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  1. 1. 1 In-Depth Exploration of a Learner Using a Student Biography to Inform Classroom Practices Stefani Messick Colorado College
  2. 2. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 2 In-Depth Exploration of a Learner Using a Student Biography to Inform Classroom Practices According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2013), during the 2011-2012 school year, 81.9 percent of all teachers in public and private elementary and secondary schools were White. In contrast, only 53.8 percent of the country’s resident population between the ages of five and seventeen were White (NCES, 2013). The percentage of White students has declined every year since 1980 (NCES, 2013), which indicates an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse student population. Students whose cultures differ from that of the school or whose native languages conflict with the school curriculum are now being inclusively referred to as culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students (Herrera, 2010). In a society where English language learners represent the fastest growing segment of the public school population (National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, 2007), it is important that teachers are aware of their privilege as well as the dissonance between their biographies and those of their students. If a teacher is aware of herself and others, then she can “shift the center” of her teaching toward her students. Andersen and Collins (2004) posit that shifting the center is fundamentally about reconstructing knowledge to include the perspectives and life experiences that have not traditionally been heard. This concept is important because students in learner- centered classes are more likely to be academically successful than those in traditional teacher- centered, lecture oriented, one method-for-all classes (McCombs & Whisler, 1997). Shifting the center values diverse histories and recognizes the importance of historically marginalized groups and is the basis of culturally responsive teaching. This case study follows Cheryl, a first grader in a local K-8 school located in the lowest socioeconomic district in the county. The purpose of this study and paper is to examine what role
  3. 3. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 3 a student’s biography plays in her educational experience, and to address what teachers can do to best meet students’ needs through culturally responsive teaching practices. Cheryl, at the age of six, is learning Spanish and English simultaneously. She spends half of the reading time with the English Language Learner specialist. She has family ties in Mexico but has spent all six years of her life in the United States. She lives in a large family with two older brothers and many cousins, while her parents are both blue-collar workers with two different levels of English language proficiency. Her classroom teacher told me that Cheryl is performing below grade level in all subjects. This teacher also taught Cheryl’s older brothers and noted that the family doesn’t lack a history of education, so Cheryl’s struggles are unprecedented and puzzling. Literature Review In practice, culturally responsive teachers acknowledge and include student biographies in instruction by creating a “third space.” The third space is a set of classroom conditions that make it possible for students and the teacher to collaborate and create knowledge in culturally relevant ways; teachers create these spaces by drawing on students’ background knowledge and life experiences (Herrera, 2010). Further, teachers who capitalize on students’ ways of knowing and interacting with the world understand that CLD students’ assets have the potential to accelerate learning and create true teaching and learning communities (Herrera, 2010). Another important way to meet individual CLD student needs is through implementing Krashen’s Input Hypothesis. Similar to Vygotsky’s (1978) Zone of Proximal Development, Krashen’s equation, “i+1,” considers a student’s current position in development – the i – and the point just beyond the student’s current limit of development – the +1 (Herrera, 2010). It is important for a teacher to understand the multiple perspectives and elements that help create a student’s “i,” as well as determining an appropriate next step, or “+1.” For example, a lesson should begin by activating
  4. 4. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 4 each learner’s past experiences and existing knowledge, and moving forward, the students and the teacher should continually connect the past to the present (Herrera, 2010). Teaching and learning with Krashen’s and Vygostky’s models in mind requires purposeful planning and continuous assessment with the biographies of the learners in mind. Successful culturally responsive teaching is made up of certain practices. Following a revision to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), literacy began to take on a new identity – one of an iterative process that involves strategies such as critical thinking and metacognition, as well as interdisciplinary skills. The shift moved from content area instruction and an emphasis on strategy use to a greater focus on the actual content of the disciplines and the ways that literacy can be used to foster disciplinary understandings (Brock, Goatley, Raphael, Trost-Shahata, & Weber, 2014). Emphasizing disciplinary literacy involves utilizing writing, reading, and classroom talk to support learning and connections across disciplines. Additionally, instruction should connect to conceptual tasks in the discipline that can apply to real-world contexts (e.g. writing a persuasive letter or taking observational notes). A study examined the process and impact of an instructional intervention that promoted science and literacy achievement in CLD elementary students. The interventions included professional development and classroom practices that better involved home languages and cultures, and emphasized disciplinary literacy skills. Significance tests of mean scores between pre- and posttests indicated statistically significant increases: 3rd grade, (pre-test M=0.40, SD=0.69, posttest M=1.25, SD=0.86), t (16.66) =1.23, p<0.000; 4th grade, (pre-test M=0.75, SD=.81, posttest M=1.76, SD=0.77, t (22.03) = 1.25, p<0.000 (Lee, O., Deaktor, R. A., Hart, J. E., Cuevas, P., & Enders, C., 2005). Another study, in an effort to break the pattern of new teachers who poorly their students’ needs, studied how a teacher preparation program that emphasized teacher inquiry ultimately
  5. 5. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 5 produced teacher candidates who were better prepared to meet the needs of CLD students. New teachers sometimes get stuck in a pattern of focusing on self-image, procedures, and management, in a top-down approach from self, to curriculum, to students (Athanases, Wahleithner, & Bennet, 2012). Researchers hoped that by participating in a learner-focused teacher inquiry, teacher candidates would learn to focus attention on special needs or concerns of CLD students. Of the 80 student teachers that were studied over a six-year period, most included 6-12 CLD indicators (of a possible 17) in their written teacher inquiry after a ten-week observation period. The reports included things like an attention to community, school, and class demographics, using research questions framed around CLD students, noting high challenge and high support instruction, learning about student interests, and analyzing patterns of learners. Participants used teacher inquiry elements in varying degrees, in various ways, and with varying levels of success, which demonstrates how necessary it is to keep ongoing monitoring and support to student teachers to keep inquiry responsive to and effective for CLD students (Athanases, et al., 2012). Without attention to Cheryl’s student biography and social history, a standard approach to classroom practices may be less effective and fail to properly meet her needs. This paper will explore the ways in which her biography cannot be separated from teaching practices. Method In order to study the role that biographies play in constructing an educational schooling experience, students in a Culturally Responsive Teaching and Disciplinary Literacy class participated in classroom placements at a local K-8 school. For three weeks, researchers observed classroom teaching practices for three hours each day and engaged in those practices when appropriate. Student researchers also got to know several students on a more personal
  6. 6. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 6 level, through observation, informal interaction, and interviews, in order to construct biography cards. By collecting biographical information on students, researchers attempted to understand how to best meet the needs of the students from a culturally responsive pedagogical standpoint. Researchers also collected learning preferences of the classroom learners in order to construct an appropriate and culturally responsive lesson plan (Appendix A). Researchers gathered student work samples and used them in conjunction with their observations to contextualize course content and analyze the performance of the students in relation to their biographies. This case study was prepared in relation to one specific student, who for this purpose will be called “Cheryl.” Findings The first assessment, learning preferences, revealed (Appendix B) that in this particular first grade classroom, a majority of the class prefers working alone and prefers learning with content that concerns people, human relationships, and conflict. Students have a strong preference for oral instruction but a substantial number of learners also prefer visuals and kinesthetic action in the classroom. The pertinent information regarding Cheryl’s background and educational experience can be found in Appendix C on the biography card. Classroom observations revealed that Cheryl has the most difficulty comprehending what she has read and articulating her thoughts in writing. Working one-on-one with a teacher seems to be the most helpful, and audiovisual instruction seems most effective. The observations were compared to the WIDA (2009) standards, and the continuum it provides is helpful in making sense of Cheryl’s progress in developing literacy through reading and writing. On both the reading and writing continuums, she falls mostly within the “Developing” Stage. To reference a sample of Cheryl’s work, please see Appedndix D. She
  7. 7. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 7 spells phonetically and makes a lot of errors. She reads books with simple patterns, reads her own writing, uses finger-print-voice matching, knows most letter sounds and letter clusters, and recognizes simple words. However, Cheryl struggles with identifying the main idea of passages and has no sense of identity as a reader. Many times while reading aloud, Cheryl spends too much time decoding words to comprehend what she has just read. She often has trouble showing initiative to complete work and struggles with in-class behavior. Implications Based on the findings, Cheryl should receive certain classroom supports in order to further her literacy. Because her older siblings, who are also developing Spanish and English language skills simultaneously, do not have a history of struggling in school, Cheryl’s struggles are concerning. Response-to-intervention (RTI) is a model that potentially provides a way to support English language learners when they show signs of struggling with reading. The model features a regular progress assessment to catch students who need intervention before they fall too far behind (Orosco & Klingner, 2010). The model shifts what has been the traditional procedure from special education referrals and searching for within-child deficits to a new paradigm of examining the instructional context and other factors that can affect students’ learning (Orosco & Klingner, 2010). Because Cheryl is already involved with the English Language Learner (ELL) Specialist, perhaps it is time for the school to look further for new ways to support Cheryl. She is an ideal candidate for an RTI IEP, whether this comes in the form of a formal IEP or from a set of individual practices a classroom teacher implements to support Cheryl. Observations revealed that Cheryl has difficulty adding detail or taking initiative. She would benefit from having an in-class aide, who could assist Cheryl during clas until she gets to
  8. 8. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 8 a point where she can take her own initiative to complete her work and do so at a high standard. Her “+1” in this scenario is a physical person who is intentionally in her zone to help her build her self-efficacy. It will also be helpful to set up a personal learning plan with Cheryl, one where she writes a goal for herself, the teacher writes a goal for Cheryl, and the pair writes a goal together. Finally, because Cheryl seems to perform well during one-on-one instruction when provided with appropriate prompting, it is important that she is paired with the correct student to work collaboratively. Cheryl does well with oral instruction, and catches most of her writing mistakes while reading aloud. She would benefit from reading aloud and revising written work with peers. A paring with a student who also spends time with the ELL Specialist will be most helpful, since Cheryl prefers to work independently and can be stubborn. Working alongside and with peers who can support her and grow with her will support more successful learning and literacy development. Synthesis of Learning Engaging with the content related to CRP has helped me hone my self-perception and direction as a teacher candidate. While the experience has certainly reinforced my strengths, including my compassion and kindness in the classroom and my willingness to understand student perspectives, it has also identified areas of weakness that need strengthening. The Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, InTASC (2011), published Model Core Teaching Standards, and several of the most important items for my personal development as a teacher candidate include Learner Development, Application of Content, and Instructional Strategies.
  9. 9. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 9 My classroom practicum experience has been across the board, but more of my experiences have been in upper elementary or middle school classrooms. My experience in the first grade this block emphasized the necessity of understanding social and cognitive development of the students in order to determine appropriate teaching practices. I was struck by how much variance I saw in students in just one grade level, and at times was unsure of how to appropriately prompt or assist them with their work. I need to focus on providing a suitable “+1.” Next, my observations in the classroom helped contextualize the importance of developing disciplinary literacy skills. The InTASC model asserts that relating to content application, teachers should be able to use differing perspectives to connect concepts and engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving. Something I’ll be sure to take away from this course is the understanding that literacy is thinking. I hope to develop students’ interdisciplinary skills by using relevant assignments and demanding critical inquiry across all domains. In sum, in order to be an effective culturally responsive teacher, I need to provide academic choice that empowers my students and gives them the space to reach learning objectives with the proper guidance and scaffolding. I will never be finished growing and learning in relation to my personal privilege, my intersections with other faces and places, and my working knowledge regarding how to live and connect with others in a multicultural society. It is up to me to learn and understand other perspectives to create a relevant and productive “third space.” My teaching will most certainly not be about me, but it will be for, and centered around, my students.
  10. 10. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 10 Appendix A CRT Lesson Plan
  11. 11. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 11 Students Grade level(s): 1st 200 word description of learners with specific reference to socio cultural, linguistic, cognitive and academic dimensions found through course data collections and other available information: This classconsistsof the lower level half of the entire firstgrade. About 8 students are pulled out for half of the readingtime to work with the ESL Specialist. Three students strugglewith behavior duringclass timeand need more supervision in order to prevent the disruption of their learningas well as thelearningof the entire class. (One para is in the classto help with one student in particular;the other two students’ behaviors areup to the teacher to handle.) Students rotate between readingstations in groups of 2-6 for four rotations of 20 minutes each. Two-thirds of the classprefers audio/oral instruction whilenearly half of the classalso prefers to learn visually and kinesthetically.Students prefer to learn content that focuses on people. Because I have noticed some students are not familiar with all thewords that are on the classroomdeck of word cards,I havealso developed my own working listof words to use for my instruction thatalso reinforceother disciplines,includingspellingand science. Lesson Disciplines[s] addressed: Reading  Phonics Writing  Spelling Science  Vocabulary Essential Question: How do longand shortvowels affect pronunciation and spelling? Objectives: What skills,knowledge or understandings (content) will students gain by the end of the lesson? What listening,speaking,readingor writing(language) objectives will students gain by the end of the lesson? Students will havea better understandingof how longand short vowel sounds existin language.Students will be ableto identify the vowel sounds in context. Students will be ableto use written phonetic context clues to help decide if a vowel is longor short. Key Vocabulary: Science words: penguin, woodpecker, owl, habitat,trait,parent, offspring,bird,egg, tree, drill,beak,feather Math words: add, subtract,math Spellingwords:animal Other words: aim,fame, bat, date, band, eat, create, desk, sea,sit, dinner,mint, fright, kite, stop, crop, snack,mad,
  12. 12. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 12 bake, snake, cat, beans, ten, men, pet, meat, lick,side,dime, time, light,rob, hope, mop, knot, coat, note, cube, hug, cute, ice,home, song, name, iPad,book, read Connection to Common Core State Standards: Reading Standards:Foundational Skills K-5  Grade 1 Standard 2 – Demonstrate understandingof spoken words,syllables,and sounds.  Standard 2 Parta – Distinguish longfromshortvowel sounds in spoken singlesyllablewords. Materials (attach sample when applicable): Word cards with pictures – in Ms. DePace’s classroom;students arealready familiar with these words from previous station work White boards and dry erasemarkers – at the desks My listof words to have students work through How will you ensure the lesson: (1) Delivery and (2) content My lesson delivery will beculturally responsivebecauseitwill play to the learningpreference of the class (kinesthetic, audiovisual) and itinvolves words thatthey should be familiarwith.I’m trying to work within the third space(Herrera, 2010) by consideringthelevel of familiarity students have with the content, especially the English languagelearners.Becausemy lesson also incorporates several task-oriented objectives,including spellingand recognition,the lesson also includes other disciplinary contentin an effort to promote disciplinary literacy (Brock,2010). reflect connections to culturally responsive teaching & disciplinary literacy? Cite at least 2 course readings and how these concepts are reflected in your plan. 1. Activation phase Because this is notthe firsttime students have engaged with the concept of longand shortvowels, the activation phasewill be relatively short.I will ask students what the shortvowels sound like.We will also go over what the longvowels sound like,emphasizingthat long vowels tend to say the “name” of the vowel (e.g. long“a” says “a”). Their classroomteacher reviews the vowels before every small-group readingsession.Thus,the activation phase does not need to be longsincewith the continued lessons and stations thatfocus on this concept seems to communicate that the students need more practicewith application. 2. Connection phase Duringthe connection phase, students will work with word cards thathave previously been used for reading station instruction.Wherestudents have previously been workingindependently to decode words and sort them
  13. 13. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 13 into shortor longvowel lists,this phaseduringmy lesson will bemore interactive. I will hold up the word card and say the word aloud (audiovisual) and in response,students are asked to crouch if they hear a short vowel and to jump up if they hear a long vowel (kinesthetic). Because students identified a wide range of learningpreferences, and because drawingon multiplemodalities helps establish morecognitiveconnections,I feel this approach will help students make better connections to the sounds of the vowels in their contexts. 3. Affirmation phase The final phasewill requirethe students to join their knowledge of longand shortvowel sounds with spellingand phonics skills.With the students workingon their white boards,I will read a word from the listI havegenerated that has either a longor a short vowel (most of the words are monosyllabic,which aligns with the CCSS). Some of these words are vocabulary fromrecent scienceunits,others are recent spellingwords,and others are words that I feel are familiarenough that all students haveaccessed the words in a classroomor home context.
  14. 14. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 14 Appendix B Learning Preferences Assessment and Results
  15. 15. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 15 1. When learning something new, I learn best by: Listening to the teacher Reading by myself Listening and reading at the same time 2. I remember spelling words when I say them out loud.
  16. 16. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 16 3. During Social Studies, I like learning about: People Places 4. Charts and pictures help me understand what I’m reading.
  17. 17. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 17 5. I like when the teacher explains new ideas out loud. 6. I like working best: Alone With a partner In a group 7. I like doing activities when we learn a new idea.
  18. 18. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 18 8. I like reading stories about: Adventure People Animals and Nature Mystery or Puzzles 9. I like to move around while I’m learning.
  19. 19. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 19 10. I like to watch videos about new ideas. 11. I learn best by: Touching things Listening to the teacher Looking at words and pictures
  20. 20. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 20 A B C D Q1 AUDIO - 6 VISUAL - 4 AUDIO/VISUAL - 6 Q2 AUDIO - 10 NO AUDIO - 2 Q3 PEOPLE - 5 PLACES - 11 Q4 VISUAL - 12 NO VISUAL - 1 Q5 AUDIO - 12 NO AUDIO - 1 Q6 ALONE - 10 PARTNER - 4 GROUP -2 Q7 KINESTHETIC - 13 NO KINESTHETIC - 1 Q8 ADVENTURE - 11 PEOPLE – 0 ANIMALS/NATURE - 3 MYSTERY/PUZZLES - 2 Q9 KINESTHETIC - 7 NO KINESTHETIC - 6 Q10 VISUAL - 8 NO VISUAL - 7 Q11 KINESTHETIC - 2 AUDIO - 10 VISUAL - 4 Working Alone or with others Preferred Modalities Content Alone Others Audio A/V Visual Kinesthetic People Nature Class 63% 37% 67% 38% 47% 51% 56% 44% Teacher X X X x
  21. 21. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 21 Appendix C Student Biography Cards
  22. 22. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 22 Data CollectionGuide Student Biography Cards Student 1: Name: “Joey” Sociocultural Dimension Home + Community + School= Background Knowledge Has a brother whois 12 and a sister who is 10. He hugs me a lot and seems toalways want affectionand attention. Mom cleans houses and dad worksa lot. Age:6 Grade:1st CountryofOrigin:USA Timein USA:6 years L1: English R: partiallyproficient W: partiallyproficient Linguistic Dimension Valuing L1 & L2 He speaks English at home and has no knowledge of other languages. He seems behind some of his peers in terms of learning phonics, especially vowelsounds. L2 Proficiency(LAS/IPT/Other): O: R: W: SLA: Student Processing: Needs time to think things through – doesn’t always give himself the proper time; other times teacher doesn’t allow proper time. Cognitive Dimension Implications for Practice I see him spending a lot of time building relationships withpeers, sometimes in a perceived attempt to gain social status. He tries to impress his peers with his knowledge of popular rap music or references and I’ve also seen him flirting with girls, whereas I’ve observed much fewer of these behaviors with other students (specifically in the academic setting only).He also seeks attention from teachers oftenduring class. I think he might be trying to make up for a lack of socialization at home while he is at school. I get the feeling from my conversations with him that schoolis a place he tries to build strong relationships at. He doesn’t speak fondly of home. He wants to feel accepted and valued as a learner in the classroom – it will be important to find ways to include his voiceand engage him in waysthat don’t take him off task. Maybeif he feels like he’s a valuable part of the classroom community instead of the constant problem, he will want to participate more productively. LearningStyle: Does well when manipulating materials or moving his body. PriorAcademicExperiences: Had positive experiences in Kindergarten with math and science, which is why they are his favoritesubjects now.He mentioned that he got to do a lot of activities with his hands and materials. He has a timer that the teacher sets for10 minutes. He gets a star if he has stayed on task for those 10 minutes. After fivestars he gets a 5- minute break. I have not seen success with him and the timer. Have heard teacher reference him as having a serious “behavior disorder.” I wonder how much of this is “real” and how much of it is a behavioral response to being constantly monitored.
  23. 23. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 23 PreferredGrouping: He is his most focused when he is 1-on-1 with a teacher. Working with or around his peers is too distracting. Academic Dimension State of Mind I think that because the teacher is hyperaware of his behavior it makes him less inclined to try in school. Misbehavior is his norm. It’s difficultto change something when it’s alwaysbeen that way. Other: School Situated Biography Situated Student 2: Name: “Jake” Sociocultural Dimension Home + Community + School= Background Knowledge Born in Colorado Springs, movedhouses twice. Lives with baby brother, sister who is 11, mom, grandma, grandpa, aunt, and uncle. Likes to play games on his Xbox- Spiderman, Batman, COD, Lego. Enjoysreading booksabout superheroes on his own. Has chores at home but he “really likes helping out.” Completes all his schoolworkby himself. “I don’t know why,but I do everything by myself.” Likes to follow the rules – gets noticeably uncomfortable when others don’t. Obedient, hardworking, and seems convincedof his ownbrilliance – sometimes to his downfall. Age:6 Grade:1st CountryofOrigin:USA Timein USA:6 years L1: English R: proficient W: proficient Linguistic Dimension Valuing L1 & L2 Speaks English at home and has no knowledge of other languages. He’s good at getting his thoughts down on paper and I see him making the common mistakes of kids at this stage of English language development. L2 Proficiency(LAS/IPT/Other): O: R: W: SLA: Student Processing: Likes to give help to other students more than Cognitive Dimension Implications for Practice
  24. 24. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 24 he likes to receive it. Having concrete steps to complete will help motivate him and give him pride as he accomplishes each task. Use his interest in reading and knackfor comprehension to strengthen other areas. Maybe more words for math instruction. LearningStyle: Seen a lot of success with visual processing – especially related to reading and comprehension. PriorAcademicExperiences: Said that he wouldread on his own even if it wasn’t a homeworkrequirement. PreferredGrouping: Works wellalone – self motivated. Can work well in groups, though, due to his insistence on followingrules. Academic Dimension State of Mind I think it willbe important to let him know that his obedience is appreciated, but also be conscious of rewarding him forappropriate and exceptional classroom engagement and work. His identity seems to hinge on being praised and making people in power proud, but this needs to be more related to academics than it does straight complacence. Other: School Situated Biography Situated Student 3: Name: “Serenity” Sociocultural Dimension Home + Community + School= Background Knowledge She lives with her mom, dad, brother (whois 9), grandpa, and a dog. Moved froma hotel to a “blue house.” Shares a room with her brother and sometimes has trouble sleeping. She gives both me and the teacher a lot of hugs. Age:6 Grade:1st CountryofOrigin:? Timein USA:? L1: Spanish R: W: Linguistic Dimension Valuing L1 & L2 I’m not sure of how much technicalfluency she has in either language. She noted that it was hard to be learning both at the same time. I believe she speaks Spanish at home, but her parents also help her with her homework so they must also be bilingual. I’ve observed that her writing skills are poor but L2 Proficiency(LAS/IPT/Other):English O: R: W: SLA:
  25. 25. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 25 her reading seems better than her writing, even if it is on a slightly lowerlevel than her peers She takes her time and makes fewererrors, even if she is slower. Student Processing: Does well when she has the space to take her time. Workingwith another peer whois at a similar level seems to help keep her engaged. Cognitive Dimension Implications for Practice Pair her with other CLD students and encourage them to include Spanish in their discussions if it is helpful to contextualize information. Make sure to have eye contactto be sure she is listening. LearningStyle: She said she finds listening to the teacher the most helpful. PriorAcademicExperiences: Classified as SPED– no indication under what category PreferredGrouping: She does well with other students, especially when they are at her level. I find that when she is workingin groups withstudents at varying levels, she gets lost more easily. Academic Dimension State of Mind I think school is a place where she feels glad to be paid attention to. Because she is learning two languages at the same time, she needs to feel like she has the time to express herself fully and effectively – this includes pausing to allow her time to articulate her thoughts when she is addressing the class or small group, forexample. Other: School Situated Biography Situated Student 4: Name: Cheryl Sociocultural Dimension Home + Community + School= Background Knowledge Lives in a large family.Mom cleans houses and dad, formerly in the army, is now in construction. Evictedand moved in with other family members recently. Unclear if she has 9 brothers and 3 sisters related by bloodor if she has lumped some of the cousins she is living within withthis total. Age:6 Grade:1st CountryofOrigin:Mexico Timein USA:6 years L1: Spanish R: W: Linguistic Dimension Valuing L1 & L2 Speaks Spanish at home with family. Baby sister is only learning Spanish right now but she isL2 Proficiency(LAS/IPT/Other): English
  26. 26. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 26 O: R: W: SLA: trying to also teach her some English. Parents are bilingual in English and Spanish. Student Processing: Has trouble comprehending what she has read and articulating her thoughts in writing. Does well working 1-on-1 with me but has little self-awareness to checkherself as she goes. Cognitive Dimension Implications for Practice Might need to be strategic about peer groupings and abilities so that her partner/s willbe able to help scaffoldthe learning. LearningStyle: Her preference is reading. If she is focused,I have seen her do well whilereading. PriorAcademicExperiences: PreferredGrouping: Alone. Ihaven’t seen her be very successful working in pairs or groups. Academic Dimension State of Mind I think it’s important that she has access to quiet spaces to workand learn because I don’t think she has much of that at home. I haven’t seen her really able to thrive in the classroom when it is noisy and chaotic thus far. Other: School Situated Biography Situated
  27. 27. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 27 Appendix D Student Work Sample
  29. 29. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 29 References Andersen, M. L. and Collins, P. H. (2004). Shifting the center. In M. L. Andersen & P. H. Collins (Eds.) Race, class and gender: An anthology (pp. 14-22) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., Bennett, L. H. (2012). Learning to attend to culturally and linguistically diverse learners through teacher inquiry in teacher education. Teacher College Record, 114(7), 1-50. Brock, C. H., Goatley, V. J., Raphael, T. E., Trost-Shahata, E., & Weber, C. M. (2014). Engaging students in disciplinary literacy, k-6: Reading, writing, and teaching tools for the classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Council of Chief State School Officers. (2011). Interstate teacher assessment and support consortium (InTASC) model core teaching standards: A resource for state dialogue. Washington, DC. Herrera, S. (2010). Biography-driven culturally responsive teaching. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Howard, G. R. (2007). Dispositions for good teaching. Journal of educational controversy, 2(2). Lee, O., Deaktor, R. A., Hart, J. E., Cuevas, P., & Enders, C. (2005) An instructional intervention’s impact on the science and literacy achievement of culturally and linguistically diverse elementary students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42(8), 857-87. McCombs, B. L., & Whisler, J. S. (1997). The learner-centered classroom and school: Strategies for increasing student motivation and achievement. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass.
  30. 30. IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF A LEARNER 30 National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). (2013). Number and percentage distribution of teachers in public and private elementary and secondary schools, by selected teacher characteristics: Selected years, 1987-88 through 2011-12. (Data File). Retrieved February 03, 2016, from National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). (2013). Estimates of resident population, by race/ethnicity and age group: Selected years, 1980 through 2012. (Data File.) Retrieved February 03, 2016 from Orosco, M. J. and Klingner, J. (2010). One school’s implementation of rti with english language learners: “Referring into rti.” Journal of Learning Disabilitites, 43(3), 269-88. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. WIDA Consortium. (2009). Can do descriptors: Grade level cluster 1-2. The english language learner can do booklet grades 1-2. Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.