May 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
P1 – Practice intentional inquiry and planning for instruction. Teacher candidates plan and/or adapt standards-based curricula that are personalized to the diverse needs of each student. To me, this standard is about emphasizing the importance of a well-crafted lesson. All of our instructional choices should have a reason that has been carefully examined. Furthermore, those reasons should be supported by principles from research and theory, knowledge of students, and all of the other considerations that go into thoughtful, effective teaching.
For my edTPA lessons, my focus was on intentional inquiry and planning for instruction. The edTPA exemplifies this principle because it asks teacher candidates to truly examine the needs of students in their class and adapt the curricula to meet the needs of a diverse classroom. During my preparation for the edTPA, I brainstormed and researched different ways of teaching gymnastics to make sure many different learning styles were incorporated into my lessons while still maintaining a focus on the learning target.
For example, when coming up with an assessment piece for my edTPA, I kept finding myself using written informal and formal assessments. I struggled with this because I know that not all students display their learning best in this way. End the end I decided to change my formal assessment to a rubric of skills students would need to know and demonstrate. I gave a blank rubric to the students at the beginning of the unit to reference throughout the learning segment as away of self-assessing their progress. For students who are more visual learners, this is a great way to assess their knowledge of the skill by requiring that they demonstrate it. Standards based curricula are meant to be guides to personalize teaching and instruction to the diverse needs of students. Below is a piece reflecting on one of the questions asked in edTPA. The question asks how my instructional strategies and planned supports are appropriate for the whole class, individuals, and/or groups of students with specific learning needs.
May 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process. Teacher candidates inform, involve, and collaborate with families/neighborhoods, and communities in each student’s educational process, including using information about student cultural identity, achievement and performance. This standard addresses how individuals outside the school can be included in the learning process to enhance student learning. The learning process does not need to be exclusive to a teacher and a group of students. It can include any number of individuals from the community. Including community members in the learning process not only gives students a new perspective but can add credibility and authenticity to a given lesson. Further, this collaboration can create more of a bond between students and the members of their local community.
This Friday is Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Guests will enjoy breakfast with one another and meet Head of School Matt Neely, but the highlight is spending time alongside their grandchild in the classroom, at recess, and in the audience while the whole school performs. In the days leading up to the event there is a lot a preparation from the faculty and staff. Since the guests are spending time in the classes, creating an engaging lesson for the both the student and guest to get involved in is very important. Guests will also have the opportunity to see their grandchild perform in an all school performance put on by the music teacher. This event is just one of the ways our school reaches out to family and friends getting them involved in the learning here. Since there are so many guests on campus everyone has a specific job to help the day go smoothly. In years past, as a pre-k teacher, I would be in the classroom with my students and guest. This year as a physical education and fit for life intern I will be helping with recess and transitions of the day. Recess will look slightly different because there will be so many bodies around campus myself and the fit for life teacher will be organizing a game of basketball on the two courts in the cage. This gives the grandparents an opportunity see some of the physical and cooperative skills the students have learned in physical education and helps with space awareness safety.
An idea of some of the preparation that goes on leading up to the event, below is a schedule for the all school rehearsal.
Just a reminder that tomorrow will be our “rehearsal day” for the Grandparents assembly/performance on Friday. Here are the times and various rehearsals:
8:45-9:15 All-school tech (NOT a run-through.) **Please have your children sit at their normal assembly places upon entering, and I’ll call them up to the spots that they will use for the performance. We will start further back than normal, to leave the area in front of the stage open. Don’t worry, Bridget and I will show you where to go. This will hopefully cut down on confusion as everyone enters the Great Hall. On Friday, the children will go directly to their performance spots once they enter the GH.
Here are the small rehearsal times with Lise:
9:15-9:45 Kindergarten/5th grade
9:45-10:15 1st grade/2nd grade
10:45-11:15 Pre-K/3rd grade
(4th grade has already had their rehearsal.)
These rehearsals will be in the Great Hall, with the piano. Feel free to contact me for further clarification.
Thank you so much!
May 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
P4 – Practice the integration of appropriate technology with instruction. Teacher candidates use technology that is effectively integrated to create technologically proficient learners. During our bones unit, the teachers used an iPad app of the skeletal system as a visual add. This was a great tool for providing the students with names and clear view of the structure from different angles. The app allowed us to circle different areas as a student or myself identify a specific bone. Students were pre-assessed through an oral quiz focusing on bone identification. Students viewed an anatomical skeletal diagram projected on the wall using an iPad and the teacher would point to different bones and asked the students if they knew the name of that particular bone and why it is important. The central focus of this unit is, students describe major bones and their role in movement. For example, students will understand the femur supports standing. There are five lessons in this unit. The instructional practices included are cooperative learning, constructivism and advance organizers. Students are assessed on content of the unit through oral quizzes from the teacher using the iPad and a paper diagram. Just like the pre-assessment, during the post-assessment students view an anatomical skeletal diagram projected on the wall using the iPad and the teacher pointed to different bones and asks the students if they know the name of that particular bone and why it is important. For fourth and fifth grade a written exam was given, requiring them to identify 20 bones of the skeleton.
The learning targets build on one another through each lesson. The learning target asks that the students be able to define and identify bones in the body as well as us their bones to perform steps on the agility ladder. This relates to the central focus because being able to identify and name the bones gives student the information to describe each bone. Knowing that bones strengthen using such practices such as agility ladders gives students the information to describe the bones role in movement. Lesson 2 focuses on group instruction and individual activity. Students viewed an anatomical skeletal diagram projected on the wall using the iPad and the teacher pointed to different bones and asked the students if they knew the name of that particular bone and why it is important. This allowed students to participate and engage in the learning of the bones. Some students got up and pointed at the diagram on the wall while others stood up and pointed to their bodies where the bone was located. To get the students active and fully understanding why we need bones, the students rotated through a variety of different steps on the agility ladder. Below is a picture of the app that was used during the unit.
May 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
E2 – Exemplify collaboration within the school. Teacher candidates participate collaboratively and professionally in school activities and using appropriate and respectful verbal and written communication. Collaborating with colleagues is an important part of being apart of a department within a school. Communicating with others benefits students because work with colleagues allows for growth and new ideas in the curriculum. Collaboration is essential in any school. This principle of Hope asks interns to participate collaboratively and professionally in school activities and using appropriate and respectful verbal and written communication. During the winter Olympics, the physical education teachers and the French teacher decided to create an Olympic event that incorporated student research of French names and history of the sports. The process required a lot of collaboration and communication in the weeks leading up the event, making sure the curriculum in French was aligned well with physical education and fit for life curriculum. This required us to meet several time during the week, which at times was hard to match up our schedules.
Allowing yourself to be open to collaboration with colleagues is an important skill in teaching. Sometimes we don’t see something that could be changed or improved because only our eyes have seem them. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to others opinions and ideas, we often create a better product that we could produce ourselves. We do ours students a service by creating lessons and curriculum that are thorough, quality, and unbiased and we do that by collaborating with others. It was a really good learning experience for me having the chance to collaborate without someone outside of my subject area. The event was also a great success. Below are posters students created during French class for the different event stations using there french name. Each poster talks about the history of the sport and asks students some questions. During the event, while students rotated from station to station doing the activity they were also responsible for answering the questions.
May 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
O2. – Offer appropriate challenge in the content area. Teacher candidates plan and/or adapt curricula that are standards driven so students develop understanding and problem-solving expertise in the content area(s) using reading, written and oral communication, and technology. Expanding objectives to challenge students is a good way to improve understanding of a content area as well as create connections with life outside of class. Challenging students has to be done at an appropriate time within student learning. When teaching a new concept, the challenge can’t come too soon or students can become frustrated. Challenging concepts should come when most students have mastered the objectives. During my strength-training unit, we focused on three benefits of strength training. We discussed frequently about the benefits of each exercise and the muscles targeted while they did station work. I emphasized that strength training often consists of using your own body weight. For example, for the triceps and bicep curl station, the weights I did have out were only 2lb, 3lb, or 4lb. Only if students wanted to challenge themselves once they felt comfortable with the movement without weights they could had weight.
At the end of the unit I used an exit slip for formative assessment. I asked the students to name 3 benefits of strength training. Checking in with students with formative assessment is an easy way to make sure students are on track with the learning target. It is beneficial for both students and teacher to informally assess student knowledge. This exit slip challenge showed me that most of the students are able to translate what we have been doing in this classroom to a formal evaluation. However, overall, grades 2 and 3 had a tougher time then grades 4 and 5. This might have been because grades 2 and 3 are not used to this sort of assessment in fit for life or physical education. An oral assessment probably would have been best for those grades. I had the chance to go back to those students and talk with them one on one and received better results orally. This lets me know they need more practice and familiarity with pencil and paper assessments. While I was glad to see they knew how to do the exercises at each of the stations, the challenge was for them to be able to identify 3 benefits of strength training by the end of the unit. In the future I would like to do more pencil and paper exit slips more informally so students feel comfortable with it. It was a good challenge for my students and helped me identify areas of instruction that need more clarification.
What I have attached is a lesson from the strength-training unit. This shows what was covered and references to the learning target throughout the lesson in preparation for the assessment. Strength Training Lesson 2
May 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
P3 – Practice standards-based assessment. Teacher candidates use standards-based assessment that is systematically analyzed using multiple formative, summative, and self-assessment strategies to monitor and improve instruction our students should reflect our curricular aims and standards. When our day to day lessons reflect the standards we are trying to meet, then we can intentionally assess our students understanding of standards. Standards based assessment represents meaningful, intentional, and goal oriented assessments. Practicing standards based assessment can be a reflection of a teacher generated assessment or it can also be a state mandated test that teachers give to students.
In the past couple of weeks, we are doing a lot of fitness testing in the fit for life and physical education classes. This means students are taking part in physical tests such as the pacer, sit and reach, push ups, etc. During this unit, we have been teaching using the Washington State Health and Fitness Standards along with the Fitness Gram Assessment Program. The Fitness Gram is based on health-related fitness and physical-fitness ability. The Fitness Gram covers the standards set forth for teachers in physical education such as component 1.3: Understands the components of health-related fitness and interprets information from feedback, evaluation, and self-assessment in order to improve performance. The assessment consists of the pacer, flex arm hang, sit and reach, push ups and sit ups. Overall, it is a good physical fitness assessment that reflects the standards put forth by Washington State.
Below is a picture of students running the pacer as wells as a picture of a students actual assessment of the pacer. We use this information to compare with the assessment results of the pacer test in the fall and the scores are inputted into their spring reports.
March 14, 2014 § Leave a comment
P4 – Practicing the integration of appropriate technology with instruction. Teacher candidates use technology that is effectively integrated to create technologically proficient learners. This principle relates to integrating technology into the classroom. Throughout my internship, I have really tried to find ways to integrate technology into my lessons. And in doing this, I have tried to be very cognizant to find technology that will actually shape my instruction and make my classroom more efficient. In addition to developing motor skills and nurturing an interest in living an active lifestyle, a major portion of Physical Education and Fit for Life is to get students moving. And I only have a limited amount of time each day to accomplish this. I must be very aware that any technology that I use must be practical and when integrated into Physical Education and Fit for Life, make the learning process more efficient and not unnecessarily take away from the available time to move.
Since I plan on teaching elementary (K-5) Physical Education, I wanted a tool that all my students can use at any grade level, this meant that is was not only to be creativity and innovating but resourceful for my students. Many pieces of technology, such as heart rate monitors, pedometers and active games, have the ability to track performance, allowing students to document and monitor their progress. I recently found and an app called Video Tagger – Performance Assessment, it is a unique and resourceful video analysis and assessment tool that makes it possible to capture and tag student’s physical performance. When finished videotaping, two video montages will be compiled with highlights identified by the teacher that can then be shared with the student. Sometimes it can be hard to explain to the student how they are doing the movement, but this app allows you to show them. This is a great way of working with students whom may need particular help in a movement or for example, showing a student how well their posture was during a pull up. What I like about this app is that it allows for interactive assessment between the teacher and the student. Rather then simply telling them, it can be shown to them!