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Evidence of Student 1

Learning

Evidence of Student Learning


Jonathan Robinson
Towson University
Spring 2017
Evidence of Student 2
Learning

Part A
Ridgeley Middle School is a public secondary school that is located in the central area of

Baltimore County. It is located in Lutherville-Timonium, which is a suburb of Baltimore City.

While Ridgely as a capacity of 1,070 students, there are a total of 1,233 who are currently

enrolled in the school. There are a variety of factors that contributes to the demographics of the

school. There are students of all socio-economic, cultural and nationality backgrounds. The

medium income for Ridgely students ranges from $31,525 to $81, 132. Even with this range, the

community is considered to be upper middle class as the families in the community tend to have

the latter medium range. The majority of the students who attend Ridgely Middle are Caucasian

students. The school is roughly 70% Caucasian. However, there are students from various

ethnicities and nationalities, including: African-American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, Indian

and Middle Eastern. Ridgely Middle Schools staff and student body represent a diverse school

body that is indicative of the surrounding community.

Ridgely Middle School is a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. This attribute is

demonstrated on a daily basis. There is constant collaboration and communication between

faculty members and administration. Teachers are highly motivated and dedicated to ensure that

students are receiving the best support and encouragement that there is. In addition, Ridgely is a

Lighthouse school. Lighthouse schools in Baltimore County are the first in the school system to

receive individual digital learning devices for students; implement one-to-one personalized and

blended learning; and create an innovative, comprehensive digital learning culture (Baltimore

County Public Schools, 2014). This means that students, with the exception of eighth graders,

all have county issued laptops that are used both at home and in school to enhance student
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learning through opportunities to access technology. In addition, Ridgely incorporates student

centered activities and student choice in demonstrating knowledge to promote student ownership

of learning. As it relates to the classroom model, there are fifty-five classrooms. The average

class size for general education classes is twenty-seven. The typical special education class

averages about six to seven students. Over the course of the last few years, Ridgely has moved to

an inclusion model that incorporates the least restricted environment model. While there are

some self-contained classes, those are typically for students who are in the Behavior Learning

Support program. These students have significant or severe behavior and/or emotional

disabilities. However, all of those students do have at least one or more classes that are inclusion.

All special educators are incorporated into general education classes as needed.

The class that I have chosen for my Evidence of Student Learning is an inclusive eighth

grade Language Arts class. This is an Academic, or standard, class that takes place in the

morning right before the eighth graders have the first of their Specials classes. There are twenty-

six students in this class. Of the twenty-six, there are nine female students and seventeen male

students. The exceptionalities in the classroom vary, including: autism, reading disabilities,

writing disabilities, intellectual disabilities, social peculiarities, ADHD, dyslexia and behavior

supports. The cultural and linguistic differences vary. All students have a command of the

English language and there are no students who are English Language Learners (ELLs). Of the

students in the class, twelve are Caucasian, five are African-American, three are Latino, two are

Asian and two are mixed race. In addition, there is a Jamaican student with a heavily accent. As

it relates to oral and written language development, one student has an IEP that is, in part,

related to speech development, although she does not require assistive technology. For the

purposes of this project, written expression and reading comprehension is of a concern.


Evidence of Student 4
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For the Language Arts lessons, I am focusing on five students. Although we are on an

A/B Day schedule, I see the same students every day. Again, these students are in my Mod 3

class. This class is held in the morning for fifty minutes. The class runs from 10:00-10:50. Of the

five students, one has dyslexia, two have other reading disabilities and two have trouble with

written expression. As it relates to the unit of study, the title of the unit is The Challenge of

Differing Perspective. The essential reading for this unit is Chasing Lincolns Killer. The

primary focus of the unit is related to conspiracy theories. While we will focus on conspiracies

related to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, students will also look at other types of

conspiracies to further enhance their understanding of multiple perspectives related to the same

or a similar topic. In addition, students will focus on the effectiveness of mediums when

presenting information on a topic and students will analyze character thoughts, actions and

dialogue to determine what aspects are revealed and what drive/motivates characters. The

Maryland Common Core State Standards used in the lessons are: RI 8.3 Analyze how a text makes

connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons,

analogies, or categories) and W.8.3 Write narrative to develop real or imagined experiences or events

using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. The essential

skills targeted in this unit are written in the form I can statements. They are as follows:

I can research a conspiracy theory.


I can use verbs in the indicative, imperative, and interrogative forms.
I can explain how changes in events in Chasing Lincolns Killer could have altered

outcomes.
I can determine central ideas and supporting details.
I can determine a major turning point in Chasing Lincolns Killer.

I can trace and analyze the thoughts and actions of a conspirator in Chasing Lincolns

Killer.
Evidence of Student 5
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For these lessons, I did not break these five students into smaller groups, rather, I worked

with them as a group to work on three aspects of reading and writing. They are as follows: 1)

determine a central idea in a text, 2) determine the motivations of a character, and 3)

incorporating textual evidence. The reason for this is because each student has a similar goal on

each of their IEPs for reading as it relates to comprehension of text related to theme and/or

central idea and providing textual evidence to support a response. The reason why we worked on

determining the motives of a character is because that skill will be needed in almost every lesson

of unit three. Ultimately, students will need to be able to write a narrative in which they describe

the thoughts and the actions of a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth in order to discuss the

motivations of that co-conspirator. On the first day of the lesson, we worked on determining a

central idea of a text. Their day one objective was, Given a grade level text, I can determine the

central idea with supporting details from the text. For this lesson, students analyzed a non-

fiction piece of literature entitled, Emancipation. The literature analyzes the motives and the

reasons why Abraham Lincoln ultimately pushed for slaves to be free. To introduce students to

the topic, students learning was reinforced with two BrainPop videos. One provided background

information on Lincoln and the other provided background information on slavery. By providing

these videos, it made it easier for the students to understand the literature and it helped them to

determine what the central idea was. Students were also given graphic organizers and a word

bank that listed possible themes and central ideas. The reading was also reduced to excerpts were

the central idea was more prominent. The reduced reading, the word bank and the graphic

organizer helped students to organize their thoughts. Amelia and Dante needed additional support

beyond these materials. Because they are below grade level with reading, passages and quotes

were highlighted for them to focus upon. For day two, students worked on determining the
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motivations of Abraham Lincoln. The objective for day two was, Given a text, I can determine

how passages help to reveal aspects of a character and provoke a decision. Students were given

a graphic organizer that had a silhouette of a body. Students could insert personality traits,

thoughts and actions of a Lincoln into the graphic organizer. Students were also given a list of

character traits that they could use to describe Lincoln. Students had to list traits, actions or

thoughts that directly reflected his decision to expedite the process that helped to contribute to

the freeing of slaves. Lastly, on day three, students worked on their writing in which they had to

demonstrate their understanding of Lincolns motivations for freeing the slaves. The objective

was, Given a key conclusion of a text, I can demonstrate my understanding by using at least two

pieces of textual evidence to support my analysis. Students were given the option to write,

create a presentation or verbally demonstrate their understanding. If students wanted to write,

they were given sentence starters to help organize their thoughts. Out of the five students, only

one student wanted an alternative option to writing. The objectives that were created for the

students aligned to the goals and the objective of each students IEP. In addition, the

objectives aligned to the common core standards of Maryland and the essential skills of this

unit.

Part B: Pre-Assessment

The pre-assessment for these set of skills was given at the beginning of unit three at the

start of the third quarter. The pre-assessment was designed to assess how well students can

determine how the words, the thoughts and the actions of a character help to reveal

aspects/character traits. In addition, the students needed to demonstrate their understanding of

this through written expression. The students needed to provide textual evidence to support their
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writing. While students should have prior knowledge of characterization and writing to

incorporate textual support, these are essential skills that will be used primarily in this unit.

Students will need to demonstrate their understanding of this during their Performance Based

Assessment, which is the summative assessment for unit three. The pre-assessment was a writing

exercise that was accompanied by an excerpt from a short story. The students used a graphic

organizer to help them develop their ideas of a character. Once students completed the organizer

and were comfortable, they wrote a brief response addressing what aspects of the character were

revealed based on what they wrote. The text chosen for the pre-assessment was an excerpt from

Raymonds Run by Toni Cade Bambara. The story is about a young girl named Squeaky whose

brother Raymond has a mental disability. While the story is about seven pages, this group of

students read and analyzed a pre-determined excerpt from the text. The excerpt demonstrated the

characterization components needed for the children to be successful on the pre-assessment. In

addition, the pre-assessment, and all writing throughout the year, are scored using the PARCC

rubric. This rubric was first introduced two years ago when Baltimore County Public Schools

transitioned from the MSA standardized test to the PARCC standardized test. The rubric is used

in Language Arts to prepare students for the test and to give them an indication of how they will

be assessed.
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Diagnostic Writing Unit 3: Student Resource


Step 1
In your Prentice Hall textbook, read the excerpt from Raymonds Run (page
28 through top of page 31). Use the organizer below to identify examples of
the narrators words, actions, and thoughts.
Words Thoughts Actions

Step 2
Speculate what these aspects reveal about the character. Use specific
textual evidence from the above organizer to support your answer.
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Diagnostic Writing Unit 3: Teacher Resource


Step 1
In your Prentice Hall textbook, read the excerpt from Raymonds Run (page
28 through top of page 31). Use the organizer below to identify examples of
the narrators words, actions, and thoughts.
Words (Dialogue) Thoughts Actions
Cynthia Proctor: All I have to do in Hes [Raymond]
I guess Ill play life is mind my not quite right
handball this brother Raymond I have to go
afternoon and Slip and say little behind him
watch television brother [Raymond]
tonight. I dont play the apologizing to all
Cynthia Proctor: dozens the old people
Good thing you Little girl with sitting around in
got receive skinny arms and the sun
cause I would a squeaky voice Ill high prance
have got it Im the fastest down 34th Street
wrong. I thing on two feet like a rodeo pony
completely forgot Call me Mercury Early morning
about the spelling He [father] can trots around the
bee. beat me to block, I hear
Gretchen says Amsterdam Cynthia Procter
she is going to Avenuehim practicing the
win this year. running with scales on the
Ridiculous hands in his piano
pockets and A regular prodigy
whistling (Cynthia). I could
No one can beat kill people like
me and thats all that.
there is to it
Ive got Raymond
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walking on the
inside close to
the buildings
Im serious about
my running and I
dont care who
knows about it
I dont act like
things come easy
or that I dont
need to practice

Step 2
Write one paragraph in which you speculate what these aspects reveal about
the character. Use specific textual evidence from the above organizer to
support your answer.

Sample Paragraph
Squeakys narrative reveals that she takes her responsibilities very seriously,
and she is not shy about it. Squeaky says that she doesnt have to do work
around the house like most girls her age, but she does need to mind her
brother Raymond because he is not quite right. When she walks with her
brother, she makes him walk on the inside close to the building so he
doesnt wander into the street or bother anyone sunning in the park. If
Raymond does bother anyone, Squeaky takes action and follows behind him
apologizing to the people. These words, thoughts, and actions reveal that
Squeaky responsibly cares for her brother Raymond.
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ELA 8 Unit 3 PBA Rubric

3 2 1 0
Reading The student response The student response The student The student response demonstrates no
Comprehensi demonstrates full demonstrates response comprehension of ideas by providing an
on comprehension of ideas comprehension of ideas demonstrates inaccurate analysis that
stated explicitly and/or stated explicitly and/or limited
inferentially by providing inferentially by providing a comprehension of makes connections among and distinctions
Informational
an accurate analysis that generally accurate analysis ideas stated between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g.,
8.3 that explicitly and/or through comparisons, analogies, or
makes connections among inferentially by categories).
and distinctions between makes connections among providing a
individuals, ideas, or and distinctions between minimally accurate
events (e.g., through individuals, ideas, or events analysis that
comparisons, analogies, or (e.g., through comparisons,
categories). analogies, or categories). makes connections
among and
distinctions between
individuals, ideas,
or events (e.g.,
through
comparisons,
analogies, or
categories).

The student response is The student response is The student The student response is undeveloped
Narrative effectively developed with developed with some response is and/or inappropriate to task;
Task narrative elements and is narrative elements and is minimally
Written consistently appropriate generally appropriate to developed with few
to the task; the task; narrative elements lacks coherence, clarity, and cohesion;
Expression
and is limited its in
is effectively organized demonstrates some appropriateness to
W 8.3 with clear and coherent organization with the task; has an inappropriate style.
writing; somewhat coherent writing;
demonstrates
establishes and maintains has a style that is somewhat limited organization
an effective style. effective. and coherence;

has a style that is


minimally effective
The student The student response to the prompt does not
response to the demonstrate command of the conventions
Knowledge of prompt of standard English at the appropriate level
Language and demonstrates of complexity. Frequent and varied errors
command of the in mechanics, grammar, and usage impede
Conventions
conventions of understanding.
standard English at
an appropriate level
of complexity.
There may be errors
in mechanics,
grammar, and usage
that occasionally
impede
understanding, but
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the meaning is
generally clear.

Based upon the pre-assessment, it was determined that students lacked an understanding

of characterization and incorporating textual evidence to support a claim. Of the five students,

one was effectively able to determine how traits reveal aspects of characters and synthesize this

understanding in written format. The other students needed rigorous instruction on these skills,

all of which are essential to the unit and to the culminating summative assessment.
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The subsequent lessons for the unit deal primarily with conspiracy theories, identifying

the central/main idea, and analyzing connections to determine character motivations and actions.

For the purposes of this learning, I focused on central idea and making connections to determine

character motivations and actions. Formative assessments for the unit included the

following: exit tickets, observations, questioning, checklists and conferencing. While each

class is fifty minutes, I dedicated at least 15 to twenty minutes of each lesson for small group

instruction depending upon the needs of the students. For on the spot assessments, I primarily

used observations and questioning techniques to gauge student understanding and to make

necessary adjustments in instruction. As students were introduced to new concepts and skills, I

asked them to summarize the instructions that were given. That was one way to determine if they

comprehended what learning would take place. In addition, students would have to verbally

explain to me what tasks/activities they would be doing to build an understanding of those

concepts and skills. If students were unable to explain them, I would have to explain and

demonstrate the tasks in a way that allowed students to grasp how the tasks/activities would help

them gain an understanding. As the lessons developed, questions that I asked included: What

conditions or events influenced a characters decision?, What evidence is there to support that

decision?, and How would the events change if the character made a different decision? If

students were able to answer those questions effectively, then students were beginning to make

those connections that are aligned with the MCCRS standards. Observations were also used to

determine if students were grasping the new concepts and skills being introduced. As I walked

the room, I listened to the conversations and I monitored the written work that students were

engaging in and producing. That way, I could both hear and see how they were demonstrating

their knowledge. For the students who were having difficulty, I had to work with them
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individually or find resources that aligned with UDL to reinforce learning. For some lessons, exit

tickets served as summative assessments. For more prominent lessons, there were Strategic

Learning Checks (SLCs). These SLCs served as summative assessments and they also were

assignments that counted as a part of the students grades. SLCs are embedded in certain

lessons and they are designed to check student progression related to understanding

central/main idea and character motivations and actions. The ability of students to be able to

analyze these two skills is essential for the culminating summative assessment at the end of the

unit. Since all exit tickets and SLCs are embedded in the lessons, these types of summative

assessments are aligned with MCCRS standards and essential skills.

The goal of the unit was for students to be able to analyze the thoughts and actions of

characters and to determine how those actions might change if they made a different decision.

The two goals of the Performance Based Assessment (PBA), the culminating summative

assessment is as follows: Part 1: Students will trace and analyze the words, actions, and

thoughts of one of the conspirators in Chasing Lincolns Killer. Students will go back through the

book and their Dialectical Journal looking for specific pieces of text regarding that persons

thoughts and actions. As students go through the text, have them write down specific page

numbers, passages, and quotes that reveal connections to other individuals from the text that they

have studied. Part 2: Choose a critical point in the novel in which your conspirator is

involved and consider what would plausibly happen if the individual made a different choice or

performed a different action. Write a brief narrative scene showing how your proposed what if

would change the connections between your conspirator and another individual in the text. Be

sure to include dialogue.


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All of the assessments, whether pre-assessments, formative or summative aligned to

one another and helped to bridge the learning for students. In addition, the assessments

aligned with the goals and the objectives of the unit. The pre-assessment helped to determine

what prior knowledge and abilities students had when analyzing characterization and evaluating

textual evidence. Based on that understanding, I was able to choose the lessons that would best

help students in fostering that ability, all of which would be needed at the end of the unit. At the

beginning of the unit, I did a lot of lecturing, modeling and guided practice with students. As the

lessons progressed, the goal was for students to become more independent in order to

demonstrate their knowledge. While 80% of the students were able to master this, there was one

student who consistently struggled with the concepts.

The principles of Universal Design for Learning were incorporated throughout the unit.

Students were able to have access to assistive technology such as audio books and text-to-speech

software to help bridge their understandings of and connections to the text and the skills. Student

choice is embedded in Language Arts lessons. This student choice is primarily incorporated

when students are asked to demonstrate their understanding, such as with formative and

summative assessments. Particularly, this helped those students who struggle with written

expression. They were able to choose a different mode of demonstration other than writing. In

turn, this encouraged student achievement as they were not afraid to express their knowledge

because of the personal choice that they had.

For the purposes of collecting data, a Microsoft Excel sheet was used. Each students

name was written down and there were three different categories for each student: pre-

assessment, formative assessments and summative assessments. When an assessment was given

and graded, I would note the areas where students struggled the most. Based on these notations, I
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was able to determine any commonalities of struggle and group students based upon that. The

notations also allowed me to determine which skills or concepts needed to be retaught. The

scoring tool to assess learning used for the majority of the assessments was the PARCC rubric

for writing. The rubric could be modified depending upon the medium each student chose to

demonstrate an understanding when it came to the summative assessments.

Part C: Instruction

All objectives, directions and expectations were discussed in age appropriate language.

With each lesson, students were explicitly informed of what the expectations for learning would

be. In addition, a review of previous lessons, knowledge and skills was conducted at the

beginning of each lesson. Pertinent vocabulary and terms related to the specific literature

addressed for each lesson was also either reviewed or introduced. In order for students to be

successful and to understand what the expected outcomes should be, students were told that their

learning would be scaffolded to address the needs of their IEP goals and objectives. This was

also important as the scaffolding was aligned to their achievement based on the MCCRS

standards, the essential skills and the essential questions. Any objective, instruction and

assessments were modified to meet the individual goals of the students IEPs. The modifications

were still aligned with the two primary standards addressed in the unit: RI 8.3 Analyze how a

text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g.,

through comparisons, analogies, or categories) and W.8.3 Write narrative to develop real or imagined

experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event

sequences.

The pre-assessment was helpful for data gathering purposes. The information collected

helped to determine how instruction and grouping would be implemented. For instance, Amelia and
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Dante would need rigorous instruction characterization and determining text to support their

understanding. On the other hand, Peter and Cathy had a good understanding of characterization,

however, he would need additional help analyzing text that he would use as support. As the

lessons progressed and student data was collected, I was able to review previous data to

determine what instruction would be needed for that day. I targeted more guided instruction to

those who needed and more independent practice to those who did not need as much assistance.

To motivate and engage students, the objectives and the learning for the lesson were

introduced. The literature and the activities that would be used were previewed by the students.

Positive reinforcement was done through consistent praise when students were able to

demonstrate their successes. Ridgely Bucks were also awarded to students when appropriate.

Amelia was motivated by the possibility of receiving Ridgely Bucks. In addition, students were

able to work with one another when necessary. While this was seen as a reward to students, this

also allowed them the opportunity to work with and learn from one another. This helped some

students who may not have felt comfortable directly asking me for assistance as they were able

to ask a peer first. This was beneficial for Dante and Peter as they are more inclined to seek help

from peers and are more social than the other three students in the small group. During the more

rigorous instruction, students were allowed breaks. This helped students to not only decompress

but to process information as well.

It was pertinent for students to understand why they needed to learn the standards and the

skills in this unit. While introducing new content, I explained to students that this knowledge

will help them to analyze literature better. In turn, it will help them better understand the text

itself. Frequently, we would review the types of characterization that authors use in literary

fiction. They include the following: the thoughts of the character, the actions of the character, the
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physical appearance of the character, the dialogue of the character and what other characters say

about them. The reinforcement of this helped students to understand what they should focus upon

while analyzing the literature. Once we completed the review, I introduced the overarching

objective for the day. When students were broken into smaller groups, additional objectives

would be stated depending upon what learning was being developed. For instance, as stated

beforehand, Dante and Amelia often needed help analyzing the text to determine character

motivations and actions. One of their objectives was the following, Dante and Amelia will find

textual support to that helps to connect to character motivation and action. For each lesson,

there were concepts and skills that needed to be modeled for students. As I was modeling

the work, I was also discussing with students the specific examples that were found to

determine character motivations. Some of the questions that I asked are, What personality

traits are exhibited?, What aspects of the character is revealed through these traits? and What

examples from the text support this? This allowed me to assess students understanding and it

allowed me to provide explicit instruction to the students so that they could determine where

their deficiencies are. As the lessons progressed and students worked on SLCs, those were done

independently so that I could assess the learning progression of each student individually. The

SLCs allowed me to provide feedback to the students and it allowed me to notice what needed

to be retaught. Creative expression and critical thinking were integral to student success in this

unit. Higher level questioning was essential to promote deeper thinking and to gauge student

understanding. This allowed for critical thinking and allowed students to verbally express

themselves. For formative and summative assessments, creative expression was encouraged

through the options that students had to demonstrate their understanding. For those students who
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struggled, I would guide them to specific passages in the text that would help them to answer

questions that I asked of them.

Again, through data collection based upon the formative assessments and the SLCs, I

was able to differentiate my instruction based upon the needs of the students. Students were

reminded daily of the standards, skills and concepts that would be addressed throughout the unit.

As we progressed through the unit, most students were able to work independently towards the

latter half of unit. Because Amelia needs additional help, she was provided with guided practice

and modeling throughout. At times, Dante would have to be removed from the rest of the group

due to his inability to focus when distracted. Otherwise, he was able to grasp the majority of the

standards, concepts and skills addressed.

As stated before, differentiation was essential for targeting student growth and

adhering to the goals and the objective of each students IEP. The skills and concepts taught

were tiered to ensure that students were actively learning and understanding the material before

being introduced to new concepts and skills. For those students who are kinesthetic learners, I

would provide passages on large chart paper and have students write on post-it notes the traits

that were exhibited. Students would highlight those passages and attach the post-it notes to the

chart paper. The chart papers were displayed throughout the room and were kept up during the

entire unit. That way, students could use them as a reference when needed. Auditory learners

were more successful with audio versions of the literature. This allowed them to both focus and

follow the text. Those students who are visual benefitted from modeling and guided practice.

One of the most important points of the unit was the differentiation of

instruction/outcomes. This differentiation allowed students to better express themselves based on


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their abilities. It also allowed them to demonstrate their understanding of the material through

other methods besides written expression. The modeling and guided practice that was

demonstrated for the students provided students with ways to locate, analyze and express the

traits of characters and then connect them to the motivations and actions of those characters.

Observations, check-ins, questioning, independent practice and exit tickets were allow effective

and appropriate assessments to gauge student progress and to determine what adjustments were

needed in instruction and presentation.

Part D: Analysis

The below chart lists whether students in the smaller group were able to accurately

relate personality traits of characters based on the thoughts, actions and words of the

character and whether they were able to effectively incorporate textual evidence as a part

of their analysis. The data is taken from the pre-assessment for unit three. While four out of five

of the students were able to identify the words, thoughts and actions of a character, only two of

the students were able to accurately determine what trait was revealed based upon

characterization. As a result, only one student was able to connect those two skills in a written

response that incorporated textual evidence.

Student Accurately identify Accurately Effectively


words, thoughts and determine what incorporate textual
actions of a trait is revealed evidence in a
character. based on written analysis of
characterization. the character that
demonstrate
motivation.
Amelia N N N
Cathy Y N N
Dante Y Y N
Josh Y N N
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Peter Y Y Y

The following chart chronicles the data for the formative assessments that students took

over the course of the unit. The data tracks the Strategic Learning Checks (SLCs) for the unit of

study. These Strategic Learning Checks are assignments that are used to gauge student

understanding of the concepts and the standards that are addressed. The SLCs primarily focused

upon characterization, character traits and textual evidence. However, as the lesson progressed,

students also needed to begin to make connections among individuals, ideas and events. In other

words, students needed to understand how the individuals in the text interacted with one another,

how their may have shared similar viewpoints or beliefs and how the individuals were connected

to one another through the events that occurred. Each assignment was worth twenty-five points.

For SLC 8, SLC 9 and SLC 11, students were primarily assessed on characterization, traits and

motivations of characters. Initially, most of the students in the smaller group struggled. Amelia

and Cathy struggled with identifying words, thoughts and actions that revealed character traits.

Specifically, they struggled with determining what to look for when attempting to make

connections related to the traits of the character. Furthermore, they could not explain what type

of trait was revealed based on the information from the text. In addition, Cathy is not always

responsible when turning in work. Dante and Peter struggled as well, however, through practice,

Peter was able to effectively make connections between characterization and revealed traits. As

the lesson progressed, he was also able to incorporate textual evidence to support his reasoning.

Dante started with an 18/25 on the first assignment. That equates to a 72%, however, he

regressed to a 10/25 with the second assignment. This equates to a 40%. For Dante, his

regression is primarily due to inattentiveness as opposed to a lack of understanding of the


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material. He was able to increase his scores with the subsequent lessons. Josh was the only

student who was able to maintain a B average and then increase to an A average. The last

three SLCs dealt with characterization and motivations, but these lessons also were created to

help students make connections among individuals, ideas and events in the text. By this time,

each student, with the exception of Cathy, were able to maintain a letter grade of an A or B

with these lessons. This was a tremendous growth and maintenance of positive grades. This also

reflected their understanding of the material.

Student SLC SLC 9: SLC 11: SLC 13: SLC 16: SLC 18:

8:Different Connect An Fakebook CLK Multiple

Perspective the Dots Assassins Page for Turning Perspective

s Account Character Point s


Amelia 10/25 points 10/25 18/25 20/25 20/25 20/25 points

points points points points


Cathy 10/25 points 10/25 0/25 points 15/25 18/25 18/25 points

points points points


Dante 18/25 points 10/25 20/25 20/25 25/25 25/25 points

Points Points Points points


Josh 20/25 points 20/25 20/25 22/25 25/25 25/25 points

points points points points


Peter 18/25 points 18/25 22/25 23/25 25/25 25/25 points

points points points points

The following chart addresses the growth for each child from the pre-assessment to

the summative assessment at the end of the unit. Both the pre-assessment and the summative
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assessment is on a seven point grading scale. Again, this is to reflect the PARCC rubric. The

rubric is based on a scale from 0-7. A seven is the highest score that a child can receive.

Student Pre-assessment Score Summative Growth Percentage

Assessment Score
Amelia 3/7=43% 6/7=86% 43%
Cathy 2/7=29% 4/7=57% 28%
Dante 1/7=14% 5/7=71% 57%
Josh 4/7=57% 7/7=100% 43%
Peter 4/7=57% 6/7=86% 29%

Based on the data, three of the five students made significant progress. Amelia, Dante and

Josh increased their percentages from the pre-assessment to the summative assessment by more

than forty percentage points. However, all students passed the summative assessment with the

exception of Cathy. Amelia was able to grasp the concepts needed to be successful, however, she

needs a scribe to write for her. In addition, Amelia needed the work to be scaffolded for her. This

helped her to organize her thoughts when it came time to write an alternate ending of Chasing

Lincolns Killer. Cathys work was also scaffolded, however, she had significant issues with

connecting the traits, motives and actions of her co-conspirator to her alternate ending. The traits

and the actions of her chosen character for her alternate ending did not match what had been

identified in the text. Because of this, she failed to make the connections that were pertinent to

the summative assessment. By the time that the summative assessment began, Dante was placed

on medicine for his ADHD. This helped significantly with Dante remaining attentive to the task

and managing his behavior. Dante was able to demonstrate his understandings of the connections

that exists among individuals, events and ideas while relating his writing to a characters traits

and actions. Even though Dante received a 71% for his summative assessment, he made
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tremendous increase from the pre-assessment. Josh also made significant increase in his scores.

He was the only student in the group to achieve a 100% on the summative assessment. While

Josh has significant difficulties with writing and reading comprehension, he is a determined

student who does not allow his disabilities to impede his successes. In addition, Josh has

tremendous support from his parents which also contributes to his success. The other students

have similar support at home, however, it seems that the support that Josh receives, in addition to

his determination, helps to motivate him. Peter was able to effectively relate the connections of

the individuals, ideas and events to character traits and actions. Peter is concerned about his

grades and he is the only one in this small group who will actively seek assistance. Peter would

write a few ideas down and then ask for them to be checked in order to ensure that he was on the

right track. His self-advocacy helps him to keep track of his responsibilities, but also the

expectations that he and the adults in his life have for him.

As it relates to the disaggregation of the data, the students in the small group represents

a variety of cultural and racial backgrounds. One of the students is of Asian descent, one is of

Latino decent, one is African-American and two are Caucasian. Within this small group, there

are students who have dyslexia, speech impediments, difficulties with writing, ADHD,

behavioral support and significant issues with reading comprehension. Dante, who is African-

American, did make significant progress. Although he only received a 71%, this was a huge

increase from the 14% he received on the pre-assessment. Dante also has ADHD and behavioral

issues. Again, Dante was placed on medicine which helped to curb a lot of the issues that he

previously demonstrated in class. Amelia, who is of Asian descent, also made tremendous

progress. In addition, Amelia does have issues with both speech and writing. Despite this, Amelia

was able to effectively demonstrate her understanding of the concepts and skills of this unit. She
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was able to do so through a variety of supports. Cathy, who is of Latino descent, did not make

significant progress on the summative assessment. Cathy has an IEP for reading comprehension

and inattentiveness. Her lack of attention to her work was a factor for her lack of progress. She is

the only student who failed the summative assessment. Josh and Peter, the two Caucasian

students, were able to achieve an A and a B respectively. While Josh was able to make huge

strides in his growth, Peter was able to maintain a B for the summative assessment.

While analyzing the patterns of achievement, all but one student was able to achieve

success. Dante, who has a behavior support plan, was able to achieve a significant increase in his

score. Even with his behavior plan, Dante was able to remain focused on the tasks. In addition,

Dante would seek help if he did not understand a concept that he needed to master. Additionally,

Dante was placed on medicine to curb his ADHD, which helped him substantially. Amelia, who

struggles significantly with written expression and speech, was also successful. She was able to

utilize both a scribe and, if needed, a computer to write her summative assessment. Both Josh

and Peter have IEPs for reading disabilities, however, these two students were able to increase

their scores as well. All four of the students were able to achieve the MCCSS standards and skills

for English.

While analyzing the patterns of the lack of achievement, Cathy was the only student

who was not successful. Her IEP is primarily for reading comprehension and inattentiveness.

Cathy struggled early in the unit, starting with the pre-assessment. Even with scaffolding, one-

on-one assistance, notes and chunking of assignments, Cathy was not successful. Overall, Cathy

struggles with completing assignments and remembering to turn in those assignments. Her lack

of completing formative assessments may have deprived her from the reinforcement of essential
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skills and knowledge that she would have needed to successfully complete the summative

assessment.

It is necessary that every student demonstrates growth and meets the standards set

by MCCSS. Because of this, for future instruction, I would need to implement a variety of

differentiated instruction and interventions to ensure that students are successful. The use

of visual representations of characters and personality traits would help students to begin to make

those connections. Picking characters from novels that they have previously read, creating a

visual representation, and then having students match these characters with traits and quotes

from the text may help students to better understand the concepts and skills for this unit. Using a

variety of short stories before students look at the central text of the unit might help them to

prepare for what will be taught with that text. Another instructional strategy that I would use is

allowing students to conference with me. Students would be able to receive additional support

and would have the ability to ask specific questions that relate to the concerns or issues that they

are having with the concepts. The incorporation of more computer-based programs, visual

representations, or oral assessments would help students who are not comfortable, or cannot

write. Although students did have the option to express themselves using a format other than

writing, there were not as many options for them to choose, nor were those options as frequent as

they, perhaps, should have been.

Part E

Overall, as I reflect on the implementation of the unit and the small group instruction, I

believe that they strategies and the instruction were successful. Based on the data collected, four

out of five students were able to meet the standards and the skills addressed in MCCSS. While
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there were times when there were interruptions, the fluency of the lessons and the activities

allowed for student growth. Because of this, I believe that this also represents effective

instructional strategies.

At the beginning of the unit and throughout, students were provided with explicit

instruction. In addition, students were given models of how to implement and demonstrate their

understanding of the material. This instructional approach was effective because it allowed for

students to build their knowledge and it provided students a variety of opportunities to create

their own representations of that knowledge. While the majority of the scores for the first two

SLCs were low, the students in the small group setting were working towards building those

skills that would help them to be successful with subsequent SLCs, and ultimately, the

summative assessment. Initially, students did struggle with identifying how certain actions of a

character relate to specific traits. Furthermore, they did struggle with identifying appropriate

textual evidence to support their findings. Through explicit instruction and modeling, students

began to understand how to properly bridge those skills together.

As students began to work on the third and fourth SLCs, I provided more opportunities

for students to analyze the essential skills with different forms of text. With the some students,

specifically, Dante and Amelia, I had to find text that was appropriate for their reading

comprehension level. This helped them to identify actions, words, and character traits. In

addition, the incorporation of resources for the students also proved to be effective as it allowed

them a frame of reference while completing their work. Resources included word banks related

to character traits, word banks related to motivations and actions and a resource guide that

reinforces how to properly incorporate textual evidence in writing. In addition, I was able to
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provide additional support as students began to move towards more independent practice. As

students began to work on the final SLC, I allowed students more freedom to work on their own.

If they wanted to collaborate with one another, they were able to do so when it was warranted.

This also was effective because they were beginning to rely on themselves and one another.

The instruction of this unit helped to influence student learning because the

instruction, the activities and the assessments were modified and differentiated to meet the needs

of the students. All of the students in the small group have IEPs related to reading in some

aspect. Amelia, Cathy and Dante were allowed to use text-to-speech programs and audio books

when completing activities. This allowed them to focus more and internalize the information

being presented to them. Amelia and Dante had access to scribes or computer-based programs

that allowed them to demonstrate their understanding without having to write it out. In addition,

Peter also had access to a Kindle as he wrote to help with his dyslexia. While all of these

students are able to demonstrate their understanding with minimal support, the inclusion of these

supports enhanced their learning and their productivity. Modeling and scaffolding helped

students tremendously. By providing these types of instructions, students were able to work on

specific aspects of an activity before transitioning to the next. The scaffolding helped students to

master a specific skill first. If students were having difficulty, that was a signal that I had to

rethink my strategies and reteach a lesson or an activity in a different manner.

I would need to implement a variety of instructional methods, assessments and

strategies to ensure student growth in the future. By doing so, I would be able to meet the

needs of the students while meeting the standards addressed according to MCCSS. One

strategy that I would use in annotations of text. Annotating of text allows students the ability to
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analyze and synthesis the material will reading along. I would assign specific aspects of the

reading for students to focus upon. For this unit, it would have been helpful if students were

annotating the text, looking specifically for the thoughts, words and actions of the characters. By

having those annotations, it would be easier for the students to go back and strategically analyze

portions of the text to determine how they relate to character traits and motivation. The

annotations that were used can then be a resource for the students to refer back to when

completing the summative assessment. During this unit, students were not able to create their

own resources. In addition, students were not given the option of the type of resources that they

felt would work for them. The introduction of annotations and other forms of student chosen

resources could help students take more pride and ownership in their own learning. Another

strategy that I would incorporate is the inclusion of mini-lessons. The mini-lessons could serve as

a reinforcement of previous days learning and could help students build upon their

understanding. The mini-lesson would be about ten to fifteen minutes, but this would be an

opportunity for students to practice skills, asks questions, and to see models of concepts that they

would then apply in their own work. Students would be able to conduct these mini-lessons before

moving to more independent work. These two strategies developed are based on the student

achievement data for this small group during this unit.

In the school setting, it is essential to cooperatively work with other professionals so

that all teachers and faculty members are maximizing the potential of each student. In order

to meet the goals of the two strategies above, working with both a mentor teacher and a special

educator/case manager would be beneficial. The mentor teacher would help when determining

what aspects of the reading would be essential for students to annotate. In addition, the mentor

teacher would be able to help to determine how those annotations would help students to
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understand the concepts while still meeting the requirements of the MCCSS standards. As it

relates to the mini-lessons, the special educator/case manager would help to identify the specific

needs of each student in the small group, and could help to develop instructional strategies and

activities to meet the needs of those students. In addition, the special educator could help to co-

teach specific lessons as well.

Based on the CEC standards, there are two professional learning goals that I would

work to develop for myself. CEC standard 5-instructional planning and strategies would be an

area that I would like to develop. While I do believe that I planned sufficiently, there could have

been more instructional strategies and tools infused into the unit to enhance student learning. I

believe that by implementing those strategies, it allows for options that students can choose from

and the implementation of different strategies allows the teacher to reach more learning styles

and preferences. In turn, this relates to CEC standard 1-learner development and individual

learning differences. In order to determine what instructional strategies to that I should use to

meet the needs of all students, I need to have an understanding of how students develop as it

relates to their learning style. By speaking with colleagues who have previously taught certain

students, by accessing student files, and through observations, I will be better able to adjust my

teaching to meet my students needs.