Observation Of The ELA Class

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The class I chose to observe was an eighth grade ELA class. There were twenty students in this class, eight of the students were English language learners. The ELL students’ overall WIDA scores ranged from 3.9 to 5.6. A review of the WIDA data indicated that speaking and writing scores for these six students were weaker skill areas in comparison to their overall score, ranging from 3.4 to 4.6. The class lesson focused on reading, speaking, and understanding a work of William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Nights Dream. Student desks were arranged in a horseshoe shape so that all students faced the center of the room. The ELL students were seated in three small groups throughout the horseshoe, though I’m not sure if this was by choice or by design. The teacher and students were supported by an ESL tutor. During the class students worked with a neighbor to paraphrase sections of the reading. Students, for the most, part were prepared and responsive when called on. The main focus of the class activity was reading silently and orally, passages from the play and paraphrasing individual acts and scenes as a class. Both the teacher and individual student volunteers took turns reading the parts. The class began with a silent reading assignment from the next section in the text. While students read, the teacher individually checked in with each student to provide feedback on the previous nights homework. The homework assignment was to summarized the reading from the previous day in their own words. The teacher provided both positive and constructive feedback to all students, pointing out at least one successful aspect of their summary. This activity is very much in line with was the strategy of upgrading your interactive language discussed by Eric Jensen, “during every sing interaction with your students, make eye contact and affirm the good in them” (Jenson, 2013, p.25). If a student was missing an integral part of the story she would prompt them by recalling what was discussed before and provide textual evidence if necessary, and allow them to add to their response. She was very upbeat and supportive of the students, and her tone and language were both accessible and age appropriate. When giving instructions she used
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