P3 – Practice standards-based assessments. This program standard emphasizes the significance for teachers to use standards-bases assessment that is systematically analyzed in order to monitor and improve instruction. To me this program standard focuses on using various assessment measures in order to more effectively teach students in areas where signs of misconceptions arise. The evidence presented is a formative assessment used at the beginning of fraction unit. The specific questions used on the assessment were derived based upon the state standards. Each question covered a particular aspect pertaining to the state standards in regards to fractions. This was just one of the assessment measures that were used throughout the fraction unit. Check-in questions, self-reflections, and a post-assessment were all administered as well throughout the fractions unit.
This evidence demonstrates the use of assessments in order to guide the mathematical instruction. The pre-assessment shown above was used to see student prior knowledge and the points of emphasis needed throughout the unit. For example, a majority of students had difficulties with the questions regarding equivalent fractions. Based upon this, the fourth grade team made it a point of emphasis by allowing more time to cover the concept as well as brainstorming methods to more effectively instruct equivalent fractions. Methods included using various manipulatives, drawing equivalent fractions, using number lines, and creating an equivalent fractions poster. The check-in questions and the self-reflections allows for the monitoring of student understanding. If student shows misunderstanding in either the check-in questions or self-reflections, this indicates that my instructional methods may need some adjustment in order to more effectively communicate key concepts or more time is needed on the particular concept. This has helped me realize the importance of using standards-based assessment in order to monitor and improve my instruction. This will result in more effective instruction because I will be better informed of the ability level of my students. I will be able to see students who may need additional support in addition to students who may need to be challenged more as well. Using various assessment measures has proven to be very effective in providing useful insight on student growth and development. Not only does it provide a method for me to track and monitor student learning, but utilizing self-reflections allows for student to be able to monitor their own learning as well. Likewise, aligning assessment with the state standards ensures that the essential academic learning requirements are being met.
In the future, I plan to continue to implement and use various assessment methods in order to monitor and improve my instruction. One way in which I can ensure this is to be purposeful with the assessments I use. For example in math, to always incorporate a check-out question after each lesson on a new concept. This will provide information of student learning and understanding of the lesson. In addition to this, I will incorporate throughout each unit multiple opportunities for students to be able to self-assess their own learning. Students may show an understanding of the concept by answering the check-out question successfully but in reality may be lacking the confidence or still needs more practice.
H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process. This program standard highlights the importance for teachers to inform, involve, and collaborate with families or communities in the educational process. To me this program standard emphasizes the importance of being actively involved in student development. This can be achieved by collaborating with the student and their families in order to help students be more successful in the classroom. The evidence presented is the document used for the school’s check-in check-out system. This is typically used for students who struggle in the classroom following rules and procedures. It incorporates a goal for students to strive towards throughout each school day based upon a 0-2 point system. Also, it provides as a communication method with the student’s family at home because it requires the student to show it to their parents and get their signature.
This evidence shows a modified version of the check-in check-out template which I adapted for one of the students in my classroom. This student has been struggling to stay on task and make good decisions. The evidence is used to communicate home with the student’s parents. I use it to emphasize the days when the student has met his goals in addition to the subject periods where the student was off-task or distracted. The purpose is not to be a negative on the student’s performance, but to accentuate moments when the student is engaged and focused. This communication between the students home will allow for opportunities where the student’s parents could praise, encourage, or discuss what went well or what a struggle was. This experience has helped me realize the importance of keeping parents informed on both the successes as well as the troubles of the class. Prior to using the check-in check-out system, the only communication I had with the student’s parents was multiple phone calls home due to inappropriate behaviors. It has also taught me how powerful it can be to set goals with students. This document has promoted student learning since the student has become extremely aware and motivated to meet the goal. This motivation has resulted in an overall better performance throughout the school day. In addition, the student has demonstrated becoming more conscientious of when he is off-task and showed honesty by scoring himself accurately based on his performance.
In the future, I would like to make more of an effort to communicate home on a more consistent basis with each of my students’ parents. I have seen on multiple occasions how an email home to a parent can drastically improve student behavior in the class. By also communicating student successes in the classroom, parents can continue to praise and encourage their children. One way I plan on doing this when I have more own classroom is to send home monthly letters or emails updating on student performance, praises, and/or concerns. Simple communication home can really support student achievement and performance.
H5 – Honor student potential for roles in the greater society. This program standard emphasizes the importance to prepare our students to be responsible citizens for an environmentally sustainable, globally interconnected, and diverse society. The way I interpret this standard is how we are promoting student citizenship based upon practices in the classroom. The evidence presented is a picture of a chart the class created in regards to cooperation. The class in general had been struggling cooperating in small group activities and this chart was created as a result of the difficulties the students were having. The emphasis of this chart was to make personal connections with words or phrases that reminded the students of cooperation. In addition, the class brainstormed what cooperation looked like, sounded like, and felt like.
This evidence shows student generated ideas for what cooperation looks, sounds, and feels like. From the list that was created, subsequent group lesson activities emphasized one of the three components. For example, the objectives for a social studies lesson had an academic goal as well as a cooperation goal. One specific lesson’s cooperation goal was for students to be able to demonstrate what cooperation sounds like. Before releasing the students to the group activity, the class reviewed what cooperation sounded like. Questions were asked like what words or phrases should I (the teacher) be hearing if groups were cooperating. If Ms. Estephan (the principal) walked into the classroom, what would she hear? This was to prime students brains and also make real-world connections on how cooperation should really sound like. This was also connected back towards when groups cooperate and demonstrate teamwork; they are more successful in the task at hand. Having an objective that promotes student roles in the greater society will not only improve the classroom environment, but also prepare students to become responsible and successful citizens. Incorporating charts to build a positive classroom environment has shown to be an effective tool to teach students important life skills of working with others. After the lesson, students reflected upon their groups and how well they cooperated. Students shared how they had to compromise and work together to come to a consensus decision. Additionally, students shared various dialogues between the groups members that demonstrated what cooperation sounded like. Without an emphasis played on the learning objective of cooperation, students would have been unable to learn and shown their ability to be responsible citizens in a diverse society.
In the future, I plan on continuing to incorporate community building opportunities similar to the one my classroom did on cooperation. I will take a look at the citizenship skills that my students are having difficulty with and to make a conscious effort in promoting these aspects by integrated them within my lesson plans. This is an effective measure and has been a positive experience in my classroom. Students have shown substantial improvements in the area of cooperation and as a teacher it is my responsibility to prepare my students for roles in the greater society.
P4 –– Practice the integration of appropriate technology with instruction.This program standard places an emphasis on teacher candidates being able to use technology that is effectively integrated to create technologically proficient learning. The evidence presented is a slide utilizing our smart board for one of my math lessons. This is extremely beneficial for teachers and students alike; the ability to write on what is projected is convenient in order to record student response, for clarification purposes, and students can even write their own response. In addition to this, I can easily print off or save student recordings for future reference.
The picture displays the lessons introductory question which will tie into the lessons objective. Not only does this provide a great visual representation of the mathematical problem, but it also allows for easy manipulations. Teachers and students alike can simply pick up a smart board pen and highlight the important information, record their response, and explain their solution. You can add and move around images or be able to infinitely clone an image. All very useful tools in presenting materials in a learner centered fashion. This is the case because students are able to get a visual representation along with learning how technology can be implemented within the classroom. More importantly, technology adds another exciting aspect to a lesson and can be utilized in a way to have more student involvement. Using the smart board in my lesson planning has allowed me to appreciate the benefits technology can be for teaching concepts and having interactive learning. Students are more engaged because I can record their response immediately and want to share more in case I allow a student to write their response on the smart board. Incorporating technology into instruction is an interactive, fun, and beneficial method for all students. It allows for a hands-on and visual representation of a concept.
In the future, I would like to create more opportunities beyond the use of smart boards in order to utilize the technology within my classroom. We have access to a cart of laptops and I would love to promote more use out of the laptops and to show their work on the smart board. Many students in my classroom do not have access to computers at home, thus making it even more important using technology for helping students learn about the lessons concepts and also giving students the opportunity to become proficient in using technological tools.
O1 – – Offer an organized curriculum aligned to standards and outcomes. This program standard focuses on teacher candidates aligning instruction to the learning standards and outcomes. This alignment will ensure that all students know the learning targets and can monitor their progress towards meeting them. It is especially important to reference the Common Core state standards and to align them with your instruction. The evidence presented concentrates on two state standards:
1) CCS RL 4.2 Determine the theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
2) CCS RL 4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, or drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
The evidence presented is a scaffold done over several days in order for students to make the connection between character traits and the authors theme of the story. Each lesson was aligned with either one or both standards. This helped maintain a lesson where the state standards and learning standards are unified. Additionally, the scaffolding provided students a method in which they can monitor their own progress towards the learning targets. Since each lesson required students to build off of what was learned previously, students are able to self-assess on their connections with the text.
This evidence shows a student sample of the progression of activities throughout the lessons which aligns with character traits and the theme of the story. Students were first asked to close read a text and make their think marks about the characters traits (speaks, thinks, acts, or feels). Then students were required to record evidence from the text where the character speaks, thinks, acts or feels. Students then used the newly found information to answer the question of what trait would best describe the character. With all this background knowledge in place, students were able to progress towards more in depth thinking. This in depth thinking was guided through careful questions in regards with the learning targets. Students were first asked to analyze if the character had changed, then what can you personally learn, and finally what is the authors theme. The learning objective for each lesson was reviewed and discussed prior to beginning the lesson activities. Organizing curriculum around standards provides direction for teachers as well as a focal point for students. I feel that the end result was a more precise lesson that focused on essential academic learning. This alignment made it clearer for student expectations and provided an opportunity for self-assessment. Since conceptually each lesson built on the previous one, students were quick to realize that if the previous activity was done inefficiently it would affect the following lesson. In the future, I will continue to align my instruction to state standards and continue to ensure students knowing the learning target and to monitor in some way their progress towards being successful at the learning target. The next step would be to emphasize and incorporate learning standards with some type of flow chart or anchor chart. We could add elements to our chart as we progress in our learning and place it where students can see it and reflect upon it daily. Students can use this as a tool for self-monitoring on learning targets.
E1 – Exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice.This program standard emphasizes the importance of developing reflective, collaborative, and growth-centered practice. This can be achieved through regularly evaluating one’s teaching through reflection and feedback. Reflections and feedback can come from many sources including self-reflection, mentor teachers, advisers, or other teachers. This is especially important for teachers to continually evaluate their teaching in order to ensure the upmost quality of instruction. The evidence presented is self-reflection notes as well as feedback given from my mentor teacher following a math lesson. I find it very beneficially to continually self-reflect upon my performance in all classroom aspects. It is especially useful to be aware of what went well or what could have gone better. This will help me to grow and develop as a teacher. Equally important is the feedback provided by my mentor teacher. Many times we ourselves don’t recognize our teaching tendencies. Having another individual evaluate my teaching performance allows for more insight and another perspective of what may have went well or what could have been better.
This evidence shows specific feedback pertaining to number talk strategies. This was the first math lesson which I taught trying to incorporate number talk. A Number Talk is a short, ongoing daily routine that provides students with meaningful ongoing practice with computation. A number talk was something different and unfamiliar to me. Needless to say, the lesson did not go according to plan. Reflecting on the lesson and discussing the details with my mentor teacher allowed me to get a better understanding of number talks. It also provided me with important aspects to think about for when I plan future math lessons. One of the biggest take-away from the feedback was the emphasis on student equity of voice. My mentor teacher stated the importance for some students to turn and talk prior to speaking in front of the whole group. Many students need the opportunity to process the information, think about it, and articulate to their partner before stating their strategy to the class. As I continue my educational journey, I plan on continuing to self-reflect upon my lessons. This is important for adapting lessons in order to meet the needs of each individual student. Additionally, I will seek and welcome any feedback provided from my peers. This will help my own evaluation of the effectiveness of my teaching practices. Reflections and feedback provides opportunities for growth and development as a teacher. As a result of self-reflecting and discussing my math lesson with my mentor teacher, I feel I have learned how to more effectively implement number talks. The results are that students will be more actively engaged in meaningful talk ensuring more learning is occurring. In the future, I will continue to self-reflect and seek feedback from my peers. I will continue to reflect upon my instructional practices in order to continue my growth and development as a teacher. It can be difficult to make all the changes at once, so I plan on emphasizing the opportunities where students are able to think and share with a partner.
E3 – Exemplify an understanding of professional responsibilities and policies. This program standard emphasizes the importance of being aware of school policies in order to ensure the safety of the entire school community. Teachers need to demonstrate knowledge of professional, legal, and ethical responsibilities and policies. The evidence presented is a school document pertaining to the subjects of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. This past week our school hosted Taproot Theater’s production “Wild Wes” which placed an emphasis on bullying. I know and understand as a teacher that I must maintain a safe environment for every student. Due to this, I wanted to familiarize myself with the school and district policies for bullying.
This evidence shows Stevenson Elementary and Bellevue School District’s policy for harassment, intimidation, and bullying. The policy indicates that harassment, intimidation, and bullying will not be tolerated at all. Harassment, intimidation, and bullying incorporates any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, gender, or other distinguishing characteristics. It is especially important to become aware of district and school policies. This knowledge of policies will ensure that I will be vigilant of students who are doing or receiving the harassment, intimidation, and bullying. As I continue my educational journey, I will continue to learn and understand school and district policies. This is important for creating a safe environment and making sure that students are abiding to school rules and regulations. As a result, I will be able to act accordingly based upon my new knowledge of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Knowing that there is a no tolerance policy gave me a better perspective on how these behaviors need to be enforced. These behaviors must be resolved quickly and enacting students must not have the sense that they can get away with this type of behavior. District policies for schools can provide useful information especially for newer teachers. Harassment, intimidation, and bullying are constantly changing as society changes. Being knowledgeable of how students are harassing is valuable. Ten years ago, students did not bully through emails or text messages. As teachers, we must maintain with the changes in society in order to provide a safe community learning environment. In the future, I will continue educate myself with school procedures and district policies. I will continue seek support from my school as it is my responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful, and inclusive environment for staff and student alike. This can be achieved by recognizing harassment, intimidation, and bullying behaviors. From here, I will be able to intervene and report to building administrators for severe cases.