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Case Study

Description of Student:
Ahmed is an eight-year-old Arab-American male, who comes from a low-income family.
He is the middle child with an older brother and two younger siblings. He lives with both
parents, his mother is a stay at home mom and his dad works while he is in school. Ahmed is in
the third grade and academically, he is doing above average work. He is a fluent English speaker
and has high reading, and math scores. He usually is off task and likes to distract his peers from
learning. When given extra attention and positive feedback, he excels. But when the attention is
given to his peers, he gets off task and begins to make noises. He likes to make his peers laugh,
and can sometimes be violent when angered. He has lashed out at his peers for taking his pencil
or at the teacher when she asks him to flip his behavior card. But when asked to reflect on his
behavior, he will admit to being at fault and will apologize for his behavior.
He is a very bright child. He gets above average in reading, spelling, math, and social
studies. He participates in class often, and most of the time, he is the only one who knows the
answers to the review questions. He likes to be the teachers helper and takes pride in being a
leader. Usually when he is off task, he is reading a book and not listening to the teacher while she
is explaining new content. My concern is that when punished for negative behavior (flipping his
behavior card), he begins to shut down and act out. I also have a concern with how he deals with
issues in the classroom between his peers and himself.
Curricular Decisions /Strategies:
The best way to support Ahmed and help him reach his potential is to use extrinsic
rewards and positive reinforcement. I will create lessons that are geared towards his
strengths/needs. I will give him many examples so that he could refer to them at home while
doing his homework and give him stickers if he gets above a 90%. I recently modified a social
studies project to fit Ahmeds needs. I simplified the questions so that he could use this class

notes as a resource. He told me he doesnt have Internet access at home so I made the research
questions easier for him to answer using his notes and his social studies book. I decided to give
him three warnings before asking him to flip his card. I want to give him a chance to improve his
behavior before he has to flip his card. If he continues to misbehave, there will be a consequence.
I will follow through with implementing the consequences but I will also remind him of the
reward he will get if he stays on green.
I used the College of Education Case Study Framework (CSF) to help guide my decisions
and give me a better idea of what works and what does not. The CSF allowed me to interpret my
observations and reflect on the best course of action with Ahmeds behavior and instruction. I
realized that Ahmed responds well to positive feedback and needs constant reminders to behave.
I will give Ahmed stickers for excellent work and acknowledge his good behavior by saying, I
am so proud of you Ahmed. You are doing a great job today.
Results:
When given positive feedback and rewards, Ahmed excels. He stays on task and the
behavior problems decrease. He shows me his work whenever he finishes so that I could give
him positive feedback. When he misbehaves, I give him a warning and he usually stops. He
always talks about improving his behavior so that he could be picked as student of the week. I
always remind him that students who are picked for student of the week exhibit the core values
(honesty, integrity, responsibility, and respect for self and others). When I remind him to be a
model Geer Park student, he becomes reflective and modifies his behavior. He takes leadership
roles seriously and helps his peers. If he gets distracted during a lesson, I move his seat in order
to minimize the distraction. I sit with him one on one when I notice that he is struggling and I
draw visuals or give more examples to help him understand. He has been doing better on exams
and is more productive in the classroom. Overall, he has been doing really well and I will
continue to help him reach his highest potential.

Reflections:
My curricular decisions have helped him become a more engaged and successful student.
I realized that Ahmed is a bright student that needs constant positive reinforcement. He craves
attention and when he gets it, he does very well. The COE CSF is beneficial in providing
observations that can help educators assess how students learn and how to help them improve. As
educators, I believe it is important to accommodate to our students needs. I learned how to use
my observations to help modify instruction and create rewards that will motivate my students. I
also realized that each student has a unique background and their home lives can influence how
they behave in school. I will take the time to get to know my students and understand their
various backgrounds/cultures. I wonder if Ahmed will continue to behave well throughout the
school year because extrinsic rewards only work for so long. My next step will be to try to instill
a love for learning and I want him to be intrinsically motivated to stay on task. I will try to raise
his self-efficacy and self esteem by providing positive feedback. I am hoping that by reminding
him of the rules and encouraging him to be on his best behavior, he will eventually want to stay
on task because it is the right thing to do (not just for the reward).

Observation

Interpretations

Hypothesis

1. Ahmed is
not focused
today; he is
playing with
his pencil
and putting
his head
down.

Ahmed may not


be getting
enough sleep at
night.

If he sleeps
earlier, then
he will be
more
attentive
and
productive.

2. Ahmed
did not do
his
homework
today. He
sat at his
desk when
everyone
sat at the
front carpet.

Ahmed may be
having trouble
understanding
the material and
does not have
any help at
home.

3. Ahmed
was sent to
the office
today for
pushing
another
student in
class and
talking back
to the
teacher.

Maybe Ahmed is
getting picked
on by another
student in class
or at home. He
may be having
problems that
we are not
aware of.

Curricular
Decisions
If he is not
completing
his work on
time, then
he will finish
his work
during lunch
recess or at
home.

Reflections

Having
activities
that are
interactive
and fun can
help him
stay awake
in class.
Also, letting
his parents
know about
his tiredness
and creating
a bedtime
schedule
may help
solve the
problem.
If he does
I will keep
When given
not
him inside
extra time to
complete his during lunch do the
homework
recess to
homework,
at home, he complete his Ahmed
will stay
homework. I completes
inside
will check
the work.
during lunch his work to
His answers
recess to
see if he
are usually
complete it. understands correct and
the material. it seems he
If he does
just needs
not, I will
an extra
help him
motivational
with the
push to
homework
complete his
and give
work.
him more
examples.
If he is
I would have Ahmed
aware of
a meeting
knows when
how his
with both
he is doing
behavior is
Ahmed and
something
hurtful to his his peer. I
wrong and
peers, then
will have
always
maybe he
them talk
apologizes
will not act
about what
for his
this way in
happened
actions.
class.
and how
When he is
they could
reminded of
have
the rules, he
handled the acts
situation. I
accordingly
will talk to
and reflects
Ahmed one
on his
on one and
behavior. I