File - Tresa Burger Professional Website

Tresa Burger
MAT 733: Research Based Teaching Strategies and Assessment
Advocated Solutions
Summary of Problem:
Within my classroom, I have students with diverse personal
interests and experiences, areas of skill, and academic readiness. The
instructional reading level of my students ranges from two or more
years below grade level to several years above grade level. It is
challenging to provide instruction that is engaging and academically
appropriate for all students. I need to differentiate instruction and
implement nonlinguistic teaching strategies and activities that meet
and support the variation of individual skills and academic readiness
present in my classroom.
Targeted aspect of the
Research link
In a thematic unit on
Native American Cultures,
I will design and
implement lessons using a
variety of linguistic and
non-linguistic instructional
strategies to engage
diverse learners.
This intervention is
designed to interest and
engage diverse students
while instilling a deep
understanding of subject
area content. Information
received through multiple
senses connects different
areas of the brain, which
will improve retention,
understanding, and recall.
(Martinez and Roser,
Marzano, Pickering and
Pollack, Robb, Tomlinson,
I will integrate and
differentiate Social Studies
content of Native
American cultures with
Language Arts standards
by including historical
fiction novels at individual
reading levels into our unit
This intervention is
designed to connect all
students to the common
theme of instruction, while
respecting individual
reading readiness levels.
Integrating content
through various subject
areas aids pattering of
new information with
existing knowledge, which
also improves
comprehension and recall.
(Cox, Frye, Martinez and
Roser, Olness, Treptow,
Burns and McComas,
I will utilize non-linguistic
strategies of instruction
through visual and
This intervention is
designed to provide multisensory and concrete
(Marzano, Pickering and
Pollack, Robb, Willis)
kinesthetic representation
of content, as well as
hands-on construction of
various Native American
dwellings and artifacts.
representation to aid
students as they think
about and recall new
My first advocated solution is to create and implement a
thematic unit on Early Native American Cultures, utilizing both
linguistic and non-linguistic instructional strategies. According to Robb
(2008), and Frye (2009), organizing curriculum and instruction around
a common theme is an effective way for teachers to be responsive to
the various needs of students. By providing diverse materials and
activities at individual instructional levels, all students are able to
connect to the common theme of the lesson appropriately. Willis
(2007) suggests that thematic approaches connect various subject
areas, which help pattern new information with existing memories and
knowledge, and therefore aids in comprehension and recall. Tomlinson
(2005), recommends providing a variety of learning tasks that are
academically challenging for individual students at appropriate
readiness levels.
To reach my goal of engaging all learners through linguistic and
non-linguistic strategies, it is essential to plan and implement a variety
of multi-sensory lessons and activities. In addition, I will need to
prepare materials to address various academic readiness levels.
My second advocated solution is to integrate Social Studies
content with Language Arts standards by acquiring a variety of Native
American historical literature at various reading levels. Frye (2009)
suggests that optimal learning takes place when student challenges
are neither too hard nor too easy. By providing students with
academically appropriate levels of instructional material, students will
be able to individually connect to the subject matter. (Robb, 2008)
Integrating subject areas helps pattern new information with existing
knowledge, making learning relevant and meaningful. (Willis, 2007)
To reach my goal of successfully integrating Social Studies with
Language Arts standards, it is necessary to assess individual student
reading levels. I must also acquire content rich Native American
historical literature at appropriate reading levels for the students in my
My third advocated solution is to implement various nonlinguistic representations of content, through a variety of instructional
strategies. Some examples are illustrations, power point
presentations, interactive computer activities, and construction of 3-D
models. By implementing a variety of instructional strategies, and
offering more ways to explore and express learning, we are more likely
to reach and connect with a wide range of students. (Tomlinson and
McTighe, 2006) According to Willis (2007), student engagement
increases with multi-sensory and thought-provoking experiences. Robb
(2008) suggests that an effective way to encourage and promote
learning is to provide a variety of multi-sensory activities and projects
in which students may explore and demonstrate learning. Many of my
students read two or more years below grade level, and therefore
struggle to comprehend and perform well on traditional written
classroom assignments and assessments. By providing a variety of
avenues in which to acquire content and explore learning, I hope and
expect to see and improvement in participation, comprehension, and
To reach my goal of incorporating non-linguistic student learning
activities, it is necessary to evaluate and determine what kind of
activities will extend and expand the knowledge and content of the
unit. It is important that I develop projects and activities that address
a variety of learning and sensory modalities to meet the diverse needs
of all students. I must also determine an appropriate way to assess
mastery of the lesson objectives.
Cox, S. (2008). Differentiated instruction in the elementary classroom.
Education Digest, 73(9), 52-54.
Frye, E. M. (2009). Integrating instructional-level social studies trade books
for struggling readers in upper elementary grades. Illinois Reading
Council Journal, 37(4), 3-12.
Martinez, M. G., & Roser, N. L. (2003). Children’s responses to literature. In
J. Flood, D. Lapp, J. Jenson, & J. Squire (Eds.), Handbook of research
on teaching the English language arts (2nd ed.) (pp.799-813).
Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Pollack, J.E. (2001). Classroom instruction
that works: research-based strategies for increasing student
achievement. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Olness, R. (2007). Using literature to enhance content area instruction: A
guide for K-5 teachers. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Robb, L. (2008). But they all read at different levels. Instructor, 117(4), 4751.
Robb, L. (2008). Differentiating reading instruction: reaching all learners with
best practice teaching. Differentiating reading instruction: how to
teach reading to meet the needs of each student (pp. 11-30). New
York: Scholastic.
Tomlinson, C. (2005). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability
classrooms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Tomlinson, C., McTighe, J. (2006). Integrating differentiated instruction and
understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ACSD.
Treptow, M. A., Burns, M. K., & McComas, J. (2007). Reading at the
frustration, instructional, and independent levels: the effects on
students' reading comprehension and time on task. School Psychology
Review, 36(1), 159-166.
Willis, J. (2007). Brain-friendly strategies for the inclusion classroom:
insights from a neurologist and classroom teacher. Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.