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Teaching Portfolio - Junior ABQ

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Anne-Marie Tremblay

on 1 July 2011

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Transcript of Teaching Portfolio - Junior ABQ

Teaching Portfolio CONT564 Commitment to Students and Student Learning Leadership in
Learning Communities Experiential Learning:
incorporates personal involvement on the part of the students
addresses students needs and interests
helps students achieve their personal learning goals
related teaching strategy: providing students with CHOICES Piaget's Philosophy of Education:
students' surrounding environment shapes their learning
relating new information to something students already understand
using students' intrinsic motivation to fuel their learning
related teaching strategy: linking CURRICULUM to the REAL WORLD and students' own experiences My Teaching Philosophy Characteristics of The Junior Learner Inclusion How Do I Learn?
incorporate opportunities for students to determine their learning style/preferences and develop strong learning skills 3 learning theories in line with my teaching philosophy Inclusive Strategies:
establish RESPECT as a classroom rule and expectation from the very first day of school
incorporate CHOICE in classroom activities and assessment
Use differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all students
Use a variety of materials from different cultures
Hold a "world festival" in class
Invite a diverse group of guest speakers
Use think, pair, share and jigsaw activities to ensure that all students have a voice and a chance to express their ideas Benefits:
promotes a secure and non-judgemental environment where meaningful learning can take place
develops a sense of belonging
show students the values of team-work and collaboration
helps build trusting relationships
encourages students to share ideas and thoughts Strategies for Effective Classroom Management:
establishing a classroom routine
outlining behavioural expectations (with clear and appropriate consequences)
engaging students in meaningful learning
using flexible grouping strategies
reinforcing social skills
using differentiated instruction
developing students' sense of ownership and responsibility for their classroom environment Characteristics of a welcoming classroom:
feels safe and secure
has a positive, non-threatening atmosphere
is inviting, uncluttered and organized
displays students' work
has reading/resource material that reflects students' interests and diversity Strategies for building a sense of community:
developing collaboration and team work skills
promoting a sense of inclusion
allowing students to share their culture and values
taking the time to get to know your students (ex: have them write and present an autobiography)
Holding high expectations for all students
Include parents as part of the class community Using effective timetables that:
engage students
incorporate their interests and learning goals
tie learning to the real-world
are cross-curricular and help students make connections between subjects
use learning blocks that allow enough time for meaningful learning
include learning centres where students explore new knowledge individually and collaboratively Creating a Productive Learning Environment Classroom Layout Classroom Rationale:

This classroom layout allows for great flexibility in lesson delivery. You can hold large group instruction at the tables or in the reading centre. There is also lots of storage for materials related to learning centre activities and curriculum subjects. A library is essential to store literacy materials. Books and works of all kinds can be found here to meet the interests of all students in the class. The reading centre is also a quiet place for students to escape to if necessary. The exploratorium is an ideal location to conduct science experiments or small group instruction. It also provides additional space for learning centre tasks. At the back of the class is the PC station with computers for student to use as necessary. Classroom technology also includes a smart board and projector with screen for viewing videos, etc... Furniture used in this space was chosen to be comfortable for junior students and also easily moveable to adapt to different learning scenarios. Large tables were chosen to encourage collaboration and team-work between students. The classroom also contains many cork boards to display student work, posters, anchor charts, etc... Overall, the aim of this classroom is to feel welcoming and organized for meaningful, reflective learning to take place. Curriculum Literacy Strategies:
Modelling literacy skills (ex: Think-alouds)
Learning journals - practice reading and writting skills while incorporating personal reflections on learning
Anchor charts and graphic organizers
Shared, guided and independent writing and reading activities
Literacy learning centres
Collaborating with other teachers to develop stronger lesson plans
resource: eworkshop.on.ca Numeracy Strategies:
designing lessons and activities around "Big Ideas" to increase students' overall understanding and to help them see math as a series of inter-related parts
ex: Big Ideas and Fractions Dewey's Philosophy of Education:
extending schooling beyond the curriculum
helping students develop strong life skills
preparing students for success as adults
related teaching strategy: organizing and encouraging students to participate in EXTRA-CURRICULAR activities Professional Knowledge EQAO Testing Help students prepare for standardized testing by:
providing sample tests for them to try
writing test questions in a similar format as EQAO
reviewing past tests with students
practice how to prepare for tests and share ways to minimize anxiety
get parents involved in helping their child prepare for the test
Adopt a comprehensive approach by helping students prepare for EQAO testing in earlier grades
Provide students will exemplars of different EQAO answers and how they were scored
resource: eqao.ca Engaging students using an INTEGRATED CURRICULUM Strategy - Learning Centres:
contain activities that incorporate multiple subjects
engage students in deep learning
meet students different learning styles and abilities
develop life skills (ex: collaboration, leadership)
incorporate students' interests
encourage students to take responsibility for their learning
develop independent problem solving skills
require students to use variety of skills all at once Strategy - Out of classroom learning Strategy - Clustering curriculum expectations Assessment - Traditional vs. Alternative I am a firm believer in authentic or alternative assessment. It is a great tool to evaluate the extent to which students have learned the material and it allows them to apply their skills to a real-life situation. It also provides students with the opportunity to take risks, make choices about their learning and evaluate themselves. Furthermore, assessments can be more easily tailored to students' interests, learning styles and needs.

Useful strategies to help implement alternative assessments in the classroom.

Choice in the format of summative assessments (ex: oral presentations, written reports, portfolios, etc...)
Journal entries are a very useful way to get students to think about their learning and set personal goals. They also allow the teacher to see where their level of thinking is on a particular topic.
Student conferences are also a great way to personally check-in with your students, get to know their learning preferences and how you can modify your assessments to better meet their needs.

I'm not saying that I would give up traditional assessment forms all together. I think it is important for students to get some practice writing paper and pencil tests since they will be faced with these evaluations in secondary school, university and college. However, I strongly believe that students are able to show their true learning much more comprehensively when they are given the opportunity to demonstrate it using a variety of mediums. 4 step approach:
diagnostic - where students are in their learning
formative - practice new skills, gain solid understanding of new knowledge, inform next steps in instruction
summative - demonstrate student learning & ability to apply new skill/knowledge
reflective - students think about their learning, their strenghts and weaknesses and their next learning goals Professional Practice Example - Summative Task:
incorporates choice and different communication mediums
assesses different levels of Bloom's taxonomy and the different components of the Ontario curriculum achievement chart
linked to real-world issues Meeting the needs of students with IEPs Using:

Accommodations - changes to how we teach the curriculum

Modifications - changes to what we teach and assess Developing strong learning skills Using diagnostic assessments to help meet students needs:

Information from diagnostic assessments, such as journal entries, quizes and discussions, can serve as a useful indicator of the level of thinking and depth of knowledge of students. It gives you a good idea of their understanding of the topic as well as the extent to which they have developed certain learning skills (like writing, reading, collaborating, oral speaking, etc...). These assessments allow you to get to know the specific needs of each student and start to tailor your lessons to meet these needs.

For example, lets say you had an ESL student in your classroom who struggled with expressing their thoughts on paper but could demonstrate his learning clearly through speech. An accommodation you could make for summative assessments would be to have this student provide verbal instead of written answers. Afterwards, you could help him practice writing his ideas clearly. That way, you are developing his literacy skills but still assessing his true learning through oral evaluation.

Diagnostic assessments can also help you determine if a student's level of knowledge in a subject lags behind grade standards. In this case, you could use this information to modify the curriculum expectations that a student is expected to reach. By reducing the number of learning targets, you can help them concentrate on developing a solid understanding of the "big ideas". This will hopefully help them to catch up more quickly, while gaining the learning skills necessary to meet expectations in higher grades. NINE TYPES OF ACCOMMODATIONS
1. SIZE - Adapt the number of items that the student is expected to learn or complete.

2. TIME - Adapt the time allotted and allowed for learning, task completion, or testing.

3. LEVEL OF SUPPORT - Increase the amount of personal assistance with a specific student.

4. INPUT - Adapt the way instruction is delivered to the student (differentiated instruction).

5. DIFFICULTY - Adapt the skills level, problem type, or the rules about how the student may
approach the work.

6. OUTPUT - Adapt how the student can respond to instruction.

7. PARTICIPATION LEVEL - Adapt the extent to which a learner is actively involved in the task.

8. ALTERNATE EXPECTATIONS - Adapt the goals/expectations while using the same materials.

9. PARALLEL/ALTERNATIVE CURRICULUM - Provide different instruction/materials and alternate activities to meet a student’s individual outcomes. Assessment must also be followed by constructive feedback to improve student learning Strategy - Teaching the curriculum and learning skills together

School is about more than just learning curriculum subjects. Students need to develop strong life skills to succeed in adulthood and to live productive lives in today's society.

It is essential that learning experiences incorporate the opportunity for students to develop the personal skills outlined in the growing success document, which include:
Working independently

Students should also develop strong thinking skills that will allow them to solve problems and critically analyze information in any subject or aspect of their life. Bloom's taxonomy is a useful tool to ensure that higher order thinking is incorporated into students daily learning. Assessment tasks should be varied and evalutate different levels of learning Parents as Partners Strong communication with parents can make the learning process more meaningful and productive for students. Establishing a welcoming environment for parents to get involved in the classroom should start as soon as possible. That's why I really like the idea of sending parents a letter or post card even before school starts. It sets the tone for the whole school year and encourages parents to get involved in school activities and to stay in touch with you, the teacher. Newsletters throughout the year are also a great way to share with parents what is happening in the classroom. That way, they are aware of the learning that is taking place and how they can help extend that learning at home. By taking the time to connect with parents through these letters, you are sending the message that they are part of their child's classroom too and that they play an integral part in their child's learning.

Hopefully, by encouraging parents to be active members of the classroom from the very start of the school year, you create an environment where they feel comfortable communicating with you and taking a leading role in their child's learning. It may also open the door for them to volunteer directly in the classroom later on. Example:
Encourage parents to play an active role in their child's learning by helping them with their homework. Send a letter home outlining your classroom homework policy and strategies that parents can use to assist their child in developing strong study skills and a love of learning. Leadership in Learning Communities -
Next Steps:

Learning new ways to create a safe learning community for all students and to promote the values of collaboration and inclusion in the classroom Rationale:
Leadership in learning communities starts by ensuring that you create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment that will engage your students in meaningful learning. The choices you make in your classroom, from its layout to the teaching strategies and materials you employ, help to create a sense of belonging for students. That way, they will feel comfortable sharing their ideas, taking risks and pushing their learning to the next level. The classroom also extends beyond four walls. It is important to include parents and community members as partners in education. They offer new perspectives and experiences that can enrich the learning opportunities students are exposed to. Most of all, being an effective leader means that a teacher is always serving as a model for their students, helping them develop strong learning skills as well as strong life skills, ethics and values. Rationale:
My professional practice revolves around achieving student-centred learning. I want my class to be able to discover information on their own, experiment with new ideas and test out hypotheses. I strongly believe that in order for students to take an active role in their own learning, they need to develop strong problem solving, metacognitive and critical thinking skills that they can apply to any subject and situation. Using an integrated curriculum approach when lesson planning allows my students to make connections between subjects and relate information to the real world. To ensure that students are engaged in the classroom, it is important that they have a choice in what they learn and how they demonstrate their learning. As a teacher, I need to employ a variety of assessment strategies that will allow me to determine the needs of my students and how to meet them. Teaching is also about more than just the curriculum. The learning experiences I create for my students must help them to develop strong life skills as well. One of my main objectives is to encourage my students to have a thirst for knowledge and to become life-long learners. Professional Practice - Next steps:

Practice creating lessons and unit plans that develop students' higher order thinking
Designing assessment strategies to reflect the different learning styles of my students
Learn new strategies and ways to integrate curriculum subjects and tie information learnt in class to the real world Rationale:
My professional knowledge forms the foundation of my teaching practice. Understanding WHO you are teaching is as important as having a firm understanding of WHAT you are teaching. As a teacher in a junior classroom, it is essential to know the emotional, intellectual and social development taking place in this age group. However, we must not forget that each child is unique and develops at their own pace. A main objective of a teacher should be to get to know their students individually and to identify their strengths, weaknesses and grasp of the curriculum. By understanding how each child learns, you can create an educational experience that will propel their learning to the next level. In order to meet the needs of students in a classroom, you must also have a strong knowledge of the material you are teaching. That way, you can design lessons and assignments that will develop students high order thinking skills. A solid understanding of the curriculum will also allow you to adapt your teaching to include more meaningful connections between what students are learning and the real-world. Teaching is a dynamic profession. In order to engage and better relate to your students, you need to continuously gather new knowledge about how they learn and the curriculum you are using to fuel that learning. Professional Knowledge - Next steps:

Increase understanding of the different curriculum subjects through workshops, readings and discussions with fellow teachers
Learn new ways to incorporate literacy and numeracy throughout the curriculum
Increase knowledge of the junior learner through experience, reflection and professional development initiatives Rationale:
All of the decisions I make as a teacher revolve around my students. My goal is to meet their learning needs to the very best of my ability. Reaching this objective begins by getting to know my students as individuals. Their strengths, weaknesses, interests and learning styles shape the next steps that take place in my classroom. By understanding who they are, I can create a learning environment where they feel safe, welcomed, respected and valued. Fostering this sense of belonging encourages students to take risks, share ideas and explore new frontiers in their learning. It also means that, as a teacher, you need to be flexible in your assessment strategies as well as employ appropriate curriculum accommodations and modifications to help meet each student's needs. By believing in my students and putting them first, I can provide each child with the tools and education plan to help them reach success in my classroom. Commitment to students and student learning - Next Steps:
Continue to learn new ways to promote inclusion in the classroom
Gain a stronger understanding of IEPs and how to use modifications and accommodations to better meet the needs of my students
Design lessons that incorporate the different learning styles and interests of my students
Create classroom policies with the input of my students
Include more choices in the tasks and assignments I present to students Ongoing Professional
Learning Strategies:
using formative assessment to inform next step in their learning
developing strong metacognitive skills to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses
creating personal journals where students can reflect on their learning
holding student conferences to set new learning goals
engaging students in the curriculum to develop strong problem solving and critical thinking skills.
encouraging students to become life-long learners
helping students develop strong study skills and the ability to analyze the quality of their work Next Steps in my learning: Reflection on what I have learned in this course:
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