Knowledge of subject matter and pedagogy with reference to the MCF and other state sponsored resources, for consistent and equitable learning in Michigan schools, including the ability to:

a.    Design and implement instruction aligned with the MCF, Universal Education Vision and Principles, and the Michigan Educational Technology Standards

I attended a speaker about universal design.  Then, I implemented some of the base technology she discussed into my lesson plans consistently reflecting on the use of technology in the classroom. 

b.    Create learning environments that promote critical and higher order thinking skills, foster the acquisition of deep knowledge, and provide connections beyond the classrooms to promote substantive conversation and clear structured writing among teachers and learners regarding subject matter acquisition

After reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time, I developed and taught a lesson plan to help develop metacognition in students.  The strategy I used involved taking an initial vote about opinions of developing a cure for autism, watching a video about the opinion of a young boy with autism, and taking a second vote.  After the second vote, students and I discussed their opinions and whether or not they had changed.  The sequence of the strategies helped students think about their opinions and form metacognition.

c.    Help each student to learn how to safely and responsibly access and use resources to become a discerning independent learner and problem solver (e.g., print materials, information technology, assistive technology)

Reading the articles: R U Really Reading? and Is Google Making Us Stupid? helped me think differently about the kind of reading my students will be doing. Reflecting and thinking about the articles also made me realize that I read differently because of the internet!  I did not think that I was as used to immediate gratification in terms of reading as I am.  For example, I am a much better skimmer because of the internet and my appreciation for long-winded prose decreases as my internet use increases.  My younger students will have grown up reading on the internet even more than I did.  The issues with reading I face, like skimming and wanting the point immediately, will be even more prominent with my students.  Because I will be teaching quite a bit of literature, I will most certainly face students who will have issues reading works that are not on the internet or in “internet language.” Although I foresee the internet as being a problem when trying to get my students to read from a book, I can also use the internet to my advantage.  The internet can be a great communication tool for my students.  If I am able to reach students through the internet I believe I will be more successful in reaching them through other media as well, such as books and writing.  Although the internet will be an obstacle that I have to overcome when attempting to teach traditional reading, I can also use the internet as a tool to reach my students and reach through technology.

d.    Design instruction so that students are engaged in actively integrating and transferring knowledge across the curriculum

As a teacher of text, having my students meaningfully engage with a text and retain knowledge is very important to me.  Accomplishing these things will also be important to my students because most classrooms, in addition to English classrooms, rely on the interaction with texts.  Increasing comprehension when reading will help students across their educational experience and Split-Page notes are a great way of giving students a way to organize their reading and help them create something meaningful when reading.  Directions for Split Page Notes.

e.    Engage students in activities that demonstrate the purpose and function of subject matter to make connections to the world beyond the classroom and enhance the relationship and relevance to a global society

A lesson I developed as a supplement  for Of Mice and Men involves exposing students to the treatment of the mentally ill in the 1930’s.  The students watch a YouTube clip, read an article, discuss, and journal in order to have a better understanding of the motives for the main characters in the novel. The lesson helped students connect happenings within a text to real-life issues.  Students then put themselves in the place of George, and with their new historical information, make a decision about how to care for Lennie.  Giving the students the chance to use true information in the context of a fictional novel gives relevance and meaning to the work they may not otherwise have obtained.  The lesson also helps students discover new information, apply in the information to the novel, and apply the information in the outside world.

f.    Evaluate, adapt, and modify instructional strategies, technologies, and other educational resources to enhance the learning of each student

For Education 373, I evaluated a high school Literature textbook and reflected on the process.  The evaluation of the book was helpful in thinking about what resources are available for teachers and students and how those resources are composed.  After coming to the conclusion that I would recommend the textbook for use in an English classroom, I also thought of ways to supplement the textbook to better serve students, such as use of contemporary materials (songs, paintings, etc.) with older works of literature.  Using other materials in addition to the textbook can help students make connections across curriculum and connect to a work of literature they may not otherwise have.

g.    Embrace teaching through appropriate and creative activities utilizing instructional techniques that are supported by current research

Three Level Reading Guides are a way for students to actively engage in literature, as described in Multiple Voices Multiple Texts.  I created a Three-Level Reading Guide for J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy.  Completing the reading guide helps students think about a text on literal, interpretive, and applied levels.  Creating the three-level reading guide helped me understand how to scaffold higher thinking for students.  By providing students with literal and interpretive questions to consider first, I prepare them for higher order thinking that will enhance their understanding of the text within the applied questions.  The Three-Level Reading Guide is a great way for me, as a teacher, to help students reach a deeper level of thinking about a text and metacognition that will aid them not only their success in my classroom, but far beyond it as well.

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