Developing Media-Rich Learning Environment

The case study class description is the following:

Case Study Class Description for Assignments
All assignments and materials must be developed for a class in your discipline, one that would be taught at 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade. The course must be one that is either required of all students or can be taken by any student (e.g., World Languages, or Culinary Arts). The course cannot be one that is tracked for special populations, such as AP, Honors, or Special Needs.

Here is the make-up of the class:
TOTAL
o 25 students;
GENDER
o 15 females;
o 10 males;
o 1 female identifies as lesbian
o 1 male identifies as gay
RACE/ETHNICITY
o 11 students are African-American
o 4 are Latino
o 8 students are White
o 2 are ethnic Chinese but born and raised in Philadelphia.
DIVERSE NEEDS
o 1 student has an IEP for a physical disability that severely impairs her hearing;
o 3 students have IEPs: one for dyslexia, one for ADD, and the other for autism spectrum disorder.
o 3 students are ELLs; one is a newly arrived immigrant
READING LEVELS As measured by State diagnostic assessments, reading levels are as follows:
2 students (grade-level -4);
6 students (grade level -2);
12 students (grade-level -1 to +1);
5 students (grade-level +2 to +4). Three of these students have been left back because of extremely poor grades)

Assignment Directions:

Developing Media-Rich Learning Environments

Context

New standards will expect us to incorporate authentic and challenging non-fiction texts into our curricula, no matter what the subject area. We typically use texts as a way for students to learn concepts, skills and principles important to our fields, though written texts aren’t the only resource we use. Given the diversity of our classes, then, what can we do to support students in making use of these challenging texts as a resource for learning?
One way is to surround these texts with a rich variety of resources that reach out to the kinds of student differences that we are concerned with among these being language differences, knowledge differences, skill differences.

Directions

1. Using the text that you selected and your unit-plan outline, identify the Big Ideas in it important concepts, knowledge, topics, skills, themes, etc that your students must come to understand in order to do well in the unit. Begin this report with a paragraph that describes those big ideas in some detail.
2. Using those big ideas as your starting point, identify resources from a variety of media and genres that will offer learners a variety of modes for and paths to understanding of the big ideas in your unit plan. For this report, you should consider your qualitative assessment of the complexity of the text that you chose as your unit mediation and culturally responsive teaching as the organizing principles, identify a wide array of resources that address both the topic and these student differences. Include the following kinds of textual resources:
a. Internet sites; Take a look, for instance, at Awesome Stories for a variety of intense, often multi-modal, material useful in all our fields;
b. video, and audio-based media, including e-reader material. Consider translations of texts in languages represented in the case-study class, especially Spanish;
c. Trade books of various genres, formats and languagesnon-fiction and fictional narrative accounts, especially graphic texts. (www.Lexile.com includes a range of topics and genres that you can search. So do other websites, including Goodreads and LibraryThing. And, there�s always Amazon).
d. Periodicals. Magazine articles or articles on related topics from publications such as National Geographic, Scientific American, and others published especially for adolescents by our professional organizations. Even popular magazines may include articles whose topics intersect with our fields.

Our readings, including:

  • Using Audiobooks to Meet the Needs of Adolescent Readers;
  • Bringing Graphic Novels into a School’s Curriculum;
  • Graphic Journeys; and Using Young-Adult Literature are useful resources when considering kinds of resources to include.

Below is a graphic representation of what this report is asking you to connect. Across the top are the various kinds of resources to consider. The left-hand column lists the five areas big ideas, anchor text complexity, language differences, cultural backgrounds, and gender that you want your resources to support students in learning about. So, if migration is a big idea in your unit, you might consider a variety of video, e-book, and/or graphic texts to support students in. If your anchor text gives a very involved and complex abstract extended definition of Migration as a concept, you might draw on Internet resources such as YouTube and other graphic presentations as one way for students to begin who would benefit from such an introduction. Other sites, such as Awesome Stories may offer materials that enable learners to develop a rich understanding of the background to the study of migration emphasized in your unit.

4. Use the five major areas in the left-hand column to organize your report. In each area, list the resources that you have identified. For each resource, provide full bibliographic information, including any url. Include an abstract or summary of the resource if at all possible. Often, Amazon or other sellers include that information.In each of the five areas, explain how these particular resources will support students in acquiring the skills and knowledge needed in your unit, and how the resources will engage learners without condescending to or stereotyping them. Be sure to make your explanation specific to the resources that you have chosen, Generic explanations, videos reach out to visual learners, will not carry much weight.

Grading

Your explanations will be as important as the sites themselves. You must make the case that your selections accomplish the following objectives:
? Completeness. Do the resources actually address all the differences identified? Is all information requested in the assignment included?
? Quality. Do the resources relate substantively to the topic? Do they work to extend the understanding of those students for whom they are intended?
? Engagement. Are these resources likely to engage learners?
? Variety. Do categories include multiple entries that reach out to the same kind of difference? To multiple differences?

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