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CBUP Reflection

Jessica Hatcher

Understanding of Practice
My acute feeling is that I still have a lot of room for growth in all areas of my practice. That being
said, the following are the areas where I feel that I have seen the most growth over this
semester.

Differentiation
Differentiation can still feel like a tricky and nebulous thing. Its something that I understand as
good and desirable in the classroom, but actually executing it is a lot more difficult than I
expected. Going through the process of differentiating instruction for each lesson plan opened
up my eyes and helped me think through the process of seamlessly incorporating it into each
and every class.

In my preface I outlined four different students, one anti-social adolescent who struggles with
appropriate behavior and has an IEP, one impoverished tween who reads below grade level, an
ELL still learning vocabulary, and a gifted and impatient young lady who doesnt want to wait for
the rest of the class to get on her level. For every lesson I had to push myself to consider at
least two of these students and their individual needs.

Sometimes I took care of them by placing them in groups where they would be supported, or, in
the case of my student with an IEP, removing him from the group so that he could focus and
learn independently. An example of this is Lesson Plan Three when placed my ELL with my
gifted student, giving her some extra vocabulary support and giving my gifted student a task. I
also used grouping to differentiate in Lesson Plan Five when I made a space for my student with
an IEP to work independently at the back of the room, allowing him to focus without feeling
frustrated by his group.

Another method I used for differentiation was including lots of scaffolding for all students. Not all
students need the extra help with vocabulary provided in Lesson Plan Threes Maya Angelou
Reading Guide, but at least two of them did, and all students benefit from those supports.

Finally, I differentiated by providing students with lots of choices. For example, in Lesson Plan
Four the students were required to create an illustration that captured the energy of a piece of
text. However, instead of providing the students with my choice of text I gave room for the
students to choose their own. This choice gives the students room to choose a text that they
personally feel strongly about and can understand at their independent reading level. Finally,
the students also have a choice in which of their texts they want to read aloud in Lesson Plan
Nine, meaning that they can read the text that they feel most comfortable with.

Assessment
Assessment is one of the areas where I have had the biggest breakthroughs. At the beginning
of this semester I had no idea how to write an assessment, how to grade it, or how to deal with
the results. I knew the word alignment but I had no idea how to align my assessments with my
objectives. Now that Ive walked through the CBUP process I feel much more confident in my
ability to create aligned and authentic assessments. I am not an expert by any stretch of the
imagination, but I like to think of this as my most improved category.

For my formative assessments I tend towards having the students answer exit card questions. I
try to align these questions with the units essential questions to the best of my ability. For me,
these small post its serve as a check in point so that I can quickly see who does and does not
get it. After looking over these post its when class is over I can prepare a few notes to give the
students the following day as either verbal or written feedback, depending on the scale of
understandings or misunderstandings as shown by the exit tickets.

My other major formative assessments are the pieces of the student's portfolios. While the
students are not required to revise their pieces in this unit, scaffolding the portfolio over time
allows me to check in with the students to make sure they really understand the objectives
before we get too far away from them. I also built in a little extra time for students to then make
small changes if necessary.

Finally, through writing the summative assessment, particularly the rubric, helped me to better
understand how to write a comprehensive, authentic summative assessment. While this
summative assessment is not perfect, writing it helped me to understand the process and the
thinking that goes on behind a summative assessment and I feel very confident about my ability
to improve my summative assessments in the future.

Technology
Part of living in the twenty-first century means using twenty-first century technology. In my unit I
tried to incorporate technology in an authentic, meaningful way. I used Google slides to help me
display information where the students can see it without me having to turn my back on the
class. This will help students to be able to hear me and see my process. I also use the Elmo
document camera for much the same reason. Having an Elmo allows me to model my thinking
and annotating process, showing the students how to make their own annotations in turn.
Finally, I used Google Drawings so that the students are able to create and edit images. I like
the program because it allows students to easily manipulate the parts of an image and also
include images from the internet. Its an easy program to teach and use and, moreover, in my
experience students really enjoy using it.

Development as a Practitioner
As a practitioner I feel that I am making significant progress in the following objectives:

1. Cultivate an imaginative practice that leads you and your students to create original, artful,
and multi-modal self-expressions.

2.d Create opportunities for students to create texts in response to varied audiences and
purposes (IRA/NCTE 4, 5, 12)

In my unit I created interesting and engaging assessments through Google Drawings and
opportunities for the students to work creatively and autonomously. Through their work in this
unit the students would be able to express themselves visually and through both creative and
informational writing. In this way the students would effectively get their feet wet in the different
areas of English Language Arts, all while helping me get to know them as people.

My twenty-first century skill was identifying audience. While I came to this skill late in the game, I
believe that this unit begins the work of making students aware that their work and their ideas
does not exist in a vacuum. Through this project they read and create work that is intendent for
a vast array of audiences and are constantly being asked to be aware of their audience.

Goal Setting for Student Teaching


One of my largest areas of growth needs to be in how I develop the habits of a reflective
practitioner. As an incredibly emotional person I sometimes find it difficult to detach my emotions
from the work that I do, but this predisposition does not serve me well as a teacher. For student
teaching I have designed a reflective system where every day I will ask myself how I feel, what
went well and why and what did not go well and why and then whether or not my emotions are
impacting my understanding of my performance. By going through this reflective practice I hope
to begin to identify not only how my emotions impact my understanding of my performance, but
what is and is not actually working in my practice.