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Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary TASK 1: PLANNING COMMENTARY Respond to the prompts below

Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary

TASK 1: PLANNING COMMENTARY

Respond to the prompts below (no more than 9 single-spaced pages, including prompts) by typing your responses within the brackets. Do not delete or alter the prompts. Pages exceeding the maximum will not be scored.

1. Central Focus

a. Describe the central focus and purpose of the content you will teach in the learning segment.

[The purpose of the learning segment is for every student, including the struggling reader and advanced learner, to gain the ability to read words they were not able to identify prior to the lesson. Students will participate in hands-on activities that will allow students to make connections with their life experiences and allow them to use some of their senses to learn. The central focus is to ensure that students are able to identify a word, say the beginning, middle, and ending sounds of the word, create the words using the same rime, and understand how the words fit into a word family.]

b. Describe how the standards and learning objectives for your learning segment support children’s

¡ active and multimodal learning

¡ language and literacy development in an interdisciplinary context

[Active and multimodal learning: Throughout the lesson, students will be interacting with their partners. They will talk through an idea or concept together, come up with an idea, and share it with the class. Learning experiences 1 and 2 will allow students to work with word family “houses”. They will pick four words with the same rime and add it to their house making a word family. Students will recognize that the words have the same rime meaning they are in the same family. Learning experience 3 will allow students to use their senses to make a better connection and have a better understanding of word families. They will hear the words being used, see the way the words are spelled, see the same rime being used continuously, and create the letters using Play-Doh. I am asking students to interact with the lesson in a variety of experiences. They will work with the onset, rime, and be asked to identify the phoneme sounds. They will produce work that will allow them to make a connection to real-life experiences. Students will be actively talking with fellow peers, writing/ labeling the onset and rime in different colors, skethcing pictures, and molding Play-Doh letters.

Language and literacy development in an interdisciplinary context: During all three learning segments students will hear the vocabulary being used multiple times. I plan on continuously saying the words so students are able to make connections and understand the word’s meaning. Throughout the learning experiences, students will be asked to speak, read, write, and create the words and rimes we will be working with. Students will hear the words and the individual letter sounds that make up the word, be asked to read and identify the words they would like to work with on the assignments, identify and write the onset and rime of the words, and create the words using Play-Doh. Students will be asked to repeat the words to decide if the words rhyme or not. ]

c. Explain how your plans build on each other to support children’s language and literacy development through active and multimodal learning.

[Learning experiences 1 and 2 will introduce students to two new rimes they have never worked with before. They will identify the onset and rime, create new words that have the same rime, learn about word families, and rhyme the words. Students will see the word, hear how the word is pronounced, and begin to recognize the onset and rime of the words. Students will create

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Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary word family “houses” to help them connect that the

Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary

word family “houses” to help them connect that the word family words belong together. Students will write the onset on the line and then they will sketch a picture to help them remember. These pictures will help students remember the word better because they have made a personal connection to the word with their drawings. Learning experience 3 will allow students the opportunity to work with the words from the previous learning experiences. Before the activity, there will be a review of the words. During the activity, students will be asked to read the word, write the word, in orange crayon they will write the onset, in black crayon they will write the rime, and then students will create each letter of the word in Play-Doh. Students will see the onset and rime in two different colors, so it will help them be able to identify the two parts of the word. Students will be creating the words out of Play-Doh because it is a interactive method that will help them make connections.]

d. Describe how the physical environment in which you are teaching supports the active and multimodal nature of children’s learning. (If, in your view, the physical environment in which you are teaching does not adequately support the active and multimodal nature of children’s learning, please describe the changes you would make.)

[The physical environment is ideal for students. There are many resources for students to access in order to support their learning. A classroom library is in the back half of the room. Students are able to select books from this library for reading. At each of the student’s tables, there is a book basket of books. When students get done with work early, they are asked to read a book silently to themselves until the next direction or subject starts. Each student has his or her own book basket. In these book baskets, students have five books, which are leveled according to their reading ability. These baskets also have the student’s writing journal for free writing. During reading time, students are asked to write a story and create pictures. One of the bulletin boards in the class is a devoted “ABC wall”. Common words students ask to spell or special words are added to the word wall. When a student needs to know how to spell a word, they are referred to the “ABC wall”. In the front of the room, an alphabet poster is hung on the wall. The poster clearly displays both the uppercase and lowercase version of a letter. Another poster that benefits students is a poster detailing students on how to make each of the alphabet letters. Students often forget and need a reminder. They are able to look at the poster and see the correct way to write it. Throughout the day students are often encouraged to talk to their partners throughout a lesson. Students are able to answer the question with a partner before discussing it with the whole class.]

2. Knowledge of Children to Inform Teaching

For each of the prompts below (2a–c), describe what you know about the children in your class/group with respect to the central focus of the learning segment.

Consider the variety of learners in your class/group who may require different strategies/support (e.g., children with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners, children at different points in the developmental continuum, struggling readers, children who are underperforming or those with gaps in academic knowledge, and/or gifted children).

a. Children’s developmentWhat do you know about their

¡ social and emotional development

¡ cognitive and physical development

¡ language development for communication

[Social and emotional development: The students in my class are very well adjusted children. They come from supportive homes. The parents of the students in my classroom frequently

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Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary volunteer in the school or the classroom. They email

Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary

volunteer in the school or the classroom. They email my cooperating teacher about their child’s behavior, academic progress, and any questions or concerns about what their child is learning in school. They help their child complete small homework assignments nightly and make sure their child reads for at least 20 minutes every night. Based on observations of students in the classroom and outside during recess, each student has a friend or group of friends they play and work with. All students interact with each other extremely well. My cooperating teacher has expressed multiple times that they all get along great. There have been no problems with bullying or students not adjusting to the classroom procedure, rules, or the social aspect of making friends. I often hear from the students about play dates arranged outside of the classroom with fellow friends in the classroom. Every student in the classroom shows the appropriate feelings when a situation occurs. Since I have been at the school, I have not had to deal with any over, or under, emotional outbreaks. Students are able to express their feelings to both my cooperating teacher and me.

Cognitive and physical development: The students in my classroom are able to complete the work I am asking of them. The lessons will be adapted to best suit the learning style and needs of each student so they can learn best. Each one of the students in my classroom goes to gym class and participates fully in the sport or game being played. We often do small brain break activities in the classroom that asks students to stretch, jump around, and dance. All children are actively engaged. No one in my class receives physical therapy or struggles with gross motor or fine motor skills.

Language development for communication: All the students in my classroom use English as a first language. They are not learning, or using, any other languages at home. There are no students with a speech delay. ]

b. Personal, cultural, and community assets—What do you know about your children’s everyday experiences, cultural and language backgrounds and practices, and interests?

[Students come to school in the morning ready to learn. Students have very supportive parents that encourage them to behave appropriately and expect them to do their best. They come to school every morning well rested and fed. Students have access to books and technology at home that helps them in their learning process. Every student’s first language is English. The students are learning the Catholic faith. Daily pray and religion lessons are taught so students are learning how to be respectful to each other as part of their faith. All students in my classroom enjoy completing hands-on activities. They enjoy working with their friends on activities and assignments. With this in mind, I try to vary whom students work with so they are able to have positive experiences with everyone in the class. Students enjoy taking brain breaks, which are small activities completed during transition times. They enjoy being active, yet they are able to refocus on the learning immediately. Students interact with manipulatives daily during reading and center time because that is how they explore, discover, and make connections. That is why it was important to incorporate a creation portion during my learning experiences.]

c. Prior learning and prerequisite skills related to language and literacy development— What can they do and what are they learning to do related to language and literacy development? Cite evidence from your knowledge of this class/group of children.

[Students in my classroom are able to identify all uppercase and lowercase letters. They are able to say and identify each of the alphabet letter sounds. Through the Phonemic Awareness Training instruction, written by Michael Heggerty (cited above), students are able to identify the beginning, middle, and initial sounds of words. Since the students are able to hear the phoneme

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Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary sounds, I decided to work on words that students

Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary

sounds, I decided to work on words that students were not able to identify on the pre-test. Also from the Phonemic Awareness Training instruction, students have practice using the “hand chop” motion to identify the sounds. I have previously used this method of separating the sounds in other classrooms therefore I know how beneficial it is. I extended the hand motions to include a clap (which is seen on video) so students can “squish” the letter sounds together to create a word. Not only does this benefit students in reading, but writing as well. Students have no previous work experience with identifying the onset and rimes in reading or written work. I extended the lesson into introducing the concept of word families. Students have worked with identifying rhyming words at the beginning of the school year. Students have no previous background lessons on the two (or third for advanced experience) rimes I have chosen.]

3. Supporting Children’s Development and Learning

Respond to prompts 3a–c below. To support your justifications, refer to the plans and materials you included as part of Planning Task 1. In addition, use principles from research and/or developmental theory to support your justifications.

a. Justify how your planned learning experiences and materials align with your understanding of the children’s development, prior learning, and personal, cultural, and community assets (from prompts 2a–c above). Be explicit about these connections and support your justification with research/developmental theory.

[Students learn best when they are interacting with learning materials and engaging hands on in the learning experience. Students are asked to complete a variety of activities that will allow them to make connections to real life experiences. Students pay more attention and gain more when they do not know how much learning is really taking place. Lev Vygotsky believed that the best way to teach students is to increase the social interaction and playfulness of each student. Having students work with Play-Doh is an unconventional method, but it will be more effective then writing the word in pencil. Younger students need to interact with learning manipulatives to further their learning. Playing with Play-Doh and creating word family “houses” allows students to take a playful approach to their learning. Additionally, allowing students to interact and talk with each other will help them process and learn from each other.

Howard Gardner believed that an individual needs multiple types of interaction to better understand an idea or concept. Throughout my lesson students will work on verbal skills by hearing the word and rime repeated often, see the word on the whiteboard or easel and on their own papers, see both the onset and rime of each word written in different colors, write the word on their own papers, and create the words with Play-Doh. Students will be able to use visual skills to see how all the words on the whiteboard have the same ending letters (rime). They will connect because they have the same rime and they belong to the same word family. Students will work on interpersonal skills by communicating with fellow peers on the rug before communicating with the entire class. The students will be able to discover the answer together or discuss the confusion among themselves and possibly collaborate to figure out the answer. Students will work on intrapersonal skills when they identify all the letter sounds and discover the words on their own. They will work on these skills throughout the three-day learning segments. When they come to the rime in a book, they will have the confidence to recognize and read the word immediately. Students will use bodily-kinesthetic skills when they are using the “hand chop” motions to separate the beginning, middle, and end of words. They will be able to separate the phonemes than “squish” the word together to create and read a whole word. Students will also hear how all the words in a word family rhyme, which is another way students, will be able to remember the word family. Students have a variety of opportunities to process what a vocabulary word means and have hands on experiences to further their understanding.

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Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary For all learners, I will gradually release responsibility of

Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary

For all learners, I will gradually release responsibility of the learning to the students. I will model and explain the lesson, have the students work on an example, and then the students will take over the learning independently. I will build upon the previous taught knowledge of all the students and extend the knowledge, or schema, like Jean Piaget suggested. Working with what students already know and understand will help them succeed in the learning experience.]

b. Describe and justify how you plan to support the varied learning needs of all the children in your class/group, including individuals with specific learning needs.

Consider the variety of learners in your class/group who may require different strategies/support (e.g., children with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners, children at different points in the developmental continuum, struggling readers, and/or gifted children).

[The entire class works best when they are interacting with learning resources and manipulatives. In learning experience 1 and 2, students will create word family “houses” to better understand how word families are similar. They will be asked to identify the onset and rime and write the correct letters. When the word houses are completed, students will see how each word has the same rime and understand how they all are related. In learning experience 3, they will be creating the words using Play-Doh. Students enjoy creating the words in this unconventional way. For the struggling reader (Focus Child 1) in the classroom, I will be working one-on-one with the student. I will provide a model of what the student will be expected to do so the student better understands what is expected. I will introduce vocabulary words one at a time. When I feel the student has mastered and has practiced the concept, I will introduce additional information. We will start small and increase the knowledge as we continue on. I will ask the student to identify the letters in the word, ask the student to sound out the individual phonemes, have the student show me the onset and then the rime, ask the student to explain the meaning, or definition, and finally ask the student to explain the concept of the word family. The advanced learner (Focus Child 2) will be working with rimes the student was not able to identify on the pre-test. I am allowing the advanced learner to work with a partner during the second learning experience because I do not want the student to feel stressed coming up with words alone. I will model the activities for the student but then allow the student to work independently. Once the work is complete, I will ask the student to explain the vocabulary words in the student’s own words. I will ask the student to explain the work that was completed and why it was done that way. I will answer any questions the student may have and allow the student to make connections that best assist the student to remember the word. While working on the word family “houses”, students will make the connection that the words belong in the same word family but also they will be asked to use their “hand choppers” to break up the letter sounds while they are working. They will see the onset written in pencil and the rime written in black typed letters so they can connect that it is one entire word but the words are broken up into different parts.]

c. Describe common developmental approximations 1 or misunderstandings that pertain to the learning experiences you are planning for the children and how you plan to address them.

[One possible misunderstanding I believe students may struggle with is when I refer to the rime of a word and how word family words are rhyming words. I plan to use the word rime until students understand that it is referring to the end of a word. Towards the end of the lesson, or

1 For example, common beginning or transitional language errors or other attempts to use skills or processes just beyond a child’s current level/capability.

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Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary when I feel confident students understand, I will explain

Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary

when I feel confident students understand, I will explain word family words have the same rime and they are rhyme words. When I refer to rhyming words I will always say rhyming words, never just the word rhyme. For students who struggling with the same word but different meanings, I will ask them to identify what each word means to help them better understand. For example, I will ask students to point to the six words and show me the rime. For rhyming words, I will ask them to say two words and tell me what they hear and if they rhyme. The more students work with words, the better they understand.]

4. Supporting Children’s Vocabulary Development

Respond to prompts 4a–c below by referring to children’s range of vocabulary development related to the learning segment—What do they know, what are they struggling with, and/or what is new to them?

a. Identify the key vocabulary 2 (i.e., developmentally appropriate sounds, words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs) essential for children to use during the learning segment.

[The key vocabulary I will be presenting to the students are: onset, rime, word family, and rhyming words. Students have mastered identifying letter sounds so I will not need to review this before my learning experiences.]

b. Identify the learning experience that provides children with opportunities to develop, practice, and/or use the key vocabulary identified in prompt 4a. (Identify the plan day/number.)

[Through Learning Experiences 1 and 2, students will be asked to identify the onset of four words by writing the letter(s) on the line in their word house. In whole group instruction, students will also be asked to identify the onset and rime of every word we create and discuss. We will also discuss what a word family is and what qualities lead to a word being in the same family. Students will work with partners on the rug to rhyme all the words created during the instruction. Students will be asked to say the words out loud so they can hear the rhyming quality of the word. While working on rhyming the words with partners, students discuss more works that rhyme with the word family to further their understanding of rhyming words. If not said out loud, they may not hear the ending sounds correctly. I have chosen to ask students to make word family “houses” so they can better understand that the words being talked about in both learning experiences belong to the same word family. Through Learning Experience 3, students will be asked to identify the onset and rime of the word family words talked about in learning experiences 1 and 2. Students will need to correctly write in crayon the onset and the word. Students will also need to correctly identify which words to pick to correlate with what they need to create and build on the worksheet.]

c. Describe how you plan to support the children (during and/or prior to the learning experience) to develop and use the key vocabulary identified in prompt 4a.

[During the learning experiences, I will frequently mention and review the vocabulary words I would like students to learn. I will use the words continuously so students are able to have ample opportunities to process what the meaning of that word is. I will ask students to identify and label the words as much as possible so they are able to grasp the idea and concept being presented. I will also allow students time to discuss the vocabulary words with their peers, or

2 Developmentally appropriate sounds, words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that you want children to use or create to engage in the learning experience.

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Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary partners at the rug or at their own table.

Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary

partners at the rug or at their own table. Allowing the students to discuss with their friends causes them to make connections so they are better able to comprehend.]

5. Monitoring Children’s Learning

In response to the prompts below, refer to the assessments you will submit as part of the materials for Planning Task 1.

a. Describe how your planned formal and informal assessments provide direct evidence to monitor children’s multimodal learning throughout the learning segment.

[I have planned formal assessments in the form of a pre-test and post-test. For the pre-test, I chose to use the Z-test (citied at the end of all Part B Learning Experiences and Part D Assessment of Task 1) so I could better understand the reading ability and the needs of each student. There are a variety of learners in my classroom so I wanted the instruction to benefit both the struggling and advanced students. I also wanted each student to learn a new word family so when they come across that word in text, they are able to know immediately what the word is. The learning experiences I created were based off of the pre-test results because I chose words the students did not know. My goal was for every child to learn a new word family and rime. At the end of the three-day learning experience, I planned a second formal assessment, a post-test. I created a post-test based off of the words that will be used in my learning experiences. Students will be asked to read 12 words, 6 of these words will be words covered in the learning experiences. Out of the 6, 3 of the words will be “-ail” words and 3 of the words will be “-ay” words. Everyone student will be tested the following day after the third learning experience.

As for informal assessment, I will look over each of the worksheets the students are asked to complete throughout the course of the three-day learning experiences to make sure they have followed the directions and completed the work correctly. If I see any mistakes or hear students confusing the vocabulary during the discussion portions of the lesson, I will address the confusion at the end of the learning experience. I believe the clarification will be beneficial for all the students, not just the students who were confused. A review of the vocabulary will be done frequently throughout the lessons so students are hearing the words being used and how they should refer to them as well. By completing this review of vocabulary words, I will be able to informal assess whether the students are understanding the lesson.]

b. Explain how your design or adaptation of planned assessments allows children with specific needs to demonstrate their learning.

Consider the variety of learners in your class/group who may require different strategies/support (e.g., all children along the continuum of development, including children with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners, struggling readers, and/or gifted children).

[My lessons are centered around the pre-test which was given to students before the learning experiences. I chose those word families because a majority of students missed the rime on the Z-test. I want students to have the ability to identify words with the same rime. My goal was to create a lesson that benefitted all students including the struggling reader and advanced learner. For the struggling reader (Focus Child 1) in my classroom, I will work with this student independently on Day 1 and Day 3 to make sure the student is understanding the vocabulary terms and completing the work so connections can be made. I will model the lesson for the student, offer my teaching support yet I want the student to work independently so a connection can be created and the material is learned one step at a time. Once I know the student has mastered one area, the student will gradually begin to do the work independently. Through the

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Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary lesson, I will assess whether this student is learning

Early Childhood Task 1: Planning Commentary

lesson, I will assess whether this student is learning by asking questions or asking the student to correctly identify the vocabulary word while working. For the advanced learner (Focus Child 2) in the classroom, the student will participate in the first lesson because the student was not able to identify the rime on the pre-test. The student will receive a review of the second word family during whole class instruction, which will allow the student to master the word family. A third word family the student did not know will be introduced during a small group lesson. The student will be given the rime and will be asked to come up with words that fit into the word family. I want the advanced learner to come up with the words because this will help the student remember and make a connection to what is being taught. The student will be permitted to work independently but I will assess the student’s knowledge throughout in order to track progress. The entire class will learn about a new rime, and set of word family words, they did not previously know, which will help them progress towards becoming a better readers and writers.]

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