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Real-World Teaching Scenarios 2

Real-World Teaching Scenarios 2

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Andrew Smith

EDU 382

Instructor Kelley

September 24, 2014

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3 2

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3

Introduction

An effective and successful teacher will know multiple strategies to help students succeed

in the classroom and to become effective learners. Students come from all walks of life, have

different abilities, strengths, weaknesses, intelligences, gaps in prior knowledge, and a number of

other factors that teachers must consider when trying to engage students and help them learn.

Experience is a great teacher, but for those new teachers without much or any classroom

experience, it can be difficult to find ways to help some students, such as the apathetic students,

the troubled students, or the students who give it their best but are still unable to meet the

standards. For these teachers, there are a great deal of resources available for them, such as other

teachers around campus, online resources, print resources, and many others.

Scenario 3

One great method that would help both Shelly, the teacher, and Nathaniel, the student,

would be to have him help out in the class. Because Nathaniel is a high-achieving student and

has a higher level of skill than the others in the class, he can help the others as a sort of

tutor/aide. While in high school, I was ahead in many of my classes, so I became the T.A. for a

lot of my classes, this helped to keep me engaged, and also gave the other students extra help

when they needed it. To enact this strategy, Shelley could announce to the class that they have a

new student helper, and that if the teacher was busy with another student, they should find

Nathaniel and ask for his help. To assess whether the strategy works, after a trial period, Shelly

could look at all the students work, see if they are improving, and also make sure that Nathaniel

is not falling behind because of helping others.

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3 3

Another method effective to engaging students is differentiated instruction. This

instruction could focus on the same aspects the rest of the class is covering, but at more depth, or

he could be assigned advance placement work. There are many ways to differentiate instruction

so that students can learn the material, the level of difficulty, the learning style, or even the

different areas of intelligence that are used to complete the work. To implement this strategy, I

think using a computer program would work best. It would allow him to work through the

material at his own pace, while also giving feedback and corrections as he worked through the

program. To find out if this strategy is effective, all Shelley would need to do is check the

program, and the grades of his work.

The third strategy to help Nathaniel engage in the classroom would be to use his prior

knowledge and interests and connect the learning to real-life aspects. Nathaniel needs to know

why the information is important, and what can be done with the learned information. In using

his interests, Shelley could design math problems or games that would involve his interests. For

example, relating math to football or farming, like in our discussion last week. To enact this

strategy, Shelley must first learn about Nathaniel, what he likes, his interests, and then find ways

to connect her lessons to these, or to differentiate instruction so that his activities and work are

based on his interests. To assess this strategy, Shelly can simply look at his level of engagement

and the frequency of his acting out. As our textbook states, [the] best classroom-management plan

is an engaging lesson plan, (Kajitani, Lehew, Lopez, Wahab, & Walton, 2012, P. 75, Par. 2).

Scenario 4

The first method for getting Suzies students to engage in lectures, and not become bored

or distant, is to start by telling the students why the information they are covering is important,

the why of the lesson, (Kajitani, Lehew, Lopez, Wahab, & Walton, 2012, P. 72 , Par. 6). By

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3 4

doing this, the students will understand why they need to know the information, and how they

will use this information in later learning. Class expectations should also be covered so that

students know what is expected of them. Consequences and rewards, for following or failing to

follow class rules should also be discussed, allowing for student input; consequences and

rewards will be more effective if students have some say. To implement this strategy, Suzie

should begin the lesson with a class discussion, going over the importance of the lesson, as well

as expectations, and ending with the discussion about consequences and rewards. To assess

whether or not this strategy worked, Suzie can ask students to turn in their notes at the end of

class so she can evaluate them.

Another strategy that has shown success in other areas is to explain the use of this

information, calculating the area of shapes, and connect it to real-life problems. Suzie should

also try to connect this lesson to her students lives, that way the students stay engaged

throughout the lecture. If a student is engaged and sees why the information they are learning is

important, and how it connects to their lives, they are more likely to pay attention and retain the

information. There are many areas that use the calculation of shapes, from engineering,

construction, and design, to gardening and much more. Before using this strategy, Suzie needs

to find out what her students interests are, that way she can relate it to those interests, and keep

her students engagement high. She also needs to find specific real-life uses for calculating the

area of shapes, that way she will have an answer when her students ask. It should be easy to

check if this strategy worked, Suzie just needs to look around the room to see that her students

are engaged, and while lecturing, she can ask students questions about the things they are

covering. That way, students know they need to be paying attention, and might be called on to

answer a question about the topic.

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3 5

Another strategy that is very effective is to break up the lecture into smaller bits, and

allow for practice time during the breaks. This allows Suzie to cover some of the information,

have her students practice using the information, ask questions to clarify concepts, and then

move on to the next step in learning to calculate shapes. This way, students do not become stuck

on one part because of confusion or misunderstanding, and the whole class can move along at the

same pace. If there are multiple steps in the information being covered, giving students time to

think about and practice these steps before moving on is important to retention. To implement

this strategy, Suzie must be aware of her students prior knowledge so she can cover any gaps

they may need filled in to learn how to calculate the area of a shape. Afterwards, she can start

the lecture, with breaking points in mind. During the lecture breaks, she can go around the room

while students are practicing with the information they just learned, to see if any are stuck or

confused. To assess whether this strategy worked well, or not, Suzie can examine her students

practice work, as well as notes that were taken.

Scenario 5

The first thing Dave should do is to sit down with Michael and talk with him; he should

find out about his life outside of school, his interests, any problems he may be facing, and

basically get to know him and show that he cares and wants him to succeed. Dave should also

talk to him about the importance of the class, how it will help him succeed in the future, and his

expectations for Michaels behavior and effort. It is important to hold high expectations for all

students, but to also meet them at their level, and build up their skills until they can meet those

expectations. Performance contracts can also be used, and in this case, the parents should be

involved; this will ensure that Michael is aware of the class expectations, as well as

consequences and rewards that will follow. Intrinsic motivation, like praise and recognition can

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3 6

act as very effective rewards. Periodically, especially after tough lessons, Dave should find time

to sit down with Michael for one-on-one meetings where he can discuss progress, offer

encouragement, and see if he has any questions or is confused by any other the concepts covered.

There are a variety of resources Dave could consult to find ways to get Michael to

become more engaged in the classroom, parents, school officials, other teachers (either

Michaels previous teachers, or other teachers that have experience with apathetic students), and

even Michael, himself. Michaels parents know all about Michael, what he likes, what he does

not like, interests, and etcetera, and can give this information to Dave, so that he can adjust his

instruction to match. School officials can provide praise and recognition, because they mostly

deal with Michael when hes in trouble, this would be a big change, and may motivate Michael

to continue to try harder. Other teachers, especially veteran teachers, are a great resource when

trying to find a solution to a problem student. They have lots of first-hand knowledge and

experience that could provide valuable insight into trying to get students to engage in the

classroom. As for Michael, he could tell the teacher the way he prefers to learn, share his

interests, and discuss his strengths and weaknesses, so that Dave can successfully differentiate

instruction which will help Michael to maintain engagement (Craft, 2010).

Another valuable resource in the classroom, are the high achieving, responsible students.

Dave can use one of them as a tutor for Michael, or he can pair Michael with one of these

students during a group activity. This will help Michael get help he needs, and because it is

another student and not the teacher, there should put less pressure on Michael. To help Michael

not feel like an outcast, Dave can use Michaels age and previous experience with the class by

allowing him to be a teaching assistant, or have him help in areas of the classroom. Because he

has taken the class previously, he should know at least some of the material covered, and should

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3 7

be allowed to help out in the areas he knows. This will help him feel better about having to

repeat the class. He can also act as a mentor to some of the other students; some students may be

in the same boat he was in the previous year, and may be in danger of having to repeat the class.

Scenario 7

Meeting and planning the lessons together with the other teachers will help to acclimate

Shannon into her new school. These other teachers have been at this school, know the students,

and have an idea of what will work and what will not. Because of curriculum mapping, these

other teachers have had time to assess what parts of the curriculum work well, and what could be

updated to better help students meet the standards. The importance and value of curriculum

mapping come in the collective review of this feedback and in the agreed-upon changes to curriculum

and assessments that occur as a result of that careful and honest review, (Kajitani, Lehew, Lopez,

Wahab, & Walton, 2012, P. 77, Par. 1). With Shannon being a new teacher, she may have some

ideas that could improve the curriculum, things that may have been done differently at her old

school. With all the teachers working together, it can help to ensure the students get the best

lessons and curriculum design to help them meet the standards.

The first strategy is backwards design, or understanding by design. This should be a part

of any and all lessons. If the teacher knows what will be covered on assessments, then they have

a great starting point at where they can begin designing their lessons. With understanding by

design lessons, the unit assessment is designed first, so that the teacher will know what they need

to teach. However, teachers should be wary of possible student information gaps, and fill in

these gaps. Another lesson planning model that could be used is based on the local and state

standards. The teachers will look at the standards, and design the lessons, activities, questions

and instruction so that their students can meet these standards by the end of the unit (Kajitani,

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3 8

Lehew, Lopez, Wahab, & Walton, 2012). Another very effective lesson plan model is the use of

instructional scaffolding. This allows the teachers to build upon previous knowledge and

periodically check for progress and any confusion on core concepts. Scaffolding breaks

instruction down into easier to digest bits, and then uses that to build knowledge (How to write

lesson plans, n.d.). Whichever model is used, it is important to continually check for

understanding and differentiate to meet individual students needs, (Kajitani, Lehew, Lopez,

Wahab, & Walton, 2012, P. 76, Par. 3).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is the teachers job to find ways to help ensure that each of their students

can be a successful student and learner. With the many resources available to teachers, and the

many different approaches to teaching, there are bound to be ways to get any type of student to

learn, even the most disruptive and problem students. The key is to form a relationship and to

get to know the students, thus showing they care and want them to succeed. From there, teachers

can find more ways to get these students to engage, and can differentiate instruction more

effectively based on the students prior knowledge, interests, and abilities.

Real-World Teaching Scenarios Week 3 9

References

Craft, H. (2010, January 8). Educating unmotivated and at-risk students [Blog post]. Retrieved

from http://suite101.com/a/educating-unmotivated-and-atrisk-astudents-a186830

How to write lesson plans. (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2013, from

http://mathcs.wilkes.edu/~rpryor/ed589/lessplns.html

Kajitani, A., Lehew, E., Lopez, D., Wahab, N., & Walton, N. (2012). The final step: A capstone

in education. A. Shean (Ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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