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Benjamin Rogaczewski

AC 636
May 14, 2016
Planning (Conceptualization, Diagnosis, Coordination)

In my field placements, both at Pius XI High School and Brookfield


Academy, in understanding what my students had learned or were capable
of doing, I found formative assessments to be the best judges of this
knowledge. Before committing to one assessment or another, I asked my
cooperating teachers about the students and observed them in class. In
doing so, I was able to notice where students could be fairly assessed and
how it could be done, exhibiting the eighth Wisconsin Teaching Standard
(WTS) (teachers know how to test for student progress).
In my studies at Alverno and in learning the pedagogical frameworks
for successfully teaching History, I have found that focusing on key concepts,
through the use of concept-based instruction (CBI), benefits the students in
many ways. Firstly, it helps in the organization of thoughts and notes for
students, and provides the teacher with the flexibility of choice in
presentation and assessment. I mean to say that there is a flexibility in the
visual aids a teacher uses with the key concepts they teach. This
acknowledges and adheres to the differences in learning styles among
students, along the same lines as the third WTS (teachers understand that
children learn differently). As well, CBI calls upon students prior knowledge
and connects said knowledge with universal concepts, tying with Alvernos

ability of Diagnosis, specifically practicing a developing ability to call upon


memory right then and there, building ability through experience, reading,
study. In teaching a lesson on political cartoons at Pius XI High School, I
utilized key concepts in order to categorize the key points of the lesson to
help the students to better comprehend the analysis of these cartoons. At
Brookfield Academy, my focus on analysis and comprehension of primary
sources allowed me to focus attention on the key concepts within Rudyard
Kiplings poem The White Mans Burden and then allow the students the
chance to analyze the text. I understood what the students were capable of
in observing previous analyses on other classes, and knew that they could
accomplish this task.

Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning (Integrative Interaction,


Communication, Coordination, Diagnosis, Conceptualization)

The kind of learning environment that I would seek to establish in my


classroom would be one of equitable trust. I understand that that may seem
like wishful thinking, but I feel that establishing trust from the beginning is
essential. In my field placements, I accomplished this in two ways. First, at
Pius I had the added advantage of subbing there often and so I already knew
many of the students names, and established a strong rapport with them.
This seemed to help establish the trust I wanted with the students, adhering
to the fifth WTS (Teachers know how to manage a classroom). Second, at

Brookfield Academy I tried to be at the school often to let the students know
that I was there to help them. In return, they provided me with respect and
attention in the classroom, which I returned for them. In honesty though, it
was easier than I thought since the students warmed up to me almost
immediately. One final thought on establishing trust in the classroom, I found
that one area that I would improve upon is creating an in depth syllabus that
breaks down each unit with the activities, sources, and concepts the
students would be doing.
One of the best learning activities I set up for a lesson was teaching a
lesson on gerrymandering at Pius. I found a lesson online in which the
students would break up into groups and each group would need to plan out
how many electors would be in each district in order to establish a political
partys majority in each district. Once I had taught them the basic concepts
of gerrymandering and then let them do it on their own, they had a lot of fun
with the activity. Even my ELL students who had not spoken much in earlier
lessons were getting involved within their groups. Allowing the students to
participate in an activity with real world applications seems in line with the
ability of Integrative Interactions, especially in extending the ability for
students to become more independent. Most, if not all, of my class activities
motion towards the ultimate goal of providing the student with the skills and
confidence to independently analyze and study the subject of History. In fact,
part of my philosophy on teaching that has changed over the last year or so
was the teaching strategy of educating students to read like historians. If

anything has propelled this desire for education, it would have to be this
movement.

Assessing Student Learning (Diagnosis, Communication, Coordination,


Conceptualization)

I will admit that assessment is an area which I hope to improve upon


greatly, especially in the desire for different modes of assessment through
teaching History. However, my focus in my field placements was on
formative assessments. This was especially the case with my lesson on
political cartoons at Pius and my lesson on The White Mans Burden at
Brookfield Academy. First with the political cartoons I tried to use a strategy
akin to I do, you do, we do, where we analyzed a cartoon together so the
students could comprehend what I was looking for in the analysis of the
cartoon. The same could be said for my lesson at Brookfield Academy,
however with one difference. In that lesson I decided to break the students
into groups as you would with a jigsaw and then gave each group a stanza of
the poem they would analyze. In both cases I found that the groups following
instructions well and corroborate an analysis that answered my goals for the
students. This lines up well with the ability of Coordination, especially in the
areas of collaboration and seeing the learning as a self-teacher and
monitoring student growth through the formative assessments. Yet as I said
earlier, an area of improvement that I see is necessary, is establishing

assessments which work with my subject area and are appropriate for the
students in the classroom.