Middle School Case

Middle School Case Study

Executive Summary about Middle School Case by Laura Sims

Middle School Advantage

Middle School Advantage

Third period is math, fourth period is Native American Connections, and then she goes to lunch at fifth period. After lunch is Language Arts for sixth period, science for seventh period, keyboarding for eighth period, Native American Connections – guided study for ninth period and lastly, Social Studies for tenth period.

On Tuesday, March 22, 2005 I followed “Gloria” around all day. 1st Period – PRO-Time: “Gloria” showed up at 8:40 am for class that began at 8:45 am. Some girls were talking about gymnastics – “Gloria” just listened. Class started with the Pledge of Allegiance and Announcements. The teacher then read off history/ social studies trivia questions. “Gloria” never raised her hand.

“Gloria” sat in on a conversation with four girls who were discussing hair. “Gloria” decided to now go by “Cody” (a boy student’s name).

2nd Period – Reading: The students were given a worksheet. “Gloria” sat quietly, taking out a pen to circle the answers. Then the students were instructed to exchange their paper with a neighbor to correct. “Gloria” listened very well, while looking around the classroom. After the worksheets were reviewed, and they were transitioning to a period of silent, sustained reading, the student began singing the song. This amused “Gloria”.

“Gloria” brought a book to read, called “Swallowing Stones,” by Joyce McDonald. During the first eight minutes of this silent reading period, “Gloria” was distracted from reading (looking up) 7 times and only turned the page once. After 20 minutes of reading this magazine, with two minutes left of class, everyone stopped reading, and “Gloria” used this time to stretch and chat.

3rd Period – Math: The class started with a short quiz. Then an overhead was turned on showing the class schedule:

• Content Objectives – students will learn properties of various shapes

• Language Objectives – students will take notes on shape

• Warm-up – quiz

• Homework Assignment – correct test

• Materials Needed – notebook, pencil

“Gloria” did the quiz, then got out her assignment notebook. When everyone was done with their quizzes, the students traded their quiz with a neighbor. “Gloria” got all five of her questions correct. Then the class was given a lecture on polygons. “Gloria” was attentive, and took notes. “Gloria” also never raises her hand; however, when called on by the teacher, she tends to know the answer. “Gloria” took two pages of notes.

While working with her neighbor on their flipcharts, “Gloria” explained some questions the other student seemed to have about the worksheet. 4th Period – Native American Connections: The class started out with a test – the students were supposed to have a pencil and sheet of paper out. At first “Gloria” only got a pencil out (wasn’t paying full attention). There was a Native American man from the Multi-cultural Center leading class (as he does every Tuesday). The instructor said that new students were not required to take the test, and “Gloria” joked, “I’m new!” The instructor laughed, and “Gloria” got paper out and prepared for the test, which was 20 questions regarding Lakota / Sioux language, history, and culture. “Gloria” appeared bored through much of this. The instructor’s last test question was, “Who’s a better teacher, your regular instructor, or I – – – think carefully. The instructor taught the students the words / message / ‘tune’ to the Sun Dance Song. Since there was a little time left-over, the class did a game with multiplication flash cards – ‘Around the World’. Instantly, “Gloria” was alert and engaged, and begging to go first. The class had a great time playing this game until the bell rang.

It was clear that “Gloria” both liked and hated the attention. On the way to the next class, “Gloria” and her best friend “Melissa” walked down the hall shouting out to boys, “”Gloria” wants to go out with you!” “No I don’t, “Gloria” does…” etc.

6th Period – Language Arts: The kids came in and immediately started reading (without instruction). “Gloria” wrote in a notebook “Hello, my name is Cody.” The teacher noticed “Gloria” wasn’t reading, gave her a look, and she put the paper up and got out her book and started to read. The class stopped reading six minutes after they started, and it did not appear “Gloria” read at all during that time.

While the teacher was reading, “Gloria” read along. “Gloria” wrote like this:


The teacher’s instructions were suggestive that the students should write something more like:

“Gloria” finished the quiz and went on to the word search on the back of the quiz.

The students were working on their science logs. I found that “Gloria” does very well with:

When “Gloria” was done looking at the other student’s science log, she sat quietly, nibbling on her nails. “Gloria” smiled quietly to herself.

8th Period – Keyboarding: This was BY FAR the hardest class for which to shadow a student. “Gloria” first worked on a Words per Minute (WPM) timed test, and was required to record her results on a log. 9th Period – Native American Connections – Guided Study: This is the class that I normally observe on Thursdays. During this day, I noticed that “Gloria” had photos on the cover of her notebook. “Gloria” put three more pictures on the back of her notebook (using teacher’s scissors and tape), which was not exactly studying; however, the teacher did not take notice of this.

“Gloria” used this class period to complete the flip chart from math class. Near the end of the class, the math project was complete, so “Gloria” spent the rest of the time taping pictures to her notebook. 10th Period – Social Studies: There was a student teacher, for this class. “Gloria” had focus issues in this class, and was writing on the desk behind her. The class was less than enthusiastic with the material. “Gloria” was staring off again, not writing answers, writing down the ideas people came up with and talking to her neighbor.

The teacher instructed the students to pair off and work together. A couple of people paired up, but most of the class worked on the task individually. “Gloria” chose to work on her own, answering questions to the chapter. During class discussions and assessment, “Gloria” never raised her hand, and stared off while chewing on her pencil.

The students were given a Geography test covering weeks #21 through #24. “Gloria” was writing on the desk (cheating? “Gloria” completed the quiz and put her journal on the back table.

Physical Development –

• Prefers passive learning (observing rather than volunteering to give answers)

• Prefers to work independently when given a choice of working alone or in pairs

• Challenges rules / authority (gum-chewing a big issue for “Gloria”)

In speaking with “Gloria’s” instructors, I learned some more interesting insights into what makes this child “tick.” According to her Native American Connections instructor, “Gloria” is extremely bright. In comparison to these other Native American students, her family is more affluent (more financially well to do). “Gloria” also struggles with the Lakota value system – she fails to take it seriously. “Gloria” did this reluctantly, but then in the next class she’d have gum again. The Native American Connections instructor believes that “Gloria” will graduate from High School. Math engages her. “Gloria’s” Grandmother lives with her and she believes in the importance of education. I then spoke with the PRO-time instructor, who felt “Gloria” is very quiet, shows independence – blatant disregard for rules (i.e. gum-chewing) – which is a control issue for “Gloria”. The PRO-time instructor said that “Gloria” definitely works below her potential. This instructor said that “Gloria” is good in class, is very organized (and detailed in her planner) but will be left behind because she’s quiet. “Gloria’s” Mom missed her 1st quarter conference (called and said couldn’t make it). During my day of observation, all of “Gloria’s” classes had the students engaged in seatwork, quizzes, and reading / lecture activities. “Gloria” seemed to really respond to the game that took place in the Native American Connections class – and that was clearly an opportunity for kids to show their knowledge of subject matter – multiplication and division flash cards.

I would like to have seen the student teacher actually pair the students up himself, so the children didn’t feel they had a choice. Apparently the activity integrated concepts from (and was worked on during) math class, art class and Native American Connections. Later in the semester, I also observed children working on ‘bead looms’ in the Native American Connections classroom; however, I never learned if this was coordinated with any other class such as art or even math (patterns).

I noticed that “Gloria” never voluntarily speaks up in class; but when called on, is attentive and usually has the correct answer. According to another article that I read regarding teaching styles for Native American students (Swisher & Deyhle, 1989), Native American students “tend to approach their world visually and by quiet, persistent exploration…a style of teaching stressing overt verbal performance is alien to such a child.” I understand that the teachers needed to assess the students for quarter-end, and that grading a piece of paper is easiest; however, Middle School students need variety and creativity from their teachers and their lessons. Most of the teachers only were instructing to the “verbal / linguistic” intelligence of their students. This appears to be true for “Gloria.” I found that “Gloria” might not enjoy reading. This negative self-efficacy toward reading is evident in the amount of off-task behavior exhibited during periods of quiet reading time. Perhaps instead of just giving students 10 – 20 minutes of sustained reading, I would like to see more accountability for that reading. Keep a journal about what they are reading, how much they have read, what occurred during the reading, etc. With specific direction as to the application of that reading, “Gloria” may find it easier to stay on task. With regard to “Gloria’s” acceptance of her cultural identity, I think the school is doing the right thing, having the students involved in learning about traditional Lakota culture, via Native American Connections classes. When incidents occur, this form requires the student.

Middle School Case

Middle School Case Study>>You Must Know About Education Learning And Teaching

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