Tag Archives: Inquiry

Week 14 – USF Inquiry Conference

On Monday, I participated in the USF Inquiry Conference for the second year in a row. I presented my inquiry, which is about creating and writing a children’s book that incorporates both mathematics and reading strategies. I am also excited about my inquiry because it was the basis for my Honors College Thesis about what strategies, research, and resources I can use to write a children’s book. I presented in a roundtable format in which guests listened to me present and had the opportunity to ask me questions about my work. I am so happy for this experience because I am really proud of all of my hard work and I was so happy to share it with everyone. I was also excited to see other interns in the Residency and Cohort programs present with posters or in roundtable sessions.

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For my presentation, I discussed the children’s book that I wrote and read to my students. I collected data to discover their interests and mathematical needs. I wanted my book to reflect their characteristics and experiences as well so the book would be relatable so they could make connections between the text and themselves. I found a lot of research that revealed the benefits of using mathematic literature for lessons; read alouds are already engaging and mathematical literature helps students make connections, learn vocabulary, and see real world problems.

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My students really enjoyed all of the elements of the book, from the title to the main character and the plot. They were able to explicitly name the math strategies that they learned about and they even tried to solve the problems as I read the book to them.

I would love to get my book published in the near future; however, I would love to see what other teachers think about my book first so I can make improvements to it. I see my book as a resource for teachers to use as a read aloud to engage students before a math lesson. I created an example lesson plan for my book so teachers could get an idea of how to use it in their classrooms. There are also many phonics skills incorporated into my book such as long and short vowel sounds, contractions, possessives, and compound words. I created a page for parents and teachers to help their students learn and practice these skills using my book.

I was so happy to have a second opportunity to present research in the USF Inquiry Conference. I have definitely grown a lot over the past year. I am excited for what the future holds for me and I hope to take my book to a publishing company some day and see it in a store.

Story of My Professional Learning

For the end of the semester, I created a video entitled the “Story of My Professional Learning” to document my growth over the past semester. I cannot post the video online; however, I wanted to post the script to my video to show my journey.

 

This semester I was placed in a co-teach kindergarten classroom with thirty six students. I was nervous at first because I had no experience in this type of setting but over time I became comfortable and took over many responsibilities in the classroom. Internship has been challenging at times but I would not trade this experience for anything.

Instructional Planning/Exceptional Students:

In the beginning of the year, I collected data about the learning styles of my students. I used this information with observations and anecdotal notes to inform my instructional planning. When I created lessons, I did my best to meet the needs of my students, which was a part of my FEAPS 2H goal: “Adapts the learning environment to accommodate the differing needs and diversity of students.” I designed a variety of differentiated lesson plans for mathematics, social studies, and literacy to meet the needs of the exceptional students in my classroom.

Social Studies:

In my classroom, social studies is typically integrated into the curriculum through literacy. My students have learned a lot about other cultures through celebrations of Black History month and the Chinese New Year.

I created my own lesson plan in which students learned to use and create timelines. I taught a small group of advanced learners to manipulated timelines and then they created their own timeline of the events in a typical school day. The students used post-it notes to write down the events of the day, which allowed them to rearrange the events easily if necessary. Providing students with these supports allowed them to be successful in this lesson.

I incorporated technology like Prezi and Mimio into this lesson plan. I used Mimio for the first time this semester and I think it is a great tool for the students to use. My students enjoy using the Mimio so much that we created a play center for piece of technology so the students have constant access with this technology to build knowledge.

Intermediate Literacy:

Before coming into the residency program, I had almost no experience with literacy education. In the previous semester I performed multiple read alouds and took on a literature circle. This semester I challenged myself to get out of my comfort zone and participate in more areas of literacy in the classroom: shared reading, guided reading, and writing lessons. I also made a goal for myself to perform more read alouds in the classroom. I still get nervous when I am in the front of the classroom, but I was able to overcome my nervous and focus on the lesson.

For my read aloud of Armadillo Rodeo, I created questions to ask before and after the read aloud that aligned with the standards, which helps me meet my FEAP 1A goal to “align instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level or rigor.”

This semester, I also pulled guided reading groups in my classroom. The groups are named based on the areas of need. My groups were “Letter Leopards” and “Sound Seals.” It was a bit difficult to keep the students on task, but I was able to help them understand the text through open ended questions.

I also took over writing in my classroom over the past few weeks. During writing instruction, the students write sentences and I walk around the room to provide support. During the first few lessons, I struggled to remember what my students had written since their words did not always match up with their thoughts. To fix this, I began taking notes so I could record the information and pass it along to my collaborating teacher so we could determine if the students were meeting their goals for writing.

Mathematics:

In mathematics, I worked with many small groups of students to provide them with extra support. When I worked with the students, I included questions based on the Common Core Standards for Mathematical practice to help students think critically about the lessons.

For one lesson, my teacher did a read aloud of Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons for subtraction. I worked with a small group of students at a slower pace to provide additional support. One of my English Language Learners excelled in this small group because he was able to verbally convey his knowledge because he struggled with writing his ideas down.

Inquiry:

This semester, I used data-informed research, as part of my FEAP 5B goal, in order to perform inquiry in my classroom. My inquiry question is: “How do I accommodate for the visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learning styles of my students in social studies, mathematics, and English to increase student engagement?” I chose this question because I want all of my students to have their needs met so they can learn in the best way possible.

For my inquiry, I surveyed the class to determine their learning styles and formed a group of six learners with visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learning styles. I taught and helped with multiple lesson plans, some of which were differentiated and others that were not, and interviewed the students to determine which lesson engaged them the most. The three lessons were Word Wizard, a sight words lesson, Land and Water on the Globe, a lesson about discovering if there is more water or land on the earth, and Letter Sorting with Whiteboards, in which the students spell out words and determined if they began with a chosen letter.

I discovered that a visual, a kinesthetic, and an auditory learner all found that Word Wizard was the most engaging and interesting lesson. I believe this is because Word Wizard is one of the most differentiated and accommodated lessons plans in my classroom. It is also one of my favorite lessons to teach.

I took over Word Wizard in the beginning of the semester. For these lessons, the students say, spell, and use sight words in a sentence. The students stand up and perform Total Physical Response as they do fun movements while they spell out the words. I noticed that the verbal responses and movements accommodated auditory and kinesthetic learners but I wanted something for visual learners so I created posters for these students. The students really loved these posters and told me so on many occasions. I am very glad that the students enjoy this lesson and I will continue to evolve it and improve it to meet the needs of my class.

 

The residency program has provided me with amazing experiences inside and outside of the classroom that has helped me grow as a future educator. I am so thankful for this program and everything that I have learned so far.

 

I would like to thank my collaborating teachers, UTRPP professors, my students, my elementary school, and my peers for their continual support in making me a better educator.

Weekly Reflection 3/17/14 – 3/21/14

            This week I began my inquiry in the classroom by completing surveys through interviews with some of my students. As mentioned in a previous blog post, my inquiry question for this semester is:

How do I accommodate for the visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learning styles of my students in social studies, math, and English?”

I am working on my inquiry with a partner. She is in a fifth grade classroom and we both used a survey that we found online in order to determine the learning styles of our students.  We believe that finding an already developed survey was the best path because we can adjust the questions based on the needs of our students. I had to change many of the questions because they did not apply to my students or they were worded in a confusing manner. For example, the statement “I have to rewrite or type my class notes to reinforce the material” contains a word that students may not recognize (“reinforce”) but it is also not relevant to my students because they do not take notes, nor do they type up any “notes” on a computer.

I changed the wording of some questions so my students would better understand the concepts. For example, one statement was “When I take a rest, I can see the textbook page in my head.” I believe that some students may not understand that in this situation the word “rest” does not mean nap so I changed this word to “break.” I also removed the word “textbook” from the phrase because my students typically do not read textbooks. My new phrase was “When I take a break, I can see what I just read in my head.” This phrase contains many sight words so it is easier for students to understand.

Before I performed these interviews, I had to decide which students I wanted to work with. My classroom is a co-teach classroom with almost forty students so I knew it would be almost impossible to survey all of my students, especially since I would have to interview all of the students. My partner and I agreed upon surveying about 15 students and then choosing 6 students to work with: two students with a visual learning style, two students with a kinesthetic learning style, and two students with an auditory learning style. I made sure that the parents of every student that I interviewed had given explicit, written consent for their students to be recorded in order to protect the rights and privacy of my students. I did not record the interviews; however, I will most likely record my later interactions with these students.

I chose 18 students to survey. I asked my collaborating teachers for permission to survey these students and they allowed me to pull individual students aside throughout the day to interview them. I interviewed 15 students. The survey consists of approximately 10 questions for each learning style area (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) and the students were to respond if they “always,” sometimes” or “never” did what was mentioned in the statement. At first I asked the students to hold up fingers to respond: three fingers for always, two fingers for sometimes, and one finger for never. This method worked well at first but then there was some confusion for a few students so I took a sheet of paper and wrote “always,” “sometimes,” and “never” on the paper. I wrote each word in a different color and placed them on various points on the paper so students could see the difference between the words without actually reading the words. I had the students point to the words on the paper to respond but some students made the choice to still hold up their fingers.

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Before each interview, I took a few minutes to explain what each word meant. I would also provide an example for them that connected to their lives so they could make a connection to the word. For “always,” I told students this was something they do “a lot” or “all the time.” I gave the example of how students go to school a lot so they are always in school. For “sometimes,” which I defined as “often” or “every once in a while,” I made a connection to activity that we do in the classroom. For example, we have treasure box every Friday in my classroom and we turn in progress reports every Tuesday. I spent time doing this for each and every student so they knew what the words meant and could properly respond in the interview.

I observed that two students had difficulty understanding the survey. The students understood the statements but did not understand how to respond so I ended the interviews; however, I did not treat the students any differently, nor did I let them know the reason why I stopped the interview. I simply told the students that we were done with the interview and I thanked them for their help. I did this so that my students would not feel embarrassed.

I understand that the survey was a bit difficult for the students because it was not written for my specific grade level. My partner and I did our best to find surveys that were appropriate for elementary students and this was the survey that we determined did the best job and could be easily adjusted to fit the needs of our students. I did my best to adjust the survey but I do understand that it was a slightly challenging process for the students since it a decent amount of time to interview them and required a lot of focus. In the end; however, I was able to choose six students to work with.

After I completed my interview, I talked with my collaborating teacher to describe the next steps that I wanted to take for my inquiry. I asked my teachers if during or after the PLC meetings I could plan with them and figure out how to accommodate these students during lessons. I would like to try and pull each group of students (i.e., the visual learners, the auditory learners, and the kinesthetic learners) aside and work with them in a small group as a supplement to the lesson. In these small groups, I will accommodate them and their learning styles. This will allow me to accomplish my FEAPs goal 5b: “Examines and uses data-informed research to improve instruction and student achievement” as well as my FEAPs 2H goal: “Adapts the learning environment to accommodate the differing needs and diversity of students.” After the lesson, I will perform another interview in which I ask the students if they felt the small group helped them learn better.

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On Saturday, March 22nd, I went to the Children’s Festival at the University of South Florida. This festival is held annually at USF and it is a great event. I participated in this event during my freshman year of college by working with one of the booths. This year I simply attended the event but I would love to participate in the event next year. At this event, various people and host booths that children can participate in. Many of these people are education majors but some are also local groups, such as Busch Gardens. These booths typically contain fun hands-on activities for students to participate in. For example, there was a Chinese symbol booth in which students learned about common Chinese phrases and Chinese zodiac signs. Another booth related to The Cat and the Hat and other stories by Dr. Seuss.

My favorite booth was the BuschGarden’s booth because students were able to interact with various animals. I took a picture with an alligator and I was able to touch its back. I think this is a great booth for students because they can interact with wildlife in a safe manner, which allows them to gain an appreciation for the various animals in our environment. (Please note that I removed the face of the representative from BuschGardens in order to protect her rights and privacy.)

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My favorite part of the Children’s Festival; however, was the WaterVentures Learning Lab bus that was located near the festival. This is an interactive bus that travels around Florida to teach children about conserving water and protecting the water ecosystem and our environment.

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I really loved the interactive features that were outside and inside this bus because I believe they allow students to really connect with the information as they construct their own meanings through the activities. My favorite activity inside the bus was about water conservation. For this activity, students are presented with two options for conserving water and they must choose which option will conserve the most water. The students then turn the handle and visually see how many gallons of water each action takes. Lights represent gallons of water (for the questions below, each light represents one gallon of water).

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Question A in the picture above states, “To conserve water in the kitchen, clean fruits and vegetables …” The choice on the left states “using running water” and the choice on the right states “in a bowl.” Question B states “To conserve water in the bathroom, brush your teeth…” The choice on the left states “with the water running” and the choice on the right states “without the water running.” Question C states, “To conserve water around the house, wash your dog …” “on the lawn” or “in the bathtub.”

For question A, if students pick the choice on the left “using running water,” the lights above will shut off of the entire right side, which represents at least 12 gallons of water.

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If the student; however, chooses the option on the right side, only one light, representing only one gallon of water, goes out.

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            There are also a variety of facts presented throughout the bus in fun and interesting ways so students can learn about their environment and water conservation.

I really enjoyed going through this bus and I believe this would be a great activity for elementary school students. Younger students who may not be able to read all of the facts on the wall can play with the games like the light bulb activity and they can visually see the water usage with minimal reading. The Children’s Festival is a great event and I hope that I can attend it next year!

Acknowledgements

Wintertickle Press. (2001). What’s your style. Retrieved from http://www.lkdsb.net/program/elementary/intermediate/di/files/stu2.pdf

Weekly Reflection 3/3/14 – 3/7/14

As the semester has progressed, I have begun taking over more and more responsibility in my classroom. At first I was a bit hesitant and I asked my teachers before I performed various actions in the classroom and as I become more accustomed to the classroom, I started taking over responsibility by simply doing what was needed. When we lined up, I would stand in the front of the line to watch over the students and then I led them outside or to the cafeteria or from the cafeteria to the classroom. As I found time I would grade and file papers for my teachers. Sometimes my teachers gave me ideas to help in the classroom, which have now become a daily routine for me.

One lesson that my teachers said I could implement in the classroom involves working with individual students on handwriting skills. I noticed that some students struggled with writing so my teachers mentioned a few specific students that I could pull aside throughout the day to practice handwriting skills. I decided to work with three students, two boys and one girl. As I work with these students, I am incorporating one of the Common Core English Standards into my mini-lessons, which is part of my goal for FEAP 1A: “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level or rigor.” The standard involving writing is LACC.K.RF.1.1 – “Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features or print.” 

At first I used a pen and paper to work with the students; however, my teacher showed me that she had better tools for working on handwriting in the writing center of our classroom. One of the tools that she showed me was a magnetic drawing board that has premade stencils for all of the letters. Below is a picture of the magnetic drawing board that I used with the students. Please note that the board has been altered through Microsoft Paint in order to erase the writing on the board.

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These students responded positively to my intervention. I made sure not to embarrass students or bring any negative attention to them. I understand the frustration associated with bed handwriting because I honestly have terrible handwriting. My “w” looks like a “u” and most of my letters join together in a pseudo-cursive. I never want my students to feel ashamed or embarrassed because of their handwriting so I focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses. I do of course observe and keep track of what my students need additional support with; however, I make sure that I consistently speak in a positive tone with positive words because I believe all of my students can be successful.

When I started working with the students I decided to focus on helping them learn to clearly write their names. I think this is a great starting point because students love seeing and reading their names. Students also write their names multiple times a day so they can constantly practice their handwriting skills if I begin with their names. I cannot post any of the work that my students and I have done because doing so would violate their rights and privacy. Instead, I will simply discuss what they have accomplished. All three students seem to enjoy the individualized sessions with me and everyone has shown some positive growth. I will address the students by pseudonyms in order to protect their rights and privacy. I will discuss two of the students, who will be referred to as Jacob*, and Kaylee.*

Jacob and I starting worked on one of the letters of his name during one session and then when I asked Jacob to write his name during our second session, he showed me his improved handwriting for the specific letter that we worked on. I could not believe that he remembered and had been practicing writing that letter because it had been almost a week since we started working together (he had been out for a few days so I was unable to work with him). I was elated at the impact that I had on Jacob and we practiced that letter and then moved onto another letter.

Kaylee made amazing progress that seemed to be inspired by our sessions together but were based on her own actions. Kaylee had some difficulty writing out her name because in the past but she made progress throughout the entire school year. In our first session, I focused on having Kaylee write out her name on a line, which became smaller and smaller every time she wrote out her name because this was an area of struggle for her. After a few tries Kaylee announced to me that she was unable to fit her name on the smallest line but I told her to try writing it out anyways. Kaylee was a bit upset when she filled up the line but I simply extended it for her and she happily finished writing her name. She made great progress in this session in terms of condensing the spacing between her letters and writing in smaller print.

On Wednesday, she told me that she had been practicing her name and that she could write it out clearly if I gave her some blank paper. I volunteered my personal observation notebook and she started writing out her name. I could not believe what a great job she did. Each letter was written with purpose and almost all of the letters were written in lowercase as they are supposed to be. I was so proud of Kaylee’s work that I showed both of my collaborating teachers and we all praised Kaylee for her great work. I will still continue to meet with Kaylee in order to make sure that she fully understands the processes she took to write out her name that way. As Kaylee makes progress, I will adjust our sessions to meet her needs.

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Another task that I have taken over in the classroom is testing the sight word knowledge of my students. In the beginning of the year my teachers sent home a packet of sight words for the students to learn and practice at home.

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Sometimes a parent or guardian will request that we test the students to see if they have learned the words from a particular list. When I was checking binders in the morning as part of my morning duties I found a note regarding this test and my teachers said that I could test this student as well as others in the classroom. My teachers have a list (two lists for the two classrooms) of the students and the list from the packet that they have passed the test for.

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Students are only able to pass a test if they know all of the sight words from the list. Sometimes students “know” all of the sight words if they are tested in order; however, I test the words in a random order to see whether or not the students actually know the words. For example, for list 1 the words are I, can, we, the, like, a, see, go, to, have. The students typically know “I” and “can” but they get confused if I ask what “have” right after that. Although this may seem like a trick, this is actually necessary in order to determine how well the students know the words. We do not want students to memorize the order of the sight words on the list; instead we want students to learn the words, how to pronounce them, and what they mean.

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After testing a few students, I came up with a small “speech” to tell them before the test. I told the student that I would point to a word and he or she was to say the word. If the student did not know the word, he or she was to say “I don’t know.” I added this because sometimes students would look at a word but not say anything. I wanted to make sure they were able to tell me if they did not know a word but if they were trying to figure it out, they had the time to do so without me interrupting them. I also told the students that if I leaned in and asked “what?” or “can you say that again?” I was not saying that what they said was wrong, but just to say the word again because I was not able to hear it the first time. When I was quizzing one girl, she said a word but I did not clearly hear what she said. I asked her to say it again and she changed her phrasing so I explained that I just wanted to hear her say it again because the rest of the class was being loud and it was hard for me to hear her. I used this phrasing and the questions in order to make sure that the students did not feel embarrassed or question their answer. After I tested the students, I wrote a note in their binder to inform their parents/guardians how well they did and what they needed additional help with.

Below are some of the notes that I wrote for parents/guardians in the planners of the students. Please note that I have edited out any names or any other identifying information in order to protect the rights and privacy of my students. One parent actually saw my note and responded to it.

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Above is my response to a parent's request for a sight word test.

g Below is the parent response to the above note.  h

The parent’s note reads “Hi, Okay makes me one happy mama, and we will practice what needs to practiced for sure! Thank you for letting me know J.” [I drew the heart in response because this is done in our classroom to show parents that we have read their notes.] It was really great to see this response from a parent and I have written notes for many of the students. I will continue to check back and see what parents have said so I can work with the students. I understand that parent and teacher communication is extremely beneficial for helping students be successful in the classroom so I want to foster these kinds of conversations so everyone can help students be successful and I know what a student needs my assistance with.

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On Thursday I submitted my request to be a participant in the USF Inquiry Conference. I have been looking for research related to my inquiry question “How do I accommodate for the visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learning styles of my students in social studies, math, and English?” This ties in directly with my goal for FEAP 2h: “Adapts the learning environment to accommodate the differing needs and diversity of students” and my goal for FEAP 5B: “Examines and uses data-informed research to improve instruction and student achievement.” I collected some data from the research that I have studied and I submitted an annotated bibliography for three of the sources that I have found to my PRT [Professional Resource Teacher]. The three sources that I have found are (1) Impact of Learning-Style Instructional Strategies on Students’ Achievement and Attitudes: Perceptions of Educators in Diverse Institutions, (2) Making It Happen: Using Differentiated Instruction, Retrofit Framework, and Universal Design for Learning, and (3) How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms. **These sources are listed below** I will be looking over this research and conversing with my inquiry partner to decide what I should do in my classroom and how I should collect my data.

The school is on Spring Break next week so I will not post anything on my blog next Friday but I will return to school on March 17th and I will have a new blog post at the end of that week.

(1) Dunn, R., Honigsfeld, A., Doolan, L. S., Bostrom, L., Russo, K., Schiering, M. S.,  Suh, B., & Tenedero, H. (2009). Impact of learning-style instructional strategies on students’ achievement and attitudes: Perceptions of educators in diverse institutions. Clearing House82(3), 135-140.

(2) Standford, B., & Reeves, S. (2009). Making it happen: Using differentiated instruction, retrofit framework, and universal design for learning. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus5(6),

(3) Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. (2nd ed.). Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Weekly Reflection 2-24-14 – 2-28-14

 This week I had a meeting with my collaborating teacher concerning my goals for the FEAPs. I had looked at the FEAPs by myself on multiple occasions and I had selected some goals that I thought I would be able to meet. I presented these possibilities to my collaborating teacher today along with some evidence that I would use to support these goals. We decided on the goals that I will be working towards and so I am sending them to you in this email to be discussed tomorrow during out meeting.

For FEAP 1, “Instructional Design and Lesson Planning. Applying concepts from human development and learning theories, the effective educators consistently …”

  •  a) Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level or rigor.

In order to meet this goal, I would like to look at the standards for the lessons that I have been working on, such as Word Wizard, so I can see how standards are integrated into lessons. I would like to design my own lesson which would consist of a read aloud and then a written response from the students. I would like to start by performing a regular interactive read aloud for pleasure and then working towards a lesson that is aligned with a standard.

For FEAP 2, “The Learning Environment. To maintain a student-centered learning environment that is safe, organized, equitable, flexible, inclusive, and collaborative, the effective educator consistently…”

  • b) Manages individual and class behaviors through a well-planned management system.

I have currently been doing this in my classroom and so I thought this would be a great goal for me since I have been working towards this throughout the year. In my classroom, there are a variety of methods used to manage behavior. Some students have specific behavior plans and when a student misbehaves, then he or she receives a warning which is marked on his or her card and/or a letter is taken away from his or her name which is written on the board in dry erase marker. If a student receives too many warnings, then he or she changes his or her color from green to yellow, then to orange, and finally to red. I have already been using this system with the students. I have taken letters away, written down the warnings on their specific cards, and made them change their colors in response to misbehavior. I have also been documenting the amount of warnings they receive and the colors that they end up on.

For FEAP 2, there is another goal that I would like to work towards that relates to my Inquiry question and the culminating assignment of this semester called the Story of My Professional Learning, which is a video that documents my progress throughout the semester and the inquiry that I have researched/performed.

  • h) Adapts the learning environment to accommodate the differing needs and diversity of students

My Inquiry Question is: “How do I accommodate for the visual, kinesthetic, and oral learning styles of my students in social studies, math, and English?” I believe that by working towards my inquiry, I will also be able to meet this FEAPs goal.

There are a variety of ways for me to meet this goal but one lesson that I have been teaching for the past two weeks called “Word Wizard” works very well for accommodating the learners in my classroom. Every day, the students have the option of choosing the job to be the “Word Wizard” for the day. In the morning, the Word Wizard goes to the front of the classroom and he or she chooses the methods in which we will spell out our current sight words. For the past two weeks, our sight words have been “play,” “little,” “and,” and “is.”

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The students can see and read the words on their index cards and then we say the words, spell them multiple times, and use them in a sentence.

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My collaborating teacher has all of the index cards already written out along with matching sentences. This is a picture of the sentences for all of our current sight words for Word Wizard. Below are close-ups of the sentences.

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Above is the sentences for “is.”

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This is the sentence for “little.”

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This is the sentence for “play.”

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This is the sentence for “and.”

Then, we spell the words based on the two methods that the Word Wizard has chosen. These methods are fun ways to act out spell a word. For example, for “movie star kisses,” students blow a kiss into the air for ever letter and then wave when they say the word. This lesson accommodates for oral and kinesthetic learners but there is little for visual learners since the words are written on index cards. I just asked my collaborating teacher today if I could make a poster using chart paper and write the words on this so they are larger and clearer. The Word Wizard could also trace the words when we spell them the first time so the students get to see how to properly write out the letters. My collaborating teacher loved this idea and I just made the poster and I will be introducing the concept in class before the meeting.

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When I performed Word Wizard on Friday, I pulled aside the Word Wizard and I discussed this new concept. He was really excited about the idea of tracing the words. He was able to accurately trace the letters; however, he traced the letters slower than we said the letters. I was a bit distracted because I wanted the students to be able to see the Word Wizard trace the letters as the class said each letter; however, I do not believe this will always be possible and I want students to be focused on orally spelling out and saying the words. I believe it will be easier to use this addition as I get used to being in the front of the classroom and performing Word Wizard.

My collaborating teacher who normally performs Word Wizard will finally be returning to the classroom on Monday so I will have a discussion with her about how my involvement in Word Wizard will continue for the rest of the semester. I would love to practice team teaching with her but I am not sure if I will completely take over Word Wizard when I am available in the mornings or if we will simply co-teach. I would be very happy with either option.

For FEAPs 5: “Continuous Professional Improvement. The effective educator consistently…”

  • b) Examines and uses data-informed research to improve instruction and student achievement

This goal also incorporates my Inquiry and my Story of My Professional Learning. My goal is to incorporate the research that I find for my inquiry into the classroom in order to meet my goal for FEAPs 2h. I believe this that goal is very straightforward because I will find research, study it in my personal time, and then take what I have learned from the research and implement it into the classroom.

I will continuously track my goals and collect evidence of my actions towards my goals. I am currently video taping and taking pictures of everything that I possibly can in the classroom. I am very excited to have these goals to guide me, especially since I have been already working on some of these goals.