Posted by: bookwormbaker | July 1, 2010

Final thoughts

My Perceptions

Name: Pat Baker

Differentiated instruction is . . . a way of thinking and a proactive practice that meets the needs of ALL my students.  This theory is the basis for many learning strategies where each student is expected to learn. A symbol for differentiating instruction might be . . .

differentiated learning is a ticket to learning so that everyone, who wants to learn, can.

Differentiated instruction is important because . . .I will be teaching EVERY student.  I will be meeting their learning needs by seeing that they are working at the levels that are most advantageous and effective in their quest for learning. Something I need to understand about my students

is . . . when one teaches in a small district there is a tendency to think we know our student.  I need to make a better effort in learning where my students’ interests lie.  Not only will this help me focus on classroom lessons, but I’m one who likes to suggest books, etc. and this will let me have a better background when I make suggestions

I reach the needs of my students by . . . continually learning and striving to become a better teacher. My favorite quote found on my teacher web site is…

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

–Henry Ford

I plan to do . . . implementation of the tic-tac-toe learning project where I will have journaling as bell-work before school begins & this class has made me focus on the math I teach.  I’ve struggled with whole group instruction in the past and this is just the nudge I’ve need to move into a more differentiated format…Thanks
I wish the class . . . would have had more students and we could have collaborated in our areas of instruction.  I enjoyed seeing the kindergarten lessons but the relevance and immediate application was lacking…I’m one of those teachers that want stuff (right away) that will be useable in my classroom. The best part about the class was . . .being able to stay in Trenton and take the class…although it has been educational to take the various strategies and put them into a useful form for my classroom.

Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 29, 2010

Entry Points-Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences

Entry Points

Name: Pat Baker

Grade: 4th Grade

Unit/Theme: Lewis and Clark Expedition

Objective:  Obtain basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition by reading the material that is included, participating in a group discussion, and sharing with the class.

Explain Process: The Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806) was the first overland expedition undertaken by the United States to the Pacific coast and back.  The expedition laid much of the groundwork for the westward expansion of the United States. The area now known as Nebraska was involved in this expedition. The goal was to obtain an accurate sense of the newly purchased Louisiana Purchase. Students will have a richer understanding of this expedition when discovering the various aspects that were involved in this journey.

Students will complete a class K-W-L chart on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This will give the teacher a chance to informally assess the readiness and knowledge of this time periods.

The class will read:

This is a story by Seaman, Lewis’ dog he purchased for $20 before beginning the journey. The stories are based on information from the explorers’ journals, and there are many direct quotes from the original text as well as a detailed map showing highlights of the journey.

Students may select any of the following entry points, selecting to work with a partner of alone. Students will decide on a hard copy product and have it approved by the teacher for completion of the assignment.

Narrational Entry Point: Using the following stories or stories of their own choice:

The Story of Lewis and Clark book 1

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson asked his private secretary Meriwether Lewis to lead an expedition to find the Northwest Passage. Jefferson, along with countless others, believed this undiscovered waterway would provide an ideal trading route by connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This book examines the reasons for the expedition, the preparations Lewis and his friend William Clark made for the trip, and the early part of the expedition. The informative text, presented in sequential order, is engaging and easy to understand.

The Story of Lewis and Clark part 2

The story of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark continues as the Corps of Discovery journeys west in search of a route called the Northwest Passage. The explorers face countless hardships as they travel, including intolerable weather, treacherous mountains, and dwindling food supplies. Still, through sheer determination (and the help of some Native Americans), the team reaches the Pacific and returns safely to St. Louis. The informative text, presented in sequential order, is engaging and easy to understand.

Students will determine the important events in the expedition.  Students will develop a glossary of words associated with the trip. Students will develop a 16×22 poster of their findings.

Logical-Quantitative Entry Point: Using internet sources

and other resources provided by the teacher, the students will determine what supplies were needed for the journey.  Students will create a ‘grocery list’ to last for the whole journey.

Foundational Entry Point: Students will choose one Native American tribe encountered by Lewis and Clark and explain the beliefs, rituals, symbols, etc associated with this group of Americans. Students may share a poster or powerpoint with the class on their discoveries.

Seeing Lewis and Clark in a Different Light by Kirk Leichner–clark-expedition-charts-new-territory#lewis–clark-expedition-charts-new-territory

Aesthetic Entry Point: Students can research by species (plant, mammal, bird, fish, reptile, and amphibian), journal entry, or by geographic location. Each student should choose one animal and one plant species to research. Students will prepare a brochure that focuses on the aesthetic of the specie.

Experiential Entry Point: With an emphasis on hands-on, students will discover the boats used on the expedition and create one to scale.

Differentiate What:  Students have been given a choice of differentiated context through the means of research materials for each group.  The materials support varied reading levels and support from a partner will facilitate comprehension.  A completed product from each entry point will indicate what learning took place.  What content stayed the same was the students’ needing to think about this expedition and the importance of it when related to this time frame.

Differentiate How: Interest and learning profiles are the prevailing means or emphasis.  Students can select whichever entry point seems most attractive.  The final product is also a choice students may use to express their interest and learning.

Differentiate Why: Motivation and success are enhanced when students are able to choose how to increase their learning.  Students will share their findings and the whole picture of the Lewis and Clark Expedition will have students understanding this important event in American history.

Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 29, 2010

Tiered Activity-Famous Nebraskan assignment

Tiered Activity-famous Nebraskan

4th grade Social Studies Class

Beginning Intermediate Advanced
Outcomes/Objectives Students will decide on a famous Nebraskan found in our Nebraska History book and will write a five-sentence paragraph with a main idea, three supporting details, and a concluding sentence describing the importance of this person. Students will determine a famous Nebraskan from the 1800’s and write three paragraphs on the importance of this person to Nebraska history.  The student will find 2-3 sources of information. Students will determine a famous Nebraskan from the 1900’s and write five paragraphs on the importance of this person to Nebraska history.  The student will find 4-5 sources of information.
Instruction/Activity Students will follow the five-sentence paragraph when constructing the paragraph.  The student will take into consideration the writing traits listed in writing journal.

Students will complete an outline for their rough draft.

Students will follow the three-paragraph format (introduction, details, concluding) when constructing the assignment.  The student will take into consideration the writing traits listed in writing journal.

Students will complete a graphic organizer to plan and use 2-3 sources of information. The sources of information will be listed at the end of their completed assignment.

Students will follow the five-paragraph format when constructing the assignment.  The student will take into consideration the writing traits listed in writing journal.

Students will complete graphic organizer to plan and use 4-5 sources of information. The sources of information will be listed at the end of their completed assignment.

Assessment Students will be able to write a five-sentence paragraph that successfully states and supports a main idea. The paragraph will meet the criteria on the state writing rubric. Students will be able to write a 3 paragraph report that successfully states and supports a main idea. The paragraphs will meet the criteria on the state writing rubric. Students will be able to write five paragraphs that successfully states and supports a main idea. The paragraphs will meet the criteria on the state writing rubric.
Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 29, 2010




Provide a brief description of basic material to be covered during this marking period and the assessment information or evidence that suggests the need for compacting.



Describe activities that will be used to guarantee proficiency in basic curricular areas.



Describe activities that will be used to provide advanced level learning experiences in each area of the regular curriculum.

  1. Spelling:

Outstanding scores and grades 95% or better on pretest.

1. No reinforcement of words mastered.

2. Bonus words

1.  Create podcasts relating to spelling patterns and rules

2.  Spelling City for 5th grade words

3.  Produce a weekly classroom newsletter

  1. Math:

Superior scores on Rocket Math and completion of all levels for multiplication.

1. No reinforcement on items that show proficiency

2. Limit extra practice –

4. Use supplemental materials provided by math supplements

1.   IXL math at own pace

2.  Fast Math computer program to begin division

3. Activities from the HAL department developing creative and critical thinking skills, creative and critical problem solving.

From the following site I found the above chart.

also the following comments were the 8th step in compacting:

Keep records of the compacting process and instructional options for compacted students.

Any differentiated program requires added record keeping. Unlike a regular classroom where all students are on the same page or exercise at any given time, teachers who provide a compacted curriculum have students doing different assignments at different levels and different times. Keeping concise records, then, is essential, and can be time-consuming without proper planning. Teachers and administrators should collectively decide how the compacting process should be documented. Regardless of form, all written documentation should contain these basics:

  1. Student strength areas, as verified by test scores or performance
  2. The pretests used to determine mastery, and the learning objectives that were eliminated
  3. Recommended enrichment and acceleration activities
Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 24, 2010

Personal Agendas…book reporting

Personal Agenda for Student A and reading a nonfiction science selection

Starting Date Monday….finishing Date Friday (five days)

Teacher & Student Initials

on Completion

Task Special instruction 1 , 2, 3, 4

rate your work

(A+ spelling , task completed, Neat, & finished on time

Read a nonfiction book of choice Read the selection twice and complete the AR test
Complete 3 fact cards on your topic On 3 separate index cards, write 3 facts (in complete sentences) from your selection
Choose 3 vocabulary words (bold words if applicable) associated with your selection and illustrate them In your reading notebook write the words and illustration…use one page for all three words
Create a poster encouraging other to read this book Using 9×12 paper, create a colored poster which will mention 1 fact and illustration related to this book
Google your book’s main topic and find 2 new facts not mentioned in your book. During computer time complete this  task, reporting your findings in your reading notebook

Personal Agenda for Student A Biography

Ten (10) Days to complete  Beginning Date________  Finish Date_____

Teacher & Student Initial on Completion TASK Special Instruction 1 , 2, 3, 4

rate your work

(A+ spelling , task completed, Neat, & finished on time

Read a biography at your reading level Be sure to choose someone you’re interested in and it’s at your reading level…take the AR test
What & where was your famous person born? On an index card write the person’s name & other details
What are some childhood events (2) from your person? Make a timeline and add details and dates.
What are some important events  (3) in this person’s life? Add this information to the timeline
Make a poster (8×11) showing your person and in a cloud bubble tell why this person is important. Connect this to your timeline
Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 24, 2010

Tic Tac Toe Learning

Tic-Tac-Toe…Tell Me What You Know (journal writing)

(This will be work students do before school starts and all their morning jobs have been completed.)

Students will have 5 days to complete a tic-tac-toe.  Journals will be shared on Friday morning during writing time.  Journal prompts are from:

Tic-Tac-Toe…Tell Me What You Know  for August

All must be touching so your tic-tac-toe may be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.  Each entry needs to be a minimum of ½ page.  Please date your entries.

Write a paragraph that describes what you look like.

Draw and write what you eat for breakfast.

What will you miss about summer?

What are your favorite clothes?

Write about something you are good at.

Draw and write what your home is like?

Describe your favorite item.

Write 4 questions you want to ask the teacher.

Tell about one place where you have a lot of fun.

Words to spell correctly:

backpack book desk pencil

paper chalk Teacher bell

school board eraser read

recess class learn student

notebook folder test bus

playground gym music homework

computer math science write


TIC TAC TOE Vocabulary

Vocabulary for reading selection.

  1. Choose 3 large index cards
  2. Decide on 3 words to make a tic-tac-toe and complete in the following manner
  • Front side: word, definition, and part of speech
  • Backside:  Illustration to match definition and a sentence with a minimum words as you are old
grand excellent; very good selecting picking out; choosing memorial helping people

to remember a person, thing, or event

peculiar strange; unusual positive without doubt; sure prideful overly proud of oneself
friendless without friends consisted was made up of recalls calls back to mind;
Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 22, 2010

Math Stations for 4th Grade

Daily 4 Math Stations

The purpose of these stations is to get students independent so the teacher can work with small groups or 1:1 conferring. Students may go to only one station a day.  Their daily 4 math check-off sheet will be handed in on Thursday.  Each activity within each station is color coded in order for easier recognition and placement when returning the activity to the math center. Stations 2-5 are introduced for a week before adding another.  There is a 3-day delay in introducing any new item to a station area. Except for the math books, I never have more than 4 activities to choose. Since I’m a huge fan of Daily 5 & the CAFÉ for reading strategies, my daily 4 for math is adaptation from this management style…and the Sisters are coming out with a Daily 5 for math.  Also there is Guided Math by Lanney Sammons.

Students will be completing the following during independent time, or that time after group instruction:

1)   Finish any math assignment/paper practice

2)   Fact Practice (quick recall on math facts)

  • Flashcards- 1 or 2
  • Hot dots-1
  • Dice toss 1 or 2
  • Dominoes 1 or 2

3)   Math Books (connection between math and reading)

  • At this point in time I have 8-10 books in the math tub.  There are books on magic, calculator problems, and various nonfiction books dealing with math.  I try to add 3-4 new books a quarter and rotate books having only 8-10 in the tub at one time.

4)   Number Games

5)              Strategy Games

  • Poison 2 players (strategy, addition)
  • Sudoko 1 -2 players (strategy)
  • Memory 2 players (strategy)
  • Frog Juice 2 players (probability, strategy)
  • UNO 3 players (strategy)
  • Slamwich 3 players (strategy)
  • Sleeping Beauty (strategy)

Differentiate What:  The content and process are differentiated.  All students will work with math practice, application, & reasoning but the area of choice determines content.  The process is the choice of the student.

How:  Varying materials will aid in the understanding of math skills and operations.  Motivation, flexibility are present with numerous choices, and with the many learning style found in the stations, students should be successful.

Why:  I have tried to meet the math needs of my 4th grade students by giving them choices that allow for a variance in learning style, math readiness, and interest.

One issue I need to address is to classify each station with the NCTM standards…maybe next summer, or better yet, when I introduce them this fall it would be a good time to tackle this concern.


each day has a check…only two day copied 😦

Daily 4 Math Check List for ______________________


Practice Facts  5×6=  4×7=

Math Books    

Number Games

Strategy Games


Practice Facts  5×6=   4×7=

Math Books    

Number Games

Strategy Games


Practice Facts  5×6=  4×7=

Math Books    

Number Games

Strategy Games


Practice Facts  5×6=   4×7=

Math Books    

Number Games

Strategy Games

Comments-student Comments-Mrs. Baker
Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 22, 2010

Concept Lesson

Concept-Based Instruction

Lesson Plan

Name: Pat Baker


Subject :  social studies

Grade Level: 5th

Skill: why three branches of government

Explain Process: After finishing the unit on the Revolutionary War we look at the question of why our founding fathers wanted to create a government from ‘scratch’ and not like Britain’s. We discuss this new kind of government in which the people, rather than the “subjects,” choose their leaders and determined the course of the new nation. We look for answers regarding the jobs of each branch of government and how this helps balance the way our government is run.

Students are in groups of 3 according to their reading readiness.  Each group must define the 3 branches, to include;  who, what & why and how does balance of power fit into this form of our government.  A product for this study could be a poster, brochure, news article, etc.  A rubric would be provided so students are aware of what is expected.

Resources would include, but not be limited to the following:

Textbook, nonfiction books, powermedia plus videos, website

and other websites located on my 5th grade social studies site

Differentiate What:  Students will differentiate the process in either their form of information retrieval or the end product.

Differentiate How: Reading level determines the instruction and hopefully students will choose materials that make sense of this topic.  Choice of final product also was differentiated. These two choices address the readiness issue and learning style.

Differentiate Why: When students have access to materials that makes learning easier, it makes the process of learning easier and less of a chore.  When students can read, listen to, or watch materials they understand, the learning process will be a success.  Students will also be learning about making decisions about their learning and responsibility.

Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 21, 2010

Skill Focused lessons

Skills-Focused Instruction

Lesson Plan

Name: Pat Baker


Subject: math

Grade Level: 4th grade

Skill: multiplication facts

Explains Process: Rocket Math is the program I use so that my students can practice their math facts every day at their own pace and at their own level.  Every day students practice with a partner and then there is a one minute timed test.  Students only practice the math problems that will be on their timed test.  If the students meet their goal on the timed test there is a rocket chart to color & the next day they move to the next level.

This math practice only has students learning 2 new math families at one time.  There are always review problems.  If a student does not advance to the next level there is the option of taking the sheet home to practice.  My students have 6 tries at a level to pass

Differentiate What:  I am differentiating materials; therefore I’m differentiating content.

Differentiate How: I am modifying instruction based on the readiness of my students and their background knowledge of the multiplication facts.

Differentiate Why: I need fourth graders to learn their multiplication facts. NCTM Curriculum Focal Points state: children need to develop quick recall of addition and subtraction facts by grade 2; multiplication and division by grade 4.


Subject: Reading

Grade Level: 4th

Skill: read to self or silent reading

Explain Process: Read to Self is the time I use to teach specific techniques so that students will become independent readers who enjoy reading.  Students are reading at their independent levels along with choosing books that coincide with the classroom lesson on ‘good fit’ books. This model is from the Daily Five book by “The Sisters”.

In addition to setting a purpose and urgency to reading, we work on building a time of silent reading up to 20-30 minutes.  This is a time where I introduce the word stamina…something I think is missing in many students today who need instant gratification.  When read to self is up and running…hopefully in about a month…I start conferring with students and suggesting reading strategies we’ve been discussing to increase their reading comprehension.

Differentiate What:  I am differentiating students’ choices in reading materials, letting them read materials of their choice and at their independent reading levels.  Thus, I’m differentiating content.

Differentiate How: I am conferring and assessing students’ reading comprehension on a regular basis or as is needed.

Differentiate Why: Students progress in reading comprehension when they are making the choices in materials and when they are reading at the appropriate reading levels where they will be most successful (independent 95% or better from running record and or IRI surveys)

Posted by: bookwormbaker | June 17, 2010

RAFTS (role, audience, format, topic, strong verb)

Effective writing assignments that enable students to write fluently and purposefully.

Writing in the RAFT

Theme : Traits of Good Writing





Organization book brochure Elaborate on the 3 parts of a narrative and why all are necessary
Conventions Red checking pen TV commercial Identify the conventions needed and why
ideas Author who’s work has not been accepted for publication Poster Define the trait and tell why it is necessary
Word choice thesaurus Public Service Announcement Urge the reader to become a word wizard
fluency 4th graders Job application Define the requirements for being hired on as the fluency proctor

Writing in the RAFT

Theme:  Characters from The Help





Aibileen, black maid, wise, and regal God prayers Create a prayer for a character in the story
Skeeter, 23 year old budding journalist Northern newspaper audience article Embellish on the positive traits of growing up with a black nanny
Minny, black maid-very sassy Southern newspaper advertisement Explain the difficulties of being a maid
Stuart, Miss Skeeter’s boy friend, son of a Congressman parents letter Pondering the reason for a failed earlier romance
Miss Hilly, socialite in Mississippi, very bigoted White population in the South during the 60’s lecture Define the problems with black people as household help

Writing in the RAFT

Theme:   Lewis & Clark Expedition





Meriwether Lewis,

Jefferson’s secretary

President Jefferson Personal letter Describing the journey along the Missouri through Nebraska
William Clark,

Friend of Lewis

personal Journal entry Illuminating on meeting with the native tribes
Sacagawea Congress resume Describing skills necessary for the Corp to make a successful journey to the Pacific Ocean

Lewis’s Newfoundland dog

Dog community back home summary Summarize when the native tribes wanted to trade him for 3 beaver pelts
President Jefferson Male population advertisement Encouraging all males to enlist in the Corps of Discovery

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