Reflection – O2 (Course Rationale)

O2, Offer appropriate challenge in the content area (1). Throughout the past eight weeks I have been collecting information in order to compose a course rationale. Before the internship began I was unsure of what a course rationale was, after observing and collecting information I have realized that a course rationale is a simple composition of the way a course is put together. Standard O2 applies to the curriculum that is used in our classrooms and how we organize and challenge our students in the content areas (1). For example, I decided to collect information from a Math group. Within this group I observed a unit as well as a specific lesson. Each of which have different aspects and goals. In general there is one practical problem that is addressed in this course, which is measurement. Students can use measurement in many ways during their daily routine including: cooking, calculating distance, construction, and engineering. Through this course students will be more proficient with fraction skills. Each of the learners in this course are 5th grade students, composed of male and females who respond well to direct instruction. Within the group there are students with specific learning disability, ADHD, and anxiety (2). With this course I observed a unit and a lesson, both of these are organized chronologically. The unit I observed focused on Comparing and Ordering Fractions, the goal is that students will be able to compare and order fractions. The unit contained five lessons and included many types of instructional practices including checking for prior knowledge, direct instruction, formative assessment and checks for understanding. Students are assessed at the end of the unit with a post assessment taken from the Focus Math curriculum. The lesson that I observed was titled Comparing and Ordering, the learning target for this lesson was, “Students will be able to use models to find equivalent fractions.” Throughout this lesson students worked on guided practice with the teacher. Once students were able to prove competence through formative assessment they were able to proceed with independent practice. Similar to the unit the lesson is also assessed with a post assessment that is given from the Focus Math curriculum (3). After collecting information for the course rationale I realized how the learning target relates to the central focus of the unit. Learning targets build on one another and when combined students will be able to do the central focus independently. I also learned how the teacher pulls summative assessments from the curriculum and at times will add more questions from another curriculum to ensure that students understand the content (4). This course is differentiated for each student. Students with different disabilities are able to learn the same material. Students become confident as they work through problems independently and feel comfortable asking for help throughout guided practice (5). I enjoyed collecting this information from this course. I was able to identify the underlying features of the class, as well as summarize characteristics of a unit and lesson. I learned how I can use a specific curriculum and how I may need to change a few things along the way to make it suitable for each student (6).

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