This week in CEP800 we were asked to evaluate a piece of instructional technology. After evaluating the technology, we then had to create a lesson plan incorporating that technology in a meaningful way. The technology I chose was a QR code reader. I chose to use this to give my students access to online games and videos that would enhance my current phonics lessons. During my phonics block, I am often meeting with and assessing individual students or small groups so it is necessary that my students are able to work independently. By creating QR codes that correlate to online games and videos specific to phonetic skills my students are working on, they are able to independently receive an alternate mode of instruction and practice. I believe that providing this technology and allowing my students to learn and practice these new skills online will provide a deeper understanding of the phonics content for all students. This technology will enhance my phonics lessons particularly for those who need additional auditory or visual instruction. Please see the general outline of my lesson below as well as my analysis of how pedagogy, learning theories, technology, and content work together.
Grade Level: 1st
My school uses the Words their Way program for teaching phonics. Earlier in the year, my students completed a Words their Way spelling inventory, where I assessed their phonetic understanding. Based on these results, my students were divided into 3 skill groups. For every phonics lesson, my students are completing tasks and learning new skills that are appropriate to their developmental level. Each lesson spans over the course of one week. At the beginning of each week, students receive a word list focused on their phonetic skill that week and a bag with a “word sort” using these words. The students must sort the words into categories based on the different skills they are focusing on. This lesson focuses on three phonetic skills: consonant digraphs, adding final -e, and inflectional endings. Differentiating my lessons in this way allows my students to receive appropriate instruction. I have a wide variety of learning levels, including emerging readers and ELL students, so many of my students struggle with phonics. It is necessary to split them into like-level groups to receive the most appropriate instruction.
Common Core Standards:
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
Read words with inflectional endings.
Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.
- How does adding an -e at the end of a word change the vowel sound?
- How do inflectional endings change the meaning of a word?
- What are the consonant digraphs and what sounds do they make?
- What are the irregularly spelled words in your skill set and what makes them irregular?
Although I have four essential questions for this lesson, each student will only be focusing on two. Questions 1-3 are specific for my skill groups, and then each group must identify irregular words within their skill (essential question 4).
For this phonics lesson, I will use a variety of skills to ensure that students are interacting with new knowledge in meaningful ways. First, I have my students involved in hands-on activities. This hands-on method of providing students with cards allows them to easily correct mistakes and move cards around as needed. Another strategy I use is having students work together in their skill groups. This is the social constructivist theory at work. Students are working with their peers to create new understandings through hands-on work and discussion. Songs and rhymes are another strategy I use to teach phonetic skills. This is especially helpful for my emerging readers or my ELL students. Gradually releasing responsibility onto my students is another strategy I use. This strategy uses ideas from Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. Students are able to sort their words in the beginning with the help of their peers. As the week goes on, I have students work more independently until the last day when they are assessed individually
3.Content and Pedagogy
My pedagogical strategies help teach the content in different ways. First, each student is given a bag with cards. Each card has a different word or picture on it. The students must figure out how these cards are sorted. For example, my digraph group has cards with pictures on them. They must say the word that correlates with the picture, and group the cards together that begin or end with the same digraph.
I have students begin by working with their skill group to sort their new word sort cards. These are new words and skills to the students so I have them work together in the beginning to discuss how the words are sorted. I do not provide prior instruction on the skill, I have students figure out their sorts together and support them when needed. I usually sit with my lowest group in the beginning and guide their thinking.
Since each group is working on a different phonetic skill, we cannot learn the songs and rhymes together. This is where my technology comes in to play. My students listen to songs and rhymes online either independently or with a partner from their group. These songs and rhymes help students to remember new information.
Gradually releasing the responsibility onto my students throughout the week gives the the support they need. They are able to develop initial understandings of the new phonetic skills early in the week by working with me or their peers, and as the week goes on the students are gradually able to practice and explain these new skills independently.
For this lesson I will mainly be using the Words their Way spelling word sort cards. To enhance the lesson, I will also be using various games and videos online that are specific to each group’s phonetic skill. In order to enable students to access these games and videos, I am linking the websites to a QR code. My students will then use an iPad to scan the QR code which will take them to a game or video that correlates to their phonetic skill. To organize the QR codes, I have created three posters, one for each skill group. I have pasted the QR codes on each poster and labeled them with the game or video that it leads to. It is necessary that my students are able to access this online content independently because all of the content is differentiated, so we cannot access it as a class. This technology is not necessary in order to teach the lesson. Without accessing online games and videos, students would still be able to use their word sort cards to practice their phonetic skill. This provides hands on practice, however, I found that many of my students are auditory and visual learners, particularly my ELL students. The games and videos will provide a different mode to take in new information. The videos will allow students to learn the skill through song and rhyme. This multiple representation of the material will further solidify the content for my students, leading to a deeper understanding of the phonetic skills.
5.Technology and Pedagogy
The technology used in this lesson will support the pedagogical strategy of teaching through song and rhyme. As mentioned earlier, I cannot teach these songs and rhymes to the class as a whole as I normally would since not all students are learning the same phonetic skill. It is necessary to use the QR code scanner to allow students to access videos that are specific to their phonetic skill. This technology will also help to release the responsibility to my students. The videos will help students to develop a deeper understanding so they are able to explain and practice their skill independently. My students are able to watch these students with a partner so they can discuss the video together.
6.Technology and Content
The technology in the lesson helps me teach the big ideas and address the essential questions. I cannot work with each student or group everyday, so it is important that my students receive multiple forms of instruction. Accessing games and videos via the QR code scanner will allow my students to learn and practice their skills in different ways throughout the week. Without this technology, my students would would only be offered one way to practice their skill, which is their word sort cards. While this is effective alone, it is extremely beneficial for students to receive information in a different way that may be even more beneficial to them as a learner. As I mentioned, my students learn in a variety of ways and this technology will help reach all students, especially my emerging readers and ELL students who need as much visual and auditory support as possible.
To assess my students understanding of their phonetic skill, they will complete their word sort and explain it to me. All week, they practice sorting their words into appropriate categories independently and with a partner. By the end of the week, students are expected to have a working understanding of their phonetic skill. They must complete their word sort, read it to me, and explain why the words are sorted the way they are and why certain words are irregular. This is mainly an oral assessment, so technology is not used here. I would love to find a way to incorporate technology during this assessment, but it is important that I hear my students read the words and listen to their oral reasoning.