Sample Reflection Paper for Module Two 9/17/10
Module Two: Planning for Active Learning Sample One – Grade 9, English Language Arts Your Reflection Paper should include the following components: the Initial Summary and Professional Growth Goal that you created at the beginning of the module (these will be automatically transferred to your reflection paper); a description of your professional growth activities and what you learned from them; a description of how you applied your new learning as you planned for upcoming instruction, supported by specific examples from your Journal; an analysis of how your practice has changed and the anticipated impact on student learning/performance comparing your practice described in the Initial Summary to your outcomes; and a plan for extending the professional growth experience by building on your current practices related to the chosen Indicator or by making a connection to one other CCT Performance Profile Indicator within the Domain. Goal: I will learn three ways to differentiate instruction and apply that knowledge to plan a series of lessons for the upcoming To Kill a Mockingbird unit. As a result of using differentiated strategies, students will improve their reading comprehension skills. (Indicator 1) Initial Summary: I currently have been directing my instruction to the whole class. I don’t consider the individual students and their own specific learning needs. Although I had given students an Interest Inventory and a Learning Styles Assessment in the beginning of the year, I have not used that information to design my lessons. I do not consistently use my knowledge of students to plan instruction. I rarely design lessons that include differentiated activities that not only help my low achieving students to be more successful, but also challenge my higher achieving students. I do sometimes allow students to choose activities but they are not purposefully designed based on the range of students’ skills. I may differentiate instruction when I am teaching a lesson and see that some students are having difficulty but I do not plan those modifications beforehand.
I began the module with an analysis of my daily teaching practice through the CCT Performance Profile on Planning for Active Learning. It became clear as I discussed the analysis with my mentor that I am not proactive in planning lessons that meet the varied needs of my learners (indicator 1 in the CCT profile). I realized that I had been directing my instruction to the whole class. My mentor and I talked about the individual students and their learning needs. She reminded me that I had given students an Interest Inventory and a Learning Styles assessment in the beginning of the year. When asked how I have used that information to design my lessons, I wasn’t able to provide many examples. My mentor and I reviewed the results of the recent Common Formative Assessment in reading given by the English department. CFA results revealed that not all of my students effectively comprehend what they read. In my ninth grade class, twelve students scored significantly above proficiency on the assessment, eight scored just barely proficient and six students did not meet the proficiency expectations. The six struggling students have weaker vocabularies which contribute to their lower comprehension skills. They struggle with the material and easily 1
become frustrated. The combination of my frustration with my students’ lack of progress in reading comprehension, the CFA data on the range of achievement in comprehension and my realization as I completed the CCT Profile that I wasn’t differentiating to meet the diverse needs of my students led me to explore and then plan strategies for differentiation in my classroom. I began by reading Good Instruction as a Basis for Differentiated Teaching by Tomlinson. I learned that planning should begin with the students and not the curriculum. This meant that I needed to think of my students...
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