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Running Head: INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY 1

A Reflection on Instructional Delivery

Aja Harvey

Drexel University School of Education


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Instructional delivery is crucial to student achievement. Today, children are expected to

learn so much more, moving beyond rote memorization of the 20th century, to developing the

higher order thinking skills deemed necessary in the 21st century. This shift in educational ideals

means that approaches to classroom instruction are the most influential step in achieving these

goals. The Danielson framework (2013), divides domain 3- instructional delivery into five

components: communicating with students; using questioning and discussion techniques;

engaging students in learning, using assessment in instruction; and demonstrating flexibility and

responsiveness. Evaluating my own instructional delivery will help me to develop as a teacher

and better serve my students when I have my own classroom.

The first component, 3a- communicating with students, is evident in my lesson plans. I

detail the procedures that I need to share with the students. Outlining them within my lesson

plan not only assures that I know the plan, but also allows me to think over my exact phrasing so

that I can make sure my explanation of the procedures for activities are culturally and age

appropriate. At the beginning of the lesson, I made sure to share with the students that we had

been talking at length about weather over the previous weeks and this day we would continue by

talking about the wind, as well as conducting a wind experiment. When it came time to explain

the procedures and expectations for the prediction and observation activity at the end of the

lesson, I explained the procedure at length and then paraphrased those same directions in a more

succinct manner. Overall, I feel I did very well in communicating my expectations for the

lesson, the subject matter, and all questions and procedures.

I became aware of one possible downside in my approach to communication. I realized

that I had been repeating students’ comments during discussions, which I originally thought was

a good thing to do because it gave students that couldn’t hear, or might not have understood what
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their peers said another chance to take in that information. However, after speaking with my

cooperating teacher and reading more on responsive classroom language, I learned that, by my

repeating students’ comments, I’m indirectly communicating that anything stated in class is only

valid if reaffirmed by me as the teacher. Understanding the idea behind that thought has led me

to reevaluate my language and choice to regularly repeat students’ comments. I have taken to

asking students to repeat themselves rather than repeat for them, an action that I think will not

only allow students a second chance to hear, but the students speaking to really demonstrate they

understand as either need to recreate or paraphrase their statements.

Through questioning and discussion, domain 3b, I tried to get students thinking critically

about wind. Throughout the lesson, I continued to use clear and age-appropriate language to

insure the students understood. I used the essential questions outlined in my lesson plan to frame

our discussions. I would pose these questions to the students, then giving them time to think

before sharing with the class. I also questioned students about the strengths of wind, and using

the wind scale provided in their journals, facilitated application as students had to make

predictions on what wind strength we would see in various types of weather. They then went

into further application as the students were to work with their table members to make

predictions as to how much “wind” they would need to generate to move given objects. The

students had to discuss with their groups and come to consensus on their ideas, leading students

to practice their reasoning and persuasion skills. As the students conducted their tests, I

circulated through each group and continued to question them, asking the reasoning behind

certain predictions and asking them to make a comparison between their prediction and findings.

I think I did well in facilitating questions, but would have incorporated more student-centered
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discussions as I look back at this lesson. While learning clearly took place, I think I could have

taken the students even further in their thinking.

When planning this lesson, I was designing it with engagement in mind. As is seen in

both my plans and my reflection, I wanted to students to really participate in the learning by

experiencing the wind using tools and tests. The higher-level thinking is most prevalent in the

final activity. Making predictions required that, as a group, students needed to make educated

guesses to provide reasonable explanations when questioned on their thinking. There was not

time for students to reflect on their observations as we did not have time to fully complete the

activity, however we did close by making predictions on the strength of wind necessary to move

the school building, which gave the students a more personal connection to the concept. Pacing

overall was off due to the number of students wanting to share and speak during the opening of

the lesson and while we were outside with the wind flags. I do not think it took too much away

from the experience, however, and my intentions to create an engaging lesson for the whole class

was moderately successful.

Assessment for this lesson consisted of the discussion as we made associations to weather

events and the wind scale rating we would likely see at that time. The main assessment of

learning in this lesson consists of students’ work during the predictions and testing of those

predictions. While there was not a plethora of assessment taking place during this lesson, I feel

that the prediction and testing helped to give a most accurate picture of student understanding.

By making educated guesses, students demonstrated their general knowledge of how wind works

and how it acts on objects of varying sizes. Their reasoning further supported that understanding

and through the entire activity, students displayed their ability to observe and record their

findings to use in comparing their predictions to what they tested. In hindsight, I would have
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liked to have been able to include the exit ticket to gain a better picture of the facts students

learned, however, I can say that I am not unhappy with the way things turned out.

Finally, in demonstrating my flexibility and responsiveness, I made notes in my lesson to

include reading the book, time permitting, allowing me to plan more, but adjust if necessary.

Beyond that instance, I did not handle my time as well as I would have liked and had not

accounted for any other possible adjustments that I could have included. In this specific lesson,

I do not feel that my lack of alternative plans was a detriment, as I would have been fully capable

of making unplanned adjustments. However, by not adjusting my time I lost the portion of the

lesson that I think would have truly helped the students to understand the importance of using

what they know to make predictions and compare those predictions to their findings to support

their understanding.

Overall, in comparing this particular lesson to the Danielson framework, I say I fall

heavily in the developing category. I am working hard to really cover these and all domain

components in each lesson, yet I know at times I get excited about one aspect and let other

aspects slip by unnoticed until I reflect. I hope to continue learning from this experience and

experience that has followed it to better manage myself. I know, without my finding the correct

balance that allows me to incorporate every aspect of the framework, that I will be doing my

students a disservice. I will continue to adjust my thoughts and ideas until I reach that point of

equilibrium.
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References

Danielson, C. (2013). The Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument (2013 ed.).

Danielson group & Teachscape. Retrieved from

http://www.danielsongroup.org/framework/.

Denton, P., & Hodges, L. (2016). The Power of Our Words. Turners Falls: Center for Responsive

Schools.