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School Experience Reflection Journal

Educational Psychology
Ashlee Karsteter
17 March 2015
School: Aurora Elementary
Teacher: Wuestefeld
Grade Level: 4-6
Special Education
**worked with grades 1-3 while they were testing
Chapter 2:
Design a way to enhance a long-term memory for students
with whom you are working or tutoring. Explain what
information you are trying to get them to retain in long-term
memory. Then describe the specific steps you are taking to
achieve the goal.
While working with first and second grade students, I was attempting
to help them recognize and read the color words. As these are sight
words, it is important for students to be able to recall these words
quickly and have a comprehension to be able to use the vocabulary
correctly. The students need to be able to quickly recognize sight words
in order to gain a greater understanding of the main picture. Sight
words are also used to increase reading speed and literacy as well as
In order to achieve fluency in the sight word recognition, I worked with
students one-on-one. Before we began, I explained to them the
importance of learning these words and why we were working so hard
to achieve sight word recognition. Using color words on a colored
piece of paper, I had the student sound out the word. We then moved
to white flash cards with the color word written in the particular color.
Finally, I worked with the students on white flash cards and randomly
had them recite the correct color word. At this point, all words were
written in black. Many of the students were successful. The students
that were successful accomplished because of the progression of steps
and repetition.
Chapter 3:
During your work with the student(s) in tutoring or Response
to Intervention (RTI) settings, thing of a time when you needed
to apply some form of positive or negative reinforcement or
punishment. From the ones described in Chapter 3, explain two
different examples when you used some type of reinforcement
or punishment. Be specific by naming the type you employed
as well as in your description of it.

I was able to use positive reinforcement when I praised a child for

waiting his turn. At the end of the RTI lesson, we had a dealthose
that waited patiently and did not interrupt others would receive candy.
This particular child had never been motivated enough to be able to
earn candy. However, I found that if I praised him frequently inside our
lesson (when he was doing what was asked and staying on task) he
remembered to stay focused. As he continued to improve, I waited
longer to give praise. He is doing much better, but is still a work-inprogress.
Another example is when I used presentation punishment. When we
were sitting in our RTI groups, inside the special education class, one
student would not stay focused. As a group, we ignored this student.
However, when he was ready for attention, he would simply yell out a
cuss word. Instead of getting into a power struggle with the child or
giving the negative behavior more attention, I simply walked to the
iPad and gave this student a RED Dojo point. A Dojo point can be
green or red, positive or negative, and the students earn rewards
based on their weekly accumulation. By giving this student a red point,
he immediately stopped. He did not come and participate, but he no
longer was yelling out in the middle of the lesson.
Chapter 8:
Many instructional strategies are summarized on p. 312 of
your textbook. Describe two of the ones you used for tutoring
or RTI in your school placement. Be sure to give a rationale for
the instructional strategies that you selected to use.
When working with the first and second grade students with special
needs, it was important for them to recognize the sight words quickly
and correctly. In this instance, I was working with the students to
master and review basic skills. While giving the students flash cards, I
was providing direct instruction in a one-on-one setting while
explaining to the students the importance of the skill. When students
understand why they are learning something, they are more willing to
give more effort.
During my RTI group time, together we would read the story. As the
students take turns reading a page, I check for basic understanding by
asking probing questions. My goal is to acquire increased
metacognitive awareness and more effective reading and selfregulation strategies. I accomplish this by checking for comprehension
and class discussions, but too through cooperative learning. Upon
completion of the story, I allow the students to teach me about the

story. They summarize and feed off of one another as to ideas and
topics that need to be discussed. Using reciprocal teaching allows the
students to feel accomplished and, gain a better understanding of the
story when they listen to their classmates explain from their personal
point of view.
Chapter 9:
There are many ways to enhance the classroom environment.
What are some of the ways that you helped to create an
environment that was conducive to learning? Explain which of
the suggestions on p.347 in your textbook for addressing
undesirable classroom behaviors you utilized in the tutoring or
RTI setting of your school experience.
Two strategies for addressing undesirable behaviors I used specifically
with my RTI group were simply conducting a planned, systematic
intervention and ignoring the behavior. I knew that one student
struggled with waiting patiently and not being disruptive. At the
beginning I set the expectations and made the students understand
that I wanted their attention. Throughout the lesson, I reminded and
praised the students for staying on task and waiting patiently for their
turn. By applying positive behavior support, the students were all able
to achieve the goal and learn more through a lesson that was not
interrupted. In another instance, one child did not want to participate
during RTI time within the special education classroom. Instead of
making this a power struggle, I ignored the student. Eventually this
child wanted the same attention that the others were receiving. He did
participate, but on a different level.