Kathy Johnson Teaching Skills

Kathy Johnson Teaching Skills

Chapter 13 Discussion Question

Read the following case study, and answer the questions that follow.

1. Kathy Johnson is a fifth-grade teacher with 27 students, about half of whom are classified as placed at risk in her class from mostly low- to middle-income families in an urban Midwestern city. Four of her students have learning disabilities, and two are classified as behaviorally disordered. A veteran of six years, she typically schedules her day as follows:

8:15–9:15               Math

9:15–10:45             Language Arts

10:45–11:00           Break

11:00–11:30           Social Studies

11:30–12:00           Lunch

12:00–1:25             Reading

1:25–1:35               Break

1:35–2:00            Science

2:00–2:45         Resource (Art, music, PE, computer)

2. In social studies Kathy has begun a unit on the on the Northern and Southern states prior to the Civil War.

3. As the students file into the room from their break, they see a large chart displayed at the front of the room that appears as follows:






Land and Climate




Northern states



Small towns


Valued education



Timber covered

Glacial remains

Poor soil

Short growing season

Cold winters








Small farms


Southern states





Social class distinction


Fertile soil

Hot weather

Long growing season


Large farms



Unskilled workers

Servants and slaves

4. Kathy is standing at the doorway as her students enter the room. She smiles and jokes with them as they pass by, and reminds them of what they’re about to do with comments, such as, “Look carefully at the chart at the front of the room, and see if you can find anything interesting about it and how the North and South were different?”Order Now from Course Researchers5. At 11:02 the students have their social studies books on their desks, Kathy has moved to the front of the room and she begins, “We began talking about the Northern and Southern states yesterday. Let’s see what we remember. . . .Where are they compared to where we live?. . . Lorena?”

6. “. . . They’re over here,” Lorena answers, motioning to the right with her hand.

7. “Yes, they’re generally east of us,” Kathy adds, as she walks quickly and points to the map at the side of the room identifying the general location of the Civil War-era states relative to their location with a wave of her hand.

8. “And about how long ago are we talking about, a few years or a long time? . . . Victor?”

9. “. . . A long time. Like when our great, great, great, great grandfathers and grandmothers might have lived.”

10. “Yes, very good,” Kathy smiles and nods. “We’re talking about time during the early and middle 1800s.”

11. “We also talked about some important ideas, like ‘Economy,’” Kathy continues. “What do we mean by economy?. . . Jorge?”

12. “. . . It’s . . . like . . . the way they make their money, like when we said that the economy here is based on manufacturing, like making cars and parts for cars and stuff,” Jorge responds uncertainly.

13. “Very good description, Jorge,” Kathy nods. “You identified auto manufacturing as an important part of our economy, and that’s a good example.”

14. “Now, look here,” Kathy directs, pointing to the column marked ‘Economy.’ “We see that the economy for the two groups of states is very different. Today, we want to see what some of these specific differences are, and why the two economies are so different. So, remember as we go through the lesson that we’re talking about the way the northern and southern states made their money, and we’re trying to figure out why it is so different. . . . Everybody ready?” Kathy surveys the class. “Good. Let’s go.”

15. She then begins, “What are some of the differences we see in the economies for the two regions? . . . Ann Marie?”

16. “. . .”

17. “What do you notice about the farms in the two regions?”

18. “. . . The farms were much bigger in the Southern states than they were in the Northern states.”

19. “OK, Good observation,” Kathy nods energetically. “Now why might that have been the case? . . . Jim?”

20. “. . .”

21. “. . . Would you like me to repeat the question?” Kathy asks, knowing that Jim hasn’t heard her.

22. “Yes,” Jim responds quickly, with a look of relief.

[Kathy continues guiding the students’ analysis of the information on the chart, in the process finding relationships between the geography, climate, and economy. When students are unable to answer, she rephrases her questions and provides cues to help them along. She then has them consider why the economy of their city might be the way it is. We return to her lesson now.]

23. “You have done very well, everyone,” she smiles, pointing her finger in the air for emphasis. “Now, everyone, get with your partner, take two minutes, and write two or three summary statements about what we’ve learned here today. . . . Quickly, now, get started.”

[The students start buzzing, pointing at the chart, and one of the two in each pair begins writing. In some cases they stop, crumple their papers, and begin again. As they work, Kathy walks among them offering encouragement and periodic suggestions.]

24. At the end of two minutes, Kathy announces, “One more minute, and we’re going to look at what you wrote.”

25. After another minute she begins, “OK, let’s see what you’ve got. What did you and Linda say, David?”

26. “. . . We said that the weather and the land had a lot to do with the way the different regions made their money.”

27. “Excellent! That’s a good one. How about someone else. . . . Danielle,  how about you and Tony?”

[Kathy has several other pairs offer their summary statements, they further develop the statements as a whole group, and then Kathy collects the papers.]

28. At 11:28 she announces, “Almost lunch time. Please put away your papers.”

29. The students quickly put their books, papers, and pencils away, glance around their desks for any waste paper, and are sitting quietly at 11:30.Order Now from Course ResearchersIdentify the Essential Teaching Skill best illustrated by each of the following paragraphs or sets of paragraphs in the case study. (The paragraphs in the case study are numbered for your reference.)

Provide an explanation for each of your choices.

1. paragraphs 2–5

2. paragraphs 5–13

3. paragraph 14

4. paragraphs 15–18

5. paragraphs 23–27

6. paragraphs 5 and 28

7. paragraphs 5, 8, 11, 15, 19

8. paragraphs 7, 13, 19

In 19 Kathy called on Jim, knowing that he wasn’t listening (as we see in 20 and 21). Is this [calling on a student who isn’t paying attention] effective teaching strategy? Why do you think so, or why do you think not?

Look at the type of questions Kathy asked in 15 and 17. What kind of questions are these? Give at least three reasons why they’re effective.

Which model of teaching is Kathy most nearly implementing? Explain.

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