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Kayla Pendleton

ELED 3223
Dr. Rock

What are They Thinking? Clinical Assignment

The purpose of the What are They Thinking? Clinical Assignment was to get into the

minds of my students and to use that information to combat common misconceptions and to

build off of their prior knowledge during the implementation of my lesson. For this assignment, I

spoke to three 5th grade students at Socrates Academy. I talked to a struggling learner, an english

language learner (ELL), and a high achieving learner. I asked the three students the following

questions: (1) what does the word conflict mean to you?, (2) when have you dealt with conflict?,

(3) how did it make you feel when you were in a conflict?, (4) what do you think of when you

hear the phrase “revolutionary war”?, (5) who do you think was involved in the revolutionary

war?, and (6) what was the outcome of the revolutionary war?. All students provided me with a

great insight of how to modify and improve my lesson plan on the Revolutionary War.

The first conclusion that I gathered after reflecting on my interview with my three

students was that all of the students had a strong understanding of the outcome of the

Revolutionary War. When asked who was involved in the Revolutionary war, their responses

consisted of the following: (1) America won and they gained freedom, (2) American won, and

(3) American won and overcame the British. Before implementing my lesson, my students

explored the Revolutionary War through a WebQuest and it was evident that the students had a

strong understanding of the significance of the Revolutionary War and the impact on America.

Since all students had a true understanding of the significance and outcome of the war, I

provided the students with an opportunity to apply that knowledge through a more challenging

task. I know that I was able to skip right to a more challenging assignment since the students had

a strong understanding of the basics of the Revolutionary War. Since I only interviewed three
Kayla Pendleton
ELED 3223
Dr. Rock

students, I did not want to assume that all students had a strong understanding, so I provided a

quick review in the focus and review of my lesson.

The second conclusion that I gathered after reflecting on my interview with my three

students was that not all students had a clear understanding of who was involved in the American

Revolution in regards to the specific vocabulary of royalists and patriots. When asked who was

involved in the war, their responses consisted of the following: (1) America, Britain, and France,

(2) George Washington, and (3) The Georges- King George and George Washington. It is

evident that the students understood what countries were involved in the Revolutionary War, but

it was not evident that they understood the division of the 13 colonies of the patriots and

royalists. After identifying that the students lacked this knowledge and noticed that it is a part of

the NC State Standards for them to understand this concept, I decided to focus on teaching the

difference between the patriots and royalists. In my teaching, I provided a visual through a Venn

diagram, so that the students were able to identify the key differences between a patriot’s

perspective and a royalist’s perspective.

The third conclusion that I gathered after reflecting on my interview with my three

students was that when eliciting student thinking through interviews it is important to prepare

better questions. I was not able to get a clear understanding of the scaffolds I should provide to

my struggling learner and my ELL to help them truly understand how to apply the concepts into

their final product. In the future, I know that I would ask more questions on their favorite type of

learning styles and ways that I can help them. I would still ask content questions as it helped me

come to several conclusions of what to teach and what they were ready for, but I would ask more

questions on how to teach the lesson. On top of asking better questions, I would also include
Kayla Pendleton
ELED 3223
Dr. Rock

more students on the interview to get a deeper understanding and insight of what exactly my

students are thinking.

After completing this assignment, I realized how important it is for teachers to get inside

their students heads. Since I took the time to get to know my students and what they already

know about the Revolutionary War, I was able to get a clear understanding of what I needed to

teach. If I did not do this assignment, I believe that I would have taught my students content that

they may already have known and maybe would have given them an easier task than what they

were capable of doing. Through this experience, I was able to get to know my students more and

I was able to get a better understanding of what questioning students can do for my instruction.

In the future, I know that I will continue to ask several of my students questions about instruction

techniques and content so that I can implement an effective lesson geared to my students’ needs.