Classroom Development Plan

Classroom Setting

            I designed this diagram to depict my ideal classroom.  I believe this classroom would be suitable for first through third grades.  My goal was to make an open floorplan that did not have any hiding places where I might lose sight of a child.  Creating a space that can accommodate flexible seating was also the focus of this layout.  Whole group instruction would take place at the carpet, but individual work will be able to be completed at any of the seating stations.  To make this possible, students will have dual white board/clipboards to serve as mobile desks, wherever they choose to sit.  This type of seating is beneficial to group work or stations which is an instructional method I intend to use.

My teacher’s station would center on the kidney table.  This table works well for small groups, providing several students a seat with the central focus placed on the teacher at the head of the table.  Because I will use this as both a small group instruction area and my teacher’s station, it will show students that they may come to me for all that they need rather than having a “no-go” area for the teacher that is off-limits.  My hope is that this instills a sense of constant, open communication between myself and my students.

Materials that need to be “teacher only” will be stored beneath or behind the kidney table.  There I will place stackable storage drawers for supplies and materials for quick access.  The storage area on the adjacent wall – which may also be a desk area – would house any other materials and equipment I might use.

The carpet area is the central location for students.  The carpet creates a sense of community in the classroom.  Here is where I intend to do most of my whole-group instruction, morning and afternoon meetings, and more.  Therefore, the agenda, I Can statements, calendar, and class expectations will be posted on or around the whiteboard.  Either reference wall to the left or right of the whiteboard is designated for these things as well, depending on space.

 

Procedures

            My placement school for student teaching has recently adopted a behavioral system that I find very useful and hope to use in my future classroom.  The system is called CHAMPS.  CHAMPS is an acronym for the following: Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, and Success.  The CHAMPS system is designed to designate expectations for all facets of the school and classroom.  Where possible, I will implement CHAMPS strategies as detailed in the following procedures.

 

Attention getting strategies: To gain student attention, I believe it is important to do something that can be enacted anywhere.  For example, turning off the lights in a classroom cannot be done outside on the playground.  I also believe that a variety of strategies should be used depending on the situation.  To quiet a noisy classroom, I will use vocal responses such as “1 2 3, eyes on me” or a countdown that gives them until the count of zero to quiet down.  The latter gives students more of a chance to calm themselves rather than expecting them to immediately go silent.

The CHAMPS system designates voice levels via a number system.  This system will be taught at the beginning of the school year, and a chart with all voice levels will be posted in the classroom.  Practice sessions modeling what the voice levels sound like and where they should be practiced will continue throughout the year.

For example, a zero voice level is silent.  If I am calling my class to be silent, I will make a zero with my hand while standing in a spot visible to all students.  If students are not abiding by the correct voice level within the classroom, my first attempt to correct the behavior is to use proximity, such as standing by their desk.  My second attempt is to remind the class as a group of the appropriate voice level or thank the students (by name) who are following expectations in order to remind the student(s) who are not.  Lastly, I will visit the student at their desk and quietly ask them to correct their voice level.

 

Entering and exiting procedures: I intend to create a morning routine that is the same each day.  This morning routine will be modeled and practiced during the first week of school.  Students will enter the classroom already having put their things in their lockers.  On the whiteboard will be a list of things to do: use the bathroom/fill water bottle, make your lunch choice, turn in homework (a specific turn-in area will be designated for this), and complete your morning work.  This routine will have specific rules: if you have breakfast, eat while working; it is a time to quietly complete your work as it is just like any other work time, so do not disturb other students; if finished early, drop everything and read (DEAR).

Other times students may enter the classroom as a group, I will prepare the document camera or whiteboard to show a “what’s next” clue.  For example, if after lunch/recess I intend to begin a shared reading assignment, I may project the book on the document camera so that students will know immediately upon entering the classroom what to prepare.

Leaving the classroom will also have its own set of expectations.  If leaving as a group, I will alternate between choosing individual students or choosing groups to line up based on their readiness and behavior.  Students will be able to choose between joining one of two lines.  Whichever line is quiet and following expectations first/the best, will get to exit the room first.  The second line will attach to the end of the first line.  If leaving the classroom individually, students must ask permission during appropriate times – not during instruction.

Leaving and entering the classroom, as well as walking through the halls, will have its own designated CHAMPS expectations poster.  The poster for the hallway, for example, will read: C: level 0, no talking, H: raise your hand, A: walking in the hallway, M: stay in line, P: walk in a straight line, hands to yourself, and S: get to where you are going.  This poster will be posted by or on the door so that students may view it before entering the hall.

All these procedures will be rehearsed at the beginning of the school year.  As the year progresses, rehearsals can be repeated as reminders are necessary.

 

Assignment procedures:  Instruction will most often take place at the carpet.  Assignments and individual work will take place around the classroom.  Before students leave the carpet, I will give instruction and/or write steps on the whiteboard for students to follow as needed.  Students will be allowed to work at a zero voice level during independent work times, or a one to two voice level for group work.  As assignments are completed, students will turn their work in to a designated area.  I plan to have stackable drawers for this purpose, with one drawer per subject including morning work and homework.  This way, students can turn in their work independently and in an organized fashion.  Returned work will be placed in student mailboxes that are in the same area.  Students will retrieve their work from their mailboxes on Fridays to put into their Friday take-home folder.

In this area, a CHAMPS expectations chart for assignments will be posted.  The poster for independent work will read: C: level 1, whisper, H: ask 3 before me, raise your hand, A: working at your seat, M: working, sharpen pencil, bathroom with permission, P: completing assigned work, S: success!

 

Restroom procedures:  I will plan for strategically and specifically timed bathroom breaks throughout the day.  These breaks will be put in during snack or independent working times.  I will draw name sticks to allow students to go or go as a class if time allows.

At the beginning of the year, I will make independent restroom trip rules clear as well as model a procedure for students to follow.  Restroom breaks cannot take place during instruction or whole-group work.  Students may ask to use the restroom at other times, but only one student at a time may leave for the restroom.  Students who need to use the restroom may stand silently by the classroom door with their hand raised.  I will nod yes or shake my head no.  If I nod, they may leave the room quietly and return quickly.  If I shake my head no, they must return to their seat.  This will minimize the number of students coming up or interrupting me to ask to use the restroom.  As with all procedures, these will be taught at the beginning of the year and practiced with expectations revisited throughout the year.

 

Emergency procedures:  For all emergency drills, I will begin by posting CHAMPS expectations posters around the classroom.  For example, a fire drill poster should be posted near the door.  A lockdown poster should be posted near the area where students will huddle.  Then, one drill per day will be discussed and practiced.  I will teach the expectations for each drill first before having students practice.  Student roles will be designated as needed and as appropriate.

 

Transition procedures:  Transition times will be made clear due to the agenda posted daily on the whiteboard.  Transitions will utilize the attention calling techniques described above, as needed.  I will explain the procedure with a “In a moment” statement, then state what I want them to do next.  I will also state the signal for them to go, such as a signal word or nonverbal hand signal.  Then, I will observe them as they transition and give feedback once the students are in place for the next activity.  These transitions will be taught at the beginning of the year and expectations revisited as needed throughout the school year.

 

Social isolation:  My goal with flexible seating is also to prevent social isolation.  Allowing students to rotate their seating choices will also require students to vary who they sit by.  During partner work, I will choose partners to ensure each student works with every other student as appropriate.

 

Norms and Learning Agreements

            One benefit of the CHAMPS behavioral system is that expectations are explicitly detailed for all facets of the classroom.  Instead of a list of rules that may not apply to any- and everything, having CHAMPS expectations covers as many individual classroom components needed.  It also allows you to customize or create more posters to accommodate any classroom.

In addition to using CHAMPS, I will also create a learning agreement that will be posted prominently in the classroom beside the whiteboard.  As a class, we will brainstorm what goes into this agreement.  If things are missed, I will add them while discussing why it is important.  The point is to have students work together to decide and agree on what is important to us as a class.  Lastly, I will have students sign the poster in agreement.

In my current placement, I asked my students for suggestions of rules they would add to a list.  One suggestion I thought was very profound pertained to students’ attentions while another student is speaking.  The student believed that some might not like “all eyes on them” while they are speaking.  So, she suggested a thumbs up or thumbs down hand signal.  Normally, when a student is called upon to share a response, the class will give them their attention.  If they are comfortable, they can give a thumbs up at their chest and continue speaking.  If they are uncomfortable, they can give a thumbs down, and their classmates will know to instead face forward in their seats during their response.  I thought this was a conscientious suggestion and could be added to the rules, though it would need to be monitored so that it is used appropriately.

 

Formative Assessment Strategies

Journals: My students will be responsible for notebooks, designated by subject, and journaling in these notebooks.  These notebooks are how I will formatively assess much of my students’ learning.  I will collect and review notebooks frequently.  I believe journaling is an effective form of authentic assessment as it measures student understanding in a less structured way, while allowing for some creativity and making of personal connections.  Below are journaling activities my students will include in their notebooks.

 

Super Sentences: (Subject-Specific Journal: Reading/Writing, Science/Social Studies)A super sentence is a great way for students to show their understanding of content.  Students will draw a web diagram that stems from a vocabulary word or topic.  Then, there should be an arm for who, what, when, where, why, and how that the students fill in.  The students will then use their diagram to construct a super sentence utilizing as much of that information as possible to demonstrate their understanding.  These responses are perfect transition activities between subjects.

 

My Favorite No: (Subject-Specific Journal: Reading/Writing, Math, Science/Social Studies).  Daily work and homework will, of course, need to be corrected.  From these corrections, I will select one or more incorrect student responses.  It is especially useful to select a response that shows an error that many other students are also making.  I will show this response anonymously.  As a class, we will work through correcting it together while pointing out what things were actually done correctly in the response.  Students will write the problem and work through it in their journals.  This is also useful for sentence grammar and spelling correction, thoughtful responses that may have misinformation, and etc.

 

Think, Pair, Share: (Subject-Specific Journal: Reading/Writing, Math, Science/Social Studies)With Think, Pair, Share, I would ask my students a question relevant to the lesson/content.  Students would write a response independently, then share with a partner to discuss their ideas and opinions.  I may also allow for some students to share their responses in a whole-group setting.

 

Frayer Model: (Subject-Specific Journal: Reading/Writing, Math, Science/Social Studies)The Frayer Model graphic organizer can be useful in any subject.  Students would write pertinent vocabulary in the center box.  Then, they would demonstrate their understanding by writing a definition, a fact or characteristic, an example, and a non-example in the surrounding boxes.

 

One-Minute Responses: (Daily Response Journal)At the end of the day, my students will construct a self-reflective response in their daily journal.  They will reflect on two questions derived from the day’s content:

What was the most important thing we discussed today and why?

What was the most confusing thing we discussed today and why?

From these responses, I can assess what content I need to further explore.

 

Outside of journaling, some formative assessment activities I will utilize include:

White Board Practice: White board practice is a formative assessment that can be used for various subjects such as vocabulary, spelling, and math.  I would use the “write it, hide it, show it” method.  First, I would ask them to “write it” by figuring out a problem and showing their work, spelling a word, or writing a definition, etc.  Once they have written it, they are to “hide it” by holding  their boards to their chest so that their neighbor cannot copy.  Then, I will ask them to “show it” once all students have hidden their responses.  The students hold their boards in the air for me to see, and I can quickly assess if I need to offer more practice, reteach a mini lesson, or work with individuals one-on-one.

 

Hand In, Pass Out: On notecards, students will anonymously write a question they have from the day’s content.  It can be a question about any subject.  I will collect the notecards, then redistribute them randomly to students, ensuring that no student receives their own notecard.  Students will write their names on the back of the notecard.  Then, using any resources that were accessible to them from the day’s learning (textbooks, worksheets, their own journal responses, etc.), students will do their best to answer the question on the card.  I will collect these to assess.

 

Summative Assessment Strategies

In addition to preparing for standardized tests such as M-STEP, I believe in a variety of summative assessment types.  Utilizing backwards design in order to select standards and objectives, I will create assessments that offer more than one way to demonstrate knowledge.

For example, a content mastery test for math, science or social studies would include a combination of multiple choice, true/false, matching, and short answer responses.  The short answer portion of a math test may require students to explain their thinking through solving a problem.

I also believe in at least one performance-based assessment, particularly for the subjects of reading and writing.  This form of assessment is effective as an authentic assessment, as it enhances the learning process in a way that a simple question-and-answer test cannot.  It gives students the opportunity to be creative and to show their understanding in a unique way.  In conjunction with journal responses, students will build a portfolio that they will develop inside of a Google Docs in Google Classroom.  This assessment will demonstrate mastery of content knowledge while allowing freedom of creativity.  Part of their portfolio will incorporate journal responses, writing that coordinates with lessons, computer-illustrated diagrams of their choice, and video-recorded responses.  All of these requirements will be modeled and worked on throughout the year.

 

Creating Hope in the Assessment Process

I believe that involving students in the assessment processes is the most important factor in creating hope during assessments.  Using methods such as My Favorite No makes students less apprehensive toward making mistakes.  Allowing a range of question types inside of assessments makes a test less foreboding.

My selected formative assessment types allow plenty of opportunity for practice.  Keeping journals give students the ability to revisit notes and content.  Working with peers offers students insight into other ideas they may have missed themselves.  And most importantly, my chosen formative assessment types encourage students to self-assess on a daily basis.

Lastly, I will keep a classroom journal in which I will model all responses for the day.  These responses will be the same topics the students write about.  All journal responses will be modeled by me via the document camera/projector.  This journal, along with an organizer that keeps daily worksheets and materials, will be a vital resource for any student who is absent or wishes to review content on their own.  That way, there is always a “correct” source mirroring daily assignments that students that can view if they are unsure.

 

Data-Driven Instructional Practices

In my classroom, my data-driven instructional practices will revolve around daily technology use.  During this designated time, students will utilize a website called MobyMax.  MobyMax is a resource that aligns with Common Core Standards.  Students complete evaluative placement tests, then complete activities that adjust to their individual levels.  MobyMax covers math, language, vocabulary, and reading.  It generates student data, allies with standardized assessments, and also offers support for IEP plans.

In addition, I will collect data from student subject journals.  Daily responses will be a great way to show growth and make progress visible as the year progresses.

 

Remediation Strategies

My formative assessments of choice provide me with plenty of data to discern students in need of remediation.  Once I’ve determined those in need, I will use small groups or stations to team students with similar needs.  During these stations while students are working together, I will pull individual students whenever necessary for one-on-one remediation.  I will be able to assess growth following these practices by reviewing journal responses and via my other formative assessment activities.  I will also use programs such as MobyMax that give students immediate feedback and tailored activities to their levels.  Another tactic I intend to use is consistent review, which is simply reviewing previous content as often as possible and as appropriate.  For example, journal responses can build or tie into previous days’ content.  Small groups, stations, and programs work well as differentiated instruction for remediation as well as extending content for advanced learners.

 

Parent and Student Involvement in the Assessment Process

Parent involvement is essential to a child’s success.  Therefore, I will implement a number of ways to support parents who will in turn support their students.  First, I will construct a class website that will maintain a “current events” list of what we are covering in class as well as any pertinent information for parents and students alike.  This will also be printable for families who do not have access to technology.  I will upload extra work that parents can print, hand-copy, or use in any method that works for them.  Again, these will also be available in worksheet form for students who do not have access to technology.

Communication is key.  That is why I will use an app such as ClassDojo to communicate with parents, share behavioral notes, and share student work.  ClassDojo can also be accessed by students.  Parents should view samples of their child’s work regularly so that they may have a better understanding of their child’s progress.  ClassDojo is an effective tool to provide individualized feedback.  It is also linkable with Google Classroom so that students can share their uploaded work, videos, and portfolios with their parents right through ClassDojo.

 

Grading practices

I believe in a numerical grading system rather than a letter grading system.  I think that numerical grading is a better way to show progress that is quantifiable.  Numerical grading would coordinate with Not Yet Meeting Standards, In Progress, Meeting Standards, and Exceeding Standards.  While I understand that the school/district that employs me decides this, I still felt it important to share my preference.

When grading assessments, I believe in second chances.  In a math test, for example, I would require students to turn their test in upon completion and I would immediately grade them as I wait for all students to finish.  If time permits, I will hand back the test for students to correct any wrong answers for half credit.  If time does not permit, I would have the students correct them at the beginning of the next math lesson.  This method is beneficial to those who suffer from testing anxiety.  It is also common to see students who typically do well, struggle during a test, thus making this a fair compromise.

 

How the Brain Learns and Instructional Decisions

Theories for how the brain learns are categorized in different ways.  One of the most popular theories is Learning Styles.  Learning styles will help me adapt my instruction and methods to my students’ needs.  It will also lead my choices in differentiation.  Showing my students how to assess and discover their own learning styles will help them to become better learners.

  • Visual: Preferring images and spatial understanding. I can use multimedia, anchor charts, and other visual elements.  I can have students copy notes from the board during study.  I can eat visual learners near the front of the room.
  • Aural: Preferring sound and music. I can record lessons for later listening and reference.  I can use books on tape.  I can seat aural learners away from distractions.
  • Verbal: Preferring words, both in speech and writing. I can encourage note-taking and use journaling activities.  I can encourage partner discussion.
  • Kinesthetic: Preferring use of your body, hands, and sense of touch. I can lead activities and lessons that require movement.  I can allow students to move around the room during independent work time.  I can keep desks uncluttered or provide uncluttered stations for students to work at.

 

Relevant and Rigorous Learning

In order to create relevant and rigorous learning opportunities, students must be given clear objectives for each content area.  Every lesson I teach will have clear objectives in the form of I Can statements.  These statements are meant to present the Common Core Standards in a friendly, attainable way.  Having them clearly posted is a way for students to take ownership of, track, and self-assess their individual learning and progress.

Rigorous learning also requires time invested outside of class.  Homework may not be daily, but will be assigned appropriately.  I do not believe in constant homework, as the young mind needs time for play and rest outside of the learning environment.  I also believe that homework may present inequalities in student grading.  Not all students have support at home.  Assignments attached to grades should be completed in the classroom.  Only when a student shows the need for additional practice will they receive homework that can be completed both at home and, if possible, in the classroom with assistance.

Accelerated work that is above grade-level is another component of rigorous learning.  This can refer to modes of differentiation for advanced students, as well as exposure to higher level academia that inspires student growth.  One way I intend to expose students is through read-alouds of above grade-level text.  Students will be able to follow along as I read or may choral read along with me so as to be exposed to advanced vocabulary.

The purpose of accelerated work is to challenge the students.  I believe that it is more important to challenge the student within their appropriate grade level instead of pushing them ahead a grade level.  In addition to academia, students learn social skills in the classroom, and should remain with like-minded and same-aged peers to develop these skills.

 

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is essential in any classroom.  Students should be given the opportunity to work together and form meaningful relationships with their peers.  Cooperative learning enforces this by exposing students to each of their classmates along with their differences in opinions and learning styles.  The most important way I will coordinate cooperative learning is through small groups and stations.  Small groups will exist in the form of leveled book clubs.  Students will read, discuss, and complete written responses within their book clubs.  Math stations will also provide cooperative learning opportunities.  Station groups may be organized by student level or may change weekly in order for students to work with different peers.

 

Interdisciplinary Connections

Frayer Model: extends literacy skills into all other subjects.  This focuses on vocabulary which is a component of all content areas.  The Frayer Model teaches students organization and how to look at many angles of a given topic.

 

Journaling: uses literacy and writing skills to reflect and summarize content across all subjects.  Journaling allows students to review their writing from previous days in order to strengthen their future writing.  Students may reference their previous writing across content areas as well.  Journaling supports the instruction and practice of comprehension skills such as making connections, synthesizing, inferencing, summarizing, and more.

 

Responding to Behavioral Issues

I subscribe to Thomas Gordon’s theory of teacher effectiveness.  His Teacher Effectiveness Training establishes strong teacher-student relationships in order to resolve behavioral issues and maximize learning time in the classroom.  It promotes problem-solving techniques, positive relationships between teachers and student peers, and positive communication strategies.  I believe it can be implemented hand-in-hand with the CHAMPS program.

The training emphasizes the importance of intrinsic motivation.  He also believes that power-based control techniques increase incidences of negative behavior.  I agree, and therefore, I respond to behavioral issues with the goal of problem-solving together.

A common issue in classrooms is student disruption.  As a student disrupts a lesson, I would communicate with him one-to-one, specifically stating the problem, the effect, and the result.  For example, I could say: “When you interrupt during class, I cannot teach my lesson, and that is not fair or respectful to me, your classmates, or yourself.”  This does not shame the child but does make him aware of the effects of his choices.  It also gives him an opportunity to make better choices.  If this does not resolve the issue and the student continues to disrupt, I would shift gears into active listening.  At an appropriate time, I would allow the student to express their feelings.  If they wish to explain to me their reasoning for disrupting, I will listen without interrupting, then clarify what the student is saying.  Using reasoning, we will come to a solution together, such as “while I teach, students will use a level 0 voice while listening.  During our free time is a great time to use our level 1 or 2 voice for chatting.”

Another common issue is one that develops between students.  In this instance, I will employ active listening to listen to both students’ points of view, and then follow with the same problem-solving technique as I would use between myself and a student.  According to Gordon, the goal is always to find a solution that is agreeable to both parties in conflict.

In all scenarios, the most important goal is that all parties involved in a conflict – be it teacher or student – must own their part.  I will teach my students the importance of accepting responsibility while knowing that, when they do, they will be listened to and worked with in order to solve the problem.

As this coincides with the CHAMPS program, there are no rewards for good behavior.  Positive behaviors are to be expected, because they are the expectations we all must follow from day one of the school year.  A student who walks the hall with a respectful, zero level voice is not rewarded for the behavior simply because they are doing their job.  This is contrasted to how the teacher’s job is to teach, and the student’s job is to learn.

However, I do believe in praise for positive behavior in the form of recognition and modeling.  This works hand-in-hand with my technique for problem-solving.  I will use the previous example of a student disrupting class.  It is often not possible to immediately address the behavior by stopping the lesson and having the one-to-one conversation with that student.  That will have to wait for an appropriate moment.  So, during the lesson, I may complement a student who is following expectations: “I like how Suzie is sitting on her pockets and listening with a level 0 voice.”  This may be enough to redirect the disrupting student.

 

Responding to Diversity

So important is the idea that not all students will be on the same page.  This refers to learning, behavior, culture, and much more.  That is why I will strive to create a sense of belonging inside my classroom and among my students.

In order to ingrain this sense of belonging in my students, we must first learn what it means to celebrate differences.  This begins with the start of the school year where we get to know each other.  When students fill out their “About Me’s” and share about themselves, it’s not only important to point out what students have in common, but also, what is different about them.  For example, if I have an ELL student whose family comes from Mexico: “How cool is it that this student is new to our country!  We can learn so much from him.”

This mentality will continue throughout the year and will apply to multiple things.  When students have different responses during a discussion, when students have different points of view on a book, when students use different methods to solve a math problem: this will be highlighted and encouraged.

While celebrating our differences is important, I also understand the importance of inclusion.  Kids like to feel included and part of the team.  To do this, I will focus on collaborative work.  Students will frequently pair or group up with others.  These groups will change often.  I also believe in frequently switching up seating charts throughout the year so that students have the opportunity to get to know all of their classmates and view other perspectives.

It is important for me as a teacher to be culturally competent.  I will be sure to refrain from using materials and visuals that promote stereotypes, while incorporating diverse materials that reflect varying cultures, races, and aspects of society.  I will teach students about multicultural role models whenever possible.  And I will incorporate activities such as student interviews of family members to share aspects of their background while exploring their heritage.  Any way that I can multiculturalize content, I will.  If I am a minority in my classroom, this is how I intend to connect with my students in ways that are meaningful to them.

 

Differentiation

One of the most important facets of my teaching career is how I will differentiate in my instruction.  I believe that no two students learn in the exact same way.  Therefore, my goal is to create a learning environment that accommodates all learning styles.  Here are just some techniques I intend to use for differentiation.

  • Learning stations. Learning stations or centers can be used for multiple content areas.  Each station will use a different method that relates to the content and lesson.  For example, during a shared reading unit, I would use a DEAR (drop everything and reading) station, a phonics station with vocabulary-related word sort and study, a book club station for students to discuss what they’ve read, and a writing session for written responses to our reading.  I can position myself at any of these stations to support those students who may be in need.
  • Targeting different senses. There are many different types of learning when it comes to senses, such as tactile, visual, kinesthetic, and more.  I intend to incorporate as many of these senses into my learning.  Where applicable, I will use videos, infographics, read-aloud, written instruction, and physical manipulation of materials.
  • Think-Pair-Share. Partner collaboration is a great way to have peers help peers.  What I like most about this strategy is that students may not even know that they are helping!  Giving students the chance to think for themselves, then pair with a partner and share their ideas allows students who may need help understanding to receive it without being embarrassed.  It also gives all students a chance to share their ideas as opposed to only a few called upon by a teacher.
  • Pairing/grouping students. Sometimes, assignments must be differentiated for particular students.  When applicable, I will group students with similar levels together to complete these assignments.  I will also group students according to their learning styles.  For example, in shared reading pairings, a student who is an auditory learner may do well with a higher-level reading student who can read fluently to them.
  • When appropriate, I will give students options for completing their work.  Some students who struggle with writing may not be able to write a full essay reflecting what they’ve learned.  However, filling out a graphic organizer and verbally retelling their understanding may be an option.  Using a jigsaw strategy could be another option for an assignment, where students partner or group up and share different responsibilities for studying content in order to complete an assignment.
  • Display of instruction/directions. I believe all students benefit from having directions explicitly displayed and accessible throughout the duration of the assignment.  I intend to write directions on the board, display them on the document camera, and print them for students to have their own copies.  This will ensure that students who have different or altered instruction will be sure what is expected of them for their individual assignments.  I will also display examples of work, my own modeled examples, and any other references students may need.