STRAND 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;

For a high school geometry class I independently planned out a three-week unit, which I then carried out in a classroom with students of a wide range of developmental abilities.  I made allowances in my plan for those students at either end of the spectrum while aiming my teaching towards the majority in the center.

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;

In a middle school classroom I completed a study of an individual student with learning difficulties.  I developed a set of accommodations specific to the needs of the student that would help ensure his success in my classroom.  These accommodations took into consideration both his academic differences and his social challenges and made adjustments in both areas.

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 geometry class I used a variety of assessments according to the specific lesson.  We had daily homework quizzes to assess preparedness, in class assignments to assess cooperative learning and time management, projects and tests to assess learning summatively.

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

While teaching a high school geometry class I realized that I had not been in a normally paced math classroom since the third grade and that my beliefs and expectations were not necessarily appropriate for my current situation as a result.  I was forced to reconsider my pace and revise my plans to better meet the needs of my students.

e.  Differentiate instruction in an environment that facilitates each student’s learning and access to an equitable education;

In my algebra II class students completed a project with many parts.  These included an oral presentation, a creative project, formal research, and a written assessment.  Students were informed that he project would be graded as a whole and it was their choice where to devote the most energy.  This gave every student a chance to shine in his or her own unique way.

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;

In my special education placement I was always sure to prepare at least three ways to present any given topic.  This helped make sure that I had something for every student.  I would use different explanations based on what I already knew about student backgrounds and needs.

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

For my first geometry unit I used three unique forms of assessment in order to get the best picture of student understanding and achievement.  The first was homework, which completed mainly individually outside of class, but they could ask questions.  The second was the test, which was completed individually in class.  The final form was the project, which was completed mainly in class and in a group.

h.  Exercise informed judgment in planning and managing time and resources to attain goals and objectives;

One of my focuses in my field placement was to improve my timing in my lessons because I had noticed that I had difficulty staying on the schedule I set.  I worked on this both in my placement and in the classroom and am now much better at estimating the amount of time activities will take as well as keeping myself on schedule during a lesson.

i.   Promote literacy in a variety of contexts (e.g., numeric, graphics, textual, multi-media, artistic, and digital); and

While in the special education classroom I worked with students on how to break down word problems into manageable pieces.  Many students were able to complete the math, but unable to decipher the problem.  This is an important area of literacy that is rarely if ever addressed directly.

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.

In my geometry class I had several students with accommodations specified in their individual education plans.  I was always sure to talk to student about their accommodations and how they will be met.  It is important to me that I do it in a subtle enough manner so as not to isolate them from other students.