Shellie Sims by gabyion


									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

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


         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

       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


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


        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


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.


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


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


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



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


       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.



                                                                                     Goal 1
        6                                                                            Goal 2
                                                                                     Goal 3
                                                                                     Goal 4

               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.


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.


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.


       Students will be shown a short film featuring interviews of current movie stars
        and multicultural students about how Shakespeare’s plays have influenced their
       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.

    Learning          Activities              Technology      Modifications
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
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
                  Magic Square of
                   Shakespearean history
                  Read Romeo and Juliet
                   aloud, stopping for
Day   1,2,3       Recapitulate                DVD player
 3                 history/biography facts
                  Review/check magic          VCR
                  Lesson on language          CD/Tape
                   (meter, rhyme, iambic       player
                  Transparency on words
                    and relatives
                   Shakespearean insults
                   Mention film
                    adaptations of
                   Show clips from “West
                    Side Story,” Baz
                    “Romeo+Juliet,” and
                    “Shakespeare in Love,”
                    comparing introduction
                    scenes, balcony
                    scenes, and death
                   Discuss differences in
                   Read Romeo and Juliet
                    aloud as a play, dividing
                    parts and discussing
                   Listen to play on
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
                                                                      completed forms
                                                                      can guess at
                                                                      what they might
                                                                      write – as a last
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

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

Examples of Instructional Decision-Making Based on the Learning Responses of

         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


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


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

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.
     10                                                                     Goal #1
      8                                                                     Goal #2
                                                                            Goal #3
                                                                            Goal #4
               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




      1.5                                                    Pre


            RB    KH       PJ     CJ     CR     PS     AW

                       English as a Second Language




     1.5                                                     Pre


            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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