Julia Argabright EDU2023 November 5, 2012 This Developmentally Responsive Instruction will be an instruction manual for middle school teachers, specifically the fifth grade. Areas of development included are: Physical Cognitive Psychosocial Moral/spiritual Cultural Then through these areas of development, the role of the teacher will be defined. All students grow and change differently, thus all students learn differently. In order to create a learning environment where all students are supported and can be taught effectively, differentiated instruction or developmentally responsive instruction should be used. Students in middle school, 10 or 11 years old, are experiencing a plethora of developments, but teachers can use these to enhance the curriculum and method of teaching. [change in body structure and function over time] In general for the ten-year-old: Girls are generally ahead of boys in physical maturity; onset of puberty for some girls Increase body strength and hand dexterity Large muscle development is advanced Handwriting often sloppier than at nine Have improved coordination and reaction time Desperately need outdoor time and physical challenge Complaints like stomach aches, headaches, leg pain, etc. usually less than at nine Snacks and rest periods helpful for growing bodies Appetite fluctuates but is generally good http://glendale.k12.wi.us/5_char.aspx In general for the eleven-year-old: Vast appetite for food, physical activity, and talking Growth spurt of early adolescence for some girls, may feel awkward and clumsy Girls ahead of guys in physical maturity; boys’ big growth spurt may not start until 14; Boys worry if they are ever going to grow Wide differences among individuals in rate of development Curious about opposite sex; girls usually interested first Tiredness; need for more sleep Often uncomfortable with questions and observations about how much they have grown and physical changes Increased need for personal hygiene http://glendale.k12.wi.us/5_char.aspx Physical development also includes the development of the brain. Pruning takes place throughout the entire life of a person. Pruning supports cognitive development and is extremely necessary, especially if there is an overproduction of neurons. The brain itself also develops. Different areas of the cerebral cortex have different functions, but this area of the brain develops more slowly than other parts of the brain. Damage to the left side of the brain, which allows language development, is harder to overcome for older children and adults. No mental activity is exclusively the work of a single part of the brain– all parts work together. Woolfolk, Education Psychology It is important for educators teaching this age group to be supportive and encouraging through this time of physical development. It can be awkward and students may feel uncomfortable with their bodies. Also studies show that stimulating environments and meaningful interactions better support better brain development. Teachers can help students feel comfortable in the learning environment to create optimal learning opportunities for them. Plan activities outside that encourages students to have physical activity. This could include teaching area on a basketball court or teaching angle symmetry while shooting baskets. Students will think this is fun and will learn interactively. Do not point out physical developments; this may cause the student to feel embarrassed. Be sensitive to student differences. Take breaks in between activities, so students do not become lethargic in their seats. Stimulate brain development by giving students critical thinking problems. [gradual orderly changes by which mental processes become more complex and sophisticated] In general for the ten-year-old: Can be voracious readers Expressive, talkative, like to explain Cooperative, competitive and inquisitive Classification and collections of interest; like to organize Able to concentrate, read for extended periods Good problem solvers Like to complete a task but doesn’t usually wish to enlarge or elaborate on it; wish to try everything Interest span is short Have a stricter ethical sense than most other ages Very concerned about fairness Generally love to memorize, but don’t generalize or correlate facts, or care what to do with the knowledge Often enjoy “place” geography--names of states, capitals, but vague about actual geographic characteristics Not able to plan own work, need schedules Better able to see the perspectives of others Most interested in concrete learning experiences and learning of specifics Like to talk and listen more than work http://glendale.k12.wi.us/5_char.aspx In general for the eleven-year-old: Mostly interested in present, limited thoughts of the future Intellectual interests expand Increased ability to de-center and see world from various perspectives Development of ideals and selection of role models May experiment with dangerous risk-taking behaviors Even if students can make abstractions, they learn best when activities are active, hands-on, and related to personal experiences Concerned with rules, standards of behavior and fairness, especially for themselves Do not distinguish between what they are thinking and what others may be thinking; assume that every other person is as concerned with their behavior and appearance as they are better at planning than carrying out the plan http://glendale.k12.wi.us/5_char.aspx Students in the fifth grade, although they may be developing at different times, will be in Piaget’s Concrete-Operation Stage. Piaget would describe this stage as “hands-on” thinking. Basic characteristics include: Recognition of the logical stability of the physical world Realization that elements can be changed or transformed and still conserve many of their original characteristics Understanding that these changes can be reversed Woolfolk, Educational Pyschology Guidelines for teaching a concrete-operational child: Continue to use concrete props and visual aids, especially with sophisticated material Continue to give students a chance to manipulate and test objects Make sure presentations and readings are brief and well-organized Use familiar examples to explain for complex ideas Give opportunities to classify and group objects and ideas on increasingly complex levels Present problems that require logical, analytical thinking Woolfolk, Educational Psycology Again, teachers should be supportive to all of students different learning paces and methods. Teachers will teach their students the three basic aspects of reasoning: identity, compensation, and reversibility. With these, according to Piaget, students will be able to solve conservation problems. The student will develop a logical system of thinking, though still tied to the physical (concrete) reality. Teachers need to encourage development in students discovering and thinking independently. Plan hands-on activities. These could include manipulates like tangrams or pegboard when learning about different polygon shapes or tessellations. Base new material off of already acquired knowledge. For example, when learning to multiply or divide, help students discover that addition and subtraction is used. Play games with clearly defined rules to use competition to motivate learning. A good example is playing Around the World with math facts. [describing the relation of the individual’s emotional needs to the social environment] In general social/emotional development for the ten-year-old: Fairness issues peak and can be solved Like clubs, activities, sports Humor is broad, labored, and usually not funny to adults May discuss contemporaries in terms of capabilities; his reading or his math Usually direct, matter fact, clear-cut Generally easygoing, content, friendly, and balanced Usually less anxious, exacting, and demanding than at nine Talkative; likes to tell stories about something they have seen, heard, or read about; can talk something “into the ground” May belittle or defy adult authority, but are closer to their families then at many other levels Enjoy both family and peers Developing more mature sense of right and wrong, good at solving social issues Often interested in caring for animals, boys and girls may be interested in horses, but girls are especially interested Shrug off responsibility; can usually toss off criticisms and bad grades Likes and dislikes are described in very specific terms Note passing, sometimes about the opposite sex http://glendale.k12.wi.us/5_char.aspx In general social/emotional development for the eleven-year-old: Less overt affection and attention shown to parents, with occasional rudeness; tests limits Impulsive, unaware Focus on self, alternating between high expectations and poor self-concept Have tendency to return to childish behavior, particularly when stressed Experience extremes of emotions Inclusive/exclusion; height of cliques, seek to belong, discovery of telephone Experimenting with behavior, roles, appearance, self-image Difficulty with decisions but need to be able to make some choices for themselves Demand privileges, but may avoid responsibilities Feel unique; believe that no one else has ever felt the way they do; suffered so much, or been so misunderstood http://glendale.k12.wi.us/5_char.aspx I think there is variety when discussing a 5th graders psychosocial stage, but I believe my students will fall in industry versus inferiority. A description of this stage is: the child must deal with demands to learn new skills or risk a sense of inferiority, failure, and incompetence. Students begin to see a relationship between perseverance and the pleasure of a job completed. This is also the age where students begin to be compared to other students their age. Woolfolk, Educational Psychology Guidelines for encouraging industry in a child: Make sure that students have opportunities to set and work toward realistic goals (start with shorter assignments, then move to longer; write goals) Give students a chance to show their independence and responsibility (class jobs) Provide support to students who seem discouraged (keep work to show student progress over time) Woolfolk, Educational Psychology Students in this stage of development are very conscious of other people around them; they often compare themselves to others. Teachers need to help all students feel accepted and worthy of praise. Middle school is where competition– academically, socially, and athletically– is increased. Teachers play an important role is setting and implicating rules, becoming a role model for desired behaviors, and allowing students to learn without criticism or judgment. Teachers also need to give students responsibility in their education. Woolfolk, Education Psychology Make an honor code with goals set clearly, have students sign, then they hold responsibility for their own actions Do not compare students in class, this could cause feelings of inferiority Create activities where students interact with each other in a positive manner (one student is the scribe, another the speaker, etc.) Ease transition into middle school by lessening stress and providing help on assignments The morality of 5th graders is based on fairness and the welfare of others. They already have developed what is right and what is wrong, so in this grade a teacher will hear frequently “Billy got more than I did– that’s not fair!” But, after transitioning from elementary to middle school, there may be development in the understanding of rules. Middle school, I believe, is a turning point for students beginning to think independently and avoiding a certain action to avoid consequence. They begin to take more responsibility for how they interact with each other. I would identify students in the 5th grade as being in level two (conventional moral reasoning)/ stage 3 (good boy– nice girl orientation). In this level, judgment is based on others’ approval, family expectations, traditional values, the laws of society, and loyalty to country. In this stage, good means “nice”. It is determined by what pleases, aids, and is approved by others. Woolfolk, Education Psychology It is the teacher’s role to delegate rules in the classroom. These need to be clear and in view. Students should be aware of these and know the consequences if they are disobeyed. A teacher should also make all students feel welcome and comfortable. Similar to psychosocial, morally, students should not feel inferior to others in the classroom. Teachers should also comfort students if they are experiencing moral dilemmas. Give students hypothetical moral dilemmas such as “a man’s dying wife needs medication, but he can’t afford it. Should he steal it or let his wife die?” This will get students thinking Model good moral behavior choices Allow students time to further clarify their reasoning for something– this will help explain why they made a certain moral decision Cultural development is similar to exposing students to diversity in the classroom. Some students will come from backgrounds where the teacher is the authoritative figure, others will think that homework is too easy, and others will think that not enough time is spent on learning English. All of these beliefs affect the students’ cultural development. These cultures will be brought to the classroom, and students will learn about a variety of cultures. The teacher’s role in cultural development is to help students develop a strong sense of identity. It is also important to create a learning environment where all students feel accepted. Acceptance is the important to stress in the classroom. Teachers should treat all students with respect and should be a model for the students. If students are shown to be kind and respectful, studies show that the students will then be more kind and respectful. Ask speakers from different cultures to come to the class and share about their beliefs. Or even better ask students to share their beliefs. Hang up posters from different cultures Instead of holiday parties for one specific religion or belief system, teach about all of them. For example, Christmas around the world. Read books about or from different cultures Be accepting and loving to all who walk in the classroom With all of this information in mind, it is important for me to get to know all of my students. I want my classroom to be a learning environment that accepts, comforts, challenges, and stresses the importance of being equal to all students. My students will be developing at different paces, will learn at difference paces, and will learn in different ways– this is something that I will have to take in strives because it will be worth it to have my students enjoy school. Every student that I come in contact with, I want to gather their individual characteristics to make his or her learning experience as personal as possible. I will play an important role in the development of all of my students. Woolfolk, Anita E (2010). Educational Psychology (11th ed.) Columbus, OH: Merrill. Characteristics of Fifth Graders. N.p., 07 Dec. 2007. Web. 03 Nov. 2012. http://glendale.k12.wi.us/5_char.aspx.