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Shellie Sims Spring 2005 Agnes Scott College EDU 630 Teacher Work Sample Student Teaching Experience Cross Keys High School Atlanta, GA Table of Contents Contextual Factors Learning Goals Assessment Plan Design for Instruction Instructional Decision-Making Analysis of Student Learning Reflection and Self-Evaluation Contextual Factors TWS Standard The teacher candidate uses information about the learning-teaching context and student individual differences to set learning goals and plan instruction and assessment. District, Community, and School Factors for Cross Keys High School The DeKalb County school district educates approximately 100,000 students in 84 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 21 high schools, and 18 specialized centers. Ethnically, the makeup of DeKalb County is 35.8 percent white, 54.2 percent black, and 9.8 percent “other.” Household incomes vary from the poverty level to what can be considered wealthy. Located between the affluent Brookhaven neighborhood and the poor Buford Highway area, Cross Keys is said to be the most ethnically diverse school in the state of Georgia, perhaps even the South East. Ranging from a few eighth graders (28 in the ESOL Program) through 12th grade, this title one school is composed of an over 90% minority population. In fact, no one single cultural group makes up more than 50% of the school’s population. Cross Keys students speak over 33 languages other than English. According to 2001-2003 statistics, the ethnic makeup is 48% Hispanic, 28% African American, 16% Asian, and 9% white. The currently enrollment of 989 students consist of a 54% male, and a 45% female population. Seventy-three percent of these children receive free lunch. Because so many of these children speak English as a second language, there is often a struggle with reading and writing at Cross Keys High School, however, several of the students with language problems excel in math, sciences and the arts. In fact, one of this year’s seniors made a perfect score in math on the SAT. School partners include the DeKalb Mall Chick-Fil-A, Publix-Toco Hills, and Publix- North East Plaza. Parent involvement is practically non-existent. Perhaps this is due to the fact that many of the students’ parents are not proficient English speakers, or that some parents keep a low profile due to an illegal alien status, something that is not uncommon at Cross Keys. Many of the parents are unavailable for school conferences during school hours because of inflexible job situations. Built in 1958, Cross Keys faces several funding issues. The facilities are definitely not new; plumbing problems are a recurrent issue, locker room space is unavailable for the baseball team, who store their equipment in occupied classrooms during the day. The cohesive, approximately 85% white, 34% male, staff is made up of 89 faculty members, of which 58% have post graduate degrees. Problems at Cross Keys include many incidents of teen pregnancy, truancy, gang activity, and a high student turnover rate, due mostly to family relocations. Students are expected to know what is expected of them, have high expectations of themselves and others, and make responsible choices. Discipline policies include a strict tardy policy, in-school suspension, parent conferences, suspension from school, revoking driver’s licenses for possession of weapons, conducting firearms and drug searches when necessary, and taking legal actions. Classes at this high school are divided, by ability, into four groups: Advanced Placement, Gifted (74 students), General Education, Remedial Education Program (REP), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which offers 16 courses in 133 sections. Cross Keys hosts classes in eleven fields of study including: English/Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, Performing Arts, World Languages, Driver’s Education, Health/PE, Visual Arts, Special Services, Career Tech./Business Education, and Consumer Sciences. There are also numerous extracurricular clubs and activities. Some of the most popular are ROTC, National Honor Society, Math Club, Yearbook Staff, BETA Club, and various sports. Uniting activities such as a day in which children represent their native countries by carrying flags into an assembly and then performing national dances are also popular with the students. In the 2002 school year the students at Cross Keys scored twelve points below the state average in language arts, five points below the state average in math and twenty-two points below the state average in writing. Passing the graduation test causes anxiety among many of the seniors. Most of the students who do go on to college will only get accepted into community and junior college programs. Some children in the gifted classes are below average in language skills due to the fact that his/her first language is not English. Mrs. Whorton’s inviting classroom is outfitted with five student work tables and chairs instead of conventional desks. Shelves of books and educational games line the walls. Basic technology is used, including an overhead projector, a television and VCR, a computer, and access to PowerPoint presentations. Getting class time in the computer writing center is often a challenge. The media center also provides computer terminals for students use. Classes usually begin with a grammar lesson. If students finish their work, they are expected to quietly finish any other work they have, or to play with an educational game. Talking is only allowed during group discussions or activities. A strict tardy policy is enforced with detentions. It is not unusual for students to be given new seating charts in order to reduce “visiting with neighbors.” Class sizes vary from 17 to 33 with students ranging from freshman to senior in class level. Inclusion is common in the school. Exceptionalities in Mrs. Whorton’s classes include gifted children, and students with mild learning disabilities. A variety of teaching styles are implemented including visual, kinesthetic, and oral methods in order to reach all of the students as well as possible. One-on-one instruction is conducted often. In my student teaching experience, I have found that when students have questions about an assignment, it is often due to a lack of understanding of certain English words. I try to make sure that language problems are addressed, without embarrassing the student. It has also been helpful to write on the board and overhead projector in conjunction with teaching lessons orally. I frequently ask students one-on-one, if they have any questions. Often they do, but were too afraid to speak up in the group. Making a visual assessment of whether students are understanding or not, is essential. Learning Goals TWS Standard The teacher candidate sets significant, challenging, varied, and appropriate learning goals. Learning Goals for the Students 1. Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play. 2. Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. 3. Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. 4. Student will be able to rewrite scenes from Romeo and Juliet in their own words. QCC’s: 27 Topic: Reading/Literature Standard: Reads, discusses, and analyzes world literature representing diversity (e.g., gender, nationality, and ethnicity). 28 Topic: Reading/Literature Standard: Analyzes literature according to characterization, mood, tone, plot, and point of view. 30 Topic: Reading/Literature Standard: Writes and speaks critically about literature. 31 Topic: Reading/Literature Standard: Applies knowledge of literary terms to works of literature. 33 Topic: Reading/Literature Standard: Experiences a variety of non-print resources (films, recordings, theatre, computers, databases) as a part of the study of literature. 40 Topic: Writing/Usage/Grammar Standard: Understands that language usage is shaped by social, cultural, and geographical differences. 37 Topic: Writing/Usage/Grammar Standard: Recognizes that language is a powerful tool for thinking and learning. Rationale for Learning Goals These learning goals were chosen in an effort to cover the basic background necessary for an introduction to Shakespeare. Exposing the basic skills that deal with Renaissance drama will help students lay a foundation upon which they can build in future years of education. Students are encouraged to think critically and relate their own experiences to works of literature while using their own individual creativity. The level of learners in the classroom upon which this work sample is based is advanced (although this lesson plan will be slightly modified for a lower level, general class). Motivation is the greatest disparity among the 9th grade, advanced and gifted students. Some students are highly motivated while others seem not to care enough to complete assignments or pay attention in class. The different learning styles are addressed through goals and activities that address visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles such as acting activities, films, audiocassettes, oral reading, and writing exercises. These learning goals are appropriate in terms of development because they lay a foundation for acquiring knowledge about literature, drama, Renaissance Theatre, and more specifically, Shakespearian plays. These ideas are appropriate for my 9th Grade Advanced class because they are academically gifted and/or advanced and thus are ready for an in-depth look at Shakespeare. Most of these students have not had prior exposure to Shakespeare or Renaissance drama and are in need of building a foundation for this type of study, which they will be exposed to further in their high school and/or college careers. Assessment Plan TWS Standard The teacher candidate uses multiple assessment modes and approaches aligned with learning goals to assess student learning before, during, and after instruction. Overview For the Romeo and Juliet unit, it will first be important to determine previous exposure to Shakespeare, especially to the plot of Romeo and Juliet, which they have probably been exposed to in some way or another. It will be important to determine how well the students can grasp the language, and how capable they are in analyzing and re-writing scenes from the play. Pre-Assessment Students will fill out a worksheet determining how familiar they are with Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, and Shakespearian language. Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play. This goal will be addressed by having students re-write a scene from Romeo and Juliet in their own words. Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. This goal will be addressed by having students write a brief summary of the plot of Romeo and Juliet, as they understand it prior to reading. Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. Students will list important facts that they know about Shakespeare. Student will be able to rewrite scenes from Romeo and Juliet in their own words. Students will re-write a scene from Romeo and Juliet prior to reading the play. Post-Assessments Students will be evaluated through writing samples, class discussion, group activities, individual activities, class participation, and testing. For example, one activity includes having students re-write the balcony scene into their own words after reading the scene as a class. Some of these re-written the students might perform scenes in class. Developing a character wheel, an activity that has students analyze characters, will be another way to teach students to relate to the text while assessing their understanding and progress. Another writing activity will entail having students write about the differences between his/her qualities in an ideal mate and those that a parent/guardian has for him/her. This will be done after his/her parent/guardian and the student complete a questionnaire. Formative Assessments Students will be constantly evaluated through the use of simple roster checklists (check minus, check, and check plus) for activities, class participation, group discussions, and writing exercises. Quizzes and graded activities will also be used. Adaptations Instructions will be modified as needed. Activities can be removed if time is limited, or more time included for students who need additional time to complete assignments. Several extra activities have been developed as back up in case activities are completed ahead of schedule. Design for Instruction TWS Standard The teacher designs instruction for specific learning goals, student characteristics and needs, and learning contexts. The lesson design for the Romeo and Juliet unit is based on the results of pre- assessment data analysis in conjunction with the four chosen learning goals. Instruction was also intended to accommodate various needs of this particular group of gifted/advanced students. Insuring that this class is challenged, that their grasp of Shakespearean language is given special attention, noting that many of these children speak English as a second language and that several students are from cultural backgrounds in which they were not exposed to Anglo-Saxon traditions, is of utmost importance. According to the pre-assessment, a pre-test that targeted learning goals (see attached pre-assessment tool), I learned that among students, the largest percentage of the class had a limited understanding of the four learning goals. Learning goals for this unit include: 1. Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play. 2. Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. 3. Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. 4. Student will be able to rewrite scenes from Romeo and Juliet in their own words. The following graph breaks the four learning goals into groups of limited, basic, and clear understanding among the ninth grade, advanced/gifted class. 12 10 8 Goal 1 6 Goal 2 Goal 3 4 Goal 4 2 0 Limited Basic Clear With this pre-assessment information in mind, I was able to tailor my lesson plans with a desired outcome in mind. I wanted to bring as much of the class population as possible up to the “clear understanding” range. Romeo & Juliet Unit Lesson Plan Shellie Sims, Student Teacher Lit/Comp 9 Advanced/Gifted Overview of Lesson: This is a lesson in which students will study the Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet. Students will learn about the biography of Shakespeare, literary terms, and plots and themes of Romeo and Juliet. Objectives: Students will: Read, discuss, and interpret works of fiction and non-fiction. Define unfamiliar words by using appropriate structural analysis skills. Develop an understanding of the effect of history on literature. Identify structural elements of literature. Learning Goals: Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play. Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. Student will be able to rewrite scenes from Romeo and Juliet in their own words. QCC Standards: 40 Topic: Writing/Usage/Grammar Standard: Understands that language usage is shaped by social, cultural, and geographical differences. 37 Topic: Writing/Usage/Grammar Standard: Recognizes that language is a powerful tool for thinking and learning. 17 Topic: Core Skills Standard: Uses language appropriate to situation and audience. Materials/Resources: Text, Handouts, Pencils, Paper, White board, and overhead projector Time: 12 Class Days Pre-Assessment: Question students about their knowledge of Shakespeare’s biography, history of Renaissance theatre, and the plot of Romeo and Juliet. Engagement: The students will be shown a short film featuring interviews of current movie stars and multicultural students about how Shakespeare’s plays have influenced their lives. Activities/Procedures: Students will be shown a short film featuring interviews of current movie stars and multicultural students about how Shakespeare’s plays have influenced their lives. Students will participate in discussions on Shakespeare’s biography, the history of Renaissance theatre, and then fill out magic square sheets. Students will view clips from Shakespeare in Love, West Side Story, and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Students will participate in a lesson on Shakespeare’s language. Students will participate in a lesson on the history/biography of Shakespeare and fill out magic squares to test their historical knowledge. Students will listen to audio recordings of the play Romeo and Juliet. Students will participate in reading the play aloud. Students will read the play silently. Students will translate the balcony scene into their own words. Students will choose characters, find quotes from the play to sum up their characters, create a character wheel, and then illustrate the wheels. Students will write essays for a perfect mate exercise after reviewing questionnaires previously filled out with their parents/guardians. After a discussion on mood/theme/plot, students will bring in music pertaining to the play and explain how their music relates to the play. Students will view the film Romeo and Juliet, pausing for discussion. Students will be allowed to write movie reviews and comparison/contrasts of West Side Story, Romeo + Juliet, Shakespeare in Love, and Romeo Must Die for extra credit. Students will take and end of unit test. Lesson Modifications: This particular class will be able to read chapters for homework; other classes, who simply do not read outside of class, will do all reading in class as a group activity. Activities will be added or taken away according to time constraints or projects being finished ahead of time. Technology Connections: A film will be shown introducing Shakespeare, and comparing different styles of production. Film clips and a full feature will be shown. Students will listen to some of the play in audio book form. Closure: As a closing activity, the students viewed the Zefferelli version of Romeo and Juliet. The film was frequently paused in order for the students to discuss differences in the film and the play, plot lines, and character traits. Assessment/Evaluation: Grades were given for various activities as well as the end of unit test. Post Lesson Reflections: Test results proved that the students learned a great about Romeo and Juliet, Shakespearean language. I wondered if I had made the test too easy, but my cooperating teacher assured me that “they definitely learned something.” I was quite thrilled with the results, all A’s. Additionally, the students asked thoughtful questions throughout lessons, discussions, and film viewing. These questions reinforced that the students understood the language, plot lines, and characters of Romeo and Juliet. After thinking about this more, however, I decided that I should have graded the tests more critically. The rubric should have included more grammar content instead of focusing almost solely on content. DAILY ACTIVITIES FOR ROMEO AND JULIET Learning Activities Technology Modifications Goals Day 2,3 Pre-Assessment “Test” Play Clips from 1 Introduction to Renaissance “takes” on the Shakespeare music CD Romeo and View short, 20 min. film Juliet theme can focusing on the National DVD be implemented Shakespeare Project, a (films, film showing how commercials, profoundly cartoons, Shakespeare has television affected the lives of programs). various actors and teens from different cultural backgrounds Discuss how the plot of Romeo and Juliet has been used in our society Day 1,2,3 Historical background of Play lute The magic 2 Renaissance theatre music on CD square can be Biography of William done in groups, Shakespeare DVD player or as a class. Show transparency of and VCR the Globe Theatre For classes with Discuss set up of the mostly slow Globe readers, or Discuss what theatre children who are meant in Shakespeare’s not fluent in time English, using Show clips from the audio book “Shakespeare in Love” may be in the Rose Theatre favorable to Biography/history word reading the play list sheet out loud as a class. Magic Square of Shakespearean history Read Romeo and Juliet aloud, stopping for discussion Day 1,2,3 Recapitulate DVD player 3 history/biography facts Review/check magic VCR square Lesson on language CD/Tape (meter, rhyme, iambic player pentameter) Transparency on words and relatives Shakespearean insults Mention film adaptations of Shakespeare Show clips from “West Side Story,” Baz Lurhman’s “Romeo+Juliet,” and “Shakespeare in Love,” comparing introduction scenes, balcony scenes, and death scenes Discuss differences in performances/production s Read Romeo and Juliet aloud as a play, dividing parts and discussing play Listen to play on CD/Tape Day 1,2,4 Read and discuss play CD/Tape 4 Assign bonus points for player film reviews of select films; due Monday Day 1,2 Discuss mood, plot, CD/Tape 5 theme, assign music player activity for Monday Read and discuss play Day 1,2,4 Balcony scene CD/Tape 6 translation exercise player Read/listen to and discuss play Day 1,2,4 Read/listen to and CD/Tape 7 discuss play player Go over translations of balcony scene Begin Character wheels Day 1,2,3,4 Character wheels CD/Tape Character 8 Illustrate costumes for player wheels can be each character wheel worked on in Play clips of music from Computer to groups; for mood, plot, theme download instance, a project songs Tybalt group can Have students find quotes explain/justify their together. musical choice and Make sure hand in paragraph music is Read and discuss play appropriate for the classroom. Day 1,2, Perfect Mate writing CD/Tape Students may 9 exercise player for translate for Finish reading /listening play parent/guardians to the play who do not speak English. Students without parent/guardian- completed forms can guess at what they might write – as a last resort. Day 1,2,3 Peer editing of Perfect DVD player Peer editing can 10 Mate exercise be forgone if Watch Romeo and VCR time is short. Juliet (1968 version) Stop and discuss CD/Tape throughout film player Day 1,2,3 Watch Romeo and DVD/VCR 11 Juliet (1968 version) Discuss differences in the film and the play Day 1,2,3,4 End of unit test CD/Tape 12 *This day was cut short player for because of school music activities Learning Goals: 5. Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play. 6. Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. 7. Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. 8. Student will be able to rewrite scenes from Romeo and Juliet in their own words. Alternate Activities Create personalized license plates for characters as character study Write love letters as Romeo or Juliet Write a paper on fate versus love-at-first-sight Look at metaphors and similes in Queen Mabe speech Writing exercise on irony Act out scenes from the play Have students memorize and recite select monologues Romeo and Juliet Character Hunt Rationale for Activities: Character Wheel/Costume Illustration I chose the character wheel and costume illustration to enhance character study and take it to a deeper level. Pre-assessment indicated a lack of understanding of Shakespearean language as well as an incomplete understanding of the plot. By choosing significant quotes by or about his/her character, each student was forced to delve into the text and find deeper meaning in characters, which, in turn, helped them to better understand the plot of the play and language of Shakespeare. Students were also required to put these quotes into their own words. The costume design activity allowed students to use individual creativity while considering such factors as what time period in which to place the play. If they chose to set the play in Renaissance days, which most did, they had to consider historical facts of the period. If they chose a modern costume, this exercise helped students to apply Shakespeare to their own lives. Materials needed include: blank character wheel worksheets, white paper, colored pencils, markers, text books, and pens. The character wheels/costume illustrations were evaluated by a simple rubric (see assessment plan). Balcony Scene Translation Exercise This exercise was chosen in order to force students to look closely at a passage written in Shakespearean language and decipher a meaningful message from the text. Pre- assessment indicated that students were uncomfortable and unfamiliar with this process. After becoming more familiar with the scene, the students were able to revisit the text and realized that they were indeed capable of understanding and translating Shakespeare. I enjoyed reading what the students came up with in their translations as some contained the fun, current language used by the student population at Cross Keys. Exercises were assessed by a simple rubric. Students were graded on a check/check plus basis. Perfect Mate Exercise This writing exercise was chosen in order to help students relate the plot of Romeo and Juliet to their own lives. Worksheets with questions for students on one side and for a parent/guardian on the other side were sent home with the students (see attached Perfect Mate handout). After each student compared what he/she wrote to what his/her parent/guardian wrote, the students were instructed to write a short essay comparing and contrasting the results. Materials needed included paper, worksheets and writing utensils. A simple rubric was used for grading. Instructional Decision-Making TWS Standard The teacher uses on-going analysis of student learning to make instructional decisions. Examples of Instructional Decision-Making Based on the Learning Responses of Students Originally I intended to have my students design license plates as a way to implement character studies. They would then justify why they chose particular plate designs in a short writing exercise. Instead, I decided to have them take a more in-depth look at their characters, by using a character wheel activity. In this activity, they were required to choose one of the major characters from Romeo and Juliet (I gave them a list to choose from) and find several quotes from the text that summed-up, in their opinion, the character’s personality and actions. Students had to include the act, scene and lines in which they found each quote. This activity required careful thought in choosing the quotes, as well as a review of the plot, and text in general in order to find appropriate quotes. In another section of the wheel, students were required to interpret the meaning of each quote that they chose, an activity that required them to be able to translate the language. As I was seeing how wonderfully detailed their character wheels were being constructed, I decided to go a step further have them design costumes for their characters and include an illustration to go with the character wheel. Part of this decision was based on the fact that the students were so intrigued with the costumes and modern set from clips that I showed them from Baz Luhrman’s Romeo+Juliet , West Side Story, and Romeo and Juliet. I also wanted the students to be able to exhibit their creativity; several of the students are particularly gifted in artistic ability. I had all of the students explain why they chose the particular quotes that they chose, in addition to having them explain their costume choices; why they chose a certain time period, what characteristics the costumes displayed about their character, and how this might be applied to an overall production of Romeo and Juliet. These modifications apply to my learning goal #1 (Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play), learning goal #2 (Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet ), and goal #3 (Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama). Because my students had become so caught up in the story of Romeo and Juliet, and were finishing their work a little bit ahead of schedule, I decided to implement another project that I knew they would enjoy. Because I already knew that my students were into music, mostly popular music, I asked them to pick out songs that reminded them of the moods, themes, and plot lines in Romeo and Juliet. I chose this exercise in order to solidify a lesson on mood, theme, and plot that I had included in the unit lesson plan. We discussed examples in class. This activity was assigned as homework over the weekend so that students had ample time to consider their choices, to burn CDs in case they needed to, or to find websites in which we could download the songs in class if needed. I did not want to impose any stress over potential expense of this project. I knew that this lesson would emphasize specifically how these terms came into play within this story. The students were required to write a paragraph explaining how their song could be applied to the play, where it would be used in a production, and why they chose the particular song. While playing excerpts of the song, the students explained these things to the class. I was surprised that a couple of my students actually brought in classical music. This exercise had a bonus quality of being a great way to get to know my students better. This lesson modification applies to my learning goal #1 (Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play, and goal #2 (Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. A special twist also makes goal #4 (Student will be able to rewrite scenes from Romeo and Juliet in their own words) applicable as students are applying music instead of words into their interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. Analysis of Student Learning TWS Standard The teacher candidate uses assessment data to profile student learning and communicate information about student progress and achievement. Results of Pre-Assessment and Post-Assessment Comparisons Whole Class Analysis Of the class of sixteen students assessed, only three had a clear understanding of goal number one before the unit began. The final exam revealed that all sixteen students had achieved a clear understanding of that goal. Similarly, evaluation of the second learning goal showed that before beginning the lessons, the students were nearly split between limited and basic levels of understanding, and all except one student was able to raise their understanding level to that of “clear understanding” by the end of the unit. Results of the third goal, however, revealed that most students went into the unit with a limited understanding and finished with a split between basic and clear levels of understanding. Assessment for the fourth goal revealed that over half of the class started the unit with a limited understanding, with the other half divided between basic and clear levels, but all of the students completed the unit with a clear understanding of that goal. Overall, this data shows that all of the students were able to exceed my expectations. They all showed high levels of achievement. Subgroup Analysis For the analysis of subgroups, I chose to evaluate the differences in achievement between native English speakers and students who speak English as a second language. These results were the most interesting among the comparisons that I made. Most of the students in the class who speak English as a second language started at a level of limited understanding according to the Romeo and Juliet pre-test, while most of the native English speakers tested at the “basic understanding” range on the same test. Interestingly enough, all of the students in the class ended up in the “clear understanding” range in my assessment of the final unit test. Individual Analysis In choosing individuals for this section of analysis, I considered race and gender in addition to achievement level. In this case, I must add, I firmly believe that both of these students were capable of achieving at the same levels. Motivation came in to play as the factor that caused the difference in the level of success of each student. I chose a Caucasian female, who happens to be a gifted, high achiever among high achievers. The Hispanic male that I chose for comparison, tends to be less motivated, and therefore a lower achiever in the advanced class. Pre-assessment of these two students was measured by a pre- assessment “test.” Both students scored 1’s across all four learning goals, meaning they both were found to have “limited understanding” in these areas of content. During formative assessment, I could see a change in how much the students were learning. The female student, CR, raised her achievement level to threes, while the male student, AM, raised his level to “basic understanding” for the first two goals while the third and fourth goals remained at a “limited understanding” level. In post-assessment, CR maintained her formative assessment level of “clear understanding” while AM raised his first learning goal from “basic” to “clear” understanding; his second learning goal stayed the same. Progress was made from a “limited” to a “basic” level on the third learning goal t, while the most progress was made on the fourth, moving up from a “limited” to a “clear” understanding status. Although his progress was not as significant as CR’s, AM did very well, still making an A on the final exam. Analysis of Individual Lessons Within the Unit Introduction to Shakespeare My lesson introduction was effective in my opinion. The students’ interested was sparked on the subject of Shakespeare. They seemed eager to read the play and learn more about Shakespearean drama. Because they had previously memorized “The Seven Stages of Man,” I chose to link that into my introduction. The short film about Shakespearean theatre was a great springboard for discussion. Everything went smoothly, there were no unanticipated occurrences, classroom management issues, or problems. I was able to effectively manage my time and achieve appropriate closure to the lesson by tying Shakespeare to modern culture. History/Biography Lesson At first the students seemed bored with the historical facts that I gave them, but once I turned the lesson into a discussion instead of spouting facts off to them, they became receptive. The students especially enjoyed the lesson on the Globe, as I told them little tidbits about what happens to pickpockets and other interesting bits of trivia that I have picked up over the years. Showing the clips from “Shakespeare in Love” helped solidify what a theatre experience would have been like in Shakespeare’s time. Additionally, the students really enjoyed the magic square composed of historical data. I altered my presentation once I saw the students becoming bored. Keeping things interesting and conversational seemed to do the trick. Time was managed effectively and closure went well, having students do their magic squares. The following day, I reinforced the historical information by reviewing what was learned the day before, and going over the magic square as a class. Language Lesson This lesson was particularly fun. I hooked the students in by writing a sentence in the board and then asking them how many different ways it could be rewritten; this lead to a discussion about Shakespearean language and its patterns. The students were engaged. Because they have been doing a good deal of grammar, I was very specific about patterns in the sentences. From there, we went on to Shakespearean insults. The students got a bit out-of-hand at first, hurling insults at one another, but it was in good fun. Once I established an order for insulting one another, things went well. I was prepared for people to get offended, but the students took it all in stride. I used the insults as closure, but perhaps I could have done something more to enhance closure. Production Comparison Lesson The students loved comparing scenes from the films. Seeing drastically different productions helped them to understand that the plot is timeless. The only problem with this lesson is that they begged me to let them watch the whole Baz Lurhman version, which I had not intended to show in its entirety. As an adjustment, I decided to allow them to view select films and write reviews for me over the weekend as extra credit. Several of them followed through on this. As closure, we discussed the differences of productions. Ongoing Reading of the Play In reading Romeo and Juliet, I decided to alternate between reading the play as a class and listening to the audio book. I was originally going to have the students read some of the play silently, but decided that it was more beneficial for me to be able to stop and discuss things along the way. This went well. The students enjoyed the play and I tried to keep it interesting by pointing out interesting subtleties that they would not have caught on their own. Closure for this very long activity was reinforced through conversation and the viewing of the film. Mood/Plot/Theme Lesson The students already had a relatively clear understanding of these concepts at the beginning of the lesson. I was not expecting this, so I ended up delving deeper into the subject than I had planned. I was pleasantly surprised, and fortunately, prepared. I decided to add an extra exercise. I had the students, over the weekend, choose “appropriate” songs that applied to a mood, plot line, or theme of their choice. They had to write a paragraph explaining how their song applied and why they chose it, and then give presentations the following Monday. This exercise served as a nice method of closure to the lesson. Balcony Scene Translation Students translated the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet after reading the passage as a class. The students were daunted by the task at first, but once they started deconstructing the passage, realized that it was not difficult for them. While grading the papers, I realized that I should have done two things differently when assigning this exercise. I should have imposed a minimum amount of pages required, the lengths varied greatly, and I should have made the rubric stricter on grammar requirements instead of focusing solely on content. The students did, however, show a deep understanding of the text. I was going to have the students act out their translations as closure, but we ran out of time. Character Wheel/Illustration This exercise helped students to develop a method for conducting character studies. The lesson went well in that students understood the project, did the work, and gained the expected skills, however, this activity took up more class time than I had planned, which was not terrible, but forced me to rework my lesson plans. I’ve found that, with this class, the students always enjoy having a creative outlet, which is why I added the activity of creating a costume for each character wheel. A few times, the class got a bit rambunctious during this activity, but the students were talking about their projects and doing the work. As closure, we discussed the various characters and hung the charts/posters on the wall. Perfect Mate Exercise This exercise proved to be a great tool for writing, but did not work in the way in which I had anticipated. Questionnaires were created on which students were to fill out one side and their parents the other. Many of the students did not get their parents to fill out the other side. This delayed our project. Also, I strongly suspect that many of the students who did bring in completed sheets filled out both sides themselves. After waiting a couple of days, I had them write what they expected their parents would have written and write their papers from that information. Closure for this project consisted of a discussion. Viewing of Romeo and Juliet I had anticipated that the students would not pay attention to this film. I did not expect them to enjoy this traditional version, but they loved it. Because of brief nudity, I was not sure how the students would react, but they handled the situation in as much an adult fashion as ninth-grades are capable. Fortunately I warned them as the nudity was about to occur, because I have a Muslim child in my classroom. I had forgotten that he is forbidden to see nudity. Luckily he covered his eyes. I stopped the film occasionally and made comments or instigated a discussion. It worked well. Closure to this activity consisted of a discussion about the film comparing it to the play, which was slightly different. Pre-Assessment Results Learning Goals for the Students 1. Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play. 2. Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. 3. Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. 4. Student will be able to rewrite scenes from Romeo and Juliet in their own words. Student Learning Goal #1 Learning Goal #2 Learning Goal #3 Learning Goal #4 RB 3 2 1 3 DC 1 1 1 1 EC 2 2 3 3 KH 2 1 1 3 PJ 2 2 1 2 CJ 3 1 2 3 TL 1 1 1 2 RM 3 2 1 3 AM 1 1 1 1 SP 1 1 1 1 CR 1 1 1 1 PS 1 1 1 1 KT 1 1 1 1 MU 1 1 1 1 AW 2 2 3 1 MY 2 2 2 1 *** Values are measured on a scale of 1 – 3. 1 = Limited Understanding 2 = Basic Understanding 3 = Clear Understanding Post Assessment Results Student Learning Goal #1 Learning Goal #2 Learning Goal #3 Learning Goal #4 RB 3 3 2 3 DC 3 3 3 3 EC 3 3 3 3 KH 3 3 2 3 PJ 3 3 3 3 CJ 3 3 3 3 TL 3 3 2 3 RM 3 3 3 3 AM 3 2 2 3 SP 3 3 2 3 CR 3 3 3 3 PS 3 3 3 3 KT 3 3 2 3 MU 3 3 3 3 AW 3 3 3 3 MY 3 3 2 3 Assessment is based on the following learning goals: 1. Students will be able to read, discuss, and analyze a Shakespearean play. 2. Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. 3. Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. 4. Student will be able to rewrite scenes from Romeo and Juliet in their own words. 16 14 12 10 Goal #1 8 Goal #2 Goal #3 6 Goal #4 4 2 0 Limited Basic Clear Post-Assessment Graph The graph above breaks the four learning goals into groups of limited, basic, and clear understanding among the ninth grade, advanced/gifted class. The post-assessment information shows that an overwhelming majority of the class had a clear understanding of the four learning goals. The third goal was the only one in which a basic understanding trailed close behind a clear grasp. Considering that most of the pre- assessment scores fell in the limited range, data shows that these students learned a great deal. Student Performance English as a First Language Versus ESL Native English Speakers 3 2.5 2 1.5 Pre Post 1 0.5 0 RB KH PJ CJ CR PS AW English as a Second Language 3 2.5 2 1.5 Pre Post 1 0.5 0 DC EC TL RM AM SP KT MU MY Reflection and Self-Evaluation TWS Standard The teacher candidate analyzes the relationship between his/her instruction and student learning in order to improve teaching practice. Reflection of Teaching Performance Originally I was not looking forward to teaching Shakespeare to ninth- graders. Although I dearly love Shakespeare, I didn’t think that the students would “get it,” be opened to it, or like it. Planning the Romeo and Juliet unit was a daunting task. I chose my four learning goals not knowing what to expect, but hoping for the best, and planning to give my best effort to teach these kids about something in which I have a very solid knowledge base. I was confident that, at the very least, I would not have a problem getting across my enthusiasm for the lesson unit. Needless to say, I was very happy, and even surprised, with the outcome of this unit. I did not expect the students to embrace Shakespeare the way that they did. When I was in high school, I was not as enthralled with Shakespearean plays as this ninth grade advanced class, or for that matter, my ninth grade general class, to whom I also taught this unit. The students got it, and they actually enjoyed the process. In the end, they knew the plot as well as I did. They were able to tell me minute details that were missing in the movie as compared to the play. They were creative and on target with their translations, they knew the characters well. They understood the language and they loved it. I believe that next year, when they study another Shakespearean play, they will enjoy, and even look forward to the experience. As far as room for improvement, there is, of course, plenty. I see that I could have had the students delve more deeply into character analysis. Although they showed that they learned a good deal about characters and demonstrated the process through their character wheels and costumes, a deeper analysis could have occurred, also, my rubric for grading their final exams could have been stricter. The amount of A’s demonstrated that they learned something, but I should have been stricter with grammar instead of focusing solely on content. In retrospect, I see that I didn’t have a clear idea of how long projects were going to take. Luckily I left a good deal of room in the unit to accommodate for this. I planned extra activities and left out some that I had planned on using. My plan was revised often. I was fortunate to have such an experienced and helpful cooperating teacher. She helped me gauge how long to spend on certain activities. Hopefully, after teaching units once, I will know how long to gauge activities and projects from experience. Overall, one of the biggest lessons that I have learned throughout my entire student teaching experience is to be flexible. Most Successful Learning Goal Students will be able to describe and explain the plot of Romeo and Juliet. The use of oral reading, clips from films, and the use of audiotapes, helped reach and establish an understanding of the plot for all students. Class discussion was a useful tool in implementing this goal. Writing exercises and activities helped to solidify the plot in the minds of these students. Least Successful Learning Goal Students will be able to recall biographical/historical information about Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. Students learned about biographical and historical information, but this aspect of the play was emphasized less than other aspects. Less time was spent on this subject. Learning Goals for Professional Development Professionally speaking, I would like to become more adept at teaching writing skills to students. I noticed that there is a need in this area, especially with ESL students. I have noticed certain patterns of writing problems among children from different cultural backgrounds. I would like to find a way to more fully address these issues. Ideally, I would like to become certified in ESL and in teaching gifted children. I think that there is a real need for teachers who can teach gifted ESL children.
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