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Educational Compositions and Research
Unit Plan- Finding the Voice of Change, Nelson Mandela
Unit Plan- Gary Paulsen's Hatchet
Unit Plan- Persuasive Essay
Unit Plan- Poetry
Unit- Puppetry Arts from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Unit- Romeo and Juliet
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Hello and welcome to my English Language Arts Wiki for educators and administrators. This wiki has been built to share and exhibit materials that I have composed during my Master's degree and teaching time in Georgia. Within this wiki you will find many facets of what makes me an effective English Language Arts Educator. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through this site.
Found on this site:
Educational Compositions and Research
Unit Plans: The links below will direct you to different units that I have built for educating within the English Language Arts classroom. Some of the units are more full than others, as various courses emphasized different portions of unit and lesson construction.
6th Grade: Seeking Survival Skills in Gary Paulen's Hatchet
8th Grade: Finding the Voice of Change, Nelson Mandela
9th Grade: Romeo and Juliet, the Graphic Novel
9th-10th: Puppetry Arts from Geoffery Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
9th-10th: R.A.P. and Poetry
9th-12th Grade: Learning to Write the Persuasive Essay
Below are questions and answers that explain my drive and philosophy as an educator.
Please write a brief statement explaining why you chose teaching as a profession.
Becoming an educator was a decision I made due to the social necessity for dependable teachers that invest in every single child, no matter his or her race, sexual orientation, religion, or culture. I received unbelievable amounts of support in my childhood because of such educators, which is why I want to perpetuate this compassion and value of education to the generations after myself.
How do you ensure that your students are engaged and learning while in your classroom?
Student engagement can be ensured be continually investing in and creating new educational atmospheres in the classroom. By observing various levels of learning styles, my students will experience a spectrum of learning plans that from individual reading all the way to getting them out of their seats. I understand that every student will respond differently to various stimuli and assignments. Therefore, by changing up the ways in which I present information, I will grasp each and every learner. I also believe in constantly using formative assessments. Using exit tickets, debriefings, and other such instruction strategies will allow me, the educator, to see who needs extra help, who is doing well, and what students are excelling. This provides documentation of a student's development and also keeps our classroom moving forward.
How do you offer students opportunities to show mastery over the course of a semester (and earn a passing grade) when they were unsuccessful early in the year?
The grade quality earned by each student should be compounded as their level of development and the level of difficulty in the class grows. The first portion of every semester should be oriented to aid students in gathering the knowledge that they may have missed in years previously, while also preparing them for the new, more rigorous, information that is to be learned within the class. Therefore, the grades for the basic information, the reviews and other basic work, should only be considered as a portion of their grade and not what prevents a student from passing. It is the sustenance learned and earned within the last two-thirds of a semester that truly should propel students into mastery and be reflected in the grade book. This philosophy of ensuring a strong foundation of knowledge that is then built upon, in the attempts to achieve high academic goals, is the best way to ensure not only mastery, but also the development of student that will not be impeded in future classes by essential concepts that were either missed or misunderstood in previous classes. If this is not enough aid for a student, I will be more than happy to provide tutoring after school or during lunch to aid those students that are unable to gather the concepts in class.
How do you fill the gaps of students who have missed key concepts as the curriculum has changed?
Facilitating flexibility in the English Language Arts classroom is the best way to compensate for variations or gaps in a student’s academic development. The initial way to gather the formative knowledge within this issue is through basic “Do Now” or “Bell Work” in which students provide examples of academic development. From this point, differentiated instruction will be provided to keep each level of student performance engaged. The continuation of formative assessment should be included, as it will allow me to see what students are continuing to struggle with some of the concepts that they did not gather from previous instruction. This cycle should be repeated throughout the learning time, allowing the students to progress effectively, while also allowing me to observe their development and alter instructional plans accordingly.
How do you help the struggling reader to be successful in your classroom?
Scaffolding the learning process is the most effective way to assist students that are struggling with reading. It would be beneficial to start these students with basic level reading, providing formative assessments for consistent feedback, and from that point, slowly build each student’s ability to read by increasing the difficulty of reading. This method, coupled with vocabulary studies, would help one student, or an entire class of students, build their reading abilities.
Do you have experience with differentiating instruction and implementing real world activities into your lessons?
Within my student teaching and both practica, I have learned that differentiated instruction is the best way to engage students while in English Language Arts. All three teaching development experiences required my ability to differentiate in lesson plans and classroom environments from the highest level learners, in honors classes, to the students that struggle with the ability to complete basic sentences. I encourage students to approach their highest level of achievement through my understanding their abilities, using formative assessment, and then creating lessons that will capture the spectrum of learning exhibited by each student. Through this method, I not only create an engaging classroom that keeps every student in mind, I also become able to measure each student’s learning through formative assessment and eventually through summative assessments. From this point, I can add real world activities according to each student’s life goals. The basics of living in an English speaking environment- writing checks, preparing a resume, and working on cover letters/entrance essays to college- are all ways to include different levels of real world activities into the English Language Arts classroom.
How do you incorporate writing into your use of fiction and nonfiction literature?
The easiest answer to this question would be to implement the basic reflection essay. While this is an effective way to teach students, there are other ways in which students can more organically process literature through composition, while also building writing skills. Journal writing, or guided reflection, is a highly effective way to allow students to build writing skills without requiring the in depth process of essay writing. It is a quick way to process information, share that information with the class, and then continue the lesson. Tiering writing, requiring journal writing as a formative assessment and then an essay for a summative assessment, would be the most comprehensive way to incorporate writing into literature studies.
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