Monday, November 26, 2012

EDSS 521 #5

This semester at El Camino High school I have been surprised by the literacy levels of my students.  Many of my students have a high vocabulary, and are able to write well. When an essay was assigned in my class many of my students wrote excellent essays, and displayed advanced writing. However this is not the case for all of my students. Some of my students are not able to form basic sentences, yet have not been classified as English Learners, nor have IEP's.

Those students who have fallen behind academically seem to have fallen very far behind. There is far less of a middle ground than I expected. Many of my students seem to read well, or can barley read at all.  This may be because those who achieve have mad that their identity, and those who fail have made that their identity as well.


In September:

My literacy classroom is filled with the posters of my favorite historical figures. The people that I consider heroes will be on full display in an attempt to influence my students to find out more. My students will be fully engaged in the struggles of the working people to escape oppression throughout history. My students will also be fully engaged in the present to see how the past has lead to the present. My students are reading A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn. This book will change the lives of some of my students, as it changed my life. I will also recommend that my students read the works of freedom fighters, and thinkers on their free time. This will give the knowledge, and knowledge is power.

In December:
My literacy classroom looks much like it did in September.  I would add historical heroes of some of my students to further inspire them. The would still be reading the same book for my class, and hopefully have read many other books to personally inspire them.  They are writing about American history, and what events of the past most effect their present. They are discussing true issues of freedom, and democracy.

In May:

My literacy rich classroom still is covered with the heroes of the past. My students are still engaged in the past, and how events from the past effect today. My students are capable of independent learning in order to read and write a proper essay. I want them to be able to do research on their own so that it will be harder to fol them with faulty information in the future.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Corperate Education Through Project Tomorrow

I read the article Learning in the 21st Century:2011 Trends Update. In this article all I could see as a push toward online education. They seemingly picked favorable data to substantiate their claim that online education is somehow more effective than learning in the classroom. This program is also privately funded. I cannot support private corporations funding education. The Bill Gates of the world have an eye on the education dollar, and they are reviving it though companies like project tomorrow. A simple scroll to the bottom of their website and anyone can see whose funding the project. One must understand that the single motivations of corporations is to make a profit, all the donations, and PR, are simply there to convince the community that they have another agenda. Don't be fooled by corporations, support public education!


EDSS 511 Unit Plan




EDSS 511: Unit Plan
  1. Unit Context:
a.      World History/Industrial Revolution
b.      9th Grade
c.       Unit 2 covers twenty fifty-five minute classes over four weeks
  1. Facts About the Learners:
a.      There are thirty-nine students in the class
b.      The class consists of twenty-two girls and seventeen boys. Out of the thirty-nine students there is one ELL, student, at least ten bilingual students, and two students with an IEP. The information was not available as to how many students receive free or reduced lunch.
c.       The students in the class have a variety of interests from sports to fashion There are also a variety of readiness levels, and learning profiles from cognitive to visual.
d.      ELL Student 1: Chelsea Garcia is an English learner that tested at the Early Advanced level for English. Chelsea is a 9th grade student whose family is from Mexico. She is from a working class family and speaks Spanish at home. She does not know what she wants to do for a living when she is older, and has not expressed academic goals to me. Chelsea needs to read more in English in order to further develop her ability in academic English. For Chelsea, I give verbal instructions to accompany the written ones that are given during a lesson. I pay special attention to Chelsea’s verbal communication with her peers during class discussions in order to gauge a better understanding on how her social English is progressing. I also pay close attention to her academic conversations to get a better idea on the level of understanding that Chelsea has in regards to the academic material that is being presented to the class.  In order to foster Chelsea’s academic growth, I allow her to sit near students that she is more comfortable communicating with. To gain a better prospective on Chelsea’s level of understanding I consider all of her formal exams, homework, and class discussions to decide how effective I am as an instructor to Chelsea. I use all of my assessments to compare and contrast and conclude what are the most effective assessments for her as an individual student. My next step to facilitate Chelsea’s learning would be to give her a written essay exam. This essay would gauge her academic understanding of the Industrial Revolutions, as well as an understanding for her academic English.
e.      ELL Student 2: Elena is an English learner that tested as an Early Intermediate English learner on her CELDT exam. Elena is from Mexico and her first language is Spanish. There is no indication as to what Elena’s goals for the future are, however, she does enjoy reading books in Spanish. To differentiate my lesson for Elena, I would give all written directions verbally to her to be sure that she comprehends what to do for any given activity in class. I would choose an essay to monitor Elena’s progress as both a student, and as an English learner. I would also allow Elena to sit around peers that she was comfortable speaking with in order to foster her English speaking ability. My next step to facilitate Elena’s learning would be to read an essay by her, and see if the differentiated directions have an effect on her ability to understand the assignment.
f.        IEP Student 2: Justin is a student with an IEP that says that he has a specific learning disability, and he is late developer. Justin is in the 9th grade, and comes from an English speaking working-class family that comes from a so called traditional American culture. Justin wishes to be a police officer in the future, and has an interest in sports such as baseball, and wrestling. Justin enjoys Math and Science more than he does History, and English classes. To differentiate for Justin I must give him extra time on tests, and verbally explain all directions to him because he can have a hard time understanding written directions as well as he does verbal directions. To gain a deep understanding of his progress in the academic material, I have academic conversations with Justin. Having academic discussions with Justin allows me to gain an understanding of his progress as a student. Justin is very social, and I accommodate this and allow him to sit where he likes, as long as the conversations that he has during class are done academically during allowed times called pair and share time. As stated above, I have academic conversations with Justin to monitor his progress. He tends to get very nervous for tests, therefore I can conclude that he is not testing to his full ability.  To further facilitate Justin’s learning I will closely guide him on how to write an academic essay. This will help Justin academically as he peruses his goals of being a Police officer because police must write a lot on the job.  This will motivate Justin to do well because he has expressed that he wants to be a member of the police force bad and will work hard to achieve this goal.
g.      IEP Student 2: Alex is a 15 year old student with an IEP. Alex is in the 10th grade and has a specific learning disability and has asthma as well. Alex does not do well in social groups and often is self isolating during down time and lunch. There is no indication as to what Alex’s culture, SES, or family backgrounds are. There is also no indication as to what Alex’s goals for the future are as well. Alex’s developmental needs include a lot of one on one time to foster his social skills, and encourage him to participate in group activities to further develop his ability to comprehend academic materials.  I would choose a multiple choice test to fairly evaluate Alex’s understanding of the Academic materials. I would do this because he is capable of learning the skills required to do well on a multiple choice test as supposed to an essay. To further facilitate Alex’s learning I would allow him to chose a book on the historical topic and write a report on this. This will allow Alex to gain interest in the topic, and at the same time give him valuable practice in writing an essay that will help him develop his academic English in the future.
h.      ELL Student 3: Elizabeth is an Early Intermediate English learner as showed on her CELDT exam.  Elizabeth is in the 9th grade and is from Mexico. She speaks Spanish at home with her family, however communicates very well in English with her peers. Elizabeth comes from a working-class family that often moves back and forth from Mexico to the United States of America. Elizabeth wishes to be a college student in the future because it looks like fun to her to live at school and party with her class-mates.  Elizabeth is in need of better reading comprehension and often is confused during class.  I differentiate my lesson for Elizabeth by allowing her more time to take notes, and asking that she stay after class so that I can explain the notes in a one on one learning environment. In the beginning of the year Elizabeth would often talk out during class. To remedy this problem I sat her next to a friend. Allowing Elizabeth to sit with a friend allowed her boredom to be relived. Elizabeth also started to begin to be a little less confused because her friend would explain the lesson to her. This resulted in less talk during the lecture portion of the class. I would use an essay to monitor the academic progress of Elizabeth. I would choose an essay because ti does several things at once. First, it will monitor the student’s academic ability and English ability at the same time. Second, it allows Elizabeth to be creative, which in turn will keep her from being bored. To facilitate Elizabeth learning in the future I would continue one on one meeting with her on a weekly basis to make sure that she is making progress toward becoming a proficient English speaking student.
  1. Unit Rationale:
a.      Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions: This unit focuses on the Industrial Revolution. This unit is particularly of importance to my students because the vast majority of my students come from working-class families. That being said, I focus on the formation of workers Unions and the oppression of the worker at the hands of the middle, and upper classes. This fits into the scheme of the course and the so called big picture because I want my students to gain an understanding of what it was like to be a worker in the past, so they will be more prepared as to what it will be like to be a worker today. I want my students to become empowered by people’s movements such as strikes, and the formation of labor unions.
b.      EU:
I want my students to be left with a sense of pride at the end of the unit. I want this pride to come from the accomplishments of the past, and achievements that their fellow worker gained. I also want them to be thankful to all those who lived in sub-standard conditions, and fought those conditions. I want my students to think for themselves and see things for what they really are. Even if they reach different conclusions than I have about the world through the eyes of a worker, I will be satisfied that they concluded by their one merit and ideas. Students will understand that there is a lot of work to do for equality to be achieved both in the world, and in the United States of America.
c.       Essential Questions:
The essential questions for this unit will focus on political and economic changes as a result of the Industrial Revolution. All of the lessons will focus on the changes in the world’s politics and economy as a result of the industrialization of the production of goods.
  1. Standards:

(Content)This unit will address the following standards:
10.3.1: Analyze why England was the first country to industrialize.
10.3.3: Describe the growth of population, rural, to urban migration, and growth of cities associated with the Industrial Revolution.
10.3.4: Analyze the emergence of capitalism as a dominant economic pattern and the response to it, including Utopianism, Social Democracy, Socialism, and Communism.
(ELD)This unit will address the following standards:
Cluster 3 Level EA: Apply Knowledge of language to achieve comprehension of informational, materials, literary texts, and texts in content areas.
Cluster 5 ES: Prepare oral and written reports that evaluate the credibility of an authors argument or defense of claim.
  1. Unit Objectives:
a.      This unit will have the students conclude the political and economic changes in Europe due to the Industrial Revolution. This unit addresses essay writing skills.  In the second week of the unit, the students will be given a week long lesson concluded by an essay examination on the Industrial Revolution.
b.      The essay will be the condition that the students will demonstrate knowledge of the objective.  Prior to the student’s completing this objective they will have several opportunities to write timed practice essays.
c.       The students will write a full essay including an introduction, two body paragraphs and a conclusion. This will be a timed essay.
d.      I will evaluate the student’s knowledge of the political and economical changes in England due to the Industrial Revolution. 
e.      This will be cognitive learning because it allows the students to write the essay, and think of the answer by themselves.
This unit addresses standards the following standards: 10.3.1: Analyze why England was the first country to industrialize.
10.3.3: Describe the growth of population, rural, to urban migration, and growth of cities associated with the Industrial Revolution.
10.3.4: Analyze the emergence of capitalism as a dominant economic pattern and the response to it, including Utopianism, Social Democracy, Socialism, and Communism.
 6. Assessment Plan:
a. Essay
b. Formal
c. Summative assessment
d. The purpose of this assessment is to asses essay writing skills and historical knowledge.
e. This is an essay exam
f.
7. Steps of Instruction:
a.  The into lesson for this unit focuses on the Agricultural Revolution, and the economic changes that resulted from it.
b. I will create a hook by relating the Agricultural Revolution to today. I will do this by pointing out that no one can live without agriculture.
c. I will access prior knowledge by showing the students pictures to refresh their minds on what certain items of the Agricultural Revolution are.  Some of these items are the steel plow, and mechanical reaper. I will also have the students discuss any experiences with farming.
d. The steps to begin this activity are to give a lecture on the Agricultural Revolution, and show pictures of items from the time period.
e. The room arrangement will be taken care of by the students because they will be used to breaking up in small groups because share and pair is a regular activity in my class.
f. The students have a partner that they regularly work with. I always allow the students to choose a partner that they work well with.
g. Transitions and misbehavior will be handled by moving closer in proximity to the behavior problem. The presents of a teacher almost always ends any problems with behavior.
h. I will have an essential question to prompt learning.
i. I will connect the transitions with specific instructions such as stop what you’re doing and look up here.
j. I will preview the technology of the Industrial Revolution in this lesson. This will be a preview of the changes to be demonstrated in the unit.
k. will asses the students past knowledge in this lesson. I will do this by listening to their share and pairs.
8. Unit Calendar:
9. Lesson Plan: (see attached)
10. Materials and Resources:
a. The students will view a power point, and have several matrixes through the lesson. (See attached).
11. Reflection:
a. I have differentiated instruction in many ways. First I provide visuals for my English Learners. These visuals also help the entire class make a visual connection to a word that they may or may not have seen before. For my advanced students, I ask them more complicated questions during pair and share activates.
b. The strengths of my plan is that It provides information for many types of learners. Also, it gives the students a large opportunity to discuss the academic material among their peers. 
c. I will collect scores from their essay tests, and also other evaluations such as map quizzes and a unit test at the end of the unit.
d. I learned that my students are very interested in workers’ rights. They gave me their full attention during class conscious lectures, and were very interested in asking additional questions about boycotts, and labor strikes. 
e. I now know that my students are prepared to write an essay. I was not sure if they were ready to write a full essay, however the overwhelming majority of my students demonstrated written competence in the form of an essay.
12: Rubric: See attached

Monday, November 5, 2012

Creativity in the Classroom


Creativity in the American classroom is almost as extinct as the dinosaurs.  Standardized tests have handcuffed teachers, and forced them to teach within a government sponsored framework that the students must learn. In my classroom I attempt to have the students be creative by having them think of reasons as to why historical events happen. For example instead of telling the students why communism is unpopular, I have them figure it out. I also stress to them that there is no wrong answer, and that I prefer them to be original than historically correct for that given activity.
            Creativity is thwarted in much of my class. This is the case because the students have to pass a test both to get a good grade in the class, but a statewide star test at the end of the year. This limits my ability to have my students philosophize about freedom, and their lives. However the students do have ample opportunity to collaborate with their peers.
            In my class the students break into groups of two on a daily basis for think, pair, share time. This time is for them to collaborate, and come up with the best possible idea for the class. Information literacy is also greatly supported in my class.
            For every unit of study my students have to learn vocabulary word. These vocabulary words help increase the academic literacy of my students. To enforce some creativity, the students have to make a link with the vocabulary word and their lives.  One literacy that is left out in my class is media literacy. Due to the lower socio Economic standing of many of my students, we cannot explore technology that the students do not have a t home.
Technology is seldom used because of a lack of access for my students at home. One place it is used is to communicate with parents via email. This can be problematic for the parents who do not know how to speak English, or do not have computer access.
Students are however taught to be independent this is done by making them responsible for their assignments even if they are late. The students can make up assignments late if they are willing to put the time in and be responsible to approach me after class to make up the missed work.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Assesments for English Learners

In my classes I only have one official English Learner. She tested at an Early Advanced level according to her CELDT test. Due to the fact that teachers must teach at the L+1, I teacher at and advanced level when differentiating my lesson for my English Learner. I do see a fault in the CELDT system because it appears as though I have more than one student who are English Learners, but have somehow slipped through the cracks of the system. This is problematic because I have to evaluate them beyond the CELDT test on a day to day basis. The struggles of teachers.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

EDSS 555 Sociocultural Aspects of Schooling for ELs

A sociocultural issue that I will address in my classroom is the Euros-centric approach to history that is taken as a result of the California standards. I have addressed this issue over the past eight weeks by attempting to validate the cultures of the non European students by expressing to the students that the European people that we study are not the only great men and women of history. I inform them why we teach a very white washed history, and encourage them to discover the histories of their people on their own. I also express to them how sad I am to be forced to teach them from a white European Imperialistic perspective.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lesson Planning Blog #2

My overall lesson designing and planning incorporates knowledge of the teenage brain by allowing the students to pair and share with each other before they are required to share with the class as a whole. This allows the students to internalize the question before they are required to externalize an answer.
I will accesses the students memory lanes by asking the students to relate historical events to their own lives.