Competency 3

Artifact for Licensure Competency #3 [InTASC Std. 2] – Learning Differences: The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards. (Teaching Scholars, Developers of Human Potential)


Name of Artifact: Learning Differences

Date: Fall, 2014

Course: Educational Psychology



My artifact is for licensure Competency #3 where a teacher uses understanding of individual differences, culture, and communities to work toward creating an inclusive environment that allows students to meet high standards.


This artifact demonstrates my understanding of the competency because I am aware of individual differences so I have created different activities that acknowledge that my students all have different ways of understanding class material. In my artifact I acknowledge that community, cultural and exceptionality differences of my student and how they will be able to participate in this without offending, discouraging, or excluding them from participating in the class learning allowing them to meet the high standards of the class work.


My understanding of this competency impact my future students’ learning because I know that the lessons need to be as diverse or as almost diverse as possible as my students. Everyone does not learn the same nor can they process the information in the same way so having different ways to approach new and different material allows students to continue to succeed and grow as individuals.

Subject Taught with this Project: Language Arts

Grade Level: 2nd

Common Core State Standard:

Standard 2: Phonics/Decoding: The student will apply sound-symbol relationships to
decode unknown words.

c. Use blends, digraphs, and diphthongs.

Example: blends

cr, sk, st, sw, squ, thr

Example: digraphs

ch, wh, sh, th, ph

Example: diphthongs

oi, oy, ou, ow

Perceptual Styles

Auditory: Two cups and a string activity where students listen as the other classmate practices pronouncing the word correctly. This meets the need of auditory learners because the student is focused on hearing the word and how it is pronounced.

Visual: Memorization games. Students flip word/say it, then try to find its mate/say word, then if not matching, flip back and someone else’s turn. If match.. Keep them. .. Then someone else’s turn. Visually the memorization game works because they are working with the new word and practicing saying it but see images that relate to the word.

Kinesthetic: Movement game where partners stand next to the word, and they take turns quietly saying the word out loud to one another and working on pronouncing it. Each pair is on a different word. They are given instruction using movement while playing this game so they are able to move and think about the new words and their pronunciation and that is how this game meets the need of kinesthetic learners.

Tactile: Connect the blends, digraphs, diphthongs to the card that matches its ending following the spelling list. Sound out the word as you trace the words. Once done turn to partner and you each practice pronouncing the word to one another (take turns), then spell the word to one another. Once done, move onto another word.

Processing Styles

Global: Global learners will have the pictures and samples offered to help figure it out, the assignments are pair and group oriented so students will be able to work in the groups. The students who are global learners will also be aware of the connection between their life and what they are working on. They use words, see words, and hear words that use these sounds to create words, and they will know that these sounds can continue to benefit their understanding of the language by helping them decode new words, and not just words that we use in the classroom.

Analytical: For analytical learners they thrive in the classroom but need an extra step by being explained step by step what is going to happen with the lesson. To address this I will list the steps before and after instruction so the students who work this way can systematically go down the list and do the activities independently.


Students will be able to apply sound-symbol relationships to decode unknown words at the end of this lesson through these activities.

Bloom’s Taxonomy:

1. REMEMBERING: Project addresses this level of Bloom’s Taxonomy because they will need to exhibit memory of previously learned material to build up to what they are learning in this activity. This is addressed with this activity by triggering memories of what they learned about decoding new words and sounds in first grade and how they apply them now. Their prior knowledge or what I will help build if they do not have will work in the activities because they have had practice decoding unknown words with different sounds and know where to start or roughly how to start decoding.

2. UNDERSTANDING: The activity addresses this level of Bloom’s because they will demonstrate their understanding of decoding unknown words by the end of the lesson.

3. APPLYING: This activity addresses applying because once they practice the sounds that they are going to use to decode words they are then given vocabulary to practice with. The vocabulary that they practice with then leads into using it to work with more unknown words and we build off that.

4. ANALYZING: The activities address this because students will be looking at new words and seeing if they work with the “wh/st/sw/squ/thr/ch/th/ph/oi/oy/ou/ow” sounds we’re practicing. They will also be using their prior knowledge to analyze the new words and compare them with previous vocabulary or words that they use regularly or have heard.

5. EVALUATING: The activities in the project address evaluating because students will be making judgment based on the information that is given to them. For example, evaluating why “sk” and “st” make different sounds even though they both start with the letter s.

6. CREATING: Activities in the project address creating through modifications the students can create their own words with the auditory, cards, memory game, and kinesthetic. After we have practiced the words together students can then go through and work with other words with the similar sounds and create an “extra” toward the activities.

Areas of exceptionality

How I will address areas of exceptionality will be, especially, for the auditory and kinesthetic activity because they both involve being close to someone and noise. I would modify the game into a “quiet” game where the students quietly said the words to one another. For the kinesthetic activity depending on the size of the room, I would space the pairs out pretty far so there will not be a lot of extra noise surrounding the student.

I would if students have issues with change introduce the activities to them slowly so they have time to adjust to the new games. For instance, I imagine this lesson plan starting with the tactile lesson plan so we would start with that game. Simply because for me these games are student created so the student would be able to create their own “texture” or no texture depending on how they feel about the way glitter, stickers, or whatever we use feels. This activity is a smaller change than the student coming into the classroom with the desks shoved out of the way and pictures/words taped around the room.

Of course, this is just based off what I can see needing to be adapted for a student with exceptionality. If there was anything else that my student would need to successfully complete the activity then I would fix it to fit their requirements.

For students who are considered gifted, I would have them work with decoding other words with the blends, digraphs and diphthongs that we are working with. They could work and collaborate on writing a story that follow along with standard 2. It would allow them to explore the words that we are using to learn how to decode with and incorporate that with something else that they made. Another way would allow students to come together and create a game to present to the class to play that incorporates decoding new words.

Individual Experiences

I will incorporate the students’ individual experiences into this project by having students relate the words to their everyday life. Do they see similarities between the blends, diphthongs, digraphs with words around the classroom, their home, books they read for school and fun, or words that they use on a regular basis? The vocabulary we use to practice the sounds see if they can relate the words to their life.

The prior knowledge that I would expect them to know from their first grade class, especially, if they came in from the first grade at our school. But I do not plan to ever tell the students that they should already know some of the material or accuse them of lying about it. I have no problem of helping my students create their own prior knowledge to help them with the assignments. They talk and read in their daily life even if it is sitting in front of the television, computer or tablet. They have some familiarity with sounds and words that they can use to help build their bridge.

Science of Boy/Girl Learning

The science of the way boys and girl learn is addressed in the activities. Boys and girls learn differently but they can learn the same thing that neither is superior and that we need to focus on how to teach to meet both needs (Gurian, 2008). The activities that I am using address movement and also it gives the opportunity for drawing and using that as a visual aid for the students. As the strategies for teaching boys and girls suggest more visual and pictures to help students write better which rolls into better at reading (Gurian, 2008).

For girls they are more interested in trying to please everyone in their life because of Oxytocin which there is more of it in the female brain that boys. For boys, they have lower amounts of oxytocin so they do not have the strong need to please the teacher or anyone who wants to them do anything. They need feedback like understanding why they are doing what they are doing and how is it important to their life (n.d.). Students who would be participating in this project would know why they are doing the assignment and how it relates to their life.

Relation to Theorists

My knowledge of cognitive development relates to what I have chosen for this project aligns with Vygotsky theory based on the idea that language is the main tool that promotes thinking, develops reasoning, and supports cultural activities like reading and writing (as cited in Neff, n.d.) and through the Zone of Proximal Development. This is because each activity involves incorporates students speaking to one another and helping each other pronounce and say words. In the auditory activity the two cups and a string the students take turns pronouncing and spelling the words carefully as they speak through the cup so their partner can hear the word in their cup.

Zone of Proximal development is incorporated with the kinesthetic activity as the students would not be randomly paired but they would be matched up with someone who have caught on faster with the spelling and pronunciation of the word. They will work as a team to say and spell the words together.

Behavior development and the activities I have chosen show my knowledge Bandura’s theory about how we can self-correct through observing a model, and how that person or group of people act because of that I will model what is appropriate for the way students should interact in the game (Bandura, 1989) . It is common to hear students say “Well, so and so did it this way/said that” and I would not want my name attached to their excuse of why they were behaving in such a way. This also fits into moral development of the students because it shows them what is expected of them through observation of others values, beliefs, and the way they behave (Sanderse, 2013)

Erikson’s social development theory that students are at the industry versus inferiority stage in elementary school. The assignments that I have chosen for this project shows my knowledge of this theory because this is the make or break time of their life. The activities need to be uplifting and a way to build up the students rather than trying to tear them down. With this in mind I made sure the activities had the students working together but yet busy enough not to pay attention what someone else was doing around them. They work together but are focus on one task and then are moved around so they do not have that time to pick out someone else’s faults. These projects in class will allow students to build up their esteem since they are able to help create their learning environment as a safeguard to prevent students from having a negative view of who they are (Brouillette, 2010).

The focus of the activities is that the students can play without the fear of failure or competing because of how students are building their self-esteem at this stage and since they are learning to decode it is not the time to use competition. The students would be able to create their spelling cards with the textures that they wanted for the tactile game, cut and paste/write for the visual memorization game, and be able to work in pairs for the kinesthetic game so they are not doing the spelling alone. Again, it will allow students to feel success because they have helped create their learning activities.

Brain Research

The differences between the way boys and girls learn does not equal one is worse or better than the other. It is simply the way some of the students learn. The information that is given to us about the differences between the genders is as a whole, and not the individual, so, this does not address every single student that will be in my class. But, that does not mean that the information is not worthwhile. The knowledge of how the brain works allows me to focus on language skills of boys because I know that the majority of girls can process language faster than boys, leaving the boys further behind than where my female students are. Since, in the cerebral cortex female brain tends to have more connections between neurons in the cerebral cortex, so this matures faster in female brains (Gurian, 2008). I do not mean to force the boys in my class to speak at every given time but know that from the way their brain works with the socialization that boys should just “deal with it” that I should focus on allowing them to have more situations to speak, such as in groups.

Cultural and Community Diversity
The assignment in its use of teamwork in a noncompetitive way allows students from culture where it is better to work together than compete against one another. It can also be good for students who do enjoy competing because they are able to incorporate that into their own pairs especially with the visual memorization and tactile game.
There isn’t any physical touching like handshakes, students can be spread out enough to accommodate cultural and community diversity when it comes to contact with other students. Partners in the activities do not necessarily need to sit or stand very close with most of the activities, except maybe the auditory. But this could be easy enough to solve by having students sit across from each other and have them only focus on their cup, and words they are saying to the other student.

English as a Second Language

I will adapt this project to meet different language needs through offering assistance and giving more time to figure out how to sound out the words. If someone speaks the same language as the struggling students I would assign the student a partner to work with to help explain what they are supposed to do. Also, I will post visual aids with the words so they can see what the word represents and possibly if able to find the words. They would also talk with someone familiar with the language to post their first language to help guide them between their first/second languages.

Age Appropriateness
Language Arts grade two standard two explains that students will apply sound-symbol relationships to decode unknown words. The activities work around practicing using the sound symbol relationships to decode words in pairs through various activities. The activities are age appropriate because the students will be working in their zone of proximal development. They will have the guidance of me and their higher performing peers to assist with decoding until they are able to work on it alone.
Connection of Instruction to the Experiences

I will use students’ experiences to make a connection to my instruction by helping them compare the sounds of words that they are already familiar with, with the sounds that we are working with and the vocabulary that we are using as examples of the sounds.

Philosophy about the statement “all students can learn”

All students have the ability to learn the material that is given to them. It may take learning it in a different way through auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, or visual ways. It may take them longer to learn the material but they will figure it out. I believe my personal teaching philosophy supports this because I do try to think and figure out ways to teach or show something. I struggle with it because it is hard to let go of the way I was taught. But I do work toward showing the kids that I tutor and my nieces that they can do and learn anything that they aim for.

College of Education Conceptual Framework under Human Diversity

This final product speaks to my strengths as an educational leader as the activities are geared toward showing all students are capable of learning and making educational progress. The way that it does that is I will have communicated effectively and continued to have a positive attitude toward all my students and their abilities to work through the activities.

This final product speaks to my strengths as a teaching scholar because I have continued to reflect on the final product. I am still reflecting and trying to make it better even though I am not teaching this to an actual class of students. The way that this product shows this is that my students are able to be creative with their learning materials. We will use their final products to work through the material and it allows them to see that they are the facilitator of their educational needs. In the whole activity that I have in mind we would be creating the cards for the visual, kinesthetic, and tactile but for our Clinical classroom I figured that would take too much time.

The final product speaks to my strengths as a developer of human potential because the activities are student created and done through teamwork.


1. REMEMBERING: What are other blends that you are familiar with (such as fl, tr, sl…)

2. UNDERSTANDING: How would you relate your new vocabulary words to you, your family or your school?

3. APPLYING: Can you organize the vocabulary given with words that sound like previous vocabulary? (Pound, ground, swing, wing)

4. APPLYING: How would you use your knowledge of sounding out new words to figure out even more new words? (Breaking them apart like in the tactile game to sound them out, picture the word that you know that has the same sound example: SK, in skate and SK, in skirt)

5. ANALYZING: Can you list words that start with the “wh/st/sw/squ/thr/ch/th/ph/oi/oy/ou/ow” sound?

6. ANALYZING: How would you compare the words to one another or to previous vocabulary words or words you know? (Them/thirsty, gown/pound, or stream/shower – both contain water, royal/gown, swing/skate, elephant/pound (elephants weigh a lot), chin/ them (they have chins) squeeze/ketchup, whisper/library crunch/cereal)
7. EVALUATING: Why does “sk” and “st” create a different sound from one another even though they both start with “s”?

8. EVALUATING: Based on what you know, how would you decide

9. CREATING: Can you create your own words with the blends, digraphs, diphthongs that we are covering?

10. CREATING: How would you construct a way of showing or explaining the vocabulary words if you weren’t able to speak to them?


Visual learners need to use images, pictures, colors, and maps to help them organize the information and to communicate with others. These learners can use these as cues to help trigger what they need to know. If they remember seeing the definition for triangle highlighted in green it will help them “see” or remember how a triangle is defined for a test. They may also see the image of a triangle mentally and be able to draw it to explain it to someone who may be confused as to what a triangle is. The activity that I use in this artifact meets the visual needs of these learners through the memorization game because it allows them to visualize the image and word to remember where it is. This allows to focus on what the image was and how it relates to the definition.

Auditory learners learn through lectures, discussions, and talking things through, and listening. The way they learn fits more into the way classrooms are often built around the teacher lecturing and the students talk it out. A way that they are able to hold onto the meaning of something is by saying it out loud to themselves. For example, if the auditory learner needed to remember the definition of triangle they would say, “A 3-sided polygon” to keep hold of this.

Kinesthetic learners and tactile learners learn through moving and touching and creating things to help their learning. An example of a way they would be able to understand a concept and stay engaged would be creating a triangle with objects like play dough, clays, or rolling papers to build three legs to create one,

Culture is a way of life of a group of people through behaviors, beliefs, values, that are passed on from one generation to the next ( The United States usually prides itself in how multicultural and diverse it is. As Richard T. Alpert says United States is a “work in progress” when it comes to being multicultural and for Chinese students in an American classroom can be a culture shock. The way our classroom is set up compared to that of a Chinese classroom is completely different and for students coming into our classrooms can be hard to adjust to. Students in a Chinese school are taught to learn by imitation. They do not speak out unless the teacher directs them to and they do not openly disagree with what the teacher instructs. They learn by observing and memorizing the information that is given to them by their instructor (Alexandrowicz).

The activities that I use to help students use the blends, digraphs, and diphthongs would be considered an informal way of learning and may cause students to feel out of place because of this. But as I stated in the artifact that I would have no problem adjusting the activities to help include students who come from where classes are more formal. If necessary I would send information home to the parents to help “prove” what I am doing in the classroom that will help their student in the long run. I may need to slowly introduce the activity to the classroom first by possibly incorporating something “formal” with the way I introduce it to help ease them into it.

Second language acquisition processes is the process of learning a subsequent languages in addition to one’s native language (de Abreu, 2012). For children, this is usually as they enter school and need to learn another language to understand the curriculum. There are five stages to this process which are preproduction, early production, speech emergence, intermediate fluency, and advanced fluency. Students may go through every single step or they may skip the steps toward learning a second language.

In this artifact in each of the different learning activities it uses the students’ individual experiences and prior knowledge because we are also will discuss words that they know and use that have similar sounds and how they are similar and different from the digraphs, blends and diphthongs we are practicing with now. The students will be able to associate the sounds from the activity to words that they use, see and hear in their daily life. For example, a female student may be familiar with “sk” because she wears a uniform skirt to school every day.


Lesson involves activities that involve the different learning styles that each of my students may prefer and need to learn. The perceptual styles that are addressed are auditory, with the two cups and string activity to help them focus on the sounds and how to pronounce the words properly. Visual with the memorization game that incorporates pictures with that are associated with the sounds SK, skate has a picture of a skate. Kinesthetic game involves movement while the student is practicing pronunciation and spelling. Tactile has the cards with the blends, digraphs, and diphthongs to help them feel and touch the words.

Instructional plan for helping students, who are learning English as a secondary language would involve having images of the words such that are involved with the learning style activities. The lesson involves cooperative learning so I would try to have the students paired with someone whose native language is the same as theirs so they can get assistance in their home language. The strength of this strategy is that the student who know their native language and are at least advanced fluency to guide the student because they know what it is like to learn a new language and keeping up with class. The weakness of this strategy for English language learners that they may not get along with the student who is advanced because of personality differences or other reasons so, the student who is still going through learning English may struggle because of this.

Instructional plan for cultural differences would involve creating a path where things may be more formal at first and work toward the activities. Like the exceptionality course of action I have I would try to incorporate instruction students are comfortable with but without fully neglecting the informal the classroom set up is.


I will communicate respect for all learners as individuals by helping parts of who they are, their thoughts and how they do things into the classroom. As a way to communicate respect toward my students’ as individuals I will allow them to create and help with their own education. In my class this will be done through allowing students to create the items we will use for the activities. It is a great way to first lecture and explain how the sounds work, then have them work with the vocabulary as they are building the activities, then be able to perform the games that they have helped create. With the students families and showing respect for their family would be where I would talk to them about how the classroom is set up and the way their students will be taught in the classroom. Also, they will get to hear about what their students’ are doing and how they can volunteer within the classroom and help build up the classroom’s positive learning experience for their child. I would ask for their input about what they would see as something positive and effective to bring into the classroom.

This would be the same with their different perspectives, abilities, talents and interests if they know that I value things that they can bring to the classroom and to the students and it is something beneficial I would encourage them to come and incorporate it with the activities. For example, if the parents had the ability to bring in extra material that have their native language on them that we can hang up in the classroom, or if they would be able to record their voice saying the word in their native language alongside saying it in English for the activities to help English learning students understand the words and sounds better. Or, even if the parents and other family members would be able to come into the class during activities like this to help students understand the words and sounds they are learning in the classroom, so, they are not only building their English skills but also working with their native language as well.

I will communicate the value of the learners in my classroom by demonstrating respect toward my students by listening to what they have to say and answering the questions they may have over the material in a positive way. I will have students work on the activities, creating and participating with what they have made and they will see that what they do in the class is worthwhile and not just busy work. I will encourage through cooperative learning opportunities to show that we all have skills and ideas that are worthwhile this will show and teach students to value one another.

I will help demonstrated the value of each student by integrating the diverse languages and dialects into my instructions in the classroom. As I wrote before about having the parents and family members coming to the classroom to help participate by having them work in their native languages. This will help by letting students who are not a part of that language or culture see it in a setting where they are, helping normalize it. Not that it is not normal but for some students seeing and hearing different languages and the way others interact is not always common when they are at home or in their community. Therefore, having all the students working together in this way helps show students that everyone’s abilities, culture, and language has a place not just inside the classroom but in the outside world as well.

Bandura, A. (1989). Six theories of child development. Annals of Childen Development, 6, 1-60. Retrieved from

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

de Abreu P, Gathercole S. Executive and Phonological Processes in Second-Language Acquisition. Journal Of Educational Psychology [serial online]. November 2012;104(4):974-986. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 23, 2014.
Gurian, M., Stevens, K., & King, K. (2008). Strategies for Teaching Boys & Girls (1st ed., pp. 4-8). Jossey-Bass.

Neff, L. (n.d.). Lev Vygotsky and Social Learning Theories. Retrieved October 31, 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

When Am I Ever Going to Use This Again? (n.d.)


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