Teacher Performance Expectations #4:
Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences
School can be intimidating. It is even harder for students facing an unfamiliar school, language, or culture. One goal is to be a supportive and accepting teacher by creating a welcoming and language-rich classroom to make student transitions easier. Because of these factors, it is important to note how we frame the lessons.
For example, in our Roman Empire Nearpod lesson, students viewed Roman Culture — the Political System, Architecture, Art, and Social Structures. Students were asked to compare the Roman Culture to their own in order to connect meaningfully to their cultural values. In Nearpod, assessments are presented throughout the lesson in the form of Polling (Zoom, Mentimeter) True/False, and Open-Ended Questions. I tell my students, if they do know an answer, write "IDK", which allows me to review my instructional strategy and present the information in a different way. I use Jamboard, Flipgrid, CANVA, or Kahoot-It to assess learning.
Connecting academic experiences to community values is essential for meaningful adolescent learning. My plan is to gather a multidisciplinary assessment team of interpreters, bilingual educators, and people who are familiar with the student's culture and language to weigh-in on my teaching methods. I have also utilized useful tools such as Microsoft Translator to communicate with parents, or Venn Diagram Generators as a mental model to explain similarities and differences incorporating visuals. Students LOVE Flocabulary, as well as using music as an assessment, especially when I have them create a rap (AutoRap by Smule) with the vocabulary.