Dunn, Deborah Learning Environment- CHS; Fall 2013: Clausen_LEConcept Map_EDTEC650

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Dunn, Deborah Learning Environment- CHS; Fall 2013: Clausen_LEConcept Map_EDTEC650

Mrs. Dunn's Learning Environment




State Biology Standardshttps://learningconnection.doe.in.gov/Standards/Standards.aspx?st=&sub=28&gl=41&c=0&stid=0

ISTE'S National Educational Technology Standardshttps://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students


CHS Demographicshttp://www1.ccs.k12.in.us/chs/about/profile

CHS Mission Statementhttp://www1.ccs.k12.in.us/chs/about/mission-statement

Mrs. DunnWho am I? Autobiography I came to the decision to pursue a degree in education through a very interesting experience. Throughout my four years earning a degree in Biology at Indiana University, I held several leadership positions and offices, but one in particular influenced me the most. I was involved in an annual campus production called I.U. Sing. In addition to being a performer, I took a directing role in producing and choreographing an award winning show. This involved writing a script and music, coordinating lighting and set decisions, organizing rehearsals for a cast of 100 peers, choreographing and teaching dances and staging, attending weekly technical meetings and delegating authority. I gained many personal rewards and learned a lot about myself through this experience. When the show was over, I began to realize I needed to change my career plans from Physical Therapy to something that fit my personality and excited, motivated and challenged me as much as I.U.Sing... education became my new career path. There are three core personality traits that became prevalent during my experience in I.U. Sing that made that experience a success and continue to allow for success in a career teaching youth: being a performer, being an empathetic listener; and having a "Type-A" personality. I have danced professionally and performed most of my life. At age three I jumped on stage and played the tambourine with the hired band at my grandfather's retirement party. In high school I was selected to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with the National Cheerleading Association. I performed many ballets as an apprentice to the St. Louis Ballet Company. College offered similar opportunities as I performed with the Indiana University's "Marching 100" Marching Band as a "Redstepper", which was the band's kick-line dance team. I performed a few ballets with the I.U. School of Ballet as well. Performing is in my blood and I carry that into the classroom and my volunteer work. To keep students engaged, I treat each lesson as an enthusiastic performance. Often this may translate as dramatic or funny. In the end, the students remember the lesson! However, I understand that other people need the spotlight as well. I have learned that if you make yourself aware of body language, make the effort to connect verbally with each student or person and make yourself available to simply listen, it is amazing what people will share with you. I have stories of students who have courageously come to me wanting to share stories of rape, abuse and thoughts of suicide. While legally following protocol to correctly report such things, I was also able to be a neutral, trustworthy person who would just listen, empathize and validate their feelings. Also, by giving out and providing a sense of trust, safety and respect, I was often given those things in return in the form of good classroom behavior and smoothly run classroom management. I have a story of breaking up a physical fight with just 3 sentences spoken and students who said they never liked science before, but had fun in my class and wanted to do well. There are IEPs followed and lessons accommodated when necessary so that everyone had a chance and choice to succeed. Finally, I could not live without my calendar and the various lists that organize my life. This is not to say I can't be flexible and make quick changes when needed, but I pride myself in my efficiency to get things done and get them done on time. I would rather be over-prepared and ready for multiple scenarios than scrambling at the last minute and not doing a job to the best of my ability. Obviously these are not the only traits a great teacher needs. An enthusiastic, empathetic, organized teacher also needs to be able to mediate conflict, emphasize character values through role modeling good behavior and decision making, enhance the strengths and support the needs of each individual student and motivate youth to be life-long learners- just to name a few. My experiences in life and in the classroom thus far, have allowed me to bring these traits to the classroom.

Philosophy of teaching- Revised Mid-Career “How do you do it?” That’s what I hear people ask me now when I explain that I am a teacher. With local media coverage of the problems faced by schools and support of teachers, I have not heard teaching regarded as baby-sitting as one un-informed person once said to me earlier in my career. After teaching for almost a decade and then having my own children in school, I believe my philosophy of education has been altered by experience. Although I still agree with my earlier philosophy, I have put emphasis on new and some different areas. In general, high school students can be regarded as concrete learners and a hands-on teaching approach works well. I create lessons covering many, if not all, of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. Many of the lessons I share in my professional portfolio demonstrate this. I progressively try to follow each lesson with an extension into critical thinking and problem solving skills, often involving real world applications. For example when learning about biomes and the rain forest I begin with the concrete experience of sampling indigenous foods. We can then investigate structures of plants similar to those found in the rain forest and, using an inquiry based lesson, investigate other uses for living organisms in the rainforest. We end with a discussion about how the destruction of the rain forest might affect them personally. As we go through the year, many topics can make connections back to this group of lessons. An area of emphasis in my teaching, have become life skills. In our “Age of Information” the job of teaching is changing more than ever. Students are no longer motivated through lectures and notes and one of our jobs is to give them the tools to retrieve information and answers to their questions and give them the basis for understanding their research. In other words, I cannot expect students to be experts on all of the standards we teach. To gain the depth of understanding we hope to encourage them to find, we must help them practice the tools of: observing, recording with accuracy, measuring, hypothesizing, graphing, calculating, writing and reading. My teaching of skills is not limited to the subject of science. By emphasizing life skills I am also leading practice for students to organize themselves, work cooperatively and learn in interdisciplinary subjects such as language arts, social studies, and math. Learning to read, understand and learn from a science textbook effectively is a large goal in my curriculum. I often tell my students that reading a science textbook is similar to reading a foreign language. It takes some early instruction and role modeling to learn to do it well. Along with these skills comes the use of technology in the classroom. Certainly it is very desirable to use white-boards or smart-boards and computers and electronic books within the curriculum to enhance teaching. The visualization and interactive uses cannot be matched by textbooks and models alone. The programs available online can reach different learning styles, different learning abilities and provide choices for tiered lessons that are invaluable to me as a teacher. I have listed some of my favorite sites in my professional portfolio. Computer and internet access allows the teacher to take students beyond the resources of the classroom and give students a chance to be in charge of their own learning. A combination of teacher-centered, student-centered inquiry learning with or without technology, and opportunities for cooperative learning with their peers is my goal across my curriculum. My previous philosophy mentioned a democratic classroom where students voted on what subjects they wanted to learn. What in the world was I thinking!? With the constraints of time, the curriculum standards required and the coordination with scheduling within a science department this is an impossible notion. This doesn’t mean democracy is out the window. Students and teachers alike should make time for reflection on a completed job and be open to ideas and suggestions for improvement. Also, students have a choice to succeed in my classroom. I use the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” I will provide everything you need to succeed, it is the student’s choice to use the resources. Another example of democracy in my classroom is the use of tiered lesson plans. Students can engage, explore, explain and evaluate themselves through inquiry on a topic at their own level of experience. For example if a student comes into my class with little knowledge about the structure of an atom and from experience needs help with reading proficiency, one level of project options- usually 3 different learning styles activity choices- would be available to choose from compared to another set of options given to a student with more background knowledge and higher reading proficiency. A student is never stuck at a level and is always encouraged to challenge themselves with support- they have choices. I believe that to get respect you must give respect. This goes both ways between students and teachers. As I have now had children of my own in school, I have a new emphasis of respect for the student’s parents as well. I see the need to reach out even more for updates on student’s progress. Websites with grade access, sample tests, vocabulary help, notes, and homework hotline office hours make interaction with parents much easier. The phone calls, one on one meetings and postcards home are, as always, integral as well. Often parents may not only want to know how the grades are going, but how their child is doing socially and developmentally as well. Furthermore, having increased interaction with parents may provide more resources for teaching in some cases. It is a win-win. I am sure as my career progresses I will re-evaluate my philosophy again as I continue to attend workshops and continue my education. One of the best philosophies is to become a life-long learner. I put a quote in the front of my classroom: “Knowledge is Power” and it is very true. I hope to be the best teacher I can be by always gaining more knowledge.

Classroom Management-CHS HIGH SCHOOLCourse Information Guide forMRS. DUNNBIOLOGY 1(317) 849-9455 X XXXXHomework hotline: XxxxxEmail: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxWebsite: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx1. General Course Goals a. To provide tools and information necessary for understanding and retaining knowledge in the state required Core Standards including the subject areas of ecology, botany, zoology, cell biology and genetics. b. To demonstrate interrelationships between these five subject areas of study. c. To expose opportunities of practice in necessary scientific and life skills. d. To help students understand applications in their life now and career potentials within the biological sciences in the future. 2. Materials Please have within 1 week a 3 ring binder with pockets and adequate notebook filler paper, pens, and #2 pencils. These items along with your textbooks are required for class EVERY DAY and properly organized notebooks will be necessary for full notebook grades. *** Your 3 ring binder should have 5 dividers labeled: “Notes”, “Graded Work”, “Labs/Activities”, “Projects”, “Study Helps”.3. Grading ScaleA+AA-B+BB-C+CC-D+DD-F 98-100%93-97%90-92%87-89%83-86%80-82%77-79%73-76%70-72%67-69%63-66%60-62%59-0%4. Assessment a. Students and parents can determine their grade at any time by linking to grades via my website or using this method with the scores given on their grades work and assessments: Actual points added together / divided by possible total point available X 100= % on grade scale. b. Grades for different assessments are weighted within the number of points assigned to each assignment inclusively. Homework & Daily work/notebook is approximately 40% of the total grade, test/quizzes 20%, labs & activities 20%, projects 20%. c. Tests and Quizzes are often a combination of multiple choice, matching, true/false and short answer/essay. For some topics a multiple activity project may replace a formal written test and will be therefore weighted with points equaling both together. d. Extra credit is most always available on tests. Extra credit assignments are offered on a regular basis. **The student must have all or all but 2 assignments turned in for extra credit to be accepted for grading by the end of that term. e. Semester grades are calculated by the following: 25% for each 6 weeks term (a total of 75%) and the remaining 25% is the final exam grade. The final exam grade will be calculated as 12.5% coming from the actual final exam and the other 12.5% coming from a semester project. 5. Expectations of behavior a. As the teacher, my job is to provide you opportunities to learn by creating a learning atmosphere. b. Do not disrupt this atmosphere. I will not permit a student to interfere with another student’s right to learn and succeed. Keep your body and objects to yourself. Rules of good manners, respect and courtesy are expected. c. YOU are ultimately responsible for your learning and success. d. Remember that reputations are built on honesty and integrity. People with excellent reputations are always given the benefit of any doubt in life. Reputations take years to build, and seconds to destroy. Make your choices wisely. 6. Classroom Management a. Follow directions the first time they are given. In labs especially, this comes down to a safety precaution! b. Class starts on time: When the bell stops ringing you should be in your seat and working on the first item on the agenda provided on the board. If homework is being collected, it is due when announced otherwise it is late. If you have questions or problems they must be addressed BEFORE class starts. c. You will be allotted 2 bathroom passes per semester. If you are gone for more than 5 minutes, a referral will be written. If you have a medical or personal problem, please see the school nurse and times/approval for your supervision will need to be recorded by the nurse for me to accept. Unused passes cam be redeemed for extra credit at the end of the semester: +.25% for each unused pass… this, on many occasions, was enough to round a student up to a higher letter grade! d. Gum, candy & food should not be seen or heard. If asked to deposit or put away such items you are expected to comply. e. It is expected that all guidelines in the school’s handbook will be followed. 7. Homework/ Late work a. Homework is due when announced, usually at the beginning bell of the period. It is late after this time. b. Late assignments will be accepted within a week for 50% credit and a 0% will be given for that assignment after one week of its due date. It is YOUR responsibility to take care of late and missing work and I will not remind you. c. Students with unexcused absences will not be allowed to turn in missing work from that time period. d. Students with excused absences have the time allotted in the school handbook to make up their work. 8. If you are absent…. a. It is YOUR responsibility to find out assignments and copy notes you missed if you are absent. Please utilize my website and/or homework hotline. b. ** All handouts and a copy of any notes can be found in the labeled boxes at the front of the classroom. c. When turning in the absent make up work to me, please write “ABSENT” at the top of the assignment along with the date you were absent, so that I don’t grade the assignment as “Late” work and take off 50%. d. If you missed a test or quiz , you may make it up before school, after school, or during my prep. period within 1 week of your return from absence or it is a zero. (Exceptions made for extended excused absences.) You must make an appointment with me for a makeup time. A makeup test is not the same test given to the class. Expect essays, oral questions and other forms of equivalent assessment to gauge your learning. e. Laboratory activities cannot be made up after the materials have been disassembled, which is usually within 1 week. An alternative assignment will be given or removal of the assignment from your grade and an “n/a” will be given in its place- not affecting the grade. f. Dates of test days & project due are posted and announced several times in advance. You will be required to take the test even if you were absent the 1-2 days before. Arrange for someone to bring your notebook home if you don’t have them. My prep period is _______ period. The times are ___________ to ___________. Please note the easiest way for parents to get updates and contact me with questions or concerns is via email.

My Role-I’m a Life Toucher(By Bill Sanders) Teachers: Life Touchers: Push Pull Agonize Organize Give examples Are the examples Teach a subject Touch lives while teaching life lessons Try to change others Change themselves Sometimes get bitter Get better and better Don’t like to change Change what they don’t like, change what they look at or change the way they look at it. Concentrate on grades Help students concentrate & grade their own progress. Are interested in teaching Are interesting teachers Help students get thru tests Help people get thru life Demand answers to questions Encourage questions of the answers Have a room full of short adults Have a class full of human beings Teach Train Know their subject matter Know what to do when the subject doesn’t matter Call kids winners or losers Realize we are all choosers Label kids with periods Help people find themselves Know what is taught Know it’s what’s caught that counts Have trouble makers Recognize hurting kids who are having trouble making it Try to raise morale Realize morale filters down from the top (the life toucher) Have bad bunches Take full responsibility for the learning atmosphere in their classroom Talk the message Walk the message Tell Explain


Mrs. Dunn's ClassroomSubject: Biology 1, Biology 2: Genetics, Basic Life Science Grades: 9-12 90 minute block schedule

Classroom Environment/Decor-To create an environment that is most suited for effective teaching, I will not have to change rooms throughout the day. Therefore, the classroom can be decorated in a colorful, inspirational and motivating way- displaying student work for collaboration and reflection. I have many sayings and quotes I like to refer to throughout the year and having them posted in the room is a benefit for reinforcement. I will have windows, so that plants can be grown and for aesthetics. There is a reference book section, which also includes current periodicals, for those with time or interest to use. Along the back of the room are lab stations, fully equipped with microscopes, gel electrophoresis, scales, hotplates, glassware, prepared slides and dissection supplies etc, all at a 1:2 student ratio. Teachers sharing the same classes will not have to share equipment, therefore, curriculum flow is not disrupted due to a wait for materials or equipment. Several sinks need to be available as well. Students sit at portable lab tables with plugs and ports throughout the floor for access. Students will sit on blue ball seats (with stabilizing rings) for proper seat posture and too keep everyone alert!

Parent Linksmyccs.orgThis is a portal from the district site and will require a password. Parents will have access to student grades, homework, bus information, lunch menues, standards, school policies, staff directory including website and emails of staff, a district blog for announcements and news district wide. This site will also have links to information about state wide testing, ISTEP.

Student Links / Acceptable Use Policyhttp://policy.ccs.k12.in.us/policy_texts/1591The district provides a site, called myccs.org, which requires a login and password, and supplies the student with the same information found in "Parent Links" to the left of this graphic organizer. Mrs. Dunn's Website with links to online books, homework assignments & blog office hours. News websitesGlogsterMoodleGoogle pagessimulationspracitce games Any tool or content resource useful in reflecting curriculum will be linked on my webpage.

DemographicsEach class will have no more than 18 students. Students with IEPs will be spread across classes so that I can properly manage their accommodations. Students will all have access to computers with internet at home. (If not, they will have access and time to use the public library’s computers across the street from the school.) Students will not switch classes mid-semester, so that my choice of curriculum order and pace can be maintained. All students will come to my classroom able to read and understand basic English. An ESL aid will be provided if student is not at basic level of English proficiency.

Technology-Students will have access to portable laptops at a 1:1 ratio at all times in the classroom. Whiteboard projections and interaction at a 1:1 ratio will also be available along with a large front of the room screen for whiteboard projection as well as webcam, DVD and VHS projection as well. The internet available will have parental controls in place so download of inappropriate material is not a concern (even with an Acceptable Use Policy in place, accidental searches can occur.) Our classroom computers will have access to such software as: Adobe, Word, Excel, Power Point, Publisher, You-tube, Moodle, Fusion Pages, Skype, Movie Maker and various content based games and simulations. I would provide, through my classroom web-page, access to grades, homework assignments, a link to the online textbook, and links to useful information for assignments and classroom management. I would create a IM chatroom for “office hours” and a blog for students to use to collaborate on homework or assignments. Other forms of technology hardware would scanners and color printers at a 4:1 ratio and digital cameras with video capture at a 2:1 student ratio. Most importantly, technical support and on-going technical development will be provided to teachers. A technical support person should be available within 15 minutes of a problem and , therefore, more than one person for the school should fulfill that role- perhaps a 1:6 teacher ratio.

The Community- will support our learning environment with funding, community resources such as open computer time at the public library and general support where needed.

Mrs. Dunn's Philosophies on LearningMy goal to achieve long term student learning involves a constructivist model where students come to my class with prior knowledge and with proper support, or scaffolding, we build our knowledge. Knowledge can be gained from direct information gathering via a teacher led environment or an inquiry based, student led environment. From here students can construct their own knowledge by creating their own themes, connections and links, not just ones the teacher delivers. Models, math models & graphing, and storytelling will support that. All attempts to support a student to higher level thinking skills such as analysis, and problem solving, will be provided. A problem will be introduced and students need to use their prior and new knowledge to solve the problem. I like to use tiered lessons for assessment of different performance strengths, interests and levels within my classroom. I try to offer as many experiences across all 7 of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. Lastly, I try to make the course, if not each lesson in the curriculum, an authentic, meaningful and real-world application of the content. These pedagogical strategies help support effective learning.



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