H1 – Honor Student Diversity and Development

H1 – Honor student diversity and development. This program standard emphasizes planning learner centered curricula that engages students. More specifically, it is the ability to engage students using strategies that are culturally, developmentally, and age-appropriate. One way I would exemplify an understanding of honoring student diversity and development is through being properly educated about students with disabilities and disorders. The evidence presented is my peer review document from my coursework in EDSP 6644 – Educating Exceptional Students. This document was a course requirement pertaining to a specific topic of choice. Due to the growing population of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), I decided to focus on this topic.


The evidence emphasizes researched-based instructional techniques for students diagnosed with ASD.  The research done to complete the document presented important strategies shown to be effective tools for teaching students with ASD. Understanding these strategies will better equip me as a teacher to engage students with ASD. The use of picture exchange communication system (PECS) and social stories are two simple yet effective strategies to use in teaching students with ASD. Knowing this will help me honor the diversity and development of students with ASD, thus resulting in me becoming a more complete and competent teacher.

As a teacher it is important to always keep the students learning and interest in the forefront. Students with ASD can be difficult to teach effectively due to the disorders effects on student communication, socialization, and interests. Using PECS and social stories provides a great communication tool for teachers to use. If we are able to better communicate with students with ASD, then student learning can and will improve. In the future, I plan on continuing to research and learn about student disabilities and disorders. The methods presented are communication tools, and I hope to develop the knowledge of content specific strategies to implement with students with ASD. Additionally, I will seek further assistance from the schools resources. I could collaborate with the special education teacher or school psychologists to find other methods to honor student diversity and development.


Internship Week 1: H1 – Honor Student Diversity and Development

H1 – Honor student diversity and development. This program standard emphasizes planning learner centered curricula that engages students in a variety of strategies. The evidence presented is a picture of the document provided to an ELL learner during a science lesson. Students are required to complete experiments and use key terminology to record their observations. Key vocabulary for this lesson was given through direct instruction and visually represented with sentence strips. I know that for many ELL learners vocabulary acquisition is a difficult task. Likewise, I knew that many of English words have similar spelling as the Spanish words or known as cognates. Cognates are words in two languages that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation. Research has shown that using cognates is an effective approach for ELL students in language acquisition. 

Cognate Science Vocabulary

The evidence shows the key vocabulary word and the Spanish cognate, key vocabulary translated into Spanish (non-cognates), and images for a visual component. This was used as a tool to help the student follow along during the direct instructional time. As I watched the student read over I was unsure what type of impact this would have on her learning.Through the students written work, I was able to see the student start understanding the key concepts of the lesson. The student was incorporating the key vocabulary words in the observational portion of the lesson. Providing cognates is especially beneficial for ELL students as they help build confidence, understanding, and language acquisition. Information presented using different instructional strategies geared towards the student’s diverse and developmental needs will be beneficial for students to grasp the material. This is especially important as all learners learn in unique and individualized ways.

In the future, I can continue to plan and develop leaner centered instruction that will engage all students in my classroom. This would help ensure that all students are given the opportunity to succeed in the class, regardless of their learning capabilities. As I continue to student teach in such a diverse classroom, I hope to continue to develop leaner centered strategies especially strategies specifically for ELL students. I will also seek the support of the schools ELL specialist in order to further my knowledge of effective strategies working with ELL students.

EDU 6363: Relevant Themes

The idea of choosing a relevant theme for an integrated curriculum unit may seem simple or easy on the surface, but can play an instrumental role in the unit’s outcome. If the theme has no relevance towards the students, then student interest and effort may diminish resulting in undesirable growth and development in the subject matter. Drake and Burns (2004) state that one way to increase the relevance to students is to select a theme with local contexts (p. 81). For instance, if a lesson examines the economic effects of the Oregon Trail on the tribes of the Pacific Northwest; finding tribes of who resided in your local neighborhood or students may have Native American heritage that could be examined. Either approach gives relevance towards a lesson on economic effects of the Oregon Trail. It is important that a themed unit has intrinsic value – this can be achieved when the theme is important to our present lives. Another approach to ensuring relevance is by having students involved in the decision making process (p. 81).  It is amazing the type of themes students can come up with. Students are constantly trying to make sense of the world around them and wanting to learn more. The interests of our student should not go unnoticed and we should be fostering these thoughts. Allowing students to select an acceptable theme for a unit will add significant relevance.

Quality themes will deepen the level of learning by using information and skills to promote moral well-being, literacy, and problem solving (Scheuerman, 2014). When themes add relevance towards students, the deepening will be even greater. The importance of selecting a theme that each and every one of our students can relate to is significant and should not be overlooked.


Drake, S.M., & Burns, R.C. (2004). Meeting standards through integrated curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Scheuerman, R. (2014, February 12). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 6: Unit Themes and Language Arts Methods (II).

EDU 6363: Reflective Thinking

As John Carroll states “without sufficient time for reflection, what is taught is not internalized or connected to other learning (Scheuerman, 2014). Many times, students are not given the opportunity to reflect upon their activities throughout the day. Sometimes the issue is due to the lack of time or the teacher’s preference not to do so. Whatever the reason, the opportunity for reflection should not be disregarded. Drake and Burns (2004) state, “that students learn best when the material is relevant to them (p. 53). How can we build this relevance within our students? One way is by giving students the opportunity to reflect. Reflection on how the lesson connects with other subjects or our own personal lives. This connection which students are making will help deepen their knowledge and understanding of whatever is being taught and learned.

Allowing the opportunity for students to reflect upon a lesson does not guarantee that the student will internalize or connect the lesson to other subjects. Teachers must create an engaging lesson that will excite their students, causing them to want to learn more. Teachers need to use a variety of teaching strategies to meet the diverse learning needs of each individual student (Drake and Burns, 2004, p. 58). One way this can be achieved is through various visual organization tools. Students can utilize circle diagrams, multi-flow maps, or bubble maps in order to organize and make sense of the information. These tools also provides component for those individuals who may learn better visually. When a lesson has many dimensions or aspects to it that will cater towards the diverse needs of students, incorporating a reflection will help students to be able to connect with information at a much better level.


Drake, S.M., & Burns, R.C. (2004). Meeting standards through integrated curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Scheuerman, R. (2014, January 29). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 4: Reflective Thinking and Language Arts Standards

EDU 6363: KNOW/DO/BE Framework

The KNOW/DO/BE framework encompasses three questions of: what is most important for students to know, what is most important for students to be able to do, and what kind of person do we want students to be (Drake, & Burns, 2004). This reflection will focus of the “be” aspect which includes the attitudes, beliefs, and actions that we expect students to demonstrate as a conclusion of the lesson (p. 33). The “be” of the framework is extremely important because it reflects upon what the student does with the “know” and “do” of the framework (p. 35). In some sense, this “be” portion of the framework can be viewed as a type of character education. Character that includes values, beliefs, attitudes, and actions those students will reflect as a result of the lesson. Students should be applying lessons to their very own lives. Lessons can be geared towards not only learning key concepts about a specific topic, but also to develop citizenship. It can be as simple as student participation and compromise, or as detailed as themes including loyalty, perseverance, or courage (Scheuerman, 2014). Students require the skills of “know” – facts, topics, and concepts; as well as “do” – skills of communication, research, and information management (p. 33). The “be” will connect the “know” and “do” to bridge the information together and make it applicable to the lives of the students. When students are utilizing the information they have learned in class outside of school, it then becomes meaningful and relevant. When lesson planning, remember the “be” is important because as teachers we are shaping the lives of our students.


Drake, S.M., & Burns, R.C. (2004). Meeting standards through integrated curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Scheuerman, R. (2014, January 22). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 3: Inquiry, Understanding, and Social Studies Methods II.

EDU 6363: Integrated Curriculum – Multidisciplinary

According to Drake and Burns (2004), integrated curriculum is about making connections. These connections are made across academic disciplines, real life examples, skill-based, and knowledge-based information (pp. 7-8). There are three approaches to integrations, they are: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary integrations. Each has their benefit and schools implement these approaches for various purposes. This reflection will focus on the multidisciplinary approach for several reasons. Multidisciplinary integration is having “separate subjects, but may be organized around a unifying theme” (Scheuerman, 2014a). I feel that the multidisciplinary integration method would be the most effective method for a newer teacher. I believe it will keep things simple enough not to overwhelm a new teacher but also provide the necessary learning elements for students to not only enjoy but excel in.

This can involve a fusion where teachers fuse skills, knowledge, or even attitudes into the regular school curriculum (Drake, & Burns, 2004). Additionally, teachers can create a themed-based unit where various subject areas are involved in the study of the theme. An integrated culminating activity could be done at the end of the units where it involves all aspects of each subject area (Drake, & Burns, 2004). Regardless of which integration approach a teacher or school decides to implement, there are many important factors where creates an environment for successful social studies learning. The factors that really stood out were to use a variety of teaching strategies and to build real-world relevance and applications of knowledge. Using a variety of teaching strategies incorporates active and passive acquisition of knowledge (Scheuerman, 2014b). Through utilizing projects where students have to recreate or use the skills learned in the units will promote their active and passive skills of knowledge. Furthermore, it is crucial to build real-world relevance not only in social studies but across all academic subjects. When knowledge has real-world relevance to students, they can make personal connections as well as apply it to their own lives.

As I grow and develop as a teacher, I hope to be able to incorporate an integrated curriculum approach that utilizes all three approaches of: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary integration.


Drake, S.M., & Burns, R.C. (2004). Meeting standards through integrated curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Scheuerman, R. (2014a, January 15). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 1: Ideas, definitions, and co-teaching approaches.

Scheuerman, R. (2014b, January 15). EDU 6363 Course Lecture – Session 2: The discovery metaphor and social studies methods I.

EDTC 6431: Language Dancing

The chapters by Christensen and Johnson (2011) were very interesting. Since I have had classes that have discussed in some detail about student motivation, I was more intrigued by Chapter 6: The Impact of the Earliest Years on Students’ Success. The one fact that jumped out was Christensen and Johnson (2011) stating “the children whose parents did not begin speaking seriously to their children until their children could speak […] suffered a persistent deficit in intellectual capacity, compared to those whose parents were talkative from the beginning” (p. 2592). I have always known that early development for children was extremely important, but never thought about the importance of the child’s intellectual development between 0-12 months and how communication can affect it. Christensen and Johnson (2011) talk about “language dancing” which is essentially talking, thinking aloud, and commenting on what the child or parent is doing or planning. This has shown to cultivate curiosity in children (Christensen & Johnson, 2011, p. 2614).

How can a teacher who may work with children as young as 3 (for pre-k) help facilitate growth and development that occurs at home? The solution Christensen and Johnson (2011) give is to teach children how to be parents before they become parents (p. 2683). They state that high school can be a place where classes could teach students early cognitive development for future parents (p. 2683). I personally feel that this could be beneficial and could be a lesson added on to the sexual education unit. Even though I think that this could be beneficial I am not convinced that students would care or get enough out of the lesson or unit to have a significant impact. My fear would be it would just be another thing that “goes in one ear and out the other” as students would not pay attention because they don’t have kids and won’t have kids for some time so why does it truly matter to them. It may be difficult for high school students to see and understand the big picture of the importance of “language dancing”.

This chapter also reminded me of the importance of demonstrating the proper use of words and language in the classroom. Not communicating at the cognitive level of your class, but communicating using dialect rich in vocabulary. For elementary, this could be to use the new vocabulary words throughout the week so that students become familiar with the sound, articulation, and the usage of the new words. The importance of using high levels of communication rich in vocabulary is similar towards the importance of “language dancing” for infants. Children may not totally understand the vocabulary or sentences but the exposure is important and will require students to explore definitions and sentence contexts.

E-Text Screen Shot

The research article shared about E-Texts was really interesting to me. On one hand I do understand and believe the E-Texts are extremely easy to use and can be much more portable then the standard textbook. They offer quick and easy ways to highlight, bookmark, make notes, and organize information. Students won’t have to worry about losing a textbook or damaging from writing inside when using E-Texts. On the other hand I think having technology such as smart phones, tablets, and laptops allows for more opportunities for students to be multitasking or doing other work. How many times have you been in a computer class and had another window open for something unrelated to what you were working on? I believe this problem would be significant for students and the reason why they like using E-Texts. They can easily go from their E-Text to checking their facebook with the teacher even knowing.

Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.