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Evidence of Student Learning

Kelly McGinty
March 21, 2016
Towson University

Evidence of Student Learning

Part A: Learning Context, Topic and Objectives (CEC 1, 2, 3, 5/InTASC 1, 2, 3, 4, 7)

Ridgely Middle School, a Blue Ribbon public middle school in Timonium,

Maryland, serves 1,154 students. It is also one of the seven middle schools chosen from
all of the middle schools in the county to be a Lighthouse school. This means that there is
a great emphasis on Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow or S.T.A.T., as well as
student centered learning. The average class size at Ridgely Middle School is 27 students.
Within the school, 8.1% of the student population receives Special Education services.
The 6th grade, self-contained English class, used in the completion of this project,
is made up of 10 students, all have Individualized Education Plans and receive Special
Education services. Four out of the ten students receive services for an emotional
disability, two students receive services for a specific learning disability, three students
receive services for other health impairments, and one student receives services for
Autism. Half of the students in the class write basic sentences on grade level, but
struggle with written organization, topic sentences, etc. Three students in the class are
one to two grades below grade level in basic writing and two students are three or more
grades below grade level in basic writing skills. Each student in the class has some
variation of a writing goal, as well as a comprehension-reading goal. Additionally, 30%
of the class receives Speech and Language Pathology Services. There are also two
additional adult assistants in this class.
Throughout the school, 71% of students are white, 13% are Asian, 8% are African
American, 4% are Hispanic, and 4% are of two or more races/ethnicities. Within the
classroom, 10% of the students are Asian, 40% are white, 30% are African American,
10% are of two or more races, and 10% are Hispanic. School-wide 49% of the students at
Ridgely Middle School are males and 51% are females. Within this specific class, 90%

Evidence of Student Learning

of the students are males. In addition to this data, three of the ten students in the class
belong to a residential treatment program for children with emotional and behavioral
Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1 (grade 6): Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what

the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
o Essential Skills and Knowledge:
Monitor comprehension with appropriate during reading strategies.
Demonstrate comprehension of a text with after reading strategies.
Determine and state evidence that confirms the important ideas and
messages of a literary text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.4 (grade 6): Determine the meaning of words and phrases as

they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.

Essential Skills and Knowledge:

Use evidence from an informational text to determine the meaning of a


Use context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

Determine the meaning of figures of speech in context.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.5 (grade 6): Demonstrate understanding of figurative language,

word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Essential Skills and Knowledge:

Demonstrate an understanding of figurative language and connotation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3 (grade 6): Write narratives to develop real or imagined

experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and wellstructured event sequences.

Essential Skills and Knowledge:

Focus on an experience or an event.

Compose with attention to choosing words and phrases for effect and to
convey ideas precisely.


Evidence of Student Learning

At Ridgely Middle School objectives are written as I can statements. Same

as traditional objectives, the I can statements state what the students are learning and
how they are learning it. This is designed in such a way as to give the student ownership
over his or her education. It also presents the objective in a more student friendly and age
appropriate way. The I can statements for this unit are:

Day One:
o I can define and identify three types of figurative language, specifically
metaphors, similes, and personification by creating a foldable resource.

I can assess my knowledge of metaphors, similes, and personification

through the pre-assessment.

Day Two:

I can give examples of metaphors, similes, and personification by previewing

Esperanza Rising.
Day Three:
o I can create my own examples for metaphor, simile, and personification by
writing a poem, song, or story that explains an image.

I can evaluate my knowledge by completing an end of unit assessment on

figurative language.

Students will demonstrate the knowledge they have gained and mastery of the objectives
as they complete the formative and summative assessments.
Part B: Assessment Plan (CEC 4, 5/InTASC 6, 7)
The summative assessment and the pre-assessment mirror each other; they assess
the same content in the same way. The pre-assessment is composed of six multiplechoice questions. Three of the questions ask the student to define the type of figurative
language and three of the questions ask the student to identify which sentence is an

Evidence of Student Learning

example of the given type of figurative language. Each question has three answer
choices, instead of four. A reduced number of answer choices is a modification on many
of the students IEPs. In addition to these six questions, students had to choose a simile, a
metaphor, or personification and create an example. The summative assessment keeps the
same format as the pre-assessment up to the last question, which is changed so that
students create their own example of a simile. In this way, I will be able to obtain an
accurate view of students prior knowledge, as well as how much they have learned as a
result of instruction. Below Part B on pages 7 and 8 are the pre-assessment and the
summative assessment.
The formative assessments vary throughout the unit as the objectives change each
day. On the first day of this unit, students will demonstrate their prior knowledge as they
take the pre-assessment. As the class moves into the lesson, we will use the Figurative
Language reading in order to define and give examples of similes, metaphors, and
personification on the foldable. I will model the foldable with the first type of figurative
language and monitor student progress as they work on the rest of the foldable. The
foldable will act as both a formative assessment, as well as an ongoing resource to which
students may refer. Each student will be given an exit slip with two sentences that he or
she must identify as a metaphor or a simile. An example of the exit slip is included
below Part B on page 9.
By the end of the second day, students will be able to find examples of figurative
language within a text. After modeling the activity, students will demonstrate their
knowledge by recording the examples of figurative language that they find within
Esperanza Rising. The Hunt is On worksheet, included below Part B on page 9, will
be turned in at the end of class and graded. Once students have finished identifying

Evidence of Student Learning

figurative language, students will be given a short poem in which they circle the simile,
square the metaphor, and underline personification. The short poem worksheet is
included below Part B on page 10. The formative assessment results will reveal what
they understand, as well as what we need to further review or look at in a new way.
By the end of the third day, students will be able to create their own examples of
metaphors, similes, and personification by writing a poem, story, or song that explains an
image. Together, as a class, we will examine an image and create some type of story that
explains what is happening and that uses the three types of figurative language.
Following a review of the rubric, students will set out to create their own poem, story, or
song. I will monitor progress as students are working and follow the rubric in assessing
their knowledge. All of the materials needed for the formative assessment, including the
Whats going on here?, Poem, Song, or Short Story, and rubric, are on pages 10 and
11. The third day will also include the summative assessment, which contains content
knowledge from all three days of the unit.
I will collect data from all of the formative and summative assessments from the
three lessons in the unit. The data will be recorded and analyzed.


Evidence of Student Learning

Summative Assessment

Evidence of Student Learning

Evidence of Student Learning

Exit Slip, Formative Assessment, Lesson 1 of 3

The Hunt is On, Formative Assessment, Lesson 2 of 3

Evidence of Student Learning

The Short Poem, Formative Assessment, Lesson 2 of 3

Whats Going On Here? image worksheet, Formative Assessment, Lesson 3 of 3


Evidence of Student Learning

Poem, Song, Short Story Worksheet, Formative Assessment, Lesson 3 of 3

Rubric, Lesson 3 of 3


Evidence of Student Learning


Part C: Instruction (CEC 1, 3, 4, 5/InTASC 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Sharing Objectives
At the beginning of each lesson, the class completes and reviews the Daily
Grammar Practice, or DGP. At the completion of the DGP, I ask a student to read the I
can statement and then we analyze what the I can statement says in order to
ensure that students have an understanding of our goals. This is a daily routine. The I
can statement is always written on the front board for students to reference.
Additionally, I strive to review the statement at the end of the lesson, so that students can
self-assess their progress.

Pre-Assessment Data
Given the scores of each student that completed the pre-assessment, the average
score is 50%, or four out of eight correct questions. One student scored 100% on the preassessment; without this score included the average score drops even further to 40%.
90% of the class requires instruction, regarding this content. Therefore the objectives, or
I can statements, for each day are appropriate for this class.

UDL, Motivation, and Engagement

Each lessons content is presented in multiple formats to reach the most students
by creating opportunities for engagement and motivation, as well as to break down any
barriers to learning. Students will have the opportunity to access the content both
visually and auditorily. For example, in all three lessons any given text, such as
Esperanza Rising, is read aloud in addition to the hardcopy format of the text.

Evidence of Student Learning


All three lessons incorporate choice. For example, in the third lesson, each
student can choose which picture he or she will explain, and in the second lesson,
students are given four different pages in the Esperanza Rising from which they must
find two example of the given figurative language. When students have options, there is
more opportunity for motivation and engagement. Visual representations, such as
cartoons, videos, and pictures are also incorporated throughout all three lessons, allowing
students to interact with the content in multiple ways. This innately increases
engagement and motivation.

Introduction to New Content, Modeling, Guided and Independent Practice, and

Formative Assessments
At the beginning of the first lesson, the class will be introduced to new content by
watching a YouTube video that contains metaphors, similes, and/or personification. As a
class we will discuss one or two of the lyric examples that the creator of the video
incorporated. The hope is that students gain an understanding of how often they
encounter these types of figurative language both in their classes and in the real world.
Next, as a class, we will read the Figurative Language informative text, shown
on page 19. I will complete the first type of figurative language on the foldable,
displayed on page 19. After I model my expectations for the foldable, we will complete it
together, defining the figurative language terms and identifying some examples listed in
the text. Students will be given the Exit Slip in which they will identify a sentence as a
simile or a metaphor. They will be able to use their newly made foldables as a resource.
I will cycle the room to monitor progress and provide on the spot feedback as necessary.

Evidence of Student Learning


On the second day of the unit, there will be a Garfield cartoon, shown below on
page 22, that contains a simile. In addition to the cartoon that will be on a PowerPoint
slide, there will be two questions: What figure of speech do we see used here? and
What is the author of the cartoon saying about life?. I will read the questions out loud
and then each student will find an elbow partner to discuss the questions. It will be a
Think-Pair-Share activity. Every pair will have a chance to discuss their answers with the
class. We will move into the remaining activities after reviewing the three types of
figurative language from lesson one.
During this class, we will be exploring Esperanza Rising in search of similes,
metaphors, and personification. Each student will receive the "Hunt is On" worksheet,
which has page numbers and is separated by the type of figurative language. We will read
the directions together and I will model what I expect from them using the ELMO and
projector. Students will then try to find an example of figurative language in Esperanza
Rising on their own. If they are able to do so, students will search for the various figures
of speech in the text and complete the worksheet on their own. If the class struggles with
this multi-step process, we will find one example of simile, one example of metaphor,
and one example of personification. Then each student will be responsible for finding an
additional example of each kind of figurative language on his or her own.
On the third day of the lesson, the teacher will model the process for making a
song, poem, or story, based on an image. The process of using similes, metaphors, and
personification is the new content or skill. After discussing what the class thinks is
happening in the picture, we will create a story, song, or poem together that uses all three
types of figurative language. After modeling the content, each student will create his or

Evidence of Student Learning


her own song, story, or poem based on the image that he or she chooses. We will take a
few minutes to review the last three lessons on figurative language. I will allow students
to look over their returned papers, specifically their foldables. Each student will then
complete the summative assessment. The assessment, as the ones before, will be read
aloud for everyone, which is an overarching accommodation for the students in this class.

Encouraging Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

Throughout the unit students are given ample opportunities to grapple with
figurative language and the meaning behind the phrases. Figurative language is innately
layered with meaning. Therefore, my job has now become effectively creating
opportunities for students to interact with similes, metaphors, and personification in
authentic and challenging ways. When students examine and analyze the Garfield
cartoon during the Think-Pair-Share in lesson two, students have to create their own
meaning and then adjust their thoughts as they communicate with a partner. Additionally,
as students analyze an image in lesson three, they have to use critical thinking skills
combined with creativity in an attempt to explain the image in a creative way. On top of
all of those criteria, students must also incorporate an example of simile, metaphor, and
personification. Throughout all of the lessons, I have asked students to grapple with the
content and use their creativity.

Descriptive, Clear Feedback

Timely and precise feedback in this class often comes throughout the lesson as
adults interact with the students. At any given time, there are at least three or more adults

Evidence of Student Learning


in the class. This allows me, as the teacher, to monitor student progress and provide
specific feedback to students as they work independently. It also means that students will
receive feedback and guidance from the additional adults within the classroom. In
addition to this immediate feedback, students will have assignments from the day before
returned graded. Whenever possible and appropriate, I like to include specific feedback
in written format. It acts as a commentary that students can reference and use.

Summary of Important Points

At the completion of every lesson, we will reread and review the objective. This
will ensure that we re-examine the goals set at the beginning of class. It allows students
to think back on the lesson and summarize the days lesson.

Evidence of Student Learning

Lesson One


Evidence of Student Learning


Evidence of Student Learning

Text, Introduction to New Content, Lesson 1 of 3

Foldable, Introduction to New Content, Lesson 1 of 3


Evidence of Student Learning

Lesson Two


Evidence of Student Learning


Evidence of Student Learning

Garfield Cartoon, Introduction to New Content, Lesson 2 of 3


Evidence of Student Learning

Lesson Three


Evidence of Student Learning


Evidence of Student Learning


Part D: Analysis and Instructional Decision-Making (CEC 1, 3, 4, 5/InTASC 2, 4, 7, 8)

Lesson and Unit Data:
Lesson One
Studen Pre






Lesson Three
6 (with
chance for






Excused 1

Excused 1


Lesson Two
Hunt is
Poem Exit

Pre- assessment and Summative Assessment

Six of the ten students in the English class completed the pre-assessment; their
results are depicted in the chart below. The scores for both the pre-assessment and the
summative assessment are shown as a percentage. There were four students that did not
complete the pre-assessment. Three of the four students were taken out of class on the
first day of the lesson in order to receive Speech Services. One of the four students went
to the resolution room with the behavioral interventionist. These four students preassessment scores were not recorded.
Nine of the ten students in the English class completed the summative assessment.
Their scores are recorded below. Student A did not complete the summative assessment

Evidence of Student Learning


due to an extended period of absences. Given this students situation, this assessment
was counted as excused and was not recorded in the graph below.

Pre-assessment vs. Summative Assessment



Summative Assessment

Of the nine students that completed the summative assessment, seven students
scored greater than 80%. This ultimately means that seven out of the nine students that
completed the summative assessment mastered defining, identifying, and creating the
different types of figurative language. While Student D did not score higher than 80%,
his score of 66.67% on the summative assessment is still a significant gain, as displayed
through the percentage change increase of 433.28%.

Evidence of Student Learning


Student B originally received a 50% on the summative assessment, a grade

significantly lower than the rest of the class. Upon reviewing his score, I decided that he
should retake the assessment. Student B consistently showed progress throughout the
three lessons. This can be seen in the increase of his grades from lesson ones formative
assessment where he received 50% to lesson two and threes formative assessments in
which he received 100% and 75%. Additionally, Student Bs behaviors impacted his
original summative assessment. Therefore, I do not believe his original grade accurately
reflected his comprehension of figurative language. Given these factors, the student and I
reviewed the foldable made during lesson one and filled an additional one out. One on
one, we discussed each type of figurative language and created more examples.
Additionally, knowing that his behaviors impacted his performance, I made the
decision to change the location of his testing. Instead of testing Student B in the
classroom with all of the other students, we moved into the hall to reduce the likelihood
of distractions and behaviors. As a result of the intervention and environment changes,
Student B scored 116% on the summative assessment. This is a percentage change of
While nine students completed the summative assessment, only five out of ten
students completed both the pre-assessment and the summative assessment. All five
students, Student C, Student D, Student E, Student F, and Student G, showed growth.

Evidence of Student Learning


Percentage of Change from

Pre-Assessment to Summative Assessment

Percentage Change

This is evident in the percentage of change from the pre-assessment to the

summative assessment. Student C and Student F grew 33.28% and 33.33%, respectfully.
Both of these students did relatively well on the pre-assessment, yet both made gains in
the summative assessment.
Student E, Student D, and Student G made even more significant gains. Student
E answered 37.5% of the questions correctly in the pre-assessment and answered 100%

Evidence of Student Learning


of the answers correctly in the summative assessment. Student Es percentage of change

from pre-assessment to summative assessment was 166.66%; in other words, he scored
166.66% more on the summative assessment than on the pre-assessment. Student D
answered 12.5% of the questions correctly when taking the pre-assessment, yet had a
percentage change of 433.28%. This means that Student D received a 66.67% on the
summative assessment, which is a significant improvement in content knowledge.
Student G also answered 12.5% of the questions correctly in the pre-assessment, but
differs in that he got 100% of the answers correct in the summative assessment.
Therefore, his percentage change was 700%. His summative score was 700% more than
his pre-assessment score. Student G showed significant gains as a result of instruction.
Interestingly, while analyzing the data, I found that students with emotional
disabilities had the highest summative assessment results by at least 15 percentage points,
as shown in the chart below. All four students, coded as having an emotional disability,
earned at least 100% on the summative assessment. To me, this highlights the impact that
behaviors, or even more so the impact of the lack of behavior, can have on academic
success. For Student B, his behaviors and attitude affected him the first time he took the
summative assessment, yet given the test at a different time and in a different place, his
behaviors were different and his score improved. If the summative assessment had been
given to this group of students on a different day, under different circumstances, or even
simply on a day with more anxiety, emotions, behaviors, etc., it is likely that their results
would have looked very different.

Evidence of Student Learning


Summative Assessment Average

Other Health Impaired (with Autism code incorporated)
Average on Summative

Student success in this unit can be seen across genders, races, disabilities, and
even students residence. Three of the students in this class live within a residential
treatment facility for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities, while the seven
remaining students live with either their parent(s) or guardian(s). Although there is a
dichotomy between their lives outside of the school building, both groups of students
have made strides towards growth. They achieved at comparable and equal levels.

Patterns of Achievement with Selected MCCRS

Within the first lesson, five out of seven students demonstrated an understanding
of figurative language, as they completed the Exit Slip and identified similes and
metaphors (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.5). Additionally, as we read a text and completed
the example and definition sections of the foldable together, students demonstrated their
ability to cite textual evidence and compose similes, metaphors, and personification
(CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3). All of the students in class
that day excelled in this activity.

Evidence of Student Learning


Evidence of Student Learning

Within the second lesson, students demonstrated their ability to cite textual
evidence as they searched Esperanza Rising, determine the meaning of figurative
language through a class discussion, and demonstrate an understanding of figurative
language, as they had to know what a simile, metaphor, or personification is in order to


Evidence of Student Learning


find it (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.4, and CCSS.ELALiteracy.L.6.5).

Within the third lesson, students effectively demonstrated their understanding of

figurative language in composing a phrase that conveys ideas precisely (CCSS.ELALiteracy.L.6.5 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3).

Evidence of Student Learning


Patterns of Lack of Achievement

Student I struggled in differentiating between the three different types of
figurative language, namely simile, metaphor, and personification. While he received
decent grades throughout the unit, this may be partially due to assignments completed
during group instruction. With Student I, I should have used more intensive interventions
than the type of one-on-one review used as an intervention with Student B. I believe he

Evidence of Student Learning


would have benefitted from one-on-one instruction, but he would have needed concepts
completely redefined, re-explained, and retaught. Student I also struggles with general
reading comprehension. Providing more tangible examples of figurative language and
even more visuals would have been beneficial for him.

At the completion of lesson one, it was clear that while five out of the seven
students that were in class mastered defining and identifying similes, metaphors, and
personification, I would have to incorporate some type of review at the beginning of
lesson two. This review would benefit the two students in class that got 1 out of 2
identification questions correct, but it would be necessary for the three students that had
missed class due to Speech Services. Additionally, the first day of the unit, I did not set a
time limit during the DGP, which ended up taking more time than I thought necessary.
On the second day of the unit, I incorporated a more intensive review session in
which the entire class went step by step through the definition and examples on the
foldable. The students who were in class the first day were able to teach some of their
peers that had missed vital pieces of instruction. I also made sure to use the timer during
the DGP. This seemed to help students focus and we completed the task in a timelier
manner. As I reflected one the second lesson, one thing consistently came to mind.
Because the review of content had been added to the beginning of class I felt more
rushed. As a result, for most of the class I did not give my students an appropriate
amount of wait time in order to process any questions I posed. Throughout this lesson,

Evidence of Student Learning


wait time was vitally important in the fact that students needed time to find the pages in
the book, as well as time to search for and find the type of figurative language.
Going into lesson three, I was cognizant of wait time. In this lesson students
created their own similes, metaphors, and personification that related back to an image.
Originally, I thought that I had provided enough of a scaffold through modeling an entire
example. Within five minutes of students working on their own creations, it became
evident that the class needed a little more structure for this assignment. I reminded them
that they could use their resources and broke the assignment down further. I had each
student write the word simile, metaphor, and personification. While they still had to
relate their sentences back to the image, the assignment not longer had to be one cohesive
work. This shift proved effective and all of the students completed the assignment.
Many students even got excited and creative as they wrote their sentences.

Part E: Reflection and Self-Evaluation (CEC 6, 7/InTASC 9, 10)

Effectiveness of Instructional Strategies and Intervention
Overall the use of instructional strategies, like modifications, modeling, group
instruction, etc., aided students in mastering the objectives. I modeled classwork activities for
students, and then we would work on part of the activity together and/or students would work
with a partner. This acted as a scaffold as students worked toward mastering defining,
identifying, and creating similes, metaphors, and personification. I modified most of the
activities and worksheets to fit the needs of the students in my class. In some cases, like with the
Exit Slips, this process looked like simplifying or shortening the task. In other instances, such as
the Song, Story, or Poem worksheet on day three, I further chunked directions or created an
advice column that students could refer to. I created and incorporated options throughout the
lessons, so that students with different backgrounds, abilities, interests, etc. would be able to

Evidence of Student Learning


engage with the content. Ultimately, as a result of these instructional strategies, 70% of the class
received at least 80% on the summative assessment, mastering the content, while an additional
20% of the class made progress toward the goal. The additional, missing 10% of the class is due
to circumstances outside anyones control; a student was sick and absent for an extended period
of time. Ironically, this student earned a 100% on the pre-assessment and likely would have been
able to enrich the class with his prior knowledge and comprehension.

Two Implications to Future Instruction

As a result of this activity, I hope to create more engaging and authentic
summative assessments. Overall, my students were on task and focused throughout all of
the lessons formative assessments because they are more appealing. My formative
assessments pulled students in significantly more than the classic summative assessment
of multiple choice and short answer. Looking back, I wish I had been more creative in
creating a summative assessment that wrapped all of the objectives together and really
gave me insight into each students comprehension.
Instruction would transform if I were to be more cognizant and aware of the
human resources within my classroom. At any given time, there are two additional adult
assistants, my mentor teacher, and myself in the room with ten students. If I utilized this
situation, I would potentially be able to run either stations or groups more effectively and
efficiently. Given the age and maturity-level of my students groups or stations led by
adults would be appropriate.
Two Forms of Collaboration
As I go into my first few years of teaching, sometimes asking for help will prove
to be vital. In this case, if I sought to create engaging, authentic, and creative summative
assessments that break the multiple-choice mold, I would be able to collaborate with
other educators, librarians, S.T.A.T. teachers, etc. in this endeavor. Not only will there be

Evidence of Student Learning


teachers to help, but some may have resources ready and available to use. My second
implication, utilizing the human resources within my classroom, is directly connected to
collaboration with other school-based professionals. This could be as complicated as
running stations and groups, or as simple as having one of the adult assistants hand out
papers, as I begin to address the directions.
Two Goals Based on CEC Standards
I will develop a repertoire of effective, evidence-based instructional strategies
from which I can pull. I am at the beginning of my career. For now, I seek to expand
upon the instructional strategies I currently use. Part of this goal includes taking on an
active role in regards to my own professional development and growth (CEC 5, 6).
I will develop procedures in order to ensure that specific goals of each student are
considered throughout the process of lesson development and assessment. While I
referred to my students goals and accommodations throughout this process, I believe
there are organizational strategies and/or procedures that may make this process even
more data based, as well as more effective. Long term, implementing successful
procedures will ensure that individualized instruction remains at the center of my
professional career (CEC 4, 5).