Chapter Three Case Study Scenarios
Each of the following scenarios presents a situation based on a real world teaching situation that you may encounter during your career as an educator. Please respond fully to four of the eight scenarios listed. Responses must be written in APA format, include critical thought, and address all aspects of the chosen scenarios. Students should include direct reference to the week’s chapter as well as relevant personal and professional experiences where appropriate. Your finished paper must include a title page and reference page and should be 4-5 pages.
Simon is a Kindergarten teacher in a suburb near San Francisco. His school population straddles the urban outskirts of San Francisco proper and the more socio-economically advantaged population of suburbia. As part of his third unit of the year, Simon decides to concentrate on visual literacy and the students’ ability to recognize state and national symbols. He decides to focus on flags, with the state flag of California and the United States flag as the center pieces. As part of his learning objectives, he wants students to be able to recognize both flags but also to be able, with help, to draw them as well.
Using a behaviorist model that includes all three elements (modeling/shaping/cueing), suggest a lesson sequence that Simon can use to lead his students to his desired outcome.
Rebecca is a high school P.E. teacher at a large urban high school near Washington D.C. As part of the physical education standards, Rebecca must time her students periodically in the mile run. Within her classes, she has students of all ability levels and so as she begins to plan out her year she is struck by the challenge of motivating each student to improve in the mile. She does not want any students to feel alienated and instead she wants everyone to feel motivated to improve. The mile run will be tested three times, once at the very beginning of school, again in the middle of the year, and once more just before school lets out for summer.
Using a constructivist model, how can Rebecca structure the year so that her students will be motivated to improve their times when they run?
What can she do to ensure that students at every ability level are challenged at their skill level but also pushed to improve?
Shelley teaches a 7th grade Math class at a small 7-12 school in a rural area of Nebraska. The school she teaches at has a total student population of 185 students, and her 7th grade math course includes every 7th grade student. As a result, she has a room filled with various ability levels, from struggling through advanced. Her highest achieving student Nathaniel is routinely bored with the lessons as his skill level is far above the other students in the course. Shelley has tried a variety of techniques to engage Nathaniel, and has spoken on multiple occasions with him about how impressed she is with his abilities. Still, Nathaniel has become withdrawn and lately has even taken to acting out in class, something that he never has done before.
Describe three specific strategies Shelley can use to engage Nathaniel and make use of his strengths in class. For each strategy, describe specifically how she would enact the strategy and a method she could use to assess whether or not the strategy had worked.
Suzie teaches 5th grade math at a suburban elementary school. She prides herself on her creativity in the classroom and constantly works to include paired and group activities to keep her students engaged. Still, she has to lecture her students from time to time and lately has found that her students seem bored or distant when she is speaking in front of them. As a student, Suzie was always responsible and attentive so her first reaction is to become frustrated with the work ethic of her students. Ultimately, she realizes that it is her professional responsibility to find ways of engaging her students while also delivering the information she feels they need. On Wednesday, she plans on lecturing her students for 30 minutes about how to calculate the area of shapes. Her worry is that they will tune out again, and she will need to reteach the concepts later.
Describe three specific strategies Suzie can use during her 30 minute lecture to engage her students while she is lecturing. For each strategy, describe specifically how she would enact the strategy in class and a method she could use to assess whether or not it had worked.
Dave is a 9th grade English teacher at an urban school near San Diego. His second period class is filled with high achieving, responsible students but one particular student, Michael, has begun to fall behind. Michael is 16 and taking 9th grade English for the second time. The first time around, he became distant and apathetic early in the term and refused to do any work in class. Despite the best efforts of the teacher, Michael never came around and instead ended up failing the course with virtually no work turned in. Knowing this history, at the first sign of apathy Dave has begun to worry. He doesn’t want Michael to fall into the same patterns and fail again, a mistake that would almost certainly have him leaving the school. Although Michael’s reading and writing skills are slightly below those of his peers, he is more than capable of doing the work in class and succeeding.
Suggest a comprehensive individualized plan of attack for dealing with Michael’s apathy.
What resources should Dave consult in figuring out a way to engage Michael?
How can Dave enlist the help of his high achieving, responsible students in leading Michael to success?
What can Dave do to use Michael’s age and previous experience with the class as an advantage and not make him feel like an outcast?
Paul is a social studies teacher at a middle school near St. Louis. His first period class has been a challenge all year and as the term gets closer to Christmas break, he finds that things are even worse than usual. Specifically, he has had several run-ins with Kurt, an underachieving student who sits in the front row. As Paul’s Wednesday class period nears an end, he sees Kurt blatantly take his cell phone out and begin to send a text message. Phone use is strictly forbidden according to Paul’s class rules, but when he approaches Kurt to take his phone away, Kurt refuses and says, “Nobody takes my stuff.” Weeks of frustration finally boil over, and Paul responds, “Is that a challenge? We’ll see about that. This is a fight you can’t win.” Before he can say another word, the bell rings and Kurt sprints out of class and down the hall. When Paul races outside, Kurt is already out of sight, lost in a mass of students. One of Paul’s class rules is to always respect others, and he immediately feels as though that rule has been broken, both by Kurt and by himself.
Describe how Paul should handle the incident.
What should Paul’s immediate steps be to make sure the proper discipline is handed out?
Describe how Paul should open class the following day in order to ensure that the rest of his students react appropriately to what happened?
What can Paul do to ensure that Kurt’s behavior does not become a pattern in his classroom?
Shannon has been teaching elementary school math for twenty years and, over time, she has developed her own methods of teaching, classroom management, and planning. For the first time in her career, she is switching schools due to a transfer in her husband’s employment and so will be starting fresh with a new group of teachers and a new school. As part of the opening week of school, she will be meeting in a four hour session with the other math teachers to discuss the year. She is anxious about how she will fit in with them, both personally and professionally. As a result, she has been preparing a list of questions that she can ask so as to ease her transition into the group. She has mapped out her own first month of school, but she wants to map the curriculum with her colleagues to make sure that they are unified as the school year begins.
Using the lesson planning models suggested in the text and the information regarding curriculum mapping, suggest three specific strategies that Shannon and her colleagues can use during their time together in order to ensure alignment with the standards and each other as the school year begins.
Mike is a 9th grade English teacher at a city in downtown Phoenix. In his class of 25 students, 22 have lived in Phoenix for their entire lives. As his third unit of the year, Mike decides to read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck with his students and begins by teaching his classes about farming and life on early 20th century ranches. He knows that most of his students will not be familiar with the setting of the story: 1930’s rural California farmland. He provides them with relevant vocabulary and prepares a PowerPoint presentation that goes over the basics of John Steinbeck’s life and 1930’s American history. He spends several days ensuring that his students know the meanings of the words and gives them a quiz on the material on the 4th day. Nearly every student fails. Mike is extremely disappointed by the results and decides to look back on his planning to determine what went wrong.
Using a constructivist model, what was missing from Mike’s instruction that resulted in the students’ failure to learn the material?
According to constructivist theory, what could Mike do differently next time in order to better prepare his students for learning?
What methods might Mike employ to better align with a constructivist philosophy of education?