OTES Submission of Evidence 2

Amy Converse

Instructional Planning: Focus for Learning

Throughout the year, I've developed blocks that are tailored to individual students' needs. As the year has progressed, I've learned that it is necessary to build blocks that meet individual students needs as based on their IEP goals and abilities. I've realized that one single block does not necessarily fit all students. In creating blocks, I've attempted to balance grade level content with materials and tasks that relate to the students' IEP goals. For example, I will create two separate sections in a block. Since the typical peers of the student may be learning about measurement, I include some exposure and lessons related to that in one folder (these are often based on extended standards depending on the skills level of the student as many do not have the skill base for grade level material). Then, I also create a second folder that is lessons related to the students' IEP goals, such as addition and subtraction with regrouping or multi-step word problems. Below you will find two examples: In the first example, the fraction folder is the grade level exposure, and there is a separate IEP goal folder for addition and subtraction skills. In the second example, the Reading and Responding folder contains some exposure to grade level material at this student's individual level. The folder titled "Reading Skills" contains both information relevant to the student's IEP goals as well as skills in areas the students has shown to need improvement.
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Differentiation Example for Student Learning

Below is an example of an alternate assignment for a personal narrative. It is included in the block above. This student is in 5th grade but performs closer to a second grade level. Her grade level peers are working on personal narratives based on a story they read. Since this student cannot independently read the material as her peers, a book closer to her reading level was chosen from Raz-Kids, and a corresponding assignment was created that would be relevant to both the student's level and the grade level material/standard.
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Instructional Planning: Assessment Data

Assessment data is gathered from a variety of sources and used for a variety of purposes. This include data from SLO checkpoints and related activities in Compass, WebEx observations, i-Ready assessments and scores from completed lessons, IXL lessons, as well as data provided from Reading Eggs, Raz-Kids and MyOn Reader. This data is used to plan lessons, develop IEP goals and guide instruction as a create lessons in Compass and for WebEx sessions.

Instructional Planning: Knowledge, Sequence, Connections & Knowledge of Students

I believe communication with the parents and other staff members is key into getting familiar with the students and planning their individualized instruction. Conversations with parents regarding their child's strengths and struggles helps me tailor work to their needs. For example, I recently had a conversation with a parent of a student that recently qualified for services as a student with special needs. This student suffers from O.D.D., as well as hyperactivity. He also suffers from fine motor weaknesses that make writing physically difficult and very frustrating. Conversations with both the parent and the student's general education teacher, Jane Baldwin, are being frequently used to develop a plan that will allow the student to convey his ideas fully orally to demonstrate his comprehension, and modify the writing assignments to be less frustrating for the child and parent. The hope is to gradually increase expectations and the amount he writes independently by breaking the cycle of frustration now.


Another example of this is a newly enrolled student whose mother says he is very reluctant to complete paper worksheets. For this reason, I am transferring many of the concepts from paper worksheets used into Odyssey Writer format, since his mother says he is much more likely to complete them willingly that way. The goal has been made to slowly increase the amount of paper/pencil tasks.


To increase motivation, I will often ask parents about their students interests to help guide my instruction. I embed stories and activities of interest into their WebEx sessions (and occasionally into their blocks) to increase interest and participation. For example, Isabella Clark is very interested in animals and dinosaurs. I incorporate activities regarding these topics whenever possible. Naudia Stahl loves to write Mad-Libs, so I will use this at the end of the session to motivate her to complete less desirable tasks as a natural reward.

Instruction and Assessment: Differentiation

Alternate assessments and assignments are used when a student does not master a concept in Compass. Worksheets on related topics, a similar task in Compass or a BrainPop video and corresponding quiz or activity will be given. As stated above, assignments in Compass are often differentiated by including a similar concept at a level more appropriate for the students' needs. Often, the entire blocks have been differentiated for a specific student. Please see below for more examples of differentiation on specific assignments. Additional examples are discussed in the Focus for Learning section above.

Examples, Continued.

The first example below is an example of a worksheet used for differentiation. Ashley is a fifth grade student who is still working to master addition. The worksheet was used to differentiate and expose the student to multiplication at her own instructional level.


The second example below is an differentiated activity used to teach graphing to students.


The third example is a screen shot of a lesson on WebEx using differentiation. Ashley had difficulty in related Compass tasks, and I noticed she didn't have the base skills to add larger amounts of money. I used IXL in WebEx sessions to work on counting coins in order to work towards grade level lessons.

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Additional Resources

As the school year has progressed, I've added many more resources to what I use with my students.


The most common resources that I have began to use frequently include IXL and i-Ready. I use IXL as both supplemental activities and alternative assignments. I embed links to specific skills and activities directly into students Compass blocks or send as links via emails. In becoming familiar with i-Ready as part of 3GG, I have begun to implement its use with students of all grade levels to supplement their reading programs. I also use Reading Eggs and Raz-Kids, as well as Starfall with my younger students.


Below is a sample list of some additional resources I frequently use:


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/

http://www.funbrain.com/brain/ReadingBrain/Games/Game.html

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/grammar/capitals.htm

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/grammar/grammar_tutorial.htm

http://www.mrsperkins.com/dolch.htm

http://www.dolchword.net/dolch-first-grade-games.html

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bll/reggie/firehouse/index.htm

http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/magazines/edition1/swfs/icanread/index.htm

http://www.dositey.com/language/phonics/phonics1.htm

http://www.sadlier-oxford.com/phonics/grade_k_1/hifreq.htm

http://www.crickweb.co.uk/ks1literacy.html#fmenu

Instruction and Assessment: Classroom Environment

I have tried to create an inviting online classroom environment by using hands-on activities in WebEx and communicating in a way with students and parents in a way that they feel comfortable and welcomed.


Here are some examples of ways I do this:


I have incentives for attending WebEx. During the incentive period, students who attend WebEx are entered into a drawing for a $10 gift card. I have also set up individual incentives with a few students. When parents state their child is reluctant to complete work, I set up a goal sheet and offer individual rewards for the students.


When a student submits worksheets via email, I send them a cute picture (kind of in place of a sticker. See the example to the right. I also offer praise for completing the work or the block and tell them to keep up the good work!


Along with communicating regularly with students and parents in email, I also occasionally send a smore newsletter that is aimed at motivation and parental involvement. See the example below:


https://www.smore.com/hsxm-mrs-converse-s-notes


I am continuing to develop other ways to motivate students who are not working praise those who are! Being new to this position, it has taken some trial and error. Since it is not a traditional setting, it takes some thinking outside the box! I have learned greatly from my TBT in this area.

I Can Statements

Another example of how I am working to improve my classroom environment is to implement I Can Statements in my lessons. This was the focus of my TBT a few months ago. As I create new blocks, I am adding I Can statements to various lessons, especially those involving writing and in Odyssey Writer. I am using them to open some WebEx lessons. I had a parent ask me about the appearance of these statements once, so I decided to make a smore newsletter to discuss the reasoning behind them and take a proactive approach to parents' questions. Check out the newsletter by clicking on the link below.


https://www.smore.com/nj29-i-can-statements