edTPA Reflection Part 1: Content Knowledge and Assessments
Content Knowledge 4.2: Setting Instructional Outcomes
All the instructional outcomes are clear, written in the form of student learning. Most suggest viable methods of assessment.
Assessments 6.2: Designing Student Assessments With an Emphasis on Formative Assessment.
Teacher has a well-developed strategy to using formative assessment and has designed particular approaches to be used.
The edTPA process can be quite daunting for student teachers. However, when equipped with the right professors, resources and attitude the project is manageable and practical for completing a teacher-training program. When I started the edTPA project I decided to break the project into 3 parts. The first part included, determining what the edTPA objectives and requirements were and then based on that deciding what lesson sequence I wanted to use. The second part was implementing the lessons, documenting the process, collecting and evaluating the data. The third part was writing up the commentary for the edTPA tasks and then reflecting on the whole edTPA process. In this post I have included the first part of the edTPA process.
Part One: edTPA Objectives and Lesson Sequence
First I thought about what content I wanted to use for edTPA, Elementary Math or Literature. I decided to plan my lesson sequence around a poetry unit I was just about to begin with my 4th and 5th grade students. Once I made this decision I then downloaded the edTPA handbook and rubric for Washington State Elementary Literacy. I read through each of these several time to familiarize myself with what information I would need to include in my lesson sequence.
Second, I examined the curriculum I use for literature in my class, Houghton Mifflin Reading. I previewed the poetry unit objectives, learning targets and assessments and then made modifications to those centered on what I know about my students.
Based on all of the student’s prior academic learning and personal, cultural, and community assets I decided that my students would need explicit instruction, engaging materials, practice, cues, questions and organizers during each lesson. While brainstorming and drafting the lesson sequence I noted how I would teach information in a variety of ways to meet the varied learning needs of my students. I made sure to provide them not only with a visual representation of what they would be doing but also hands on activity like note taking and learning tasks to learn content. I designed posters and graphic organizers that aligned with the learning targets and academic language (see figure 1.1).
Third, I wrote up four detailed lesson plans that included, a mirrored pre-assessment, scripted teaching instruction, activities, and informal/formal assessments. I made sure that each lesson’s learning target built on the next lesson’s learning target, in order to meet the learning standards and central focus of the poetry unit. Throughout the lesson sequence I provided four formal assessments: a mirrored pre-assessment, an in class assignment, a homework assignment, and a mirrored post assessment. I strategically planned each one of these formal assessments throughout the lesson sequence to help me determine which students might need more support, decide which areas I would need to review/clarify and evaluate overall class achievement aligned to the lear
I also integrated a number of informal assessments throughout each lesson. Informal assessments comprised of question/answer, class discussion, one-on-one conferencing, and activity interaction as well as exit tickets. My students enjoy filling out exit tickets and I have found that exit tickets are a wonderful way for students to self-reflect what they are learning. On each of the exit tickets I made sure to include a section about the learning target, for example, “explain the learning target in your own words”, a numeric self-reflection of understanding and a question that aligned with the learning task for them to demonstrate what they learned (Figure 1.2). I also gave students an opportunity to share personal reflection or ask a question. This is was a way for me to “listen” to the needs of my class and reflect on how I might need to make changes to my lesson to meet their needs.
Part One Conclusion:
Once I had the lesson sequence planned out, posters, graphic organizers, activities, and assessments planned I emailed them to my classmate to examine. Using her feedback and encouragement I refined a few things on the lesson plans and prepared all of the materials. I was ready to begin part two of the edTPA process.