Instructional Decision-Making

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					                       Instructional Decision-Making
Content
Getting Organize d
Writing Tips
Common Challe nges
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Prompt
Rubric

                                   Getting Organize d

1. In this section, you have the opportunity to describe your ability to “think on your
feet." Just be sure the episodes you describe are based on your students’ learning and not
on things such as a technology malfunction or a fire drill interrupting your class.

2. Throughout the course of your learning unit, keep a journal describing what went well
and what you want to change. This information, accompanied with a sample of your
students’ work will facilitate your decision- making process and will be immensely
helpful when it is time to write up this section.

3. Make note in your journal of the manner in which you “think on your feet.”
Were you able to read students’ body language, their ability to attend, and their nonverbal
cues? How did you know your lesson was or was not working? How and why did you
decide to make changes? Asking yourself these questions will also help when writing the
Reflection and Self- Evaluation section.

4. Below is a summary of possible teaching modifications. This table was compiled
from a survey completed by teachers in the field. (Adapted from Scott, B. J., Vitale,
M.R., & Masten, W.G. (1998). Implementing instructional adaptations for students with
disabilities in inclusive classrooms: A literature review. Remedial and Special
Education, 19 (2), 106-119.)
Table 1. Eight Categories of Teaching Modifications


Modify learning        Alter the learning goal for one or a few students (one student learns skills
goals or objectives    that are easier, more difficult, or different than others).

Modify methods of      Alter methods for instruction, such as providing a demo nstration, using
instruction            different modalities, slowing or speeding up the pace of instruction,
                       checking for understanding more often, asking different types of questions,
                       giving different amounts/forms or feedback, etc.
Modify student tasks   Alter the assigned task for a student, such as break it into smaller or larger
or assignments         steps, shorten or lengthen an assignment, etc.
Teach cognitive or     Teach learning strategies that enable a student to be more successful, such
self management        as memory strategies, or self instruction or monitoring, etc.
strategies
Modify instructional   Provide one student with different/supplementary materials, such as a
materials              calculator, multiplication table, self correcting worksheet, marker, etc.
Modify enhancement     Provide one student with supplemental levels of praise, encouragement, or
                       other forms of reinforcement.

Modify Grouping        Have students participate in different types of grouping arrangements to
Arrangement            learn their targeted academic skills or concepts
Modify method of       Modify the method of assessing progress for an individual student, such as
progress monitoring    reading a test orally, providing extra time to take a test, modifying grading
                       criteria, taking daily measures of academic progress, etc.

                                       Writing Tips

1. This section of your work sample should be written in present tense.

2. When you describe the modifications you made in your lesson, include these
components:
      a. how you assessed the student
      b. specific evidence of the students’ performance, e.g, an observation, a quote,
               an excerpt from student writing, or example quiz or test items.
      c. the modification made your teaching.
      d. your rationale for employing this modification
      e. the student response to your modification and the type of assessment you used
      (See example 1 for a description of these as they


                                  Common Challenges
1. Including all the component parts described in the “Tips for Writing” section.
2. Providing a clear description of the situation including an explanation o f the
modification(s) made and an explanation of how the modification(s) will help improve
student learning.


                                        Example 1

                                    3rd Grade Reading

         The following TWS excerpt from a 3rd grade reading class provides an example of
an instructional decision that includes most of the components described in the “Tips for
Writing” section. In sentences 4 through 7, the student teacher discusses her initial
assessment of Jeff’s learning by introducing specific examples from Jeff’s writing and
talk to identify his difficulties with meeting the learning objectives. In sentences, 9 and
10, she describes her first instructional modification, the use of a writing model
(modifying students’ instructional materials); in sentences 11 and 13, she describes her
second modification, the use of a questioning strategy (adjusting instruction); and in
sentences 13 through 15, she describes her third modification, the use of a graphic
organizer (modifying students’ instructional materials). In sentences 18-20, the student
teacher provides a rationale for her modifications, and in sentences 21 and 22, she reports
that the student’s learning was enhanced. Not included, however, is the form of
assessment on which she made this inference,
         [1] My first instructional decision was with a student named Jeff. Jeff has always
         struggled with school due to his ADD and is at a reading level of 1.4 [2] He
         usually needs extra assistance in all tasks, and this assignment was no exception.
         [3] In order for him to achieve my second learning goal, I needed to rethink my
         plans. [4] His response in the paragraph writing was very poor. [5] There was no
         structure to his paragraph, poor spelling, and no punctuation. [6] He attempted to
         use the topic sentence from the board, but did not successfully copy it correctly.
         [7] Jeff could not describe why his character George had those feelings. [8]
         Based upon his writing, I knew Jeff would need additional assistance in order to
         be successful with this particular assignment. [9] Therefore, I chose to give Jeff a
         sample paragraph example to look at and use as a guide. [10] It was a sample I
         had already created, and gave to him to use at his own desk. [11] While the other
         students were working, I had the opportunity to work through the directions and
         expectations with him for the assignment. [12] I asked questions to clarify what
         he needed to do to make sure he did not have any problems. [13] Then I made a
         list of the feelings Jeff wanted to use in his paragraph in his notebook. [14] In
         another column, he told me why he thought his character felt that way. [15] This
         would be a graphic organizer for the simple paragraph he was to construct. [16]
         At this point I left him alone to do his work while I checked on the other students.
         [17] One of Jeff’s biggest challenges is focusing on a task, so writing his four
         sentence paragraph took a lot of time and effort. [18] I felt this strategy would
         improve Jeff’s understanding of a proper paragraph and lead him towards
         accomplishing the learning goal. [19] I think having a concrete example in front
       of him helped to guide his writing. [20] This would eliminate frustration or leave
       him feeling helpless in a task he thought was too big for him to figure out
       correctly. [21] These few adaptations proved successful for Je ff and really
       improved the writing of his paragraph. [22] Through this activity, he made great
       strides toward meeting Learning Goal #2.




                                          Example 2
                                       th
                                       6 Grade Math
        A time when my formal assessment of the class changed my instruction was
during the lesson I taught on bar graphs. In a previous lesson, students had learned about
scale drawings. When I asked the students what a scale was on a graph, they quickly
turned through their notebooks and found the definition we had made about scale
drawing. Observing the students using their resources was wonderful, but, I told them, I
didn’t want a scale drawing; I wanted a scale on a graph. Some students were confused,
while others reached for their text books, another great resource, to look up a definition.
However, the only definition they could find was that for scale drawings.
        While observing the students’ reaction to this question, I realized I would have to
immediately take time and discuss what a scale is on a graph and why it is important.
This was not part of my original lesson plan for that day, but I made do. The students
picked up on the concept of scales on a graph very quickly. They informed me that they
see the numbers all the time, but never realized they were called the scale. Another
modification I made, which occurred later on in the unit for the unit test, was to have the
scales drawn on the graphs and all the students had to do was draw in the appropriate bars
according to their data. I chose to do this because the goal for students at this age is to be
able to create the bars and read a bar graph, not focus on the proper scale for their given
data.
        I found that the modifications I made worked very well for this class. After
discussing the difference between scales on graphs and scale drawings that day in class,
the students could easily tell me the difference whenever I asked them. The
modifications on the test also worked well. During the review, I asked the students to
make a bar graph but did not give them the pre-made labels. Every student really
struggled deciding on the scale they should use and marking it on their graph. When I
already had that part done for their test question, all the students had an easier time
accurately drawing in the bars.




                                        Example 3
                             5th Grade Physical Education
       Another time when my observations changed my plan of action was during the
bean lab. This lab had the students collecting data, and then graphing that data. As
        students started out collecting their data, I found they were struggling doing just that.
        There was only one group in the whole class that could collect the data they were
        obtaining. Many of the groups were asking questions about how they should collect their
        data, what they need to do to write it down, what data they needed to write down, and
        many other questions.
                Since they were going to be assessed on their graphs, I had to think quickly. My
        immediate modification was that I found two sets of data in a workbook and quickly
        made copies. This way, the students could have data to graph in the form of a line graph.
        My bean lab turned into data collecting practice and the students did not get a chance to
        graph this data. After discussing the results after class with my cooperating teacher, we
        discovered that they students did not have a lot of background knowledge collecting and
        recording data. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this before hand my activity did not work.
        However, students were able to graph the data I gave them, allowing me to see how well
        they could construct line graphs. I did make the same modifications later on when it
        came to having students graph data as I did with bar graphs where I had the graph labels
        pre-made.
                Both modifications I made were successful. When the students came back the
        next day and I saw their graphs, I could easily see those who understood how to construct
        a line graph and those who struggled. Had I let them graph their bean lab data, it is
        possible their graphing mistakes could have stemmed from data collecting mistakes. I
        also found that my later modification, pre- made labels, helped the students tremendously.
        Just like with bar graphs, the students were evaluated on their ability to graph the data,
        not create the y and x axis and have a proper scale.


                                                    Prompt

        TWS Standard
        The teacher uses on-going analysis of student learning to make instructional decisions.


        Task
        Provide two examples of instructional decision-making based on students’ learning or responses.

        Prompt
          Think of a time during your unit when you used formative assessment (e.g., observing students,
        listening to what they say, student writing, quizzes or a test), to modify your teaching. You may
        describe the learning of a single individual, a small group, or the whole class.
-          Describe the types of formative assessments you used to evaluate student learning and cite
        specific evidence or examples of student performance to support your evaluation.
-                    Describe the modifications you made in your teaching based on your assessment of
        student learning. These modifications may have occurred immediately or at a later time. Explain
        why you thought they would improve student progress toward the learning goal based on an
        informed analysis of student learning/ performance, best practice, or contextual factors.
-                    Describe whether or not the modifications were successful and cite evidence or give
        examples to support your assertion.
         Now, think of one more time during your unit when you used formative assessment (e.g.,
        observing students, listening to what they say, student writing, quizzes or a test), to modify your
        teaching. You may describe the learning of a single individual, a small group, or the whole class.
-         Describe the types of formative assessments you used to evaluate student learning and cite
        specific evidence or examples of student performance to support your evaluation.
-                    Describe the modifications you made in your teaching based on your assessment of
        student learning. These modifications may have occurred immediately or at a later time. Explain
        why you thought they would improve student progress toward the learning goal based on an
        informed analysis of student learning/ performance, best practice, or contextual factors. Describe
        whether or not the modifications were successful and cite evidence or give examples to support
        your assertion.




                                                  Instructional Decision-Making
                                                             Rubric

        TWS Standard: The teacher uses on-going analysis of student learning to make instructional
        decisions.

        Rating→                          1                              2                                3
        Indicator↓               Indicator Not Met           Indicator Partially Met               Indicator Met              S core

        Sound Professional    Many instructional decisions   Instructional decisions are     Most instructional decisions
             Practice         are inappropriate and not      mostly appropriate, but some    are pedagogically sound (i.e.,
                              pedagogically sound.           decisions are not               they are likely to lead to
                                                             pedagogically sound.            student learning).

        Modifications Based   Teacher treats class as “one   Some modifications of the       Appropriate modifications of
          on Analysis of      plan fits all” with no         instructional plan are made     the instructional plan are
         Student Learning     modifications.                 to address individual student   made to address individual
                                                             needs, but these are not        student needs. These
                                                             based on the analysis of        modifications are informed
                                                             student learning, best          by analysis of student
                                                             practice, or contextual         learning/ performance, best
                                                             factors.                        practice, or contextual
                                                                                             factors. Include explanation
                                                                                             of why the modification
                                                                                             would improve student
                                                                                             progress.

        Congruence Between    Modifications in instruction   Modifications in instruction    Modifications in instruction
         Modifications and    lack congruence with           are somewhat congruent          are congruent with learning
          Learning Goals      learning goals.                with learning goals.            goals.

         Rationale for the    No rationale or an             Teacher provides limited        Teacher provides a strong
          modifications       inappropriate rationale is     rationale. for the              rationale for making the
                              provided.                      modifications.                  modifications.