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Hiding out Students

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Annie Ghijsen


ED 627

December 8, 2016

Hiding Out Students

        In my eleventh grade United States History class, we do more reading and writing than they currently do in their English classes. My goal for the year has been to boost their historical literacy skills which require different literacy than reading a novel. In the eleventh grade English Language Arts classes they read a novel per quarter, while we cover one thematic in a varying amount of time; anywhere from two to six weeks. Due to this nature of my class, all of the hiding out students showed signs of being “hiding out” as early as the second week of school. In total there are about six hiding out, the two students I will be focusing on are both Hispanic females, but are drastically different academically.

Section One

        My first student, Student Y was re-designated back in 2013, her freshman year of high school. This year is the first year since 2011 that she did not take the CDELT. When it comes to her proficiencies of listening, speaking, reading, and writing she has shown improvement since the end of quarter one. At the end of quarter one she had a borderline grade between a C- and D+. Moreover, she struggled to keep up, did not do her reading notes, and got low scores on her binder checks. When it comes to her listening skills, at the end of quarter one she had trouble following directions and had low scores on her binder checks (we explain verbally how to organize binders). She did not participate in class, unless called on upon by my co-teacher or me. Her writing lacks academic language, she confuses common possessive nouns such as your/you’re, their/they’re/there, and they/them. Lastly, she is a struggling reader. Based on Denti’s levels of reading, Student Y is between stages three and four of reading, she struggles to use a slightly below grade level text to garner information form (Denti 117). However, if we utilize a text that is written at a sixth or seventh grade level she will be able to use the text as a tool to learn about a topic such as the Espionage and Sedition Acts. Moreover, if I pair a below grade level text with the Six Key Strategies such as guiding reading questions and a graphic organizer, Student Y will be more likely to succeed in a History class (Bongolan 2009).

She was receiving low scores on her weekly reading quizzes because rather than using the textbook to do her “says, means, matters” reading notes she was googling the words, and not getting the context of the era in which the vocabulary word was from. Based upon her Historical Literacy Assessment (HLA), where students had to respond a political cartoon and various quotes in paragraph form, she struggles to take the historical knowledge gained from class and put it into academic language. However, if I use the Six Key Strategies and provide her with sentence frames and paragraph structures, she can produce a paragraph that approaches expectations.

        Student G, is similar to Student Y in that both have been English Language Learners and are Hispanic. However, they are drastically different students. Student G, is an English Language Learner, according to Denti’s Levels of English Proficiency, she is between early speech production and speech emergence (Denti 113). G, is able to participate in social conversations with her peers in English; however, she is much more comfortable conversing in Spanish than in English. Moreover, she struggles to speak up in class when having to give a factual based response and makes many grammar errors. However, she takes it in stride, is consistently improving, and is one of the few eleventh graders who comes to our thirty-minute intervention homeroom three days a week. Currently, she is concurrently enrolled in English Language Arts and the corresponding support class of Language Arts Development. Based upon the information we have about her previous education; we believe her family came to the United States in 2013 from Mexico. She has taken the CDELT every year since 2013 and has consistently scored twos in each section across the board. Moreover, she does not receive a continuous education because she is only at our school for half the year as she is enrolled in the Migrant Education Program. When it comes to the demands of reading, writing, speaking, and listening she struggles in each aspect differently and needs extra scaffolds in order to complete assignments. Based upon Denti’s levels of reading she is between Stages Two and Three (Denti 117). This is based off observing her throughout the semester in our class and conversations with other teachers who have her in their class. Moreover, she struggles to read aloud and mixes the sounds of letters in English with the letter sounds in Spanish. Additionally, she as well as many others rely on having a context for what they will be reading prior to reading a text. As for her writing skills, she struggles to form grammatically correct sentences and frequently confuses the common possessive pronouns such as your/you’re, their/they’re/there, they/them. Furthermore, if she is given sentence frames she only fills in the blanks and composes simple sentences. However, when it comes to listening she is outstanding. She does her best to follow instructions, can fill in an outline if we do guided notes, and gets stellar scores on the binder checks. This is not only because she comes to homeroom; but also, her elbow partner who she has been sitting with since early October has helped her catch up on content and keep up with other students in class. I chose to seat her with Student F, who is an average student, based upon Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development where we know where Student G is comfortable and capable of being on her own, and we know where she could be with coaching; that is where student F comes in. He helps take her out of her comfort zone and boosts her academic learning (Vygotsky 1979).

Section Two

Over the course of the semester my co-teacher and I have done a variety of activities to gather data about our students reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities. Based upon the results of these activities, I pin pointed who my hiding out students were in addition to struggling readers, struggling writers, shy students, outgoing students, and withdrawn students. Using this information, I gained from observing and interacting with the students, I have been able to make productive table groups and strategic elbow partners. Each of the following activities I chose focus on one academic demand of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, at a time.

        The first activity focused on reading. This was a deep reading assignment we did in the second week of school. The students were given a one-page document about the economy during the Gilded Age. In their four-member table groups, students were to first scan the document, secondly as a group they were to read it once through without annotating, the third time they were to read and highlight the main idea of each section, fourthly in a different color they highlight supporting details, and fifthly, using the main idea and supporting details to fill out a graphic organizer about aspects of the Gilded Age economy.



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