What might I address while discussing what I learned about my students as learners?
Step back and look at your classroom as a collection of learners who each come with unique needs, styles, strength, and weaknesses relative to that content taught during the Learning Segment. Based on the analysis that you have done in the Teaching Event, what are some of the overarching learning characteristics of your students that you now understand better? Some areas to consider might be:
- Common difficulties in terms of approaching learning task
- Differences in motivation or habits of mind
- Common misconceptions or misunderstandings
- Concepts or skills that are challenging your students at this time and why this might be
- Early signs of movement toward understanding and mastery
How specific should I be about what I would do differently if I could re-teach my Learning Segment?
You should help the assessor understand what you have learned about teaching the content of the Learning Segment based on your observation of how your students responded to the instructional strategies and materials and your analysis of student learning. Be specific about any changes you would make if you taught the Learning Segment over. If you would spend more time on one learning task, for example, which of the remaining learning tasks would you cut back and how? How would you use new strategies and materials? Stating that you would have needed more time to accomplish are planned agenda is not a sufficient response to this question.
You might consider some of the following aspects of planning and instruction as you write your reflection. This is not meant to be a complete or comprehensive list:
- Instructional strategies you selected
- How learning tasks were structured or sequenced
- Materials you use
- Explanations you provided, connections you help your students to make among the ideas
- Questions that succeeded in helping students with particular tasks or concepts
- Questions that motivated student understanding
- Key moments in monitoring understanding of the whole class
- Starting points of your students compared to starting points of the curriculum
How specific do my references to research and theory have to be?
The expectation is that you ground your reflection in both your own observations and the theory and research about learning from courses in your teacher education program. You may draw upon specific theories of learning, group work, motivation, conceptions of the discipline you are teaching, classroom management, to name just a few areas. References do not have to have formal citations, but your references should allow the assessor to identify the lines of research for theories that are guiding your reflections. In addition, your discussion related to theory and research should be appropriate to the topic you are discussing and be accurate.
Reflection: How will my response be scored?
For each guiding question, the assessors will assign a score level.
How does the candidate monitor student learning and make appropriate adjustments in instruction during the Learning Segment?
The assessors will examine your daily reflections, your reflection on your Instruction, and your reflection commentary for evidence of how you monitor student learning in relationship to the objectives of the Learning Segment. They will also assess how your reflections help you to make adjustments and modifications to your teaching practices during the Learning Segment that reflect not only time management and generic strategies, but also the learning needs of students and specific support for instruction to meet those needs.
How does the candidate use research, theory, and reflections on teaching and learning to guide practice?
The assessors will examine your reflection commentary for evidence of how you draw upon principles of theory and research to analyze your observations and to make decisions about improving your teaching practice. They will assess both the accuracy and the pertinence of the instructional ideas you have cited as they relate to your students and the evidence in the Teaching Event you have completed.
Pause for Self-Assessment: Reflection
After you have taught your Learning Segment and completed a draft of your reflection section of the Teaching Event, think about your reflection by answering the following questions. You may also want to share your responses with your cooperating teacher.
- In your reflections, what do you find yourself focusing on with regard to your practice? What are the common themes?
- Identify any big ideas in instruction from research or theory that connect to the common themes.
- What role does student learning play in your reflections?
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