As a part of my student teaching, I taught the lesson “Introducing the Weekly Spelling Instruction” to my 2nd grade, inclusive classroom at Hosmer Elementary School. I gave this type of lesson each Monday morning to introduce the week’s 15 spelling words: 7 vocabulary words and 8 words accompanied by a phonics lesson. The lesson shows evidence that my teaching draws on content standards as it explicitly draws on “Reading Standards: Foundations Skills, Grade 2, Standard 3: Know and apply grade-level phonics and words analysis skills in decoding words. Language Standards: Conventions of Standard English, Grade 2, Standard 1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking: b. Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns.”
The lesson plan demonstrates my ability to plan with clear objectives and relevant measurable outcomes. The plan has the objective that “students will understand the meaning of and usage of 7 new vocabulary words; Students will be able to form plural nouns ending in s, x, z, ch, or sh.” The outcomes are measured through a week’s worth of on-going formative assessments looking for usage of the words and allowing students to tally the number of times they use the words as well as evidence of the phonics lesson in their daily writing and summative assessments including a poetry assignment, creating vocabulary sentences, and an end-of-week spelling test.
I used information on my students’ Individualized Education programs to plan strategies for integrating my students with disabilities into this lesson. In these vocabulary and phonics lessons, my students on reading-based IEPs were given the same opportunity to succeed at the same set of words as the whole class. However, students on reading-based IEPs were tested on the 7 vocabulary words as "extra credit" and only the 8 words from the week’s phonics lesson were graded. This allowed students to feel success with spelling tests and feel motivated to continue studying all of the words and working hard to understand the phonics lessons, which will most help with their literacy skills.
This type of instruction was introduced each Monday morning and the lessons continued through each week. As the weeks progressed, I drew on results of formal and informal assessments as well as knowledge of human development to identify teaching strategies and learning activities that would be appropriate for this instruction. I added the vocabulary sentence assignment to the weekly instruction to assure that students were able to not only memorize the words and their definitions, but were also able to use them as the correct part of speech in sentences. I allowed this spelling instruction to morph week-by-week according to my student's abilities. I gave students more time to write down their spelling words if their handwriting was still developing. I created more extensions for those students who move more quickly through spelling assignments as can be seen in this plans “plural noun extension activity worksheet.” I also decided to allow students to respond to spelling poems both through writing, illustrating, and conversation with a teacher to test for comprehension. Evidence of these accommodations and changes can be seen in this lesson plan.
The poetry assignment allowed for students both to practice this week’s phonics lesson, as the poem included words using the phonics lesson, as well as fluency when they were asked to read the poem aloud, and comprehension when the students are asked to draw about, write about, or discuss with me the meaning of the poem. Their illustrated poems also make for a great weekly classroom display! This activity shows evidence of identifying appropriate reading materials and writing activities to promote learning by a full range of students within the classroom.
This work sample reflects best practice. It directly relates to my teaching philosophy that aims at student-centered learning and the creation of a classroom democracy. This lesson is whole class instruction. The vocabulary words are framed and defined in the language of my students. Students have the opportunity to inference from the given sentence and photograph and come to their own “ah-ha!” meaning of each individual word. The students work with me to define the phonics rule and to create our spelling words using the phonics lesson, allowing students to build knowledge off of each other’s statements. The lesson is scaffolded to reach each student in the classroom on an individual level, pushing all students to succeed while providing the necessary teacher support. The lesson, in essence, functions as a conversation between teacher and students pertaining to discovering meaning of vocabulary words and rules to the phonics lesson. The lesson provides students with clear objectives and directions and allows for their learning of the subject matter to continue throughout the week, providing a deeper understanding. Students are given the opportunity to use their creativity through writing and illustrating. Students were able to question and practice their learning. Throughout the week, students continued to practice and were able to demonstrate their knowledge of ending consonants and the new vocabulary words through a spelling test and through writing their own vocabulary sentences. Students feel successful at the end of the week and I am able to see evidence throughout the future weeks of knowledge of the vocabulary words and phonics lesson.
Standard A - Plans Curriculum and Instruction
1. Draws on content standards of the relevant curriculum frameworks to plan sequential units of study, individual lessons, and learning activities that make learning cumulative and advance students’ level of content knowledge.
(Specify Curriculum Framework title, learning standards, and concept and skills used [attach list if necessary]).
2. Draws on results of formal and informal assessments as well as knowledge of human development to identify teaching strategies and learning activities appropriate to the specific discipline, age, level of English language proficiency, and range of cognitive levels being taught.
3. Identifies appropriate reading materials, other resources, and writing activities for promoting further learning by the full range of students within the classroom.
4. Identifies prerequisite skills, concepts, and vocabulary needed for the learning activities and design lessons that strengthen student reading and writing skills.
5. Plans lessons with clear objectives and relevant measurable outcomes.
6. Draws on resources from colleagues, families, and the community to enhance learning.
7. Incorporates appropriate technology and media in lesson planning.
8. Uses information in Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to plan strategies for integrating students with disabilities into general education classrooms.
1. Sample Lesson Plan: “Introducing Weekly Spelling Instruction:” Reading Standards: Foundations Skills, Grade 2, Standard 3: Know and apply grade-level phonics and words analysis skills in decoding words. Language Standards: Conventions of Standard English, Grade 2, Standard 1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking: b. Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns
2. Allowed spelling instruction to morph week-by-week according to student's abilities: i.e. gave students more time to write down their spelling words if their handwriting was still developing, allowing more extensions for those students who move more quickly through spelling assignments, allowing students to respond to spelling poems both through writing, illustrating, and conversation with a teacher to test for comprehension, etc.
3. Gave students the opportunity to respond to equality lesson on The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss through writing and illustrating, allowing students to demonstrate their learning in different ways. Allowed students to respond personally to the prompt while, at the same time, drawing on a point from the book.
4. Taught new vocabulary words by first providing a picture of the word and by using a word in the sentence and then asking students to use context clues and inference to define the term using their own words. Helped students to build reading skills and to build their vocabulary for writing.
5. Planned equality lesson with the objective "Students will express their understanding of equality through writing and illustrating using examples from the reading of The Sneetches." Comparison of students reflections to their pre-assessment allowed for measurable outcomes.
6. Collaborated with other second grade teachers to enhance our teaching of Discovering Justice unit by sharing resources, materials, and bringing different viewpoints into our teaching.
7. Utilized overhead projector in math lessons to provide students with a larger, clearer image of the numbers and to provide organization of mathematical thinking through color coding.
8. In vocabulary and phonics lessons, students on reading-based IEPs were given the same opportunity to succeed at the same set of words as the whole class. However, students on reading-based IEPs were tested on the 7 vocabulary words as "extra credit" and only the 8 words from the weeks phonics lesson were graded. This allowed students to feel success with spelling tests and feel motivated to continue studying all of the words and working hard to understand the phonics lessons.