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Ms. Juaréz has been a teacher for two years and truly enjoys the time she spends in class with her students. She feels that the most significant thing she has learned during her first two years as a teacher is that students learn and respond to instruction in very different ways. As a teacher, her goal is accommodate these differences and adapt instruction to each individual student's needs.
This year, she teaches math to three third-grade classes. Although the material to be taught is the same, her experience in each classroom differs. Each class seems to be a distinct social universe; her interaction with the students varies; the students' mutual relations are different; and the levels of disruption vary. From her previous two years of teaching, Ms. Juaréz has the experience that although most students in her math classes seem to do well on their tests and quizzes, some do not. To better be able to bring these students up to desired levels of academic performance, Ms. Juarez would like to identify the particular skills with which they struggle.
In addition to concerns about low-performing students, Ms. Juaréz worries about the level of disruption in one of her classes where two students regularly engage in inappropriate behaviors. The escalating disruption affects the performance of their peers as well as the overall classroom atmosphere. Although both are disruptive, the two students engage in widely different behaviors and whereas one is doing poorly on tests and quizzes, the other maintains desired levels of academic performance. Ms. Juaréz believes that both students' behaviors are closely related to their low levels of academic engagement. She wants to address these problems with effective instructional interventions.
The lessons in this module address two complex, simultaneous tasks, which teachers like Ms. Juaréz face on a daily basis: managing classroom behavior and providing effective instruction to all students. Key to successfully performing each task is collection and analysis of student, teacher, and/or classroom ecology data, providing teachers with a foundation for making sound instructional decisions. This module presents different methods for observational assessment and academic progress monitoring, and it explores how technology hardware and software make data-driven instructional decisions a realistic option for all educators.