Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sociocultural Aspects of Schooling for ELs



An action I will take to address a social issue that high school English learner face is the lack of communication with parents who have little to no English.  I could offer to help other teachers who don’t speak Spanish to call the parents of their students.  I could help to call the parents to communicate something or to ask for information.  As for my own students, I would try to maintain communication with their parents.  For parents that don’t speak Spanish, I would do my best to send them reminders or information that is to the point and as easy to read as possible.  For example, many parents don’t know about events at school like back-to-school night.  I would reach out to mu student’s parents to invite them to come and make extra time for them to talk to me individually to help explain if there is something they couldn’t understand.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lesson Planning

The teenage brain needs a lot of activity.  The adolescent brain is yearning for risk.  For my lesson designing I can use Emotional Memory to help students retain the new information.  Students need to work on their long term memory. Semantic memory is a great way to help visual learners to understand and make connections.  Students will be engaged in the learning because there will be activities that will trigger natural hormones, like dopamine and endorphins.  One activity might be of doing writings that involve personal connections.  In Spanish, students can write about themselves or people that are part of their lives.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Classroom Management Plan



Classroom Management Plan

Introduction
My teaching is not strictly based on one philosophy but rather a combination of both essentialist and social reconstruction.  As an essentialist, I believe that students need a foundation in education in order for students to build up their knowledge.  In addition, students should use their education to gain knowledge.  Students should be encouraged to use that knowledge to make a difference and influence the world around them.  My philosophy of social reconstruction is to give my students not only academic support but also encouragement to use their knowledge as a tool to make informed decisions in their lives, both inside and outside of school.  Students are preparing to be citizens in the working world.  Students will acquire skill that will help them in what is to follow after their education in secondary school.

Preventive Approach
1.    Students have the right to learn in a safe and comfortable environment and in order to accomplish that there must behavior expectations they should follow.  “Rules state exactly how students are to behave” (Charles, 2007, p.65), and these are expectations they must be aware of for when they are in my classroom.  These rules are to serve as a way to let them know what behavior will not be tolerated in a learning environment.

2.    A common disruption today is the increased use of technology.  I believe students are in class to learn and unless they are told otherwise they are to keep their electronics away from being a distraction to them.  I would prevent this problem by making it clear to them that these tools are not to be out, unless they spoke to me about their need to have it out and the possibility of there being an exception- such an emergency.  However, technology will be encouraged as a learning tool and will at times be used to help educate.

3.    As a teacher of foreign language it is of great importance to have students constantly participating and contributing to classroom activities.  This requires respect for one another.  Students must respect when others are speaking and supporting one another.  In order to achieve that, Kohn emphasizes that there must “be a great sense of community in the class where we build relationships between the teacher and the students” (Charles, 2007, p. 85).  A great way to do this is as simple as asking students questions about themselves and their lives.  Building relationships is a great way to build trust and communication. Making time for discussions about what is important to students may help create a positive environment in the classroom.  Activities will help students get to know each other a little more and be encouraged to care about for the learning of their peers.

4.    Students are worth every effort and I will treat them as adults want to be treated (Coloroso, 1994), with respect and as people who have a voice.  Students are capable of behaving and they will be held at high standards of behaviors.  They are to honor the teacher’s time to teach and their time to learn.  They will be encouraged to discuss any problems they might have and supported to find solutions.

5.    Before we have to address negative behavior it is important to show our students that we recognize good behavior.  It is important to catch them being good (Albert, 1996).  We must encourage students to continue their good behavior rather than constantly focus on the negative which can actually lead to more negative behavior.  When students are focused and on task, I will make an effort to point out and thank my students for being so respectful and for being great contributors to my teaching.

6.    In a learning environment teacher works with students and is take a moment to find him/her (Kohn, 1996).  In order for students to interact with each other, sometime there needs to be a catalyst that encourages this behavior.  If students are encouraged to be active participants, they will constantly working on different tasks challenging them and participating.

Supportive Approach
1.    As the supportive role that I am currently, I stand close by and give the “eye” (Albert, 1996) when I see disruptive behavior.  Making eye contact with the student usually works when there is a student who may be fiddling with objects or chatting with a neighbor.  This does not need to be a big issue unless it is a recurring problem.  This approach usually works because students just need a friendly reminder to pay attention.

2.    Another great approach is the I-message (Albert, 1996).  I learned this from my on-site liaison and I have used it with wonderful results.  Students are not embarrassed and the emotions that we mention can never be wrong.  For example, I may say, “Josh, I cannot focus when you keep banging on the table” or “I feel disrespected when you continue to speak when I am teaching” and this will focus on me and my feelings rather than point the finger and demand them to stop.  Students will feel that they are making a decision rather than being force to stop.

3.    I also believe in the inner discipline approach of making an unconditional commitment to help students develop, as best as I can (Coloroso, 1994).  In co-operating teaching there are many opportunities to approach students and provide them with support.  When students work on in-class assignments or activities, I can assist them to work cooperatively and have all of them be active participants.  This is something that they need to start learning and working on so that when they are in their fields or careers they can be positive contributors to discussions and work.

4.    Students will be treated with dignity( Mendler, A. & Mendler C., 1983), they will be given the opportunity to talk and find ways to correct the situation.  I will treat my students with dignity and expect to be treated with respect and dignity in return.  A learning environment will be fostered, and both teacher and students must strive to keep that harmony.

5.    Students often feel as though some of the information they are presented with is not applicable to them or their lives.  When something like that happens they may lose interest and this in return, interferes with the learning environment.  In this case, teacher must find a common ground with the student or students.  Students have currency or valuable knowledge or skills (Jackson 2010), and these are to be used by teacher to tie students into the curriculum.

Corrective Approach
1.    I recognize students’ needs for consistent limits on behavior, but I will also be mindful of students’ needs for warmth and encouragement (Charles, 2007, p.66).  If I notice that a student is not following the rules and is having behavioral issues, it is important to still be supportive.  I will work with the student to find ways to correct the problem.  Students will have the opportunity to correct the problem and I will be a supportive agent in helping find solutions.

2.    Nelsen and Lott emphasize that too often we assume rather than check with them (Charles, 2007, p.105).  This goes back to building relationships with our students.  Before I take any drastic measures I must find out why there is a problem and discuss with my student how this issue can be resolved.  I will make conscious efforts to find out about more about my student and what may be causing the negative behavior.

3.    Students must find ways to solve their problems, and my goal is to help them think about ways they can be involved in a learning environment.  For example, when I have a student that seems to be having trouble concentrating in class because of the people they are sitting next to, I ask them if they feel that moving seats would be helpful.  A great way to deal with the beginning of these behaviors is to move the students, maybe to another seat (Albert, 1996).  I have done so by asking and giving them the opportunity to make the decision to make a wise choice and change their behavior.  Students will see that they have a big role in decision making.

4.    The teacher’s role is to encourage students to solve their problems, but also be responsible for the consequences of their actions (Coloroso, 1994).  In my classroom, students are aware that they are aware of the rules and expectations.  They are treated as adults who are in charge of their decisions.  Just as adults are responsible for their actions, students will also be responsible for the consequences of their actions.  Students will decide whether they want to participate in a learning environment and be active in their learning. 

Conclusion
            Students are young adults that can make wise decision, although sometimes a little guidance may be needed.  We can have better results if we allow our students to have some power and opinions in our classroom.  My students will acquire skills that they will implement in their lives.  They need to have the opportunity to be treated as adults and encouraged to make logical decisions.  In my belief of essentialism, I feel a great importance in getting to know my students so they will allow me to educate them and give them a foundation of academic and non-academic skills.  A classroom based on dignity and self-control will motivate students problem solve and be in charge of decision making.  My philosophy of social reconstruction will result in students learning to make a difference in society.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

i+1 assessment



Formative- Progress Monitoring
Students will restate oral or written directions for activities and homework.  Students will be assessed on their speaking and ability to clearly restate the directions.  Student will respond individually to teacher’s questions.  Teacher will also evaluate student’s ability to complete the task properly based on those restated directions.

EL (i+1) for Beginners will be assessed at the Early Intermediate level
Listen with understanding -Restate and execute multiple-step oral directions