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University of Puerto Rico at Humacao English Department TWS Teacher Work Sample María Edith Jordán Gómez 842-07-3993 EDPE 4006-001 Dr. Aníbal Muñoz Claudio Practice Center: Dr. Conchita Cuevas High School Practice Teacher: Mr. Eduardo Martinez April 1, 2013

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  • University of Puerto Rico at Humacao

    English Department

    TWS Teacher Work Sample

    Mara Edith Jordn Gmez 842-07-3993

    EDPE 4006-001 Dr. Anbal Muoz Claudio

    Practice Center: Dr. Conchita Cuevas High School Practice Teacher: Mr. Eduardo Martinez

    April 1, 2013

  • Table of Contents:

    Contextual Factors..1

    Classroom Factors..2-3

    Student Characteristics3-5

    Instructional Implications....5-6

    Learning Goals6-8

    Assessment Plan..8-9

    Design for Instruction/Thematic Unit...9-10

    Results of Pre-Test (Learning Goal 1)..11

    Results of Pre-Test (Learning Goal 2)..12

    Instructional Decision Making..13-14

    Analysis of Students Learning.14-16

    Reflection and Self Evaluation..16-18

  • Mara Edith Jordn Gmez EDPE-4005-001

    842-07-3993 Dr. Anbal Muoz Claudio

    Teacher Work Sample April 20, 2013

    I. Contextual Factors

    Community district and school factors:

    The Dr. Conchita Cuevas High School is located exactly at the first exit in Gurabo on the

    highway # 30 of Gurabo. This is a central location which makes it accessible for students from

    Gurabo and neighboring towns like Juncos, San Lorenzo, and Caguas. The schools

    surroundings are: a neighboring urbanization on one side, the town of Gurabo on the other, and

    Highway #30. The school facilities are three triangular shaped floors for regular classes (English,

    Math, Science, Social Studies, and others) and one building for vocational offerings

    (Cosmetology, Mechanics, Plumbing, Welding, and others). The school has a basketball covered

    court, a spacious lunch room, bathrooms on each floor, an office with teacher restrooms,

    parking for the staff, and recreational outdoor areas for the students in the shape of gazebos.

    The school has a large population, there are 678 students matriculated in the school this

    semester. 144 of these students belong to the special education program. There is also a high

    rate of poverty in the school. Unfortunately, there is also a high rate of absences; this is a huge

    problem the school has been dealing with for many years. Even worst is that parents arent

    active members of the school. In fact, an extremely high percentage of parents dont show up

    to meetings, to pick up their childrens grades, nor do they respond to calls and letters from the

    school. This is another huge factor that goes against the success of the students.

    Classroom factors:

    Physical Factors: The classroom is very small for the amount of desks and equipment it

    holds, and for the amount of students it receives. The students white desks overpower the

    1

  • space. Two large green boards make up the front of the classroom. Unfortunately, these green

    boards are so old and wasted that they cannot be used for writing. This is a huge disadvantage

    that the classroom has. The classroom has many windows, which is great for illumination and to

    keep the room cool. In this hot weather however, humidity and temperatures get very high.

    This makes the classroom quite uncomfortable. Custodians rarely clean the room, so there is a

    lot of dust, making it a risky environment for people with asthma or sinuses.

    Technology: Electronic technology is almost inexistent in the school. There is a

    technology room and the library has computers, but they are rarely used. Also, there are no

    projectors, unless the teachers themselves provide them. Internet access at the school is very

    limited, and often times it is out of service. The classroom has a TV and DVD player, which are

    great for watching movies in the classroom. Also, there is a printer, which is out of service. The

    office however, does provide copies free of charge, but there has to be a couple of days of

    anticipation in order to receive the copies.

    Parental Involvement- Parental involvement is almost non-existent in the school. For

    example, less than half of the parents of the senior class came to pick up their students grades,

    (this is a mandatory process). My group is 12th grade, and parents seem to be more laid back

    because the students are older. Communication with the parents is also non-existent, which is

    unfortunate because in order to achieve full success, a connection between the school and the

    home is a must.

    Classroom Rules- The students and I prepared a set of seven classroom rules, which I

    believe are excellent. I let the students make their own rules, so they would be more willing to

    follow them. Thankfully, behavior problems are very rare in the classroom. These are the rules

    my class came up with:

    2

  • Mrs. Jordan/12-1 English Classroom Rules

    1. Stay Positive (Be nice, be cool, be happy. Every day. Forever)

    2. Be in class on time. 3. Pay attention to whoever is speaking. 4. Raise your hand before speaking.

    5. Turn in work ON TIME. 6. RESPECT EACH OTHER. 7. Cooperate and Participate

    Student Characteristics

    The group 12-1 was composed of 26 talented and unique males and females. The challenge in

    designing instructions and assessing their learning was to take into consideration the

    characteristics that made them so unique and talented so that every intelligence can be given a

    chance to develop. The characteristics that must considered in designing instructions and

    assessing the learning are several. First of all, the students genders must be considered. The

    group 12-1 has a gender distribution of: 56% females and 46% males. This class has a balanced

    gender distribution; therefore gender neutral topics could be examined in class. If the class

    were not distributed evenly by gender, then topics pertaining to the dominating gender should

    be examined more often in class to create a meaningful environment for the students. Next to

    consider when designing instructions and assessing the learning are the students ages. The

    class of 12th graders is made up of 17 and 18 year olds. Twenty-two students are seventeen

    years old and four are already eighteen. Most students will turn eighteen before graduating

    and a few will still be seventeen. This means I will have many birthdays during these months.

    These are ages where many milestones happen and critical decision making periods. These are

    aspects many teachers should keep in consideration when implementing instructional materials.

    Teachers should make what they do in class relevant to what is happening in their students

    lives. Another issue a teacher should consider is the students who belong to special education.

    There are six special needs students in my class. It is important to talk to the special education

    teacher to see in what accommodations must be made for the students to succeed as regular

    3

  • members of class. It is also very important to consider the interests of the students. In an

    English classroom it is so important for students to express themselves and bring their lives

    outside of school to class. This way using the language would be meaningful and relevant to

    their lives. For example, the 12-1 students have very diverse tastes in hobbies and activities, but

    they also have many common interests. The interests they share in common are: sports, there

    are many athletic students. They love music as well-either listening to it singing or playing an

    instrument. They also love Facebook, sleeping, and watching TV. Then again, what adolescent

    doesnt? It is good to incorporate these activities they love in the classroom because it boosts

    their motivation. For example, they could be used as topics for oral presentations and a variety

    of essays.

    Skills and Prior Learning- Knowing the students prior knowledge is essential for planning lessons

    and assessments. I have assessed that half of the students in 12-1 have the English skills of 12th

    grade according to the Department of Educations Content Standard and Grade Level

    Expectations. The other half however do not meet the expected skills, therefore they need

    some extra attention in order to achieve success in the English classroom. These students have

    difficulty understanding, speaking, reading, and writing the language. It is difficult to have such a

    diverse group of English proficiencies, but those that have more knowledge help those that

    need it. However, there are some students that rely on their partners too much and dont work

    at all, so they dont learn at all. Many other students have high affective filters. They lack

    motivation and self-esteem, they find school work meaningless, and their learning environments

    are inadequate. These are other students who have too many inhibitions to even try.

    Instructional Implications: The schools contextual characteristics definitely affect the

    implications for instructional planning and assessment. For example, the overwhelming amount

    of absences and the lack of parental involvement are huge problem because in the classroom

    4

  • everything gets held back because so many students are absent. Also, parents dont help in this

    matter, because by not being a part of the school, they show their sons and daughters that

    school doesnt matter. To address this issue, letters will be sent to parents explaining their

    son/daughter will be taking their English course with a practice teacher. This letter also has the

    purpose of opening a line of communication via email or phone. In addition, the letter will

    include the number of absences the student has had and the assignments the student has

    turned in or still needs to turn in. This letter is to be brought back signed by the parents. Also,

    to include the parents in the students education there will be more homework assignments

    that include parents, for example, to conduct an interview. To improve writing proficiencies, a

    short grammar unit will take place, which is review for the students, which I know they need

    because for example, many dont know how to use the ing present progressive. The unit will

    be presented through power point and it will include many practice exercises. To improve

    listening and speaking proficiencies, there will be several oral presentations for practice. They

    will be very informal though, so that the students have fewer inhibitions. Also, they will be on

    topics of interest, current events, reflections, and more. To improve reading proficiencies I will

    have the students practice by reading short stories and poems. This will help them make sense

    of what they are reading (because they will be able to follow the stories), gain vocabulary, and

    feel more confident. Their reading level is the highest of all the other language arts. They enjoy

    reading daily reflections, and can explain them, even though they do so in Spanish. Either way,

    this implies comprehension, which is very important.

    II. Learning Goals

    The learning goals are the ones stipulated by the Department of Education of Puerto Rico

    English Program Content Standards and Grade Level Expectations. My focus for this unit will be writing,

    but I included the reading and Listening and Speaking because their integration is essential.

    5

  • My goals are:

    That they become effective writers, by writing the following types of essays:

    Process essay

    Persuasive essay

    Biographies

    These assignments align with the Department of Educations Content Standards and Grade Level

    Expectations 2nd writing expectancy (W.12.2 Evaluates and applies a variety of organizational techniques

    to write effective narrative, expository, and persuasive essays using the writing process; demonstrates a

    preferred style of writing.) Students should be able to put all of their creativity on a sheet of paper, by

    using their original thoughts and ideas on the assignments mentioned above.

    These learning goals are appropriate because:

    The students need these skills in order to meet the Department of Educations Content

    Standards and Grade Level Expectations and graduate from High School.

    Writing is an essential tool of communication.

    Writing helps students think critically because they assess the information they know and form

    their own opinions.

    They will develop their creativity by learning to express themselves in the language.

    They already have the prior knowledge to become proficient in these areas. It will just take their

    commitment and effort to become the best they can.

    The following table are the Puerto Rico Department of Education Content Standards and Grade Level

    Writing Reading

    W.12.1 Analyzes and assesses word choice to convey meaning; incorporates transitions, correct grammar, syntax, and style.

    W.12.2 Evaluates and applies a variety of organizational techniques to write effective narrative, expository, and persuasive essays

    using the writing process; demonstrates a preferred style of writing.

    W.12.3 Uses creative writing styles to produce poems and other literary forms.

    W.12.4 Compares, contrasts, evaluates, and critiques two or more forms of writing on similar topics to write a critical essay.

    W.12.5 Organizes, synthesizes, outlines, and evaluates information to write a research paper; demonstrates voice and knowledge of

    topic throughout the writing.

    R.12.1 Evaluates context clues, reference sources, and vocabulary expansion strategies to assess word meaning; utilizes Greek

    and Latin root words to extend vocabulary; classifies, applies, and analyzes vocabulary as academic, cultural, or contemporary

    based on current trends.

    R.12.2 Argues on characterization techniques and character development using text evidence to justify responses; evaluates the

    setting in fiction and nonfiction; classifies point of view using text evidence to support responses.

    R.12.3 Classifies genre, analyzes plot, establishes cause and effect; makes connections, predictions, and inferences in a variety of

    texts; draws conclusions; analyzes and determines conflict and resolution; uses text evidence to validate responses.

    R.12.4 Distinguishes between fact and opinion, infers and supports the main idea in a variety of texts; debates the theme or topic

    using text evidence to justify and validate position.

    R.12.5 Uses elements of poetry and plays to analyze, interpret, and compare and contrast styles, genres, topics, and themes;

    debates using text evidence to justify position. Listening and Speaking

    L/S.12.3 Uses appropriate language structure to analyze and evaluate issues, to problem solve, to explain a process, and to express

    opinions integrating comparison and contrast statements.

    L/S.12.4 Expresses thoughts and opinions to evaluate text, debate current events, concepts, and literary elements; makes predictions and

    inferences, as well as draws conclusions from listening to a variety of texts, performances, and multimedia sources; listens to sort and

    prioritize information.

    6

  • Expectations for the 12th grade. The parts in bold are the parts that are covered during the thematic

    unit.

    The goals of this teacher work sample are well in alignment with the Puerto Rico Department of

    Education Content Standards and Grade Level Expectations for the 12th grade in the following areas:

    L/S.12.3 Uses appropriate language structure to analyze and evaluate issues, to problem solve,

    to explain a process, and to express opinions integrating comparison and contrast statements.

    Students will be able to explain a process and express their opinions. In addition, students will

    express their thoughts to evaluate text. In this case, they will evaluate their own texts when their

    share their opinions based on the topics they select for their works.

    R.12.1 Evaluates context clues, reference sources, and vocabulary expansion strategies to assess

    word meaning; utilizes Greek and Latin root words to extend vocabulary; classifies, applies, and

    analyzes vocabulary as academic, cultural, or contemporary based on current trends.

    By writing, students will read reference works, use the dictionary, and other sources. This means

    they will be assessing new vocabulary and applying them to their original work.

    W.12.2 Evaluates and applies a variety of organizational techniques to write effective narrative,

    expository, and persuasive essays using the writing process; demonstrates a preferred style of

    writing.

    Students will write original process essays, persuasive essays and biographies using the writing

    process.

    7

  • III. Assessment Plan

    Learning Goals Assessments Format of Assessment

    Adaptations

    Learning Goal # 1 After defining Process and

    identifying transition words, students will write their own

    process essay.

    Alignment with PRDE C/S GLE:

    W.12.2 Evaluates and applies a variety of organizational techniques to write effective narrative, expository, and persuasive essays using the writing process; demonstrates a preferred style of writing.

    L/S.12.3 Uses appropriate language structure to analyze and evaluate issues, to problem solve, to explain a process, and to express opinions integrating comparison and contrast statements.

    Pre-test In small groups, students will write

    and illustrate their simple processes.

    Students will be given worksheets to write their: materials, steps, and

    draw their processes.

    Later, they will present them to the class.

    Repeat and modify instructions as needed.

    Topics provided

    Worksheets provided

    Coloring materials provided

    Oral Report rubric provided

    Defining process and coming up with example of processes is

    helpful to activate prior knowledge.

    Essay outline (parts and content)

    explained.

    Brainstorming worksheet provided.

    Formative Assessment Students will define process

    Students will list activities they do

    that involve processes and why processes are important.

    Collectively, student will brainstorm the word process in a web diagram. Using the words and phrases they came up with,

    students will write their own definition of process.

    Students will collectively come up with a list of activities that involve processes and why processes are

    important

    Post Test Students will write their own

    process essays.

    Individually, students will write their own process essays on any

    activity (process) of interest.

    Learning Goal # 2 After defining persuasion and the

    three types of appeals (moral, logical, and emotional) students will be able to write their own

    Persuasive essay.

    Alignment with PRDE C/S GLE: W.12.2 Evaluates and applies a variety of organizational techniques to write effective narrative, expository, and persuasive essays using the writing process; demonstrates a preferred style of writing. L/S.12.3 Uses appropriate language structure to analyze and evaluate issues, to problem solve, to explain a process, and to express opinions integrating comparison and contrast statements.

    Pre-test Students will write and draw their own persuasive advertisements on

    social issues.

    Students will present their work orally.

    Students will write and draw their own persuasive advertisements on

    social issues on a provided worksheet.

    Repeat and modify instructions as needed.

    Worksheet and Colored Pencils

    provided

    Formative Assessment Define persuasion

    Distinguish the three appeals of

    persuasive writing. (logical, emotional, moral)

    Collectively, student will brainstorm the word persuasion in a web diagram. Using the words and phrases they came up with,

    students will write their own definition of persuasion.

    Students will watch a short video

    entitled, Persuasive Writing to define and distinguish the three appeals of persuasive writing.

    Video projected with audio.

    Post-test Students will write and draw their own persuasive advertisements on

    social issues.

    Students will write their persuasive essay on the persuasive

    advertisement they created.

    Essay outline provided.

    8

  • IV. Design for Instruction

    The design of the Writing thematic unit was based on the students needs and desires to

    improve their writing skills in English. The pre-tests are actually practice exercises for the post-

    tests. The pre-tests are done in groups, so that the students can join forces, contribute their

    strengths, and improve their weaknesses. I realized they enjoy doing activities as a group. This

    follows Vygotskys theory that explains that socialization leads to development. In this case it is

    a development in the English language skills. I think it is great that they help each other, as long

    as they are actually learning from each other. The following is the writing thematic unit which

    specifies in detail the learning goals in alignment with the PRDE C/S & GLE, and the activities,

    materials and values they encompass.

    9

  • Thematic Unit Overview:

    10

  • Results of Pre-Assessment (Test) Learning Goal # 1

    Student Performance

    In small groups, students will write and illustrate their simple processes

    -students participated in their groups to complete this

    assignment.

    -Results:

    Although there were many spelling and verb tense errors, the students successfully listed their materials, and explained their steps using transition words. The table across this paragraph illustrates the grades the students obtained. This activity was worth 35 points. Only two students did not participate or turn in this activity therefore they receive a 0. Three students did not receive a perfect score because they did not use transition words in their processes. The remaining 22 students received a perfect score. Part of this assignment was illustrating the processes. They really let their creativity shine. The students have great artistic abilities. They were able to illustrate what they wrote. Across this paragraph is a sample work. The process was: How to Change a Diaper. This First activity really helped the students learn to use transition words, and to put steps in chronological order. This also helped them learn how to brainstorm and organize ideas for writing their Process essays.

    Learning Goals & Alignment with PRDE C/S GLE

    After defining Process and identifying transition words, students will write their own process essay.

    W.12.1 Analyzes and assesses word choice to convey meaning; incorporates transitions, correct grammar, syntax, and style.

    L/S.12.3 Uses appropriate language structure to analyze and evaluate issues, to problem

    solve, to explain a process, and to express opinions integrating comparison and contrast

    statements.

    Process Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    35-100% A 30- 86% B 0- 0% F

    Figure 1: Process Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    11

  • 11

    4 5 5 2 02468

    1012

    50/50100%

    A

    49/5098% A

    48/5096% A

    47/5094% A

    0/500% F

    Persuasive Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    Persuasive WritingActivity GradeDistribution

    Results of Pre-Assessment: Learning Goal # 2

    Student Performance

    In small groups, students will select a social issue of their choice and write 3 persuasive appeals to convince their audience that their opinion is correct. -Results: Students worked well in small groups, and were able apply their knowledge of the three appeals of Persuasive Writing. This assignment was worth 50 points. The students did a magnificent job. 11 students received 50/50 100% A 4 students received 49/50 98% A 5 students received 47/50 96% A 4 students received 0/50 0% F The students were able to grasp and practice the concepts successfully. Points were deducted for grammar, misspelling, and syntax errors. Four students did not complete their assignment and were unwilling to hand it in. The images across are sample works made by the students. These are the advertisements that went along with their three persuasive appeals. Some of the topics they chose were: -Improving PRs Public School Systems by installing air conditioning in classrooms -Anti-Abortion campaigns -Anti-Bully Campaigns -Anti-Drug Campaigns -No Texting while Driving -Puerto Ricos Statehood -and more The students were passionate about the topics they chose. With these exercises, they were able to practice producing moral, logical, and emotional appeals. They were also able to express themselves through persuasion with appeals to back up their opinions. This activity served as a brainstorming activity for their Persuasive essays.

    Learning Goals & Alignment with PRDE C/S GLE

    After defining persuasion and its three appeals (moral, logical, and emotional) students will make their own persuasive advertisements by writing their three original appeals and illustrating them in an advertisement.

    Figure 2: Persuasive Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    12

  • 5. Instructional Decision Making-

    Example One:

    One of the crucial decisions I made while observing my students before applying this thematic

    unit, was to have them do the exploration/conceptualization phases in groups. I noticed that the

    students cooperate with each other and develop skills with each others help. Therefore, Vygotskys

    Social development theory was applied. It states that development stems from social interaction. What

    a better way to learn than together. So, instead of students diving into the projects on their own, They

    got the opportunity to test the shallow waters with their friends, so that when time came to do it alone,

    they would have the tools (knowledge) and the confidence to do it on their own. This activity really

    lowered their Affective filters and enhanced their performance.

    Example Two:

    Another crucial decision that was made was the creation of the worksheets. Nearly 100% of the

    students of the group are visual learners. They needed a visual guide to go along with the instructions.

    In fact, with the use of the projector their productivity increased 100%. They were focused and on task,

    whereas when they didnt have any visual aid (because the blackboard was so worn out it could not be

    used for writing) they were lost, they didnt have a focal point to concentrate on so they would drift off

    to their cell phones or their own private conversations. Therefore, for every task the decision was made

    to create worksheets with the detailed instructions and space for them to work. The tasks they did

    could have been done in their notebooks, but with the worksheets they were much more organized and

    sure of what they had to do in order to accomplish their assignments. These worksheets truly facilitated

    their learning.

    13

  • Another time that a change in the design for instruction was required was when the students

    were writing out their essays. Originally, the plan was that they could write their essays in just one 50

    minute period. However, because of lack of English skills, they took longer than expected. More time

    was allotted for this activity because they were actively working, they just needed extra time because of

    the language barriers. This extra time was very beneficial for them because they were able to use

    dictionaries, consult each other, and follow the writing process more effectively. This change affected

    the majority of the students positively because of the benefits mentioned above. However, the

    students who work at a faster pace were left with nothing to do. Therefore, they were assigned as

    classroom helpers. They guided their classmates and helped them complete their assignments. Giving

    the students extra time to complete their assignments improved their progress toward the learning

    goals because they were able to have deep and meaningful work periods instead of rushing to finish the

    assignment on time. They were able to think, share, revise, and improve their work and in the end turn

    in the best of them.

    6. Analysis of Student Learning

    First Learning Goal: After defining Process and identifying transition words, students will write their own process essay.

    This goal was meant to help students develop their English writing skills, through the practice of

    writing a Process essay. The results of the Pre-Post Tests of the thematic unit are as follows:

    22

    3 2 0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    35-100% A 30- 86% B 0- 0% F

    PRE-TEST PROCESS WRITING ACTIVITY GRADE DISTRIBUTION

    Process Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    4

    1

    7

    1

    4

    1 1

    2 2

    4

    0

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    6

    7

    8

    50-100% A 49- 98% A 48- 96% A 46- 92% A 45- 90% A 44- 88% B 40-80% B 34- 68% D 20- 40% F 0- 0% F

    POST-TEST PROCESS WRITING ACTIVITY GRADE DISTRIBUTION

    Process Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    Figure 2: Pre-Test Process Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    Figure 3: Post-Test Process Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    14

  • During the Pre-test, the majority of the students, twenty two students received a perfect score,

    three students got a B, and two students did not complete their assignments. They only skills the

    students were lacking was the use of transitional words (First, second, third, next, after that, finally) and

    spelling errors. I noticed that students would spell out the words as they sound in Spanish. For

    example, instead of blanket, one student spelled blanquet. However, because they were able to work

    together for this assignment they did do better than individually. The Post-test records showed that the

    students were able to excel as writers because they successfully wrote their Process Essays. Figure 3

    illustrates the results of the Post-test by number score (50/50, 49/50, and others), bur for the purpose

    of this essay they will be described by letter grades (A, B, C, D, F). 17 students received an A. That

    means 63% of the class did an excellent job with their transition words, grammar, spelling, and basic

    paragraphs of an essay. The rest of the scores consist of 2 B, which is 7% of the course, and 6 F, which is

    22% of the class. The students who received an F, either did not turn in their assignments or turned in

    incomplete assignments (for example, only the brainstorming worksheet). Nevertheless, the majority of

    the students were able to meet the learning goal in alignment with the PRDE Content Standard and

    Grade Level Expectations by writing excellent essays with all the expected components.

    Second Learning Goal: After defining persuasion and the three types of appeals (moral, logical, and emotional) students will be able to write their own Persuasive

    essay.

    This goal was meant to help students develop their English writing skills, through the practice of writing

    a Persuasive essay. The results of the Pre-Post Tests of this thematic unit are as follows:

    The Pre-Test of the Persuasive Writing

    Activity was actually the first part of the Post-

    Test. Therefore there is only one score for the

    Persuasive Writing Assignment. The Pre-Test

    consisted in the planning, or brain storming

    phase of writing the essay. This was worth 20

    11

    4 5 5 2 02468

    1012

    50/50100%

    A

    49/5098% A

    48/5096% A

    47/5094% A

    0/500% F

    Persuasive Writing Activity Grade Distribution

    Persuasive WritingActivity GradeDistribution

    15

  • points, and the essay itself was worth 30 points for a grand total of 50 points. All of the students, with

    the exception of the two students that did not participate in the activity, received a 20/20 in the Pre-

    test. They were able to successfully come up with Moral, Logical, and Emotional appeals to persuade

    their audience (peers) on their point of view of the social issue they chose. Those students who received

    an F, where decided on not participating even though they were given multiple opportunities, they were

    handled separately, nonetheless. The post part was the essay itself on the social issue using the

    appeals. The students had an improvement in the grammar and spelling of their essays because they

    already had the practice of the previous writing assignment. However, this time there were more errors

    in syntax because the students write the sentences with Spanish sentence structures. Also, there were a

    few errors in verb tenses. Overall, this part of the Writing Thematic Unit was a success, the students

    definitely enjoyed the Pre-Test part more, because it involved research, art, and other activities.

    However, doing this part first made writing the essay all the more simple and meaningful because

    basically they were just reporting on their findings and opinions. Because all of the criterions were

    covered, and the vast majority completed their assignments successfully, it is safe to say that this part of

    the Thematic Unit is an effective tool for facilitating the learning process of students.

    7. Reflection and Self Evaluation

    After reviewing the scores my students obtained in both activities of this Thematic Unit, I can

    proudly say my students did achieve the learning goals I proposed in alignment with the Puerto Rico

    Department of Education Content Standards and Grade Level Expectations. The students are very

    creative and unique, so I was proud they were able to channel these two characteristics they possess

    towards writing. Also, I know they enjoyed working on illustrations to go along with their written work.

    The completion of this part of the activity (the illustrations) shows commitment and interest. Most

    importantly it makes the writing all the more meaningful because the students feel proud and are

    invested in their hard work. Although they still commit spelling and syntax errors in writing, now they

    are more aware of them when it happens, which is a huge improvement. With more practice activities

    like this they will surely continue becoming better writers.

    I believe the learning goal with which the students were most successful was with learning goal

    2, which involved the writing of the Persuasive essay. I believe the possible reasons for their success is

    that: they were more motivated with this assignment because they were able to choose a social issue

    they were passionate about to express themselves upon it, and that they already had the practice of

    writing an essay with the Process essay, which was assigned directly before the Persuasive essay.

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  • Therefore, the success of this part would only be expected. The students absolutely love debating and

    expressing themselves, and most of the issues were highly debatable, so they were not quiet when it

    came to defending their point of view. For example, on the very last day of presenting their appeals, the

    very last group to present wanted to persuade the audience that Puerto Rico should vote for statehood.

    The remaining minutes of the class broke out in a full on pro vs. con debate. I even had to sit them on

    opposite sides of the room because they were getting to rowdy. Either way I feel great when students

    are so passionate about their work.

    My students were equally successful in both learning goals, however there is still a lot of room

    for improvement in their spelling and syntax. I mostly noticed that their mistakes stem from them

    literately translating their thoughts into the English Language by following the Spanish sentence

    structure and sounds, for spelling. This did improve as they received more writing assignments, because

    they were starting to be aware of the small differences between the ways we write both languages that

    mean all the difference. This is a huge first step because from now on, the students will use their

    knowledge on these differences when writing in English. Becoming spotless English writers will take

    time, but all of them have the capacity and capability to do so. In the future I would tackle this problem

    of English sentence structure and spelling by teaching the English sentence structure as a unit before

    giving writing assignments because this was where most of the students lost the most amount of points

    on. As for the spelling, that only comes with practice and the exposure to the language. I would do a

    reading unit before a writing unit and provide more written examples so that the students are more

    exposed to all the most frequently used vocabulary words. In addition, reading comes before writing in

    the natural order of learning the language arts. Another change I would do to this Thematic Unit is that

    I would publish the students works on a bulletin board so that the entire school population could see

    their exemplary work as ESL students. The works were however hung up on the classroom walls for

    their other classmates to contemplate.

    As a teacher I think I did a good job in guiding them towards the learning goals, and facilitating

    their learning. I prepared Powerpoint Presentations, worksheets and rubrics to facilitate the process. I

    also helped them individually during the periods when they were doing small group work, or individual

    work. However, it would have been a more successful unit if I would have shown them written

    examples of their assignments. Because I basically just gave them the instructions and took them step

    by step. Seeing the finished product beforehand would have been a great aid. So my professional

    learning goal 1 would be to always provide examples for the students. My professional learning goal 2

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  • would be to pace time better. The students worked on their essays for quite a few days, and although

    everyone, with the exception of the unwilling participants, took advantage of the time. The problem is

    that it was not a structured time to work. Next time, I plan on dividing the completion of different part

    of the essays by dates. For example-day one would be to write the introduction of their essays, day two

    would be for the body paragraphs and day three would be for the conclusion, day four would be for

    peer reviews, day five would be to revise and hand in the final version. This way, the class is more

    structured and everyone is on the same page.

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