Type: Exploratory Essays
Sample donated: Janice Townsend
Last updated: August 31, 2019
Student OverviewThe differentiated lesson plan detailed below is based on the needs of a student in second grade at Lakeside International School. The student is an English Language Learner (ELL) with an entering level of English based on the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards (2007).
The student is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and has the equivalent of a 504 Plan in place at school that provides her with a quiet space to work, frequent movement breaks, and increased teacher assistance to organize and express her ideas. Various formal and informal assessments, including running records, phonemic awareness screenings, Words Their Way Spelling Inventories, and classroom observations indicate that the student reads and writes significantly below grade level in both Spanish, her native language, and in English. Tier 2 interventions are delivered three to four times a week to work on early Spanish literacy skills such as phonemic awareness, syllable fluency, and comprehension. Interventions are provided in the student’s native language because as Haddad (2008) reports, ensuring that a student has a strong linguistic and cognitive foundation in their native language will also improve their literacy learning in a second language.The focus student possesses strong auditory processing skills, is a gifted artist who loves to draw, and is very knowledgeable about technology. Effective differentiated instruction for this student will build on these strengths because as McCarthy (2014) mentions, when students are encouraged to draw on their strengths in the classroom, this allows them to build the confidence needed to take on challenges they face in other areas. In addition to providing effective literacy instruction in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and comprehension, teaching is adjusted to support her language needs by including targeted instruction of vocabulary and background knowledge, as well as oral language proficiency and literacy in Spanish (August & Shanahan, 2006). the student sits in a seat close to the board and the teacher when in whole group instruction, and sits next to the teacher in small group settings.
She receives extra time to complete her assignments, and can choose to sit at a table in the corner of the classroom with little distractions to complete her work. the student receives modified homework that is shortened and broken down into smaller segments. A structured, routine environment is in place, and the student has a visual checklist on her desk that she uses throughout the day to complete her assignments and help during transitions. the student is permitted to take frequent breaks during work, and has been assigned a high-achieving peer buddy to help her complete work and stay on task.
As Anderman (2010, p. 6) states, “individuals often learn and subsequently engage in new behaviors that are observed in others.” Her peer buddy is a highly motivated student who is eager to work with the student. There is a chair with a bouncy band placed on the feet for the student, and there is a strip of velcro attached under her desk to help ground her. Providing ways for the student to move while still staying in her chair, and using the velcro to provide the sensory and tactile input she is seeking will help to “create a brain-friendly environment that promotes optimal learning” (Gregory, Kaufeldt & Mattos, 2016, p.
26).Technology Savvy: YesIn a study done by Atwill, Blanchard, Christie, Gorin, & García (2009), the authors state, “without foundational Spanish vocabulary skills needed to facilitate cross-language transfer of phonemic awareness to English, literacy acquisition difficulties will likely arise.” The focus student’s lack of phonemic awareness in Spanish likely plays a large role in her difficulties acquiring English phonemic awareness and should be addressed through intervention. In addition, the focus student has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and receives accommodations in class to help her focus, but she has not received any further assessment to determine additional disabilities that may be affecting her performance.
As August, Shanahan, & Escamilla (2009) summarize, native language literacy is highly related to the development of English literacy, and ELLs who are literate in their native language have a significant advantage when learning English literacy skills. Lesson PlanGoals and Objectives:Students will be able to compare and contrast habitats using a graphic organizer. Students will be able to describe how different animals survive in their habitats.Connection to 2nd Grade Common Core Standards:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.8Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
2.6Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).Duration of Lesson:Materials and Resources:Procedure:To activate background knowledge, discuss the various habitats students have been studying, and the adaptations that help animals survive in their habitats. The school is located beside many small ponds, so to introduce freshwater habitats, students will go on an exploratory walk around the ponds. Before the walk, students will engage in Think-Pair-Share to brainstorm what they know about freshwater habitats.
Teacher will create a word cluster on the board with what plants, animals, and adaptations students think they might see in the ponds. This will serve as a word bank for students as they record and label their observations during and after the walk. Students will bring their notebook to record observations about the habitat and any plants and animals they see. Students will be encouraged to write OR draw their findings. Upon returning to the classroom, students will engage in Write/Draw-Pair-Share, where they will first be given time independently to add more details and labels to their observation notes. Then they will share their observations with a partner, and finally share their findings with the class.
All new findings about the habitat will be added to the class word cluster, which will hang on the wall for reference throughout the unit.Adjusted tasks or activities: Discuss with students that they will be comparing and contrasting two types of water habitats: freshwater and ocean habitats. Students will watch a video to learn about freshwater habitats, and then read a nonfiction text to gather information about ocean habitats. Review with students that comparing means looking for things that are the same, and contrasting means looking for things that are different. Review important vocabulary from the video on the word wall such as “habitat,” “adaptation,” “survive.
” Watch Brainpop Jr.’s video on “Freshwater Habitats,” pausing to take notes on the whiteboard on the key aspects of these habitats. All groups will be encouraged to draw symbols in their notes to help their comprehension of the material. Differentiation strategies for this portion of the lesson are listed in the grade level chart below.Students will then be given a nonfiction text about ocean habitats to read and record information, and the texts provided will have different lexile levels based on their reading level.
Teacher will call small groups to read the text together to work on needed reading comprehension strategies, Teacher will monitor student progress and guide the notetaking process, ensuring that students are successfully recording main ideas from the reading, as well as comprehending the text.Students will share their findings about ocean habitats based on their notes from the nonfiction text, and answers will be recorded on the class chart, similar to the one made for freshwater habitats. Teacher will hand out and review the venn diagram graphic organizer, which students are familiar with. Students will write the name of the habitats they will be comparing at the top of each circle.
Using the class-made notes on the habitats, teacher will model how to compare and contrast using a venn diagram, looking for things that are the same on both lists, and things that are different on both lists. Teacher will monitor for comprehension, gradually releasing students to complete the venn diagram independently.Assessment:Differentiation/modification plan:Describe specific strategies to meet student needs in reading and writingCurricular (supplementing, simplifying or providing an alternative assignment)Instructional (how the lesson is taught, modality, materials etc.
) Students will be given an outline of the notes to fill in during the video and reading, to aid their comprehension and make sure they have all the information to compare and contrast later in the lesson. Below grade-level Students will be provided with a modified text based on their reading level, and small-group scaffolding will be provided for comprehension, including reviewing key parts of the text in the native language of ELLs to ensure comprehension.At grade level students Students will be expected to read the text independently and use it to fill out a teacher-made chart outlining important information about the habitat such as what the habitat looks like, what kinds of plants and animals are in the habitat, as well as how they survive. Lexile level of the text will be based on their reading level.Above grade level students will be expected to independently annotate their text using sticky notes, writing down important information and adding symbols such as a star for key facts, and a question mark for confusing words or sentences that need further clarification.
Lexile level of the text will be based on their reading level.Environment (alternative work space or seating, who is teaching, time to teach, small group or one-one)Heterogenous partners during Think-Pair-Share and Write/Draw-Pair Share (based on English language proficiency and the observations of students’ background knowledge during the pre-assessment)Need-based small groups to reinforce reading comprehension strategies and provide clarification in ELLs’ native languageSuggest additional support/extensions such as home/school connection, collaboration with other teachers or resources that you may access, etc.the student is an English Language Learner (ELL) in the entering level of English proficiency. the student writes and reads significantly below grade level in Spanish, her native language, and English. She currently receives small group interventions in Spanish literacy skills three times a week.
During portions of the lesson, the student will be provided with a graphic organizers and word banks to facilitate her comprehension of the material and increase her engagement with the activity. This lesson will be differentiated to allow the student to draw her initial observations during the introductory activity, rather than write them, as she is a highly skilled artist who enjoys drawing animals. During the summative assessment, the student may also draw and label a picture to demonstrate her knowledge of how animals survive in their habitats.the student is diagnosed with ADD, and accommodations will be available to her throughout the lesson to help her focus, process information, and demonstrate her knowledge with her learning needs in mind. Some of these accommodations include extended time, frequent breaks, a peer buddy, and a designated work space free from distractions. During some portions of the lesson, the student will be paired with a student who is highly motivated and proficient in English, who will be able to help the student successfully use the academic vocabulary we are working. This will enable the student to be able to fully participate in the activity and share her observations with the class in English, even with her low English proficiency and difficulties in writing. Assessment of effectiveness:Describe how you will assess the success of your plan Explain how you may modify the plan if things don’t go as expectedTo pre-assess student knowledge about freshwater habitats, I will observe their responses during the Think-Pair-Share and word cluster before the introduction activity.
This will allow me to determine the background knowledge of my students on the topic, as well as who may need additional scaffolding with the academic vocabulary and concepts we will be covering during the lesson.I will assess students’ reading comprehension while they are independently reading the text by holding mini-conferences with the students about what they are recording from the text, clarifying misconceptions and emphasizing important ideas for students. I will also analyze student notes, observing what information the student records and how they record it to further assess students’ understanding of the content.As the summative assessment, students will use their notes and venn diagrams to write a response to the question, “What are some similarities and differences in how animals live in freshwater and ocean habitats?” Response should provide at least 3 examples from the Brainpop video and nonfiction text. Below grade level and ELLs will be provided with sentence stems to include in their response. All students will be able to draw pictures with labels to further clarify their response.
Conclusion/Rationale:Write an organized justification that clearly defends your instructional decisions through cited best practicesAddress potential roadblocks to success of the lessons Before the introductory activity, students will engage in a brainstorming session and then create a word cluster about the habitat we are studying. As stated in Chapman & King (2012, p. 78), brainstorming can serve as pre-assessment tool for the teacher in order to gather information about students’ background knowledge about a new topic.
To share their observations and findings from the introductory activity, students will do a Write/Draw-Pair-Share with a partner. According to (Gregory, Kaufeldt & Mattos, 2016, p. 45), partnering strategies such as Think/Write/Draw-Pair-Share increases student engagement by providing sufficient wait time to process their ideas, and the opportunity to discuss, clarify, and rehearse their responses. These strategies are particularly helpful for ELLs, who will benefit from the “chance to use language with a safe, small audience” (Gregory, Kaufeldt & Mattos, 2016, p.
45). Throughout the lesson, ELLs may be paired with a peer who is proficient in English, who will be able to assist with the needed academic vocabulary to share observations and drawings, making the content more available than if they were by themselves or with a peer of similar English language proficiency (Farris, 2015, p. 145).During the note-taking portion of the lesson, students will be encouraged to draw symbols next to important concepts.
According to Chapman & King (2012, p. 91), simple, miniature sketches can help students locate and remember information. Using student notes as an assessment during learning is a valuable tool mentioned by Chapman & King (2012, p. 91), that “reflects the student’s thinking and provide an in-depth view of the learner’s interpretation of the information.” By providing the outline of notes for below grade level students, the teacher is able to model the note-taking process, as well as show students which topic areas are most important.
As Dean, Hubbell, Pitler & Stone (2012, p. 92) state, teacher-prepared notes can ensure that students with less developed background knowledge and organizational skills are accessing the content at the same level of their peers.As mentioned by Graham, MacArthur & Fitzgerald (2013, pp. 383-385), ELLs face additional cultural and language development constraints, in addition to the cognitive, linguistic, communicative, contextual, textual constraints that all students must face when writing. In order to help ELLs be successful while writing, several parts of the lesson have been adjusted. These differentiation strategies include background knowledge activation, note outlines, sentence stems, word banks, and collaboration.
It is important to note that these strategies can also help below grade level students, who may also struggle with the cognitive, linguistic, and communicative constraints of writing.