PSMT Standard Group #2: Instructional Design and Assessment


Facilitation of learning and achievement of all students (in accordance with the SBE Universal Education Vision and Principles), including the ability to:

a. Apply knowledge of human growth, development, and learning theory to design and implement instruction for the continuing development of students’ cognitive, affective, physical, emotional, and social capacities;

During my student teaching placement, I made specific use of Chip Wood’s Yardsticks to differentiate teaching for particular students (and the class in general), and to gain a better understanding of general cognitive, social, and physical traits of seven-and eight-year olds.

This can be seen in my Action Research Project, in which I used knowledge of needs of second graders to design and implement an intervention to help increase the motivation and confidence of two second grade students

b. Assess learning and differentiate instruction to maximize student achievement and to accommodate differences in backgrounds, learning modes, disabilities, aptitudes,  interests, and levels of maturity; I often used a variety of approaches to account for different learning styles and allow students flexibility of practice.  Often the variance helped every student as it repeated and reinforced instruction of an idea.  Some of these instructional methods included: teaching one concept multiple ways, reading independently, in partners, or as a group; listening to books on tape; and using kinesthetic movement while doing calendar.
c. Understand the connections between instructional decisions, grading, and assessment data. Use formal and informal, as well as formative and summative, assessments to evaluate learning and ensure the academic achievement of all students;

In my Showcase Unit Plan I used a variety of assessment methods to gain a better understanding of how much my students were learning, and how effective my teaching was.  Through use of different assessments, I was able to evaluate how well I was meeting my objectives, and differentiate my instruction as needed.

Click here to review my Showcase Unit Plan, particularly the highlighted “Assessment Plan” section, in which I explain my reasoning and use of assessment throughout the unit.

d. Discern the extent to which personal belief systems and values may affect the instructional process and grading, and adjust instruction and interactions accordingly;

My student teaching experience certainly helped me realize and address the personal beliefs that I held which affected how I taught, viewed students and graded assessments. With that realization and an open communication with my students and mentor teacher. I was better able to create equitable grading systems.
e. Differentiate instruction in an environment that facilitates each student’s learning and access to an equitable education;

Valuing students as individual learners, and thus differentiating my instruction is a critically important part of my teaching philosophy.  Some ways I accomplish differentiation includes developing leveled reading groups, in which more advanced readers read more difficult texts independently while readers who need more scaffolding work with easier texts with a partner or with me; by, at times, allowing students who are more confident with the material to move ahead during assignments, and creating enrichment activities for them; and by allowing all students to work at their own pace during Writing Workshop.
f. Design and implement instruction based on Michigan Curriculum Framework (MCF), using multiple approaches to accommodate the diverse backgrounds, abilities, and needs of students, and modify instruction based on assessment data; One example of how I used multiple approaches to accommodate diverse learners is in spelling, where I used different activities each week during Student Teaching (handwriting, whiteboard manipulation, team games, individual practice, independent games, spelling aloud, etc.)

Click here to view a sample week of spelling lessons

Additionally, the Showcase Unit Plan I designed uses multiple approaches to accommodate various students, is based on the Michigan Curriculum Framework, and has a very specific assessment plan put into place.

Click here to review the “Creating a Community” Social Studies unit plan I designed during my student teaching semester.

g. Understand, design, and implement grading processes and assessments, using multiple approaches to accommodate diverse backgrounds, abilities, and needs of students;

The variety of assessments described in my Assessment Plan, which was designed for my Social Studies Showcase Unit Plan, uses a wide variety of assessments to accommodate all learners.  They are also authentic tasks, and made to be meaningful for the students.
h. Exercise informed judgment in planning and managing time and resources to attain goals and objectives;

Throughout the progression of my education courses, in-class placements, and student teaching I have developed and implemented lesson plans with a variety of subjects and age groups.  In all cases I was able to be flexible and adjust to the needs of the students, time constraints, and/or resource limitations in order to obtain my objectives.
i. Promote literacy in a variety of contexts (e.g., numeric, graphics, textual, multi-media, artistic, and digital); During the fall of 2009, in Education 371, I conducted a Literacy assessment in kindergarten class, in which I implemented nine different tasks to help better understand how an individual student was literate, then used that knowledge to promote literacy in a variety of ways, including shared reading and writing; and wrote a reflective analysis of the tasks and my conclusions.

Click here to review the literacy assessment survey and my analysis of the tasks

During student teaching I promoted literacy in a number of ways, including a math word wall, writing number words on the calendar each day, using number sentences, doing read-alouds each morning and afternoon, requiring half an hour of silent reading each day, etc.

j. Design, adopt, implement, and advocate for accommodations including assistive communicative devices, assistive technologies, and multiple strategies to enhance learning opportunities according to each student’s needs. During many of the staff meetings I participated in within my student teaching experience we advocated for new technologies such as ELMOs.  Also in terms of assistive personal we were advocating for more training specialists to work with teachers and students in areas of reading and writing. We also focused on how to improve school-wide fluency in math (as well as reading) and how to best accomplish that.