Video 7.2: The teacher’s viewpoint- Academic learning


Michelle, a child care teacher, shares a dilemma about whether to use tiered instruction to improve children’s academic learning in language and literacy (running time: 1 min. 39 sec.).

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I’m the lead teacher in one of the 4-year-old classrooms in a child care center. There are 18 children in my classroom, along with myself and Ms. Laurinda, my teaching assistant. When you enter my classroom you notice immediately that this is a place that supports literacy learning in young children. You’ll see labels on almost everything in the room, art work with the children’s dictation on the walls, a book corner, and letter and print materials in every single center, including the art center! I also use a curriculum and teaching activities that support children’s language and literacy learning, along with other skills. I believe that all of the children in my class benefit from these activities, but I can tell that some are learning key literacy concepts faster than others. For example, most of the children have learned the letter names and sounds I’ve introduced since the beginning of the year, but some of the children have not learned these concepts yet. I also have concerns about several other children in terms of their language development.  My program recently adopted a new tiered approach to academic learning that includes a formative assessment component, which is new for me. The assessment results are supposed to help me plan instruction for all of the children and figure out which children need additional interventions.  The approach sounds more complicated than what I’m doing now, but I’d be willing to use it if I thought it would help all of the children learn, especially those who struggle the most to learn key skills. I just need more information.