to comprehend the meaning of the poem, which is what they will do when they are reading the text in their books. Another main focus of this unit was to gradually introduce students to new high frequency words; they can use these “snap” words to more fluently read in their books and use and spell them correctly in their writing. As a teacher, I use reading and writing interchangeably so that students can clearly see the connection between the two. If students can speak the words, then they can read the words, and they can write the words. By reading this poem for an entire week, it is allowing students to see more and more text that they can ultimately use in their writing and reading. | 1. Identify the message of the text. 2. Participate by saying the poem and do the corresponding body movements. 3. Make text-to-self connections. 4. Recognize snap words. 5. Recognize the consistent ending sounds of rhyming words. 6. Read text with fluency. 7. Recognize structural elements of the text. | Purpose and Goals
5: Gifted Students: For gifted students, like my focal student, Amari, I will ask them more challenging and inquisitive questions. These will help them to think at a deeper level. Ultimately this will help the whole class because the other students will learn from the responses these students give. I will ask them questions using the words how and why as opposed to who, what, where or when, because this will allow them to think more deeply and abstractly, ultimately challenging them. | Differentiation/Focal Students | Low Students: : Low students like my focal student, Noah, have difficulties understanding certain aspects of literacy, which makes a goal of mine to help them improve and grow academically. I make sure to give very clear, explicit questions to assess what they understand while also helping to build their confidence. Noah has difficulties staying still. :He greatly benefits from being near the front of the carpet, because he will focus for longer periods of time. He loves attention, good or bad, so by seeing him closer to the front of the carpet, I am more likely to call on him and keep him engaged in the activity. If he does blurt unnecessarily, which is a continuous problem, then I will send him back to his seat to remove the distractions from other students. | English Language Learners: ELL learners will gain extra help through physical movements and visual aids (poem posted on large chart paper). ELL students will benefit from this because the verbal recitation of the poem with the corresponding movements will help them to learn the words and rhythm of the poem. My ELL focal student, Yuina, will greatly benefit from this because she has difficulties with an influx of new words. She is a bright student but has difficulties with English words, especially new ones. The physical movements of the poem will help her to remember the poem, eventually learning it well enough to do it without body movements on Fridays. Many of the words in the poem are small and simple, so it will give both the ELL students, as well as the rest of the class, an opportunity to practice their high frequency words to build fluency. | If students are continuously looking down at the carpet, I will casually say their name in between sentences bringing their focus back on the group. For example, “I love this poem, student name, because it will help us learn five new snap words.” Always call the gallery people up to the carpet first, to ensure that they are getting called on at least once a week. If students aren’t doing the body movements with the poem, repeat the poem, first commenting on how we will continue doing the poem until each and every student is participating. There is one student who has difficulties with constantly looking at the carpet so by putting him in a chair during shared reading, it will help him concentrate on the poem, as opposed to the floor.
6: Parent Involvement | At the beginning of each week, a copy of the poem and snap words are sent home to allow students time to practice reciting their poem. | This allows parents to not only know what we are doing in class, but also play an important role in their child’s education. | Parent Letter sent home to help students with High frequency, or "Snap" words. | Dear Parents, Each week I will be sending home snap words. These are words that your child needs to know how to read and write in their daily work. It would be quite beneficial for you to continuously practice reading and spelling these words throughout the entire school year. Snap Words: see their are in black
7: Motivate and Engage Students | I make sure to engage students during discussion by having the class repeat something important that a student has said. This will keep them from losing focus and let me know who I need to keep an eye on to ensure that they are engaged and participating. | Students are extremely engaged during shared reading through total body movements. The teacher first models how to say the poem and do the corresponding movements. Then, the students repeat these with the teacher. The body movements relate to the words being spoken, teaching the students that what they say correlates with the movements they are doing. Additionally, by continuously moving moving around, they are staying engaged and motivated to learn and “perform” the poem. Every week there is a new poem, and every week the students cannot wait to say the poem as well as do the body movements.
8: Assessments | Participation in the poem recitation and discussion. Microphone during extension activity Writing down students’ names who are not opening their mouths and saying the poem with the rest of the class. Visually seeing students do body movements during poem. | Connections to personal lives based on the poem.. Yarn used as physical connection to visually show students how they are making a connection to the text.. | Calling on gallery people will allow all students to be called on at least once a week, demonstrating that I am assessing every student. | Asking students questions about snap words to show understanding in phonics/ snap word development: How many letters does this word have? What letter does it begin with? What sound does that make? | Taping the students will allow me to physically see how engaged students are during the lesson as well as what responses students are giving.
9: Lesson Plans