Artifact for Licensure Competency #2: [InTasc std. 1] – Learner Development: The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and design and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. (Teaching Scholars)
Name of Artifact: Learner Development
Date: Fall, 2014
Course: Clinical Teaching/Pre-Internship 1
• What is your artifact?
My artifact is for licensure Competency #2 understanding that every student’s growth and development has variations in cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical. That as their teacher I will need to accommodate these differences by implementing developmentally appropriate yet challenging learning experiences for them.
This artifact demonstrates the competency because I show that by creating social assignments help develop student’s cognitive development because language is the tool that children use to learn. Socially and emotionally this is shown with using arts in the classroom to help develop student’s social scripts and having the ability to express themselves.
My understanding of this competency impacts my future student’s learning because it went through and detailed how my students will not be on the same levels. My student’s growth and development will not all be the same and I will need to accommodate this. It makes a difference in how my classroom will be set up because I know that I cannot make things too easy for them just because where they are may not be the ideal for their age group. But that I should focus on creating an environment where they can grow as a student and will be able to obtain the higher goals for themselves.
The impact on my students’ is that I understand the importance of language, success and modeling behavior in the classroom so that my students will succeed. I know that talking about what they are learning and having students who understand the material better working with those who do not understand as well will benefit them. This also falls into allowing students to use their native language to help them learn the material. They will be in a classroom where the teacher knows that they need to feel success and I will incorporate things that will lead to that feeling such as art projects.
The importance of organization, pre-assessing and assessing them afterwards, and creating a developmentally appropriate lessons impacts my future students because they will be getting materials that are geared toward them. Their prior knowledge and where they are at the moment is being used to help create an environment for their success.
My understanding of what I need to do to respect my student’s strengths and needs through assessment, building a relationship, and promoting their grown and development. This impacts my students because they will have someone who is keeping tabs on their progress before and after assignments. That they are not going to just be sitting in a classroom getting worksheets. They will have not just me but other teachers, their community and parents working inside the classroom to see them succeed.
Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development will greatly impact my classroom and teaching because “… language is the main tool that promotes thinking, develops reasoning, and supports cultural activities like reading and writing” (as cited in Neff, n.d.). Through what is known as Zone of Proximal Development, Vygotsky understood that children benefited from tasks that were challenging so long as they had the assistance of an adult or a higher performing classmate to help with the task (Tompkins, 2011). I will accomplish this through scaffolding, which is where students are given difficult tasks but are given enough help to achieve the tasks until they are able to do them on their own (Slavin, 2015).
In order for children to learn and create their own knowledge to succeed in my classroom, I would have to have activities in my lesson plan that integrated the social aspect of learning with the theory that learning is social. According to Dahl, verbal thinking through spoken or written word is an example of social activity (Dahl, 2004). Students can then better understand the material they are given by speaking or writing about it. When it comes to speaking about a topic, students can do this in a group or with a partner. The other members of the group or the partners benefit by listening to one another. I know that in order for my students to succeed and reach their high expectations in the classroom I would need to involve lessons that align with this.
An example of using scaffolding in my classroom would be demonstrating what my students would need to do for a math lesson. I would do think aloud to go through the process of figuring out how to solve the equation. Modeling a think aloud will provide the students working in small groups a variety of strategies to use to solve equation problems. Once the students are working independently, they can work towards solving the problem on their own.
I believe Erikson’s social development will have a great impact on my classroom and teaching. The theory is as we grow we face psychosocial crises that create who we are (Slavin, 2015, p. 50). Children who are of elementary age are more than likely in stage four which is industry versus inferiority. In this stage, they are at school so their teachers and peers gain a greater importance to them. Their parents’ influence has decreased. They want to start being independent and creating their own things. For students’ success bring a sense of industry, and if they fail it creates a negative since of self. (Slavin, 2015).
The impact of knowing that my students balance between the feeling of success and failure will have a great impact on my classroom and the way I teach. My classroom will be built around showcasing student success, whether it is me cheering them on for standing in line quietly, turning in their homework, or helping out without being asked to. I will also work toward modeling how to cheer on each other so that other students will feel empowered to compliment and recognize their classmate’s success without always being encouraged to do so by me.
To help my students with their self-esteem my lessons would involve ways to make sure each student had success through the arts. For example, art projects can be attached to every lesson because you can always find something that is associated with what you are teaching. The best part is that the projects do not have to be elaborate. For example, when teaching shapes in math, the teacher can do a small project where students create patterns with the shapes. Individually, these projects can help students express themselves and show what they know without the fear of being right or wrong. These projects can also be done in groups so that students have opportunity for social development through discussing the project, learning to share, working together and discovering the feeling of success from finishing a project as a group.
Erikson’s stage four explains that student’s peers and teachers become more important to students lives their opinions have a large influence on how they see themselves. Students who are more accepted by their peers and have a positive peer relationships feel better about who they are and what they want to become. Students who have a positive sense of self are able to do better not just grade wise but also how they interact with their classmates. The ability to create a classroom where students are able to encourage one another and feel confident in themselves creates the environment that will hopefully prevent them from having a negative view of who they are. (Brouillette, 2010).
I believe that Bandura’s learning theory of using modeling to show students my expectations of appropriate classroom behavior. “Human learning is not shaped by its consequences but is learned directly from a model” (p. 114). It would impact my class because I want to be able to show my students this is how I act and this is what I want from them as well.
I cannot just reinforce positive or deter negative behavior without showing my students what is and is not acceptable. For students who do not have great models to emulate in their household may not know what is considered appropriate for the classroom. For students, a lot of learning what is expected of them is done through observing others values, beliefs, and the way they behave (Sanderse, 2013). So, modeling students can check their behavior and see if it matches what I am presenting and what their classmates are doing.
The role of language and culture impacts my students’ behavior and the way they will interact with the classroom. The way I know how to interact with children in a teaching setting may not be something that the students are accustomed to and may find uncomfortable. I would need to step away from the way I teach and think about how I can change aspects of what I am doing to accommodate the way my students learn and talk.
I allow the students I am tutoring choices of how we are going to do things, however, in a classroom setting, this approach may cause students to feel uncomfortable because of the way they are raised. Therefore, I would work toward understanding what they see as appropriate ways of interacting with the class and the teacher. Especially, if they conflict with the way I think I would have to reflect on how I am to learn how to adjust to teaching so they are comfortable. Sometimes it is hard to see your behavior as alien the way the students may be seeing it.
I would work on becoming educated about the way my students speak and the way I speak to my students. The way they speak may not be considered rude or disrespectful, but I may consider it that way. The way that I may speak with them may seem rude and mean to them. We would need to work toward understanding each other. This falls under also understanding that they may say or ask things differently because that is how it is phrased in their native language.
Inside a classroom I would try to incorporate their culture with the classroom. I would allow students to share and discuss parts of their culture and invite the students’ parents to come speak to the class.
Another way to help students work better in the classroom while incorporating culture and langue differences is allowing the students to discuss and write in their native language. If they are old enough to have started writing in it, it would benefit them to write first in the language they are comfortable with and then have them translate what they have written. It can help students first think about the topic in the language they regularly think in then translate it to English.
My plans to assess my students start with determining what I believe is important for my students to learn and what I am required to cover. Once I have decided on what they need to know for this lesson I will go through and make my objectives clear. Once I have my objectives I can then start preparing and organizing my activities to make sure they align with what I want my students to learn. Organization of my activities include scheduling them on a weekly calendar to keep track of and make sure that I have time throughout the day to do assessments. These activities include pre-assessment activities so I will know what my students know before we start any activity.
For example, to gauge what my students already know on certain topics I would pre-assess what they already know on the topic. To do this as a group we would go over an anticipation guide. We would do one together as a class and if anyone had any disagreements on any of the questions they could write them on their own sheet to compare to the classes afterward.
As a group to assess my students I would ask questions about what they learned from the lesson, what confused them and then collect their responses. With these I would then go over the sections they found the most confusing and reassess where everyone was afterwards.
My plan for creating lessons that are developmentally appropriate for my students is to make a list of things I want and they need. This will help make sure that everything that should be incorporated into lesson plans are and I can show how each thing matches with what. Socially, I would create my plans around students interacting with one another as much as possible through class discussions, group work, and in pairs. This can benefit students cognitively and linguistically as well because they are thinking aloud, and speaking with their partners in the work. So, they are able to develop a better understand of what they are doing together. Especially, when I have set the groups up in a way that there is someone in each group to help make things clearer for everyone.
Emotionally, I would incorporate positive, supportive, clear communication with my students in the lessons. I would before starting a lesson think about ways I can not only make what I am saying clearer but how I could be more positive in the way of helping my students through something they may not understand. Even older students need that teacher telling they can do it while they are up there instructing them. Children may shut down or stay so busy mentally telling themselves that what is being taught is too hard and that’s all they are focused on. But if they hear or see that their teacher knows that this is something tough but that it is doable, it is encouraging to the students. Emotionally this may relieve so many students because they will continue to work because they know that they can do it.
Physically the lessons would have parts that would allow them to move. Even if it is just cutting and pasting or working with small objects while counting in math.
As a classroom teacher I will determine and respect each of my student’s strengths and needs by assessing individually what my student’s strengths and needs are. I can create an interests survey allowing my students to tell me what things they are interested in, which can include school subjects. This will help determine what they may need help in and also gives the students the control over explaining what their strengths and needs.
Of course, not everything can be determined from what the student tells on an assessment paper. That is why it is important to get to know your students by first name basis and start developing a relationship with students in the classroom. The more students are comfortable with me as their teacher the more they will feel confident with what they are doing with their work. This will allow them to feel safe to ask questions or disagree with something they do not feel comfortable with doing. For example, not every student will feel safe or comfortable participating in show and tell. Sometimes students will do it because they feel they do not have any choice in the matter or completely skip class to avoid doing these activities.
As a classroom teacher I will casually ask questions to gauge what the students know and their misconceptions on topics. When I know where everyone is on the topic, I would then list the common misconceptions over the topic on the board. As we move through the lesson address each topic through various means so that students can see the truth about the topic.
For example, if I was wanting to discuss the sun with my class I would encourage them to tell me what they know about the topic. We would do this through a group discussion and I would write the common ones on the board. Through direct instruction I would walk them through why each of these common misconceptions were indeed incorrect. I would use books, video clips or whatever I needed to help explain why. But then I would let the students break off into smaller groups to look more into each topic that was brought up through the misconceptions. This would be something they can work on through the week and then present what else they found on it. This way they have the reinforcement of their teacher showing them proof and allowing them to work and find the proof for themselves. In this way, students are able to be corrected without singling out and embarrassing someone along the way.
As a future educator I will demonstrate my responsibility for promoting learners’ growth and development by understanding that my students are all going through different developmental stages and I need to keep this in mind when I create lessons and activities for my students.
My students may not have the opportunity to exercise in school or at home. So, to promote growth I would incorporate exercise in my class with the activities we are doing in class. This could be through doing transition time with a small dance or silly movements.
I will create a noncompetitive atmosphere as best as possible. To do this I would watch the way I speak and interact with my students in situations. I would avoid talking negatively about losing or other phrases that students may see as me promoting that they have to focus on just winning.
I will make sure that I read to them throughout the day and school year and give them opportunities to speak and read aloud. These opportunities would include group discussions, small groups, and paired readings. So, that they have as many different experiences with reading and talking about the subjects we are covering. Through this I would also model how to act and behave when someone has an opposing view over something so that they know how to address differences without resorting to shouting or violence like they may see adults and others do, which is a great way to lead into how to solve conflicts as peacefully as possible without violence or shouting.
To incorporate other teachers in my educational process with my students it would have to start with developing relationships. By doing this it would make involving one another less stressful and awkward. This would help lead into observing one another in the classroom or demonstrating strategy ideas to one another. I would encourage feedback by being open to answering questions and observing them so that they know that what they are doing for my classroom is not a one way street. I would use the feedback given to me to better prepare the strategy, if for whatever reason it was lacking somewhere or I completely forgot to incorporate something that my students would need to succeed at it.
To incorporate collaboration with parents I would encourage feedback by keeping in contact with parents about their child’s progress, explain the curriculum and encourage them to be involved in the classroom. Positive feedback from the teacher can help alleviate that tension parents may feel about school. When they are able to see the teacher and the school not as an enemy but as an ally they may feel open to discuss things. When parents are informed about what their child is learning, they will feel comfortable either helping their child at home. Which translates to better grades for their student and involvement in class. Now when parents are able to step into the classroom and help with activities is when they will see how the class is being run. When they see this, they are active participants and not just hear-Sayers. They know what is going on and can offer suggestions and be able to create a better classroom. I would use feedback from parents to better my class, curriculum or if I do not see it as beneficial right now at least keep it stored because it may work out later on.
I would incorporate the community by encouraging participation from people in the neighborhoods. This would be done in the same way of getting parents involved with showing them how the classroom or how the school runs. We would explain things and how those who live around the school are necessary for the student’s growth in our classrooms. Like the parents they know what is going on in the area. They are aware of the struggles and maybe can explain what I have in the classroom will not work because of the way things are. This is possible through having after school programs that allows people from the area to participate in activities. For example, the way Reading Partners works they encourage people from the area to come in and tutor local students.
Brouillette, L. (2010). How the Arts Help Children to Create Healthy Social Scripts: Exploring the Perceptions of Elementary Teachers. Arts Education Policy Review, 111(1), 16-24. doi:10.1080/10632910903228116
Dahl, B. (2004). Analysing Cognitive Learning Process Through Group Interviews of Successful High School Pupils: Development and Use of a Model. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 56(2/3), 129-155. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
Sanderse, W. (2013). The meaning of role modelling in moral and character education. Journal Of Moral Education, 42(1), 28-42. doi:10.1080/03057240.2012.690727
Slavin, R. (2015). Educational Psychology Theory and Practice (11th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.
Tompkins, G. (2011). Becoming an Effective Teacher of Reading. In Literacy In The Early Grades (3rd ed., p. 7). Boston: Pearson Education, In., publishing as Allyn & Bacon.
Neff, L. (n.d.). Lev Vygotsky and Social Learning Theories. Retrieved October 31, 2014.