Student Descriptions:

1.    Whole Class Information
Mr. Wrench's Physics Class is composed of 32 students of which 9 are girls and 23 are boys.  6 are classified as ELLs and another 8 have been reclassified as English proficient.  3 are identified as having specific learning disabilities.  The ethnographic breakdown is 15 White, 11 Hispanic, 4 Asian and 2 Black.  16 are eligible for free or reduced lunch.  Approximately 40% of class time is spent in small group work, either performing practice problems or inquiry exercises (i.e. labs).  The rest of the class time is fairly evenly divide between direct instruction, individual practice, and assessment.

2. Mr. Maas' Earth science class is composed of 28 students, of which 8 are girls and 20 are boys. Of these students, 8 are classified as ELLs and 10 have been reclassified as English proficient. The ethnic breakdown is 12 Caucasian, 10 Hispanic and 6 Asian/Pacific Islander. 18 are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The class is divided into four student per table working groups for labs and in-class projects. The majority of the time is divided between lecture, individual practice, labs and assessments. The class is outgoing and talkative.  They enjoy pop-culture, and music in general. Students have been able to select their own seats, and modifications are made to the seating arrangement when needed. Most of the students know each other by name. However, there are several new students who joined the class after first semester, and remain somewhat reserved. The student grade level breakdown is a mix of 9-12.

3.  Individual Student Information:
5 individual students merit detailed descriptions.  These are English Languages Learners  Elena, Ibram and Maria, and Alex and Ross who have special educational challenges:

  • Elena is a 15 year old 10th grader.  She is identified as an ELL with a CELDT level of 4 whose primary language is Spanish.  She comes form a middle class family and has 2 older brothers, one of which also attends RBV, and a younger sister.  Her parents are second generation immigrants and her family speaks a mixture of Spanish and English at home. Her parents are active on the schools PTSA.  Elena does not read or write in Spanish.  Her performance in school is good if not excellent.  Her reading, writing and math skills are all at grade level.  She does, however, excel in Art and Music classes and is a member of the school choir.  She reports that her favorite spare time activities are dancing and singing.  Elena is vivacious and outgoing, prefers to work in small groups as opposed to whole-class or individual activities.  She easily gravitates to a leadership role in small group activities but does have a tendency to take the group off task.
  • Ibram is 16 years old in the 11th grade.  His CELDT level is 3 and his primary language is Arabic.  His family immigrated fairly recently and he has been in the California school system for 3 years.  He comes from an upper middle class family and is the youngest of three children.  His oldest sibling, a brother, did not emigrate with his family and his older sister attends a local community college.  His family speaks Arabic almost exclusively at home, primarily because, while his father is fluent in English, his mother speaks no English at all.  Ibram enjoys sports, particularly soccer, but does not play on a school team.  He gets very good grades; all A's but one B on his last report.  His parents have high expectations for his schoolwork but offer little concrete support.  Ibram is shy and tends to isolate.  He reports that because of his language and cultural differences he does not feel that he fits in well in school.
  • Maria is a 14 year old girl in the 9th grade and is identified as an ELL with a CELDT level of 3 and a primary language of Spanish.  Her father is a first generation immigrant and her mother second generation. They speak mostly Spanish at home.  She has one older sibling who also attends RBV.  Her family is middle class to lower middle class.  Her parents own and operate a small convenience/grocery store where Maria works after school and on weekends.  Maria's CELDT score is much higher for reading than for writing and she reads extensively, preferring romantic and fantasy fiction.  She enjoys sports and loves to play soccer but has little time to do so.  Maria if quiet and shy but friendly.  She works well in small groups but seldom takes on a leadership role, even when encouraged to do so.
  • Alex is a 16-year-old boy in the eleventh grade. He had difficulty with the development of his early literacy skills, including the acquisition of sound/symbol relationships and word identification, demonstrated in both his reading and writing. In the second grade, Alex was identified as a student with specific learning disabilities. Since then, Alex has received special education support primarily in a resource room for language arts, while he is included in the general education curriculum. He is able to independently read text at a ninth grade level and continues to struggle with decoding words. Alex also has asthma for which he takes daily medication and occasionally needs to use an inhaler. He is a self-isolating person who does not readily join into whole-class conversations or contribute to group learning situations. His tendency is to sit alone at lunch and to be by himself during transitional time. There is no in-class support for this student.
  • Ross is a 15 year old boy in the tenth grade, identified as a student with ADHD in the fourth grade.  He is the only child in an upper middle class family.  Both parents are professional college graduates.  They are members of the PTSA but find little time to participate actively.  Ross is a highly visual learner and his school performance as measured by grades and test scores is uneven.  Ross enjoys sports and plays on the school baseball team.  He also enjoys playing his guitar.  Ross prefers to work in small groups in class but is sometimes disruptive.

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