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Commentary:

        Both of these students (Student 1 and 2) have extensive prior knowledge of recurring themes in stories and are applying their theme-detecting skills in this point of view unit.  They are also very used to the academic language development procedures of this course, e.g. the vocabulary lessons and note-taking.

            Student 1, who wrote Work Sample 1, is a re-designated English learner.  She is a regularly high-achieving student who always fulfills written and oral directions as exhibited by her previous work.  She not only is able to complete surface level directions (such as “set-up your papers for Cornell notes.” “Copy down what is on the screen.”), she is able to answer basic reading comprehension questions orally and in writing.  She is challenged by deeper thinking in English, but is able to provide simple responses to complex questions (such as how theme is affected by point of view) that show that she understands what is being asked, and is capable of the mental exercise necessary to answer complex questions.  I believe it is her limited English which hinders her from composing complex analysis.  This student has been in the United States for only three years (she moved when she was nine-years-old) and is demonstrating  that she is mastering grade-level English and is meeting the language demands required of her in all assignments.  Her oral and written grammar and syntax still exhibit mistakes typical of an English learner (mistakes are not colloquial or conversational but are rather attempts at correct/formal English).  Also, the story’s important plot points are actually intricate details, such as Jimmy realizing Bob was a criminal when Bob lit a cigar and exposed his face.  In her rewrite of the story, she tends to mix up the order of these details, but they still serve their purpose in the story.  This shows me that the amount of language used to tell the story of Jimmy and Bob may have possibly been a lot for her to recycle in an organized way; however, her ability to retain the purpose of these details in the story demonstrates her understanding of the text.  In this learning segment, I concluded that Student 1 understood the text and its concepts.        

            Student 2, who wrote Work Sample 2, is also a re-designated English learner.  He is an average-achieving student who has bursts of proficiency.  Student 2 is not always clear on the oral directions but is a great advocate for himself by always asking for assistance and clarification.  Like Student 1, he is very capable of responding to complex questions and expressing complex ideas and answers; however, he uses simple sentences and vocabulary to show his understanding.  He is able to connect deeply with characters and other aspects of the story as exhibited by the background he wrote for Silky Bob in Work Sample 2.  He made Silky Bob a victim of circumstance and very creatively filled in the holes of the story with great attention to detail – he explains exactly how Silky Bob obtains each one of his distinctive features – diamond scarf pin, a fancy watch, and a scar.  He also reworded the character’s feelings in meaningful ways, “I had faith that he will come.”  This shows that he sensed the character’s hope and reliance on his reunion with Jimmy.  Student 2 turned in an incomplete work which is disappointing because I feel like he would have really done justice to Silky Bob’s feelings at the end of the story.  Perhaps he simply forgot to finish the story, or he did not know how to end the story and left it off where Bob was about to receive the note.  Based on the other assessments of this learning segment, Student 2 did understand how point of view affected the theme.  I am not confident that he internalized the academic language particular to this segment (vocabulary words) because other than on the vocabulary assignment, he did not reuse and show understanding of the vocabulary words.

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Holly-Kristine Peralta-Howe,
May 16, 2011, 4:54 PM
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Holly-Kristine Peralta-Howe,
May 16, 2011, 4:54 PM