After reviewing the results of the student survey, I would say that I was able to reach my goal. My focus was on Clarify/Collaboration and there were steps that I took to make sure that I improved in this area. First, I made it a point to be prepared and come to the lessons with the necessary materials and plans. One way that I facilitated this was to keep track of students’ needs on an excel document. Another way that I was able to reach my goal was to have more constructive meetings with my co-teachers. I also made it a point to be more forward when I knew it was in the best interest of the students to have small group pull-outs or one-on-one time. These factors allowed me to improve in clarifying the learning objectives and successfully teach them.
Moving forward, I think I could still improve on co-planning to focus more on individual needs and differentiation rather than just COLOs. I would also like to better understand how to best help students with their individual needs: scaffolding, best practices, etc. I have been learning a lot from colleagues, but there is always something else we can do.
Weekly Planner ES
This academic school year isn’t only going to pose a challenge because we are starting the year with a new teaching model, but also because I am a new EAL teacher. I relish in the thought of learning new strategies from colleagues and online courses; however, this will take time and patience. I include patience because another aspect of my life that will be difficult to manage with all of this ‘newness’ is the new addition to my family. Now, with two kids to watch full time, I am going to definitely have to allocate my time wisely. I guess ‘free time’ will have to be put aside for now.
I want to focus on some parts of the 5Cs that are going to help guide me to make the best decisions for my students as they continue to learn English as another language.
+ Care: This seems to be very important because a student will always have a difficult time learning if they don’t think they are cared for and safe. This is especially important when students are learning another language or concepts in another language as they are often embarrassed about making mistakes. I will teach and guide students to form a growth mindset, to face the challenges of reading, writing, and speaking in English, and to not fear others when trying out a new language. In my experience, students become quiet and reserved because of this fear. The way I will show care is to model a safe and comfortable learning environment and enforce the collaborative norms. For example, when a student is struggling to find a word, I will teach students to pause and let the student find the word themselves, to not blurt out the word for them. I will also eliminate common detrimental vocabulary that has plagued schools for a long time (‘easy’. ‘just-right books’, ‘good job’).
+Clarify: Another C that will be important to pay attention to is Clarify. We have been doing great to clarify learning goals through the COLOs; however, I think it is even more important to clarify for digital competence. Last shcool year, many of my students had difficulties using the online tools and platforms. This created unnecessary stress for those EAL learners. Also, for EAL students, I want to make sure that they understand what it is we are trying to learn. Basically, unpack the standard for them even more and explain the content in a more accessible way: start with cultural and prior knowledge of the subject, identify the language used for the concept in their own language, then finally, teach the ideas.
For this year, I hope to guide my colleagues in using WW and RW correctly. As this is a strength of mine, I hope I can help as much as I can. What I will need help with this year is strategies to get students using English more. For example, I know a couple of phonics strategies, but could definitely benefit from learning more. I am also interested in learning phonics strategies that can be used with older students so they don’t feel ‘childish’. I also would like to learn more related to EAL instruction. I plan to achieve these goals by attending online classes and collaborating with colleagues.
I was very pleased with the results and felt that the students were better able to answer the questions accurately because I went over the questions beforehand.
I noticed that one of the areas of growth is in Consolidation, and I totally agree with this. Often I forget to go back over the content objectives and language objectives for lessons. I would like to make this my goal but to also include Clarify as an area of growth. I will be working with Kathryn this coaching cycle and am focusing on reading. I want to clarify to the students the reading goals for the unit, assess them often, and follow their growth more scrupulously.
Summary of Goal:
- Consolidate and Clarify learning with students by sharing the objectives before and after the lessons, assessing them often to get an idea of where they are, and focus on growth where deficiencies are identified.
After analyzing the results of the survey, I have found that I still need to work on clarifying the learning:
Making Deliberate Actions Towards a Goal
I’ll be honest. I have not deliberately worked on parts of my goal:
- going over the content and language objectives after the class.
- breaking the instructions down into more accessible chunks.
I have found that these actions have been more reactive than proactive (deliberate). For example, I gave my students some instructions and expectations for a project relating to migration. It was not until going around and observing and conferring with them that I found that they were confused about the expectations and had left out some very important, key details. Oops. Another example is during writing I have tried to have students reflect on what they have learned that workshop with their writing buddy. This was a routine that was set up without any reflection on my goals. It is good teaching, just not deliberate.
I need to be more deliberate about working on my goals. This will definitely be a focus for me for the remaining days of this school year.
After analyzing the data from the survey, I have found that I need to make some changes to my teaching craft in relations to Clarity of the 7Cs.
There are other areas of concern; however, I feel that if I improve in Clarity, the other areas will improve. For example, I tend to become frustrated when students are disengaged and inattentive when directions are given or explicit teaching is happening. This affects the general Care within my teaching. This might not happen if more students were able to work independently. Therefore, if I was more clear in my teaching and directions, it would improve the overall classroom experience.
Before I get into steps and strategies I would like to implement, I would like to explain a philosophy that I have around learning:
- When students feel comfortable with the content and practice or inquiry, students will feel successful and be engaged.
- It is only when students feel lost or frustrated with the learning that problems arise in comfort, management, and behavior.
- When the learning is accessible to all students, all other areas will improve.
Steps to Improve Clarity:
- Deliberate explanation of the Content Objectives and Language Objectives before and after the learning in a subject.
- Macro scaffold Content Objectives – break down the learning into smaller accessible chunks that do not overwhelm students.
- Tend to students’ misconceptions and questions.