For the Fieldwork report TESOL Touro Teacher Candidates need to observe between 4-5 bilingual, ESL or integrated classrooms (a total of 10 hours). Then, interview the teachers and ELL students to discover a) what strategies were effective, b) what challenges they faced, and c) their reaction to the lessons.
The following components must be included in the report:
a. Lesson plan (or IEP or intervention plan) developed by the teacher you interview and observe
b. Analysis of the lesson by the teacher candidate – Are the lesson objectives aligned with state or TESOL standards? Is the lesson aligned with another content area for the curriculum? What approach, methods and strategies were applied to the lesson? Was the lesson grade/age appropriate? Did the teacher provide differentiated instructions to all students? Which principles of the instructed language learning (Ellis & Shintani, 2014) were incorporated into the lesson? (Provide specific examples).
c. Background of the students interviewed- how long has he/she been in the US? What language was spoken in his/her family? What was his/her favorite content area? How was he/she doing in the content area classroom? What aspects of English does he/she find most challenging?
(reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, pronunciation, etc.)?
d. Summary of the interview: What did the student(s) like about the lesson? What were the challenges?
e. Reflection on the interview and future implications
Touro TESOL Teacher Candidate Bio: Yevette Jensen is 23 years old. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College with her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is working towards her Master’s degree in TESOL at Touro College, GSE. This September she will officially be a full-time teacher in a 15:1 classroom and could not be more excited.
A. Lesson Plan
ENL 5th/6th grade transitioning & expanding
Learning Target: I can identify Notice and Note Signposts from the story “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
Common Core State Standards
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
• Notice and Note Signposts Poster
• Notice and Note PowerPoint (with videos)
• Poster paper
• The students will be presented the Notice and Note Signposts Poster and explained what each signpost is.
• Students will then be shown the Notice and Note PowerPoint. Each slide has the name and explanation to each signpost. In addition to that it had a link which when clicked will bring up a short video clip that goes along with the specific signposts from the slide.
• Teach will then show additional video clips and ask students to guess what signpost they think would fit the scene they saw.
• Pre-teach vocabulary: the signposts and videos that correlate will be shown on the board. The signposts are aha moment, tough question, words of the wiser, again and again, memory moment, contrasts and contradictions.
Aha Moment: When a character realizes, understands, or finally figures out something.
Tough Question: When a character asks them self a very difficult question, and it reveals their inner struggles.
Words of the Wiser: When a supporting character (usually older and wiser) offers insightful advice to the main character.
Again, and Again: When a word, phrase or situation is mentioned over and over.
Memory Moment: When the author interrupts the action to tell you about a memory.
Contrasts and Contradictions: When a character acts in a way you don’t expect, or in a way that is opposite of his or her previous actions.
• The students will listen and observe as the teacher explains the Notice and Note Signposts and shows the PowerPoint
• The teacher will then model how to find a Notice and Note Signpost within the first few pages of the text “The Giver” in chapter 3.
• Teacher and students will read the next few pages of the chapter together out loud.
• Students will listen and be looking for Notice and Note Signposts.
• Teacher and students will stop after a few pages and discuss what signposts they have come across.
• Teacher will give time for a turn and talk and then students will state what signpost they found and give evidence providing a page number where they saw it.
• Teacher will write the Notice and Note Signposts on the board that the students found.
• Students will break off into groups and continue to read the chapter.
• While they are reading, they will talk will their group about the signposts they found.
• Once the students have completed the chapter, they will pick 4 of the signposts they found and write it on poster paper.
• On the poster paper students must write the signpost, give specific evidence from the text with a page number and a quote, and draw a picture to represent what they wrote.
While carrying out my observations in an ESL classroom setting, I spent 2 periods in Mrs. M’s classroom two times a week. At the time I was in a leave replacement for another teacher and had my lunch and prep back to back which is when I would go to Mrs. M’s room. This class consisted of 5th and 6th grade students. The class was very inviting and was a positive environment to be in. The students loved working with one another and looked forward to activities that allowed them to do so.
The lesson attached met the 5th and 6th grade New York State Common Core Standards CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.1: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.5.4.A: Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding, and CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.1
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
At the time the lesson took place we just received a PD on a new reading series that the school would be using the following September. Within this new reading series is a tool called Notice and Note which is something the students can use when reading to help them analyze on a deeper level what they have read. In addition to that all of the 5th grade including Mrs. M’s were reading the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry. I was excited because my class was reading it too and I felt this was a great opportunity to see how I could include Notice in Note in my class and get some tips and tricks from Mrs. M.
The teacher began by showing the students a PowerPoint presentation on the Notice and Note Signpost. There are six of them; Aha moment, Tough Questions, Words of the Wiser, Again and Again, Memory Moment, and Contrasts and Contradictions. I have provided definitions to each of them on the lesson plan attached. The PowerPoint went over each signpost and attached to the slide was a video, the videos were all short clips from films or commercials that the students have seen before. For example, for the signpost Words of the Wiser, the teacher had attached a short clip from the movie The Lion King, which was the scene of the monkey talking to Simba about his father who had passed. I thought this was a great idea because it helped the students relate these signposts to things they have seen before. After all the slides were done, the teacher then showed student additional short video clips and asked them to guess what signpost they think it would represent. During this, after each clip was shown, students were given the opportunity to turn and talk with one another and discuss their thoughts and ideas. The students loved this part and were eager to raise their hand and give an answer. In the opening of the lesson alone, Mrs. M gave the students a quick vocabulary lesson on the signposts, gave visuals to help students relate and understand them, and got the class to become active participants in this lesson.
It was clear that Mrs. M incorporated some of the 11 principles discussed by Ellis and Shintani. In the beginning of the lesson I felt that Principle 9: Instruction needs to take account of individual differences in learners, was used. According to Ellis and Shitant, “teachers need to find ways of fostering motivation in their students. They should accept that it is their responsibility to ensure that students are motivated and stay motivated and not just blame a lack of motivation on their students” (Ellis & Shintani, 2014, pg. 26). The teacher did an awesome job motivating her students in this lesson. She used visuals and videos that the students were familiar with to represent the signposts. Doing that help the students bring the definitions of the signposts to life. I think another principle that Mrs. M used was Principle 7: Successful instructed language learning also requires opportunities for output (2014, pg. 25). The teacher gave the students countless the opportunities throughout the entire lesson to talk with one another about what they were learning and also relate it to themselves.
Differentiation was implemented in the lesson when the student broke off into groups. Mrs. M ensured that students who seemed to be struggling to grasp the lesson were paired with students who showed they had a solid understanding of Notice and Note Signposts. During the group work the teacher was circulating the classroom the entire time making sure to stop by each group and ask them questions about their work. I feel this lesson was definitely age and grade appropriate. The students seemed to really enjoy it and were actively engaged the whole time.
C. Student Background
I conducted an interview with a 5th grade student from Mrs. M’s class named W. W moved to the United States when he was five years old. He is from Honduras and his parents speak only Spanish to him and his siblings. During the interview he told me that his parents know some English but it is easier for them to communicate in Spanish therefore, that is all they speak to him. W expressed to me that although he does enjoy reading stories in class, he prefers the area of math because it comes easy to him. He said he felt he didn’t have to put much effort into math because he was able to complete the work in the subject easily and fast and that when he finished his math assignments early Mrs. M lets him spend sometime on the computers in the classroom. The teacher told me that W is a very bright student however, he always likes to be the first one done and that is why math is his favorite. She also said that although W. can read well, he has a hard time putting meaning to the words he reads and then becomes frustrated because he doesn’t understand or comprehend what he reads.
The second student I interviewed was a 6th grade female student named E. who was born in the United States, but both of her parents are from El Salvador and speak only Spanish. E. told me that she did not know how to speak English until she began school and that her parents only speak to her in Spanish which made learning English difficult for her. Similar to W., E. told me that the area of math was her favorite. She too felt that this was an easy subject for her and that she was able to complete assignments with ease. When asked about reading she told me like she likes reading different stories but feels she isn’t the best at reading. She also expressed that writing was one of the hardest things for her, she said that she knows what she wants to say but can’t seem to get it down on paper. When I spoke with Mrs. M, she said that E. is actually really good at reading but lacks confidence when she is completing activities that involve it. The teacher did agree that writing is a struggle for her but said E has come along way since the beginning of the year.
D. Summary of Interviews
Both students informed me that they really enjoyed the lesson and felt that this new tool could help them better understand things that they read. They both said that their favorite part of the lesson was the videos that Mrs. M. showed and when they got to work in groups on the poster. One of the students even said that they enjoyed reading during the lesson because they felt like they were on like a scavenger hunt because they were looking for signposts. Both students did admit that they felt their biggest challenge was actually recognizing when a signpost came up because they never had to think about what they were reading like that. They also said that they wished Mrs. M. handed out a paper with the signposts and the definition because it would have been easier to have it at their desk rather then having to keep looking back at the poster she had created. Lastly, they told me that they felt like it was a lot of information from one lesson.
After speaking with the students and interviewing them, I was able to see how I would carry out this lesson in my classroom. As I mentioned previously, both students said that they enjoyed watching the short video clips and that they also liked when they were able to work with their groups. I think Mrs. M. did an awesome job with providing the student visuals to really understand the definition of the signposts. I loved that she picked video clips of movies and commercials that were popular and that majority of the students had already seen prior to the lesson. I felt that was a great way to connect the Notice and Note Signpost to real life. I also felt it was a great idea for students to work in groups on a poster and pick out 4 of the signposts in which they were able to draw illustrations to go along with it. It was clear this group liked working with their classmates and valued that time.
One thing I do have to say is I feel that Mrs. M should have a check-in for understanding before have the students go off into the “You Do” part of the lesson. In the “We Do” part the teacher allowed students to share some Notice and Note Signposts they found and then wrote them on the board for the whole class to look at. Although I thought that was beneficial, I also think it would have been better to give the student 5 minutes or so to independently find one and write it down. During that time Mrs. M could have been circulating the classroom to see what students were understanding and what students were struggling. I think the issue with doing it as a whole class is, of course the students who understand are going to raise their hand and provide an answer, however, the students who don’t mostly will not give an answer and instead of expressing they don’t understand will just move on to the next task with the class. She could have used that time to check for understanding before the class broke up into groups.
I also agree with the two students I interviewed that Mrs. M. should have handed out either a paper or even a bookmark with the Notice and Note Signposts on it so that they could have that right in front of them at their desk to refer back to. I also think it would have been nice to see the students share their posters when they were finished with the class. They only had to pick 4 out of the 6 signposts so I think it would have been great for everyone to see what their classmates thought who were not in their own group.
Lastly, I think I would have split this up into either a two- or three-day lesson rather than doing it all in one day. Being the Notice and Note Signposts were something the students had never worked with, I felt it was a lot of information for one day. I think it would have been better to introduce it one day and do a mini activity such as read a short passage and apply the Notice and Note Signposts to the short passage. Then the next day they could have applied it to The Giver. Overall, I think the lesson was great, it was clear that Mrs. M. took time to plan out this lesson and it showed because her students truly did enjoy it.