1a. Demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy
- Content knowledge
- Prerequisite relationships
- Content pedagogy
Demonstrates a deep knowledge of reading & vocabulary goals ensuring her students are successful with the Bookworms Reading Program. Knows and teaches the prerequisite skills needed for new concepts.
Builds upon existing knowledge. Reviews previous lesson content before beginning subsequent lessons. Uses appropriate formative assessments including observation, “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” and white boards to determine if students are grasping the information or if more review is needed. Begins independent work only when students are clearly ready.
Incorporates skills across the curriculum, i.e., during the science word sort discussion to enhance word meanings, she also practiced the literacy skill of syllable breakdown.
1b. Demonstrating knowledge of students
- Child development
- Learning process
- Special needs
- Student skills, knowledge, and proficiency
- Interests and cultural heritage
Has a strong understanding of the needs of individual students. Has attended IEP meetings and adapts lessons/work to meet their needs and goals.
With an IEP coming up, helped her CT track negative behaviors and took it upon herself to track positive behaviors also. During the IEP, Mrs. Wyatt was able to offer input, particularly with the positives.
Is aware of which students need additional support and sees that her lessons are designed to provide that. Some students leave the room for extra help. For some activities, students are placed to assist in that role. Some are given more time to complete work, given sensory paper for writing and reading tests, or given special work if designated in their file. Her lessons meet the needs of the individual learners at their developmental stage.
Works with para pros, interventionists, and the special education teacher to coordinate and provide appropriate support for her students.
1c. Setting instructional outcomes
- Value, sequence, and alignment
- Suitability for diverse learners
Gives purpose/focus to her lessons, including relationship to prior learning. The purpose is aligned with the Common Core standards. For example, a focus is given prior to Shared Reading and in ELA Units.
Provides clear and specific instructions, answering all questions and providing additional one-on-one support.
Models desired outcomes for assignments.
Makes provisions for seeing that all learners are exposed to and receive support for all lessons, making necessary adjustments to ensure their understanding and success, taking into account academic ability and emotional capacity.
Lessons include differentiation strategies, such as individual or small group support, sentence frames, reductions in assignments, and pairing struggling students with stronger students.
1d. Demonstrating knowledge of resources
- For classroom
- To extend knowledge
- For students
Uses district provided curriculum resources for all subjects, such as Bookworms (Shared Reading and ELA), World of Words (Social Studies and Science), Heggerty (Phonics), and Envisions (Math) and is able to utilize all connecting programs. Expertly navigates websites and the internet. She has an associate’s degree in technology (IT).
Utilizes 1:1 ratio Chromebooks to extend and supplement student learning. (Uses Kahoot for quizzes, creating study materials, online math practice programs, and so on.)
Researches other resources to enhance lessons. For the weather words lesson, provided individual pictures for each student to use for their assigned word to help clarify the meaning of the word.
1e. Designing coherent instruction
- Learning activities
- Instructional materials and resources
- Instructional groups
- Lesson and unit structure
Due to the excessive number of days off because of weather it has been difficult to keep the flow going and to keep the curriculum on track. Has frequently had to consult with the third grade team to help determine the best way to deliver the required instruction while at the same time not falling behind. She works very well with her team and they value her input.
Abides by the schoolwide schedule constructed by the principal. Makes adjustments as needed to ensure content is completed and to accommodate interruptions.
Additionally abides by District curriculum. Supplements, as needed, through the use of various resources such as Kahoot, online programs, and self-made worksheets/activities. For example, enhanced the World of Words weather unit by creating a small group activity focusing on vocabulary.
Posts a daily schedule on the wall, which includes times, following it as closely as possible, which is necessary due to the number of para pros helping in the room, special education students being pulled, and so students know what to expect. Plans lessons based on allotted time. Understands that students do better with structure and routine.
Lesson structure in many cases is consistent. Shared Reading uses chapter books in both whole and small group activities which include choral reading, partner reading, written responses, and vocabulary work. There are phonemic awareness studies and individual reading groups that read on their own and then work with Mrs. Wyatt on what they read.
Accommodates those who may finish their work early with enrichment activities such as silent reading, book shopping, phonemic practice (Heggerty), story writing, multiplication flash cards, etc. Others may be completing unfinished work that has been posted so students know what they need to do.
Knows her students personalities and is able to place them into groups that support weaker students while at the same time are able to work well together.
1f. Designing student assessments
- Congruence with outcomes
- Criteria and standards
- Formative assessments
- Use for planning
Uses District provided curriculum and reviews state standards to guide instruction and to ensure she is creating/utilizing appropriate assessments. Also tailors supplementary activities to these standards.
Consistently checks her students’ writing assignments to make sure they are on task and to offer them guidance toward the intended outcome.
Uses “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” as a quick formative assessment. Also uses individual white boards and markers for this same purpose.
2a. Creating an environment of respect and rapport
- Teacher interaction with students
- Student interaction with students
Quickly made connections with the students. Is appreciated and respected by them. They seek her out for help with work and for attention. She shows interest in their interests, relating to them in a casual/social way, while still maintaining her role as their teacher. Some look to her for comfort and to just talk. They value her opinion, and she always makes time to listen to them.
Always willing to help her students, but holds them accountable for their work. Keeps track of what each student still needs to complete, posted where they can find that information, and reminds them of their responsibilities.
Selects activities for group work. In creating groups considers who will work well together and ensures that there are all levels of learners so stronger students can support those that need help.
Shows appreciation for students’ efforts (“Thank you,” “Great job!”).
2b. Establishing a culture for learning
- Importance of content
- Expectations for learning and achievement
- Student pride in work
Gives clear and detailed instructions for assignments and displays the assignments for all to see. Sets parameters for completion.
Utilizes positive reinforcement, praising students for their efforts. They respond by working hard for her and showing pride in their accomplishments.
Reinforces student thinking by supporting their answer and helping them think beyond by asking a question like…”But what do you think about…?”
Provides the opportunity for students to earn rewards by earning tickets and tallies for abiding by various expectations of the classroom.
2c. Managing classroom procedures
- Instructional groups
- Materials and supplies
- Non-instructional duties
- Supervision of volunteers and paraprofessionals
Leads small groups during Shared Reading and What I Need (WIN) time. Has a set of rules following the school-wide CHAMPS method. Students respond to it respectfully.
Uses partners for reading, working on a problem or assignment, and discussing a question before answering (Turn and Talk).
Makes adjustments in partners weekly or as needed.
Handles transitions well, first by letting students know the expectation and perhaps looking for groups or individuals who are ready. If students behave inappropriately, she has them make the transition again…”You can do better…Let’s try that again.”
Manages the student-assigned jobs each week. Students are proud to have these responsibilities.
Gives direction to para pros during Reading and Writing. May assign them tasks such as checking students’ papers for clarity and following directions while they are completing an assignment, working with students on Heggerty phonemic awareness, taking a student aside to work on an assignment one-on-one, and so on.
2d. Managing student behavior
- Monitoring behavior
- Response to misbehavior
Reinforces CHAMPS expectations which are posted in the classroom and are schoolwide expectations. Refers to them frequently as the need arises. They cover behavior in all areas of the building.
Uses proximity appropriately: During choral reading, for example, Mrs. Wyatt will go stand by a student who is not participating or following along. Without disturbing the rest of the class she will point out to the student where their attention should be in the story.
Rearranges desks to accommodate for behavior concerns. Seated a student in the back of the room to alleviate distractions behind him. This was more successful. It also allows Mrs. Wyatt to speak with him more privately one-on-one.
Uses phrases, such as “Eyes up here…voices off,” “Whisper talk,” or “I’ll wait” as needed to gain everyone’s attention.
Uses an incentive plan in an exploratory class that allows the class to earn a letter to spell their targeted prize/incentive. The incentive may be a special treat, an extra recess, etc. The class can also earn a letter if an adult compliments them on their good behavior.
Responds quickly if a problem arises unexpectedly. May discuss the problem in the hall with students involved and determine if a short walk in the hall or perhaps a drink of water might help them compose themselves and rejoin the class.
Praises students’ efforts (“Good job”) and shows appreciation for their responses… Also acknowledges desired behaviors (“Thank you for helping your group get ready…”). This often encourages those who may not be complying to adjust their own behavior.
2e. Organizing physical space
- Safety and accessibility
- Arrangement of furniture and resources
Makes adjustments in seating, if needed, to improve behavior, participation, focus, and cooperation. This is done for the benefit of individuals and completed with safety and accessibility in mind.
Also takes care in seating students at the carpet and standing in line. Makes necessary changes to better facilitate the lesson or transition.
3a. Communicating with students
- Expectations for learning
- Directions and procedures
- Explanations of content
- Use of oral and written language
Frequently displays assignment expectations on the board. Ex: Daily vocabulary and written assignment instructions for Shared Reading are posted. They are also recorded in a notebook so students are able to review requirements if needed.
Gives clear instructions and expectations for assignments stemming from the lesson. (Title for diagram, picture, sentence to explain the term, labels, coloring) Checks for understanding of instructions asking a few students to repeat them. Often models the expectation.
Develops an understanding of key vocabulary through acting out meaning, using examples in her own life, and asking students to relate to examples in their lives.
Gives students an estimated time allowed to work on their assignment. Provides opportunities for early finishers.
Conferences with students while they are working to clear up any confusion and help them experience more success in their work. Also peruses students’ work as it is finished so she can address any concerns immediately. Allows them to correct their work.
3b. Using questioning and discussion techniques
- Quality of questions
- Discussion techniques
- Student participation
Utilizes questioning techniques for all subjects.
Sets focus for reading and revisits, asking questions for student input/opinion. Asks questions, for example, during and after the reading to encourage students to think about what was happening, to expand upon content, and to enhance understanding and think deeper about the idea. Some of those questions encouraged predictions, understanding expectations and motives, character qualities, comparisons, interpreting information, making inferences, and giving opinions. Ex:
What do you think will happen…?
Why did Rosa pay and then …?
Why was the bus driver yelling…? Why does he
want them to move? Why do you think Rosa
sat back down?
What do you think they are doing with those
If you were Rosa…?
Allows think time. (During a science word review she asked a question, repeated it, asked students to reference their notes, allowed a bit more time, then called on a student.)
Uses “Turn & Talk,” draws name sticks or calls on students randomly.
If student responses stray from desired response, finds a way to put a positive spin on it and tries to steer the student in the desired direction, often with the aid of other students.
3c. Engaging students in learning
- Activities and assignments
- Student groups
- Instructional materials and resources
- Structure and pacing
Is required to follow district curriculum including how much is to be accomplished each day. Is able to work within those parameters, even making adjustments for unexpected days off of school (weather) and keeping lessons on track.
Lessons are engaging incorporating a variety of activities, such as whole group discussion and activities, cooperative group projects, Kahoot quizzes, small group brainstorming, peer to peer, and independent work on an engaging final product such as a diagram.
Adjusts the pacing as needed based on time and student need and often on the spot. (Realized students needed more time in their groups to discuss the science terms.) Uses a timer to help keep track of time.
Is able to plan and implement a variety of activities and assignments in a lesson with appropriate pacing to hold student attention and promote engagement. (Ex: A lesson on weather words, which followed learning about the words and taking notes on them, included a whole class word sort, cooperative group discussion about assigned words, and completion of a diagram on assigned word to be presented to the class.)
Groups are formed to ensure stronger students are in each group to support those needing support. Partners are assigned for the same purpose. Partners reread the chapter from the book after the class choral reads it.
Has materials and activities prepared and ready to use: For her phonics WIN lesson, has students bring their white boards to the carpet with marker and cloth to erase, passes out prepared word lists, group echo-reads the list, then again breaking the words into syllables, and repeating the word. This process is repeated. They practice further orally and on white boards in a very logical sequence.
Incorporates the use of Chromebooks, white boards, and manipulatives on a regular basis.
3d. Using assessment in instruction
- Assessment criteria
- Monitoring of student learning
- Feedback to students
- Student self-assessment and monitoring
Uses thumbs up/down to determine understanding of ideas or instructions.
Monitors and conferences with students during work time to ensure understanding of assignments.
Monitors small groups as they engage in discussion based on the assignment. Listens in on each group, sometimes asking questions or clarifying an idea for them.
Provides feedback verbally and in written form about student performance on assignments and requests feedback from students about lessons…what they learned, how they liked it.
Evaluates end products for understanding.
Checks assignments promptly, making notes to help students if they need further directions and/or remediation.
Meets with students needing additional support. Praises what they have accomplished and offers suggestions to make their work better. Encourages them to do their best, to take ownership of their work. She asks them how they think they could improve, striving to be the student they want to be.
3e. Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness
- Lesson adjustment
- Response to students
Has shown the ability to make a last-minute adjustments in her lessons based on student need or classroom make-up (i.e., changed the focus for a section of reading due to the possibility that it may be too emotional for her students).
There have been a number of days off due to the weather. It has been difficult to keep the flow going and to keep the curriculum on track. Often Mrs. Wyatt has had to consult with the third grade team to help determine the best way to deliver the required instruction while at the same time not falling behind. By teaming with them, and making some adjustments of her own specific to her classroom, she has been able to combine lessons in a meaningful way in order to stay on track without omitting necessary content. She works very well with her team, and they value her input.
Due to the daily schedule being very rigid in order to keep para pros on their schedule, Mrs. Wyatt accomplishes this critical planning piece with diligence and determination. She is also able to accommodate students who need more time or need extended practice activities.
Makes adjustments in student pairings for “Turn and Talk” when some students do not immediately pair up.
Gives immediate feedback to students during independent work time.
4a. Reflecting on teaching
- Use in future teaching
Reflects on lessons, identifying how she would have changed the lesson by allowing more time, for example, or creating more evenly numbered groups (some groups may have had 5 students while some had 3). She asks herself what she can do better next time.
From observations on student achievement due to the Bookworms curriculum regarding the difficult vocabulary, she revised her approach somewhat to include revisiting the words more frequently, acting them out, giving prompts, and asking the students for examples. Students improved their recall of definitions and were able to do this more quickly. She was able to see much improvement in students’ performance on their tests.
Pays close attention to how students react to her and how they are grasping concepts, making adjustments on the spot or in future lessons.
Records many notes on how she would change the way she is doing something to make it better in future lessons.
Asks for and welcomes new ideas and feedback on performance in all areas, such as how she begins a lesson or how she checks for understanding. Implements suggestions into her teaching.
4b.Maintaining accurate records
- Student completion of assignments
- Student progress in learning
- Non-instructional records
Keeps track of completion of assignments by recording the unfinished assignments by the student’s number. Students can easily check the list to see if they have work to complete.
Keeps scores on a spreadsheet so she can see growth in a particular subject. Each subject is recorded individually. Uses this data to tailor future instruction. For example, used results of spelling/vocabulary test to develop an activity to give students more practice with spelling, since that was where they showed the need.
Keeps non-instructional records within her notes.
4c. Communicating with families
- About instructional program
- About individual students
- Engagement of families in instructional program
Communicates with families through a newsletter informing them of upcoming tests, and where to find study guides and spelling lists, for example.
Makes notes on students’ work so parents can understand the expectation.
Participates in Parent-Teacher conferences and IEP meetings.
Contacts parents, if needed, sometimes catching them after school when they pick up their child. A parent contacted the CT after school hours, and Mrs. Wyatt was able to provide the requested study guide digitally.
4d. Participating in the professional community
- Relationships with colleagues
- Participation in school projects
- Involvement in culture of professional inquiry
- Service to school
Works with the other third grade teachers on daily lesson planning making any necessary adjustments to unexpected changes in daily schedule.
Attends professional development events, PLC meetings, monthly staff meetings, and IEP meetings, making contributions when asked or needed.
Participates in school projects, such as March is Reading month school-wide planning, preparing materials, and implementing activities. Contributes ideas readily. Participated in the Culver’s fundraising night.
Is valued by other staff members in the building: One day while we were conferencing in the hall, two staff members made a point of coming up to me (CS) to compliment Mrs. Wyatt. They felt she was a valuable addition to the building. One even expressed the hope that she would be hired for their school in the future. Another assured me that Mrs. Wyatt asked for and accepted help when she needed it. Another day, a member of the second-grade team knew I was there to see Mrs. Wyatt and made sure to stop in to tell me how highly she thought of her.
Has outstanding collaboration skills with building colleagues. She is open and friendly. She seeks answers to questions and welcomes advice and feedback.
Is always looking for ways to volunteer and lend a helping hand, especially with her third-grade team. Frequently constructs study/practice materials for the team.
4e. Growing and developing professionally
- Enhancement of content knowledge/pedagogical skill
- Receptivity to feedback from colleagues
- Service to the profession
Attends PLC meetings, PD, and other meetings which benefit her students and building.
Does research to find solutions or “other ways” to look at certain situations.
Is very open to feedback, and often seeks it out, to make changes in her performance and to improve her craft. Has changed her strategies at various times for Shared Reading, spelling, or WIN time, for example, to find what works best. Looks over student work as a formative assessment to see what adjustments she may need to make.
One of the staff members who had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Wyatt while she was subbing, informed me (CS) that Mrs. Wyatt had asked for and accepted help when she needed it.
Has invited the school principal to “pop in” to observe and offer feedback anytime that is convenient for her. Requests and welcomes help and suggestions from all colleagues.
Reflects on the Book Worms Program, recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of it compared to other reading programs.
4f. Showing professionalism
- Integrity/ethical conduct
- Service to students
- Compliance with school/district regulation
Is always professional and confidential when discussing student issues. Is discreet when talking with the principal and/or colleagues. She can be trusted with confidential information.
Advocates for the needs of students; assists CT in filling out questionnaires for child studies, offers input of student observations, and so on.
Attends IEPs and learns information about students in order to meet necessary accommodations. Some accommodations might be to read tests and directions to students, allow additional work time, and so on. She treats each child as an individual and supports their needs to become successful.
Conducts herself in a professional manner. Follows district policies and procedures. Shows respect toward all individuals, whether colleagues, parents, or students.
Technology: Use technological tools, operations and concepts to enhance learning
Mrs. Wyatt has an IT degree and uses it readily. She utilizes Chromebooks, the document camera, and the microphone during her lessons. She is always looking for ways to incorporate technology into her teaching.
She engages students in online activities, taking tests online, completing Kahoots, and so on. Her degree enhances her success in the classroom.
Mrs. Wyatt is doing an outstanding job thus far in her student teaching. She is well-liked and respected by the staff at her school. She has been learning a great deal from her CT and others, and works hard on relationships with her students and to ensure her students’ success.