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TEEAM Project - Vocabulary Lesson (Application 3.7) - Triumphs Curriculum

Project: 3. Application 4.5 – Design of Rule Lesson, p. 107

Setting: Whole group lesson 4th grade classroom
Step 1:  Introduce the rule.
Just when you think you know all the English grammar rules and they make sense, you know an irregular rule will show up. 
We have learned how some adjectives have special forms of comparison. 
Such as using more, most, and adding -er, or -est.
Today we are going to learn when to use the adjectives good, better, or best.
These adjectives comparisons evaluate the quality.

Put the following on the SmartBoard:
1. Good gives a description. 
2. Better gives a description when two elements are being compared. 
3. Best gives a description when three or more elements are being compared. 

Step 2: Illustrate the rule with examples and non-examples.
Examples of using good:
1. Good gives a description. 
Let's read the sentence together: “Apples taste good”. This is a description, so the word good is correct. 
Read the next sentence with me: “The movie was good.” This is a description, so good is correct. 
Non-examples of using good and better:
Read the next sentence with me: “Apples taste good than peaches.” This is comparing two things, so good is not correct. Better should be used.
Read this sentence together: “The movie was good than last week's.” This is comparing two things, so it should use better, not good.

Examples of using better:
2. Better gives a description when two elements are being compared. 
Read the sentence with me, “Apples taste better than peaches.” This is comparing two things, apples and peaches, so better is correct. 
Read this sentence out loud,“This movie was better than last week's one.” Two things are being compared, the movie this week and the one last week, so better is correct. 
Non-examples of better:
Read the sentences with me, “This movie was better than all the rest.” This compares three or more, so better is not correct. It should have best.

Examples of using best:
3. Best gives a description when three or more elements are being compared. 
Read the sentence out loud, “Apples are the best fruit.” This is comparing three or more things, so using best is correct.
Read this sentence with me, “The movie was the best I've ever seen.” Since this is comparing three or more movies, using best is correct.

Non-examples of using best:
Read the sentence with me, “Apples are best than peaches.” This is comparing only two things, so best  is not correct, better should be used. 

Step 3: Guide students in analyzing examples and non-examples using the critical attributes.
Read the sentence to yourself, “Collies are __ sheepdogs than German shepherds.”
How many are being compared? Tell your shoulder buddy. Yes, two are being compared, sheepdogs and German shepherds. So which adjective should be used? Yes, better is correct.
Read this sentence to yourself, “Tomatoes have a ___ taste.” Think how many are being compared. Close your eyes and put that number up. Yes, only one, so tell your shoulder buddy which word should be used. Yes, good is correct.
Read this last sentence to yourself, “This is the ___ book in the library.” Think how many are being compared. On the count of three whisper the answer. More than three is correct, so which word should be in the sentence? Correct, best.

Step 4: Check students' understanding, using examples and non-examples.
Read the sentence to yourself. Write the correct adjective and rule that applies on the marker board.
“Of the six houses on our street, this one is the _____.”
Share and discuss your answers with your group. I will draw a name of one student to share their answers. Yes, best is correct because it follows number 3 rule of comparing three or more.
Do the same thing with the next two sentences of selecting the correct adjectives and the rule that applies.
“The blue truck runs ____ than the white one.” (better, rule 2)
“Robbie is a ____ worker.” (good, rule 1)

Complete "Application 8.3" on page 217. After reading the scenario about Samuel, answer the question posed: "If you were Samuel's teacher, would you agree to do this? Why or why not?" Post your response._
Yes, I would agree to provide accommodations for Samuel.  Since he has been identified with a learning disability, my thoughts are that there are most likely already some modifications or accommodations in place and they need to be acted upon.  If there are none in place, a more extensive conversation may need to take place to ensure that he is receiving what he needs to be successful.  It makes the most sense to provide him with problems already on the paper so he is practicing the skill being taught/practiced at that time rather than focusing so much time and energy on copying the problems.  When it comes to assigning fewer problems, I would make sure that I am assigning an assortment of problems that address the types of problems in the set of 25 long-division problems within the regular homework assignment. Some of the problems could be two digit divided by one digit, three digit divided by one digit, or word problems that ask you to determine how to set up the division problem and then solve it.  I wouldn’t want him to be at risk on an assessment because he didn’t have the opportunity to practice all of the types of problems in that given lesson.

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TEEAM Project- Writing and Explicit Lesson

"If you were Samuel's teacher, would you agree to do this? Why or why not?" 

The answer is, yes. The purpose of the practice was not to see if he could copy the problems correctly.  It was to see if he could do long division. Because of other learning disabilities, motor skills and short term memory issues, I am guessing that Sam would probably have errors in his work just from copying and setting up the problem in a neat and organized method. I cannot imagine the level of frustration that both Sam and the parents would have with this assignment.  The quote from the book was, “Practice activities must be intentional and purposeful to have a positive impact of student achievement.”  This 25 problem lesson would not have a positive outcome.  If Sam continues to struggle with his math facts, I would think that he would benefit from strategies and extra practice for the multiplication and subtraction facts to help with get those firm.   
Archer talks about initial practice and distributed practice.  During the initial practice the teacher should have been keeping a watchful eye on all her students to make sure that they were able to do the long division.  I highlighted the words that talked about distributed practice- “practicing skills for a relatively short duration and spaced or time” and cumulative practice- “adding skills that were previously acquired and practiced.” The teacher should reconsider her homework for the whole class to keep them sharp in all skills that have been taught and to in long term retention.

  Lots of questions and concerns come to mind with the case study.  Why did the teacher not know that Samuel would have a difficult time copying the problems? Is it necessary for any of the kids to complete 25 of the same type of problems? How long are the other children spending?   Is that the only skill that the students need practice in?  

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Chapter 8 Providing Appropriate Independent Practice
Complete “Application 8.3” on page 217. After reading the scenario about Samuel, answer the question posed: “If you were Samuel's teacher, would you agree to do this? Why or why not?

I feel for both students and their parents who have so much homework nightly. These tend to be the students who are in various pull out programs (speech, Titles, resource, etc.) and have very little time to complete work in the classroom. They probably are the same ones who have had a lot of homework in the past and will in the future, due to limited work time during the school day. It is easy to see why some students might give up or retaliate because of the overwhelming and disheartening feeling of never getting caught up.

So, my answer to the question if I would adjust the assignments would probably be yes. If Samuel was my student, I would hope that I would have known him well enough and his abilities to find a way that would help him be successful at the skill, yet do so in a timely fashion.

This is an excellent reason why communication with former teachers and parents is vital. I feel fortunate to teach with professionals who share valued information and ideas about students they have had. This helps me design differentiated or individualized plans and hopefully alleviate some of the stress and shutdown of students.
Having an open communication with parents and using their input is also very important. Who better to have on your team than the parents who know their child's strengths and weaknesses, what has worked in the past, and what has been tried? 

 How can you be even more deliberate when eliciting responses from students?
I watched two of Archer’s videos and each is filled with excellent teaching practices that I want to work to incorporate into my daily teaching practice. To become more deliberate in eliciting responses I have been writing in my lesson plans and manuals the type of response to use and when. Engagement was one of my Marzano goals last year so I feel that I am becoming more aware of what is needed to keep the kids engaged and I am developing my “idea toolbox” that I can pull from as needed.  I agree this chapter is a key, and I too wish I could imprint all of the strategies on my brain.  Instead I guess I will continue to implement them by planning ahead and referring to chapter 6 to keep the new strategies coming.  Another idea that is on my “to do list” is to make some signs to go with the response strategies I’m working implementing to hang in the back of the room as a visual reminder to me. 
The one idea that I put into to practice right away was asking the kids to give a thumbs up when they knew the answer to my question.  That action seems to help me allow more thinking time.  After the students are ready to answer I have serval options that were discussed in chapter 6.  I can signal for a choral response, have AB partners share the answer, or depending on the type of question I may ask individual students to share the answer.  
Think-Ink-Share is one of the response practices that I have been using more frequently in math.  It has been a great way to check for comprehension of the new concepts and during review.  It gives me the opportunity to check all students understanding with a quick visual check. 
I do have one question on this chapter.  In using think-ink-share I find that usually 2 of my class of 16 take more one on one teacher guidance, more think time, and more practices.  And I know that Archer says that I need to keep all kids engaged to help with classroom management.  So the question… How do I give the extra individual help to the two slower processing students and keep the others moving at a brisk pace that they are ready for in order to keep them engaged? 

Watch the video of Dr. Archer teaching fifth graders. Pay special attention to error correction, feedback, pacing, and praise. Then reflect on your own teaching practices:
(a) In what ways does this lesson validate my professional practice?
This lesson validates how powerful positive classroom climate and a positive mindset influence student behavior and learning.  Even when providing corrections, Dr. Archer used a very calm, matter of fact disposition.  I try to keep a very calm and positive classroom environment because that lends itself to keeping students from shutting down. 
I try to monitor students’ practices very carefully so they are practicing accurately.  This video shows how important frequent and corrective feedback is in instruction. Dr. Archer was walking around, looking around, and talking around which validates that careful monitoring and frequent feedback.  I am sure she gets her 10,000 steps in daily!
(b) What questions about what I'm doing in my classroom were raised by watching this lesson?
We are completing a book study in our district on the book, Focus : Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning by Mike Schmoker.  The book addresses creating a focus on what really needs to be learned by shortening the list of standards you address in class.  Watching Dr. Archer’s video and reading about all of the different responses this week in her text really supports the idea that less is more so you can provide that immediate and corrective feedback.  I am questioning how I follow the less is more mindset so that I am providing all of the opportunities necessary to fully utilize the explicit instruction procedures.  I am coming to the conclusion that there isn’t an immediate fix, however I need to have more of an awareness so gradually I can create more of a focus on what students need. 
(c) What new ideas do I have to consider (or old ideas worthy of remembering and reconsidering)?
One new idea that I will definitely implement is the use of the point system when in correction mode with sentences as was shown in the video.  It was a quick, effective, engaging way of correcting the sentence. 
There were several  “old” ideas I need to remember and make sure I am implementing.  First of all, Dr. Archer provided “just enough time” for students.  There wasn’t a feeling of frustration by moving too quickly and there also wasn’t the opportunity to get off task due to boredom.  I will continue to monitor my teaching so I provide “just enough time”.
I like how she had students cross out their error when spelling words and then rewrite the word accurately.  I use that strategy with especially one of my third grade students.  I make sure she has written the word correctly as we practice.  Again, perfect practice makes perfect!
Finally, I like how the focus was on providing correct answers.  There wasn’t an irritated tone used by Dr. Archer when mistakes were noted.  She was very matter of fact and all worked toward the goal of having correct answers.

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Chapter 7 Delivering Instructional Other Critical Delivery Skills
For this response, please go to Watch the video of Dr. Archer teaching 5th graders. Pay attention to error correction, feedback, pacing, and praise. Then reflect on your own teaching practices:

a. In what ways does this lesson validate my professional practice?
Archer states that one of the most powerful instructional practices is to provide feedback on students' performance. She goes on to say that the goal of feedback is to close the gap between students' current performance and the desired performance by telling them if their answer is correct or not. (pp. 174-175) 
This is one area that validates my professional practice, which is doing informal assessments with oral responses or hand gestures which allows me to give immediate affirmative feedback. By getting this information quickly I can see if extra help is needed or if we can move on. This helps keep the pace brisk without the fear of going too fast.

Another practice Archer did during the lesson was to move around the room to manage behaviors without having to stop the teaching flow. Her physical presence made the one student in the front get back on task. Granted, she had to keep going back to that same area, but it worked each time. This is something I try to do too. Watching Archer do it made me realize how much valuable teaching time can be lost by stopping class instruction to deal with behavioral problems, especially if teacher proximity will get students back on task.

b. What questions about what I'm doing in my classroom were raised by watching this lesson?
When I do lessons using frequent student responses, many times throughout the lesson I have students quickly talk or tell their answers to their shoulder partner. I noticed Archer only let students talk to their partner when a longer response was needed. Perhaps this is why my lessons sometimes get too long and we need to do more individual responses instead of group ones. 

c. What new ideas do I have to consider (or old ideas worthy of remembering and reconsidering)?
Using examples and non-examples is something I need to make certain I incorporate regularly. Watching Archer, she made both kinds of examples flow so easily into the lesson. She proved how powerful using both kinds of examples are in the explicit instructional process. 
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