Elementary Classroom : A Wide Variety Of Learning Needs

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This unit was designed for a regularly leveled ninth grade classroom with a wide variety of learning needs. The class is comprised of 18 boys and 12 girls with 30 students total. The students generally enter freshman year around the age of fourteen or fifteen. The school is located in a rural area in Northern Illinois. About 74 percent of the students are white, although the school has become much more racially diverse in recent years. The Hispanic population is the largest minority population present at about 12 percent, followed by 6 percent Asian, 4.5 two or more races and 2 percent black. Despite increasing minority populations only one percent of the student body are English Language Learners. Approximately 13 percent of the student…show more content…
Specifically in this conceptual unit I use music videos, lyrics, documentary style film, research analysis and commentary, legal treatise, fictional short story and memoirs. Psychologist Anita Woolfolk explains that as children develop their thinking processes become more abstract and that they are more equipped to think meta-cognitively about themselves. At this point in their development the study of identity will enable students to, “clarify their own values, learn higher levels of moral reasoning, and learn the skills of value analysis” (Woolfolk 87). This unit is justified because it is able to “respond to the psychological needs of students. Literature often deals with common human experiences about the pressures, changes, dilemmas, aspirations, conflicts, and so on that make growing up (and being grown up) such a challenge” (Smagorinsky 2008). The focus on identity development is fitting for freshman between the ages of fourteen and fifteen because they are beginning to form the foundation of their adult identity. Also students are, “morbidly preoccupied with what they appear to be in the eyes of others as compared with what they feel they are” (Erickson 128), and that can cause an enormous amount of undue stress. Demonstrating the flexibility of identity and the numerous factors at play in a developing identity will hopefully alleviate some of
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