Differentiation 2016-17

Kristin Wolff's ePortfolio

Fall 2016 - Spring 2017 - Differentiation and Enrichment

Following are examples of News Items; Classroom Bulletin Boards; Smore that contain ELOs, lesson plans, unit plans, and project info; and videos.


These resources were created to assist students with special needs, as well as differing learning styles.


They were also created with the gifted / advanced student in mind.


Since I just completed my fourth semester teaching with GAVS, and am currently beginning my fifth as a summer school instructor, I have felt much more at ease using the GAVS system, as well as virtual tools, in assisting students with different learning styles. I found that I was also able to create them much faster, since I was more familiar with these tools. Smore has helped me immensely in adding to our class curriculum.

Course Update RE: ELOs - American Lit/Comp A, B, & AB - Spring 2017 - April

For one of my Course Update emails to all stakeholders in April 2017, I created a Smore that included all remaining ELOs, so that everyone had the ability to readily access all of them, and to lesson any confusion / lack of awareness.


I have found that many students tend not to scroll down in our News Items, which makes it very difficult to advertise ELOs, unless their parents and facilitators are viewing them, as well.


I used a beach-themed background image to subconsciously remind all stakeholders that the end of the semester was drawing to a close.


Following is an image and link to my ELO Course Update:

https://www.smore.com/kzhpr

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ELO - Final Exam EOCT Review - Spring 2017 - April

My ILT, Kelley Brumbelow, gave me the idea to provide students with an ELO for their FInal Exam / EOCT review, which was brilliant.


I decided to create a Smore, so that students would know this was an ELO.


This particular ELO was worth up to (15) earned credit points on their lowest test grade, because it was a lot of work, and students were forced to go back to their quizzes and tests, view their mistakes, and submit the question and correct answer, with a justification, in handwritten format, only. Some students submitted 15-23 pages. I was very impressed with the results.


I extended the due date to the Sunday before FInal Exams, so that students had time to complete their own coursework, and also have time to study for finals, as well. They took a screenshot of their handwritten work, and uploaded it to a Dropbox that I created for this ELO.


I also included a screenshot of how students could access their mistakes on all quizzes and tests within our Course Home page to lessen any confusion, and because I know some students never go back and review their mistakes, or my feedback.


This ELO was also created using the beach backdrop, as a reminder that summer was fast approaching, and to begin studying for Finals / EOCTs, now.


This was a very successful ELO in all of my courses this semester, and my thanks to Kelley Brumbelow for the idea.

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ELO - 8th Grade Middle School English - And Then There Were None

Since this was my first semester teaching 8th Grade Middle School English, I wanted to be particularly sensitive to the needs of these students - especially since it may have been their first time taking an online course.


I provided them with several ELO choices throughout the semester.


For this particular ELO, for their only novel, And Then There Were None, I gave them a choice of completing (1) of (2) types of assignments, either a "Literary Elements Map," or a "Character Map." I also did this so there would be a form of differentiation to this assignment, and students could choose which assignment they were most comfortable in completing.


I used the following educational website for both choices in completing this assignment. I really like using this website, because many of the projects are applicable to a multitude of texts:

http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/lit-elements/


In addition to creating the ELO on a Smore, I also the News Item, below, to show students a step-by-step guide of what they would be doing for this assignment, so that they would not fear it. The term "ELO" seems to be daunting for many students, because they do not understand that it is a form of extra credit, which causes most students not to complete them. Although I only had (9) students in this class, this ELO received 135 views.


They did a great job, and I was very pleased with their results.

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ELO - American Lit/Comp-A - Fall 2016 - October

Dark Romanticism is my favorite unit, because it falls every year around Halloween, and the students are in the festive mood to read spooky texts, such as Poe's "The Raven."


This is a huge student favorite, so I created an ELO to capitalize on their enthusiasm for this poem. There is a lot going on in this seemingly-simple poem, and this ELO is a fun way for them to better comprehend the poem, adding even further to their enjoyment of it.


For this ELO, I have them choose from a list of (5) allusions in "The Raven," and analyze them in detail. They have to provide a complete analysis, and submit this assignment using the "Context - Evidence - Analysis" format, to ensure they completely understand the allusion, as well as author's purpose.


I include a plethora of educational resources from which to help them complete their analysis, as well as some more entertaining ones, such as The Simpson's "Treehouse of Horror - 'The Raven'" video. I have been using "The Interactive Raven" website in face-to-face since it was first created in 2001, and I was so pleased when I began at GAVS to find it was used in our online course, as well.


Also included are links and screenshots of the chart, rubric, and point values they are to use.


This is a student favorite every time I teach first semester American Lit/Comp, whether it be in face-to-face, or online.

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Assignment Chalkboards to Lesson Confusion for Students with AD(H)D / Organizational Issues

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Classroom Bulletin Boards: Highlighting Free GAVS Resources to Students and Important Due Dates - Spring 2016

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News Item - Adobe Session - Final Exam Review

In an effort to lessen the fear of Final Exams / promote more studying on the part of students for the Final Exam, I posted numerous reminder News Items to remind them to study, plus an advertisement for my upcoming Adobe Final Exam Review Session, in which I played Kahoot! review study games of their major readings, including The Crucible, Huck Finn, and The Great Gatsby, so that all of my classes, American Lit/Comp-A, B, and AB, would receive meaningful review.


I used a text-generating image from Imagechef.com to catch the students' attention - especially those students who are AD(H)D / organizationally-challenged.

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Upcoming Due Date Reminders - Spring 2017 - American Lit/Comp-AB

Because my AB students had so many assignments due the last six weeks of school, I posted a color-coded due date reminder chart that I had created at the beginning of the semester, which listed all assignments, their due dates, and a color-coding by the actual due date for each assignment, so that they could see how many assignments were due, both for that week, and for upcoming weeks, to assist them in planning accordingly for future due dates, as well, based on their personal schedules. AB is a very challenging course, and anything to help my students was a worthwhile endeavor.
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News Item - Writing Tutorial - Revising Huck Finn Essay MPTSs - Spring 2017

Every semester, students find it challenging to create persuasive thesis statements and main point topic sentences, regardless of how many times they have learned this in prior years. In addition to creating many ELOs during the past two years, I have also included a discussion of this in our News Items, so that students who take the time to scroll down will find this instantly appealing and helpful. With the student's permission in writing, plus with the omission of her name, I included a before and after of a specific MPTS regarding Twain's intention in his use of water symbolism within Huck Finn. This was a challenging topic, and with revision, this student wrote an excellent paper of which she and myself were very proud.
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News Item - Shmoop Grammar Video Tutorials - Spring 2017

Shmoop is such an excellent, free resource for our students, but I often have difficulty in convincing our students to use it. To combat this, I include several News Items throughout the semester regarding Shmoop, and also discuss it in Course Update emails, feedback in students' assignments and tests, and in emails to students as a helpful resource. It is clever, and very sarcastic - just like most of our teen students - so it is appealing to all grade levels. In the News Item, below, this particular video alluded to the TV show Law and Order, instead calling it "Laws of Grammar." I can't say enough great things about this website.
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MLA Format Help - Spring 2017

Since so many students have issues with MLA Format, I have continued to post a helpful video from YouTube that was recommended to me one year ago by Mallory Kirkland. It is short and sweet, helping students to set-up the first page of their papers in MLA Format, which in and of itself is a daunting task the first few times students make the attempt.
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ELOs - American Lit/Comp-A, B, & AB - Spring 2017

In order to assist students in a better understanding of the skills required for their Unit Tests and Final Exams / EOCs, I assigned several ELOs throughout the semester. I varied the difficulty of each assignment, as well as the time required to complete them, in an effort to make them accessible to all students / to differentiate the assignments.
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Course Updates - Spring 2017

My Welcome and Course Update emails included Smores to assist all stakeholders in better understanding the expectations of the course throughout the semester, and to appeal to all learning styles:

https://www.smore.com/pjfd7

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English Department ELO - National Poetry Month - Spring 2017

National Poetry Month is every April, and this year, members of the English Department created an ELO to promote this with our students. Many students fear poetry, thinking it too difficult to ever master, so I was very happy to promote this ELO in my News Items. It was a great idea, and was an interesting, yet accessible, assignment for students.
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FALL 2016 - DIFFERENTIATION AND ENRICHMENT

Following are examples of News Items; Classroom Bulletin Boards; Smore that contain ELOs, lesson plans, unit plans, and project info; and videos.


These resources were created to assist students with special needs, as well as differing learning styles.


They were also created with the gifted / advanced student in mind.

Adobe Session Collaboration - Final Exam Adobe Review Session - Fall 2016 - December

The Fall 2016 semester marked my first time in teaching 8th Grade Middle School English, and I absolutely loved it. The students were wonderful - they were funny, had big personalities, and were always eager to learn. It was a pleasure to teach this class.


For our Final Exam Review, Colleen Scopano and I decided to collaborate during our last few Adobe sessions of the year. Colleen created a few warm-up / review activities, and I created a Kahoot! review game of all of our texts, literary terms, MLA Format, etc., from the entire semester. We had a great time combining both of our classes, and they all worked well together during our review games and review activities.


I look forward to teaching this class in the future, and in collaborating at this level with teachers in the near future. We had a lot of fun, and helped each other, and our students, along the way.

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Differentiation - Huck Finn Essay / Writing Resources - Fall 2016 - November

Many students fear the essay process, so I created a Smore that included everything all stakeholders would need in order to better understand the writing process.


Resources included:


  • Student Sample Revision with my feedback, including how to improve thesis statements and main point topic sentences
  • Course Content assignment info regarding the final essay, including the assignment page and rubric
  • Several pages from Purdue OWL, including graphic organizers, prewriting exercises, self-check before you write questions, drafting the essay, peer editing and revision guide, and how to develop thesis statements and main point topic sentences

Differentiation - September 2016 - YouTube News Item / Rhetoric

I created the following videos during our Rationalism Unit, and posted them within a News Item, so that students who were unfamiliar with the terms ethos, pathos, and logos felt more comfortable with these concepts.


In addition to creating YouTube videos, I also included helpful websites to help students further practice these concepts. One website was a rhetorical breakdown of The Declaration of Independence, another was a sample test, and analyzing rhetoric in advertisements, and in public speaking, as well.


Posting this in News Items also allows all stakeholders to better understand the concepts in our current units of study.

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News Item - (5) Weak Words to Avoid in Formal Writing - Fall 2016 - September

Last fall, I found an excellent blog posted by a writer in 2014 that says everything I have ever told students about which words to avoid in formal English writing and speaking, but all rolled-up into one easy-to-read package. It also included a great GIF from The Princess Bride at the top, so I was hooked, immediately.
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News Item - TEDEd and Shmoop Rhetoric Videos - American Lit/Comp-A - Fall 2016

I posted the following videos in a News Item last fall for differentiation and remediation purposes, so that students would have a plethora of resources to study the rhetorical concepts of ethos, pathos, and logos. They are both excellent, informative, and entertaining videos.
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News Item - Discussion Posts - American Lit/Comp-A - Fall 2016 - August

In the beginning of the year, it is very challenging to teach students to write meaningful Discussion Posts. In order to train them to write meaningful responses, I created a News Item image to remind them that they are required to post one initial response to the prompt, plus two meaningful responses to peers. I also remind them that they must use at least one partial or full quote from the text, which I require in order to train them to practice writing more sophisticated body paragraphs in their essays - and it has worked for the past four semesters! It is challenging to grade all of this work, but it is also very fulfilling, as well, to see their writing improve throughout the semester. They finally "get it" - the reason why they have to use a partial quote in their posts - and I can always immediately see in their papers the students who have been practicing this in their discussion posts throughout the semester.
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News Item - American Lit/Comp-A - Fall 2016 - December

Students become more engaged with a novel when the know a bit more about its context, such as the time in which it was written, the biography of the author, the type of characters in the story, and where the story is set. In an effort to make Huck Finn more accessible to students, I posted a tribute to Mark Twain on his 181st Birthday. I also included a link to a great article regarding Twain's ideology, which helped students have a better understanding of author's purpose within this extremely challenging text.
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Smore Newsletters - All Classes - Fall 2016 - August

As I reached my third semester in teaching at GAVS, I realized that I needed to begin utilizing Smores for more than just Course Updates, ELOs, and lessons for students.


I decided to create them for all stakeholders, and send them in Welcome and Course Update emails, to assist all users in navigating our GAVS courses, as well as additional GAVS sites. I have shared a few of these, below, and the SOC Smore is courtesy of the World Languages Department - many thanks!

News Item and Course Syllabus Image - Before You Begin the Course PiktoChart - Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

For the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters, my TOOL colleague, Joyce Bearden, told me about PiktoChart, and how this image may be used to create News Items, etc., for our online courses. She shared with me an image that she created, and I tweaked it to be used in my classes.


This is an excellent tool for differentiation, because this visual provides students who are ADHD / unorganized with a clear, step-by-step procedure for successfully beginning the course.


I included this in a News Item, as well as the first page of each of my course syllabi for the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. I will definitely continue this practice.


Many thanks to Joyce for sharing her excellent idea!

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Smore Newsletter - Assistance with Projects and Papers - Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

By the time I reached my third and 4th semesters teaching at GAVS, I realized there were certain projects that caused much confusion, based on vague description within the module's assignment pages. Students still struggling with virtual tools were also at a greater disadvantage.


In order to help students, I created several project Smore newsletters to assist them in creating superior projects, and the results have been phenomenal. These Smores have been posted in my User Links, as well as my News Items. I have passed them onto students, parents, and facilitators countless times via email, as well.


My Smore newsletter, "How to Create Projects Using PPT," has received 887 views, which clearly demonstrates its value to students for not only "The Yellow Wallpaper" project, but all projects which require the use of virtual tools.


In January 2016, I created the "MLA Format & You" Smore, which has received 476 views since then. It has helped students tremendously in finding MLA resources, sample papers and format, etc. I have used it incessantly since first posting it in January 2016.