Chapter 5 & 6 Focus

Good Afternoon,

In our past ECS 410 class, I really enjoyed the guest speakers topic around EAL students. During my ECS 300 placement, I had the opportunity to work with a student who spoke little to no English at all. This student was in a grade 8 classroom, but had a very low reading level. Working with this student it was apparent that she was not being given the right supports. She relied mainly on memorization. During class this student was either working on other assignments alone, or she was sitting in on the class discussion, but she was not gaining any knowledge. For the guest speaker, I learnt a lot around how we can adapt for EAL students. It is important that as teachers we make the outcome clear, and students are able to understand at least 5 important words. It is important to make instruction clear, and it is beneficial to give the student a variety of options on how they can demonstrate what they know.

From chapter 5, I learnt the importance of assessing students by observing. Some learning can only be observed. Some students are also better at showing what they know by doing it. This is where I believe it is important that students are given a variety of ways to demonstrate or show their learning. This is a teaching strategy that I want to develop, I hope to provide students with a variety of options in which they feel they can best explain themselves. If students can show they know, and are meeting the outcome, I believe that is what matters the most, its not how they do it. I wish this was something that my high school incorporated into learning. In my high school we were given one option, and that was it. I believe this had a negative impact on most kinaesthetic learners.

One thing that I have learnt from previous classes this semester was involving students in the assessment process. I believe that students who are involved in assessment allows teachers to understand more about what the student know, and it allows students to realize and understand the importance of what they have learnt. Another strategy I would develop into my teaching is providing students with examples. I believe that this would be a great way in guiding students with their learning and showing students what the expectations are of the assignment/project.

Overall, I really enjoyed the chapters and plan to develop many of these strategies within my own teaching.

Questions for you:

What was your favourite part about the guest speaker on EAL students? Have you had an experience with an EAL student?

What did you take away from chapter 5 and 6?

Have a great day!

Michelle

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4 thoughts on “Chapter 5 & 6 Focus

  1. britthaidt

    Great comments and thoughts Michelle,
    To answer your question about “What was your favourite part about the guest speaker on EAL students?”My favourite part was when she used the visual of the baby,fire hat, and seat to demonstrate what it is like for a EAL student. I enjoy visuals and this representation really fit what the explanation was. I think that it is a good reminder as teachers to remember what exactly needs to be done to help the success of students. I also enjoyed the example of how we can simplify our assignments not only for EAL students but for all students. The presentation was a great experience to learn more about the EAL support that occurs in schools. I had no idea about what there was available for EAL students, I graduated from a school where there was no EAL speaking students so my knowledge about this was very limited.
    Have you had an experience with an EAL student?
    Last semester during pre- preinternship I was in a classroom where there were EAL students. This opportunity gave me insight as to what types of adaptations that teacher in particular was doing with the students and what I needed to do for my lessons also. That was one of my first experiences with EAL students but I loved it because I learned how to make adaptations that would benefit all learners. I enjoy finding new ways for students to learn and to help them have the best experiences possible with learning. I do have a great appreciation/understanding for how it must feel to be somewhere where you do not understand anyone else. When I was in France I really had to try and figure out what was being said and how to say things to certain people. I however was fortunate that many people do understand English but still that experience put into perspective as to what it must be like to be someone in a different country where only some if any people speak their language.
    What did you take away from chapter 5 and 6?
    I really enjoyed reading Chapter 5 and 6. Again like the other chapters I find the textbook very useful and helpful in understanding assessment. In chapter 5 the visual that really connected with me was the Triangulation one. I enjoyed how it breaks down the three ways to collect evidence. Chapter 6 was really informative and gave good insight on ways to be successful with involving students in the assessment pieces.Page 56 with the examples gave me ideas as to how that can look. I fully agree that students should be involved in assessment because it gives students the sense of ownership and the chance to be involved in their learning. I really like the ideas of having students come up with examples of ways they could be assessed and then relate it to the assignments so that the students have choice to demonstrate their learning in a way that is meaningful to them.

    Question for you:
    What way do you think students should be involved in assessment?
    Have you ever been given the opportunity to be involved in your assessment in past schooling experiences? if so what was it? if not would you have liked to have been?

    -Brittany Haidt

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    1. chelle10 Post author

      Thanks for your response Brittany, I agree that the baby, fire hat, and seat demonstrated a great visual for us becoming teachers, It reminds us on the importance of what does need to be done in order for students to find success.
      I believe with us both having the experience of EAL students in the classroom we were able to understand and reflect on the EAL presentation more. I agree that it was a great opportunity to learn how to make adaptations that would benefit all learners and this can be a challenge. I believe the ore we experience this, the more tools we will have to assist these learners. Having an appreciation and understanding is key as a teacher. I think it is so important to be able to feel how other students may feel being placed in a city where you can understand the language. Just like your France experience, our volleyball team travelled to Japan, and this also gave me a little experience and insight on what it feel like to not understand the language, however we were fortunate cause we had the whole team there, and together we helped each other out.
      I agree Brittany, this book is very useful and helpful in understanding assessment. To answer your question around assessment and how I think students should be involved, I agree that students should be involved with the process. In one of our classes we were able to make up our own criteria around assessment on our assignments. I like the technique used where she had us group and in groups we came up with a rubric. I think that it was a useful tactic in which I would incorporate in my own teachings. I believe allowing students to be involved with their assessment gives them a sense of importance. Another way I have been involved was through picking the weight of my marks towards different assignments. This allows students to show their strengths and use that strength to give them higher marks.
      In my high school however, we were not given this opportunity. The teachers picked what we would be assessed on and their was no variation at all. Sometimes we weren’t even given a rubric to follow.

      Have you had any other involvement in assessment? Any experience from the high school you attended?

      Michelle

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  2. britthaidt

    Thanks for answering my questions to you! To answer your question about “having any other involvement in assessment? Any experience from the high school you attended?”
    In high school similar to your experience I do not believe I was ever given a choice as to how I was being assessed. I do remember though that my teachers did always seem to use a variety of assignments throughout the semester which appealed to everyone’s learning styles which I appreciated. I like to take tests and write papers so I am a very traditional learner but I also like to be creative and think in different ways so I appreciate the opportunities of doing things a variety of ways to represent my learning when it is available. In university I feel that this can be the case with some professors, A lot of professors want to engage us in our assessment and giving us choice as to what we are doing. I think this is a great way for us as learners to develop and remember things that worked well for us and for us all to hopefully one day model those ideas in our own classrooms. I enjoy the contracts that some professors let us create with being able to choose how much certain things are weighted, it does make me feel like my thoughts are valued and that they want us all to succeed to the best of our abilities. Having the opportunities in university to experience student involvement in assessment gives me the hope that all becoming teachers are going to start to model this in their future classrooms.

    I would like to comment that I feel learning more about assessment at the beginning stages of our Degrees would have been beneficial and better enabled us to apply it to our current lesson plans and implementing it into our other classes where we teach our peers.
    I think assessment needs to be really emphasized and something that teachers are passionate about because it is how we can tell if we are really making an impact with students, if we need to change something because its not working, or if we are meeting the needs of our students and being able to help them continuously grow and develop as learners.
    If you have any other thoughts towards my last couple comments I would enjoy hearing them.

    -Brittany Haidt

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    1. chelle10 Post author

      Thank for the response Brittany, I would like to agree with your comment around learning more about assessment earlier in our degree. I think this would have been very beneficial to have known more about at the start. I agree that assessment needs to be really emphasized and it is a very key part in telling us where our students are at. It outlines what we need to change or what needs to be addressed more. Assessment plays a huge role in allowing us to properly meet the needs of our students and it allows us to help them with their individual growth.
      Those were some very important points you made at the end, and I enjoyed your thoughts and completely agree with you.
      Michelle

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