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Copy of Rashmeet's ABQ Junior Portfolio-Queen's University

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Rashmeet Maken

on 1 January 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Rashmeet's ABQ Junior Portfolio-Queen's University

Rashmeet's ABQ Junior Portfolio-Queen's University
In 2008, I received my Master’s degree in Education with the hope that my work will allow me to create lasting change in individual lives as well as a community as a whole. This portfolio is a culmination of my work and struggle to understand about the junior learner.

My primary reason to pursue this course was that, I strongly feel the desire to positively influence and educate children. I feel that one of the major satisfactions of being a teacher is to enrich a student’s life. This is a very profound and satisfying way to spend a day at work. As viewed by Vygotsky, an adult can play a vital role in the process of ‘scaffolding’ the child’s behaviour. Children always need passionate teachers and it is both rewarding and satisfying to ensure that we get connected with them.

As an educator, our main goal should be to emphasize on conceptual understanding of topics along with facilitating connections between current lessons, students' previous knowledge and the usage of educational concepts in real life. We should strive to provide students with a stimulating, challenging, and healthy learning environment that will allow them to become active participants in their learning experience. We should seek to encourage students to enjoy extra-curricular activities and study groups, which I believe, will instil in them a self-directed lifelong learning.

Due to this exceptionally beneficial course, I have learnt many strategies and methods that will help me grow as a teacher and in return benefit my students.

In order to navigate through this presentation just put it on auto show ( full screen recommended for better presentation) or keep on clicking NEXT link at the bottom of the window. Under each 5 Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession as outlined by the Ontario College of Teachers ,there are two relevant assignments that are posted along with a rationale as to why they were chosen and how they demonstrate the particular standard.
The general format is as follows:
1. OCT Standard of Practice
2. Rationale for inclusion of the coursework
3. The coursework, reflection, or activity

Note: To look at the whole transcript you can click at the link “Transcript of Rashmeet’s ABQ junior Portfolio” available at the bottom left corner of the same page.

• To inspire a shared vision for the teaching profession

• To identify the values, knowledge and skills that are distinctive to the teaching profession

• To guide the professional judgment and actions of the teaching profession

• To promote a common language that fosters an understanding of what it means to be a member of the teaching profession.

First Standard of Practice for the Teaching Profession:
Commitment to Students and Student Learning
Members are dedicated in their care and commitment to students. They treat students equitably and with respect and are sensitive to factors that influence individual student learning. Members facilitate the development of students as contributing citizens of Canadian society.
Universal Design of Principles (UDL)

1. Provide students with a stimulating, challenging, and healthy learning environment that will allow them to become active participants in their learning experience.
Learners should be taught that how they can transform accessible information into useable knowledge. Many researchers have demonstrated that the capability to transform accessible information into useable knowledge is not a passive process but an active one. Students should understand the “what” and “why” of their learning. Extra-curricular activities and study groups should be encouraged in the class as these will instill in them a self-directed lifelong learning. By incorporating class discussions, open–ended questions, higher order thinking tasks and co-operative learning, we can facilitate a highly interactive and inquisitive class atmosphere.

2. Engaging students interest and attention.
No individual is the same. All learners have their own strengths, weaknesses and preferred areas of interest. They differ significantly in what attracts their attention and engages their interest. As an educator we should identify their strengths and weaknesses and use alternative ways of teaching to maintain learner’s interest. Learning should be encouraged by using a number of different manipulatives, hands-on activities, various forms of technologies and relating their learning to day to day life.

3. The information should be presented in such a way that all learners can comprehend it.
Each learner is different. They perceive and comprehend information in different ways. Information should be provided in such a way that it should not require extraordinary effort or assistance. So, it is important to ensure that we provide them information in different ways such as using different modalities (e.g. vision, hearing and touch are different sensory modalities). This will not only help the children with particular disabilities but will also help the others to comprehend the information in a better way.

4. Learner should be provided with different options to express.
Learners differ in how they approach their tasks and the way they express themselves. For example, a child suffering from dyslexia might be able to express himself well through speech instead through written text. So, it is essential to provide different ways of expression to the learners as there is no one way which can be optimal for all.

5. Helping the learners to identify and choose self-assessment techniques.
Many individuals feel motivated when they realize that they are making progress and alternatively many loose interests if they are unable to monitor their progress. In a way to develop better capacity for self-assessment, learners should be helped to understand to how to control their emotions and react carefully and accurately. It is important for the learners to choose an optimal self-assessment technique for which they might need a lot of explicit instruction in order to use it successfully.

Artifact 1: Rationale
In order to support this principle, I am adding two artifacts. My first artifact is named ‘My Classroom’. According to C.Roger’s experiential learning theory, every individual has a natural propensity to learn and the role of the teacher is to facilitate such learning. Some of the key points included in this theory are: setting a positive climate for learning and organizing the available learning resources. I feel that four skills which children need while growing up are communication, care, commitment, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Based on Roger’s experiential learning theory and these skill sets, I am interested in creating a classroom that promotes these key features alongwith trust, respect, participation and dignity. I believe that it is important that teachers dedicate a substantial amount of time in establishing and developing the relationships within the classroom. By promoting this, we are nourishing an environment in which students feel comfortable exchanging ideas and becoming involved in the learning. This was something that C. Rogers touched upon in his theory of Experiential Learning. Rogers suggests that by setting a positive climate for learning, along with other classroom criteria, a teacher is facilitates a learning environment where his/her students are willing to participate completely in the learning process. When the student is given opportunity to succeed in a trusted environment (as suggested by C.Rogers), it leads to a sense of competence, and a positive classroom environment is an excellent place to foster opportunities to develop strategies to cope with social and academic demands(as suggested by Skinner). It is during this stage that school plays a vital role, as does a positive classroom environment.

Also, physical environment helps in following fixed procedures, routines, consistency, and fairness on the part of teacher. For example if a teacher will put the student desks in groups this will have the students working collaboratively on many assignments which I believe will instill a feeling of togetherness. Group work is the perfect arena for fostering lifelong skills which are transferable to everyday life. In return this will facilitate in the development of students as contributing citizens of Canadian society. Also, to ensure that I am dedicated in their care and committed to the students, I will make the teacher desk/area approachable and inviting. I will make sure that students know that they can talk to me at anytime and I will post class mottos and quotes around the room reminding them of this. I will also give the students a space of their own (to hang their coats, backpacks, etc.), which shows my respect and support for them.
My Classroom
Artifact 2: Rationale
As per this principle, I will treat my students with respect and equitably. Being treated equally also means that I will treat my students differently depending on their needs in order to give them all equal opportunities to succeed. Every child learns in a different way but usually have a dominant style of learning like a visual learner can optimize his learning by watching videos and working on the computer. By knowing our students’ developmental characteristics, multiple intelligences, and learning styles we can introduce differentiated instruction in our classrooms. Differentiated instruction is the key to maximizing the potential of every student. It supports learning through direct instruction with guided and independent practice at the appropriate level of challenge for each student whereas formative assessment data informs and guides differentiated instruction.

To begin with, we can use assessment to gather information about students’ readiness, interests and learning preferences. Using this information we can differentiate the learning environment, instruction, and assessment and evaluation.

Once we are aware of the strengths and needs of our learners’, we can differentiate our teaching on the basis of:

1. What are they going to learn?
Based on our assessment data we can differentiate our teaching by including accommodations (making changes to the instructional process, the environment or the product expected ) and modifications (teaching and evaluating at a different set of grade expectations). This strategy will help the students to learn according to their own needs, interests, and abilities.

2. How are they going to learn?
As each individual has different learning styles, we should inculcate different teaching strategies to accommodate everyone. For e.g., the auditory learner learns best by hearing and prefers talking out loud, discussion, lectures etc. ; the kinesthetic learner learns best by doing hands-on activities and usually likes to draw and write. We should seek to encourage students to enjoy extra-curricular activities, use of various forms of technologies, and study groups, which I believe, will instil in them a self-directed lifelong learning.When the students receive the appropriate levels of teaching and support it helps us in increasing their motivation and achievement.

3. Learning Environment:
Both heterogeneous and homogeneous groupings are important to meet the needs of all the students in a classroom. As a teacher, whenever we feel that some students need help in understanding a particular skill or concept, we can form a small and temporary group. Teaching in this kind of a group can be very effective and also an efficient use of time. Also, it provides a forum for differentiating our instruction to meet the diverse needs of all our students.

To support this viewpoint, I am adding another artifact on ‘Universal Design of Principles’.
Universal Design of Principles is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

Characteristics of my classroom

1. Students’ desks:

Although junior age students are beginning to think of others, they are still very self-centered. In order to overcome this, we should encourage students to enjoy co-operative games and study groups, which I believe instills in them a self-directed lifelong learning. For this reason, I have placed the student desks in groups because I will have my students working collaboratively on many assignments. Carpet floors should be there so that chairs don’t make loud noises when they are moved around into different configurations (individual work, small group work, class discussion circle, etc).

2. Guided Reading table:
There is also a Guided Reading table in the back of the classroom. I will use this table for working with small groups of students, while still being able to watch the rest of the classroom.

3. Teacher’s desks:
The placement of teacher’s desk is an important part of classroom management. I have kept the teacher's desk in a corner of the classroom from where I will have the clear view of all the students.

4. Whole group and carpeted area:
I have also included a whole group and carpet area. Along with the benefits of the collaborative work, this area will provide students with a stimulating, challenging, and healthy learning environment that will allow them to become active participants in their learning experience. This area would be used in the mornings when the students will come to the classroom and share the news with each other. It will also be used for independent or shared reading.

5. Books, storage, and display:
I have set up shelves for the books and placed storage and display of materials and resources near the work areas and around the periphery of the room for the easy access by all students.

6. Audio-visual equipment and computer technology:

On cognitive front,I feel that a child at this stage shows an evidence of organized and logical thinking and they tend to develop the ability of performing multiple tasks. We should encourage them by using different manipulative, hands-on activities, various forms of technologies and relating their learning to day to day life. For this reason, if possible, I will have a bank of computers in one area to facilitate the learning of students on technology. I have placed the computers close to the teacher's desk in order to be able to monitor the students on the computer and make sure that they are on task. I have placed the whiteboard and the overhead projector right in front for the best advantage and use for the children. I will also make sure that all these equipments are close to the electrical outlets.

7. Room on the classroom walls for student work:

I have placed the bulletin boards and word walls for the students to display their work. All the wall space available for the display has been considered.

Second Standard of Practice for the Teaching Profession:
Professional Knowledge
Members strive to be current in their professional knowledge and recognize its relationship to practice. They understand and reflect on student development, learning theory, pedagogy, curriculum, ethics, educational research and related policies and legislation to inform professional judgment in practice.
Third Standard of Practice for the Teaching Profession:
Professional Practices
Members apply professional knowledge and experience to promote student learning. They use appropriate pedagogy, assessment and evaluation, resources and technology in planning for and responding to the needs of individual students and learning communities. Members refine their professional practice through ongoing inquiry, dialogue and reflection.
Fourth Standard of Practice for the Teaching Profession:
Leadership in Learning Communities
Members promote and participate in the creation of collaborative, safe and supportive learning communities. They recognize their shared responsibilities and their leadership roles in order to facilitate student success. Members maintain and uphold the principles of the ethical standards in these learning communities.
Fifth Standard of Practice for the Teaching Profession:
Ongoing Professional Learning
Members recognize that a commitment to ongoing professional learning is integral to effective practice and to student learning. Professional practice and self-directed learning are informed by experience, research, collaboration and knowledge.
Artifact 1: Rationale
In order to build a good foundation of knowledge about the junior student development, learning theory, educational research, we need to explore what the learning theorists have to say about the nature of the learner at this level. Educational researchers have been working for many years to understand how learning occurs and what factors affect learning. Each research perspective provides insight about the learner, but more importantly it provides teachers with information about how to provide meaningful experiences for their students. Knowledge of theories of learning helps teachers come to an understanding about their own beliefs about how children learn. Every student differs in academic ability, background experience, attitude, values, motivation and culture, all of which have important influences on students’ learning. As a result, it is my responsibility as a teacher to utilize various teaching strategies in an effort to reach each student. By differentiating my teaching models, it will provide each student with diverse means of learning. It is crucial that I refrain from teaching with methods that only benefit those learners whose styles reflect my own, and instead focus on remaining students’ diverse learning styles and teach using those styles. Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences promotes teaching in this fashion. He calls attention to the seven differing styles of learning, (linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, intra-personal and interpersonal) and suggests that there are a number of distinct forms of intelligence that each individual possesses in varying degrees (Gardner, H.)
three principles of Gardner for successful learning
1. Individuals should be encouraged to use their preferred intelligences in learning.

2. Instructional activities should appeal to different forms of intelligence.

3. Assessment of learning should measure multiple forms of intelligence

If a teacher is aware of these three principles Gardner has established, they will not only succeed in engaging their students, but also promote a learning environment that fosters confidence in students’ abilities and encourages the development and exploration of different learning styles.

While going through the work of educational researchers, I felt that it can help us lay a solid theoretical foundation in order to support its practical application in our classrooms. This will not only provides a network of support to help in our choices in the classroom, but can provide a framework from which to build as we learn about other approaches and incorporate them into our pedagogical toolkit. In this assignment, I’ve attempted to bring together a few theorists work, that together serve to frame many of the classroom practices that I see as holding promise to benefit student learning.

Artifact 2: Rationale
All the activities I completed during this course have furthered my professional knowledge. After reading many of them, I became familiar with important education-related legislation, as well as ministry documents. For example, for the Grade 5 Unit on Geometry I identified overall and specific objectives before designing the lesson. While planning a unit of study it is important to go through a process referred to as backwards design. With backwards design, teachers plan a unit of study by setting goals before choosing skills to teach. These goals are based on big ideas set out in curriculum expectations and are often related to engaging activities that are meaningful to students. While using backwards design, at first I considered that where I want my students to be when I am finished. In other words, I planned the end of the unit first, and then created the scaffolding I needed for my students to be successful on the culminating activity.

As a junior grade teacher, I believe that our primary focus should be on problem solving approach in order to develop a better understanding of big ideas. It helps the students to become more confident as problem solving emphasizes on conceptual understanding of topics along with facilitating connections between current lessons, students' previous knowledge and the usage of educational concepts in real life. It also helps students to promote the collaborative sharing of ideas and strategies. It helps them to use critical thinking skills to answer a question. As a teacher, it helps us to assess students’ understanding of concepts.

I feel that as a teacher we should plan of what students are going to learn around each big idea, which can help students to connect their learning. After reading all the information available in the various education related ministry documents, my belief of role of overall/specific expectations has been reinforced. I will always try to inculcate this approach in my class.

The great thing about the unit plan we completed for this course was that we went step by step learning how to create a unit and outlined what are the important components. This unit plan is a commitment to professional practice because I had to consider appropriate pedagogy, assessment and evaluation and resources for planning, as well as I made corrections along the way showing I can refine my practice through reflection and feedback.

First, we were asked to choose expectations from our curriculum documents and cluster them for the unit. Choosing expectations from different subjects and using them all in one unit plan is beneficial because the student can begin to apply learned skills from one subject to another and see why the skills are important. For my unit, I began by choosing the overall and specific expectations for the Geometry topic and then looked in the language, dance, Social studies, and Visual Arts curriculum for a way in which students could communicate their information. Here, I am showing my commitment to professional knowledge because I am planning for student needs and using the appropriate assessment and evaluation to promote student learning.

Artifact 1: Rationale
In school, much attention is being given to the use of technology in instruction. Some technology projects have been designed as part of a programme of curriculum development. Increasingly, attention has gone into providing access of resources through the internet and school-linking projects in which e-mail or computer conferencing techniques are used in school-to-school exchange. Technology is also being used to effectively deliver class lessons that actively engage the students. When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast. The student is actively making choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons. Moreover, when technology is used as a tool to support students in performing authentic tasks, the students are in the position of defining their goals, making design decisions, and evaluating their progress.

The teacher's role changes as well. The teacher is no longer the center of attention as the dispenser of information, but rather plays the role of facilitator, setting project goals and providing guidelines and resources, moving from student to student or group to group, providing suggestions and support for student activity. As students work on their technology-supported products, the teacher rotates through the room, looking over shoulders, asking about the reasons for various design choices, and suggesting resources that might be used.

One challenge for a junior teacher is to find and use technology in the classroom in a way that enhances his/her teaching. In the age of technology we live in, there is no possible way that a teacher could be expert in all of the potentially useful tools. Teachers must gain a comfort, not with the technology tools, but rather with the idea of being a learner. With this mindset, every new piece of technology is not a barrier to understanding, but rather an opportunity to engage as a co-learner with students. In the junior classroom, many students have technical skills beyond what their teachers may have, but what they need help with, is the understanding about the value of different technologies, and how to best use them for enhancing the students learning. In order to best decide how and where technology-based learning can best fit and be leveraged in the junior classroom, the teacher inquiries and reflects on choices as to their effectiveness.

As mentioned in the text for this course, “keeping up with the unpredictable and rapidly changing technological landscape is an exciting and challenging task for teachers” (Schwartz & Pollishuke, 2013). This quote sums up this reflection perfectly. Because of the ongoing changes in technology as a teacher I must be committed to this standard of practice by constantly learning about these changes and applying this learning to the classroom.In the following assignment, I’ve created a list of technologies which I can use in my class. Besides each technology, I have also indicated that how it can be incorporated in the classroom.

Artifact 2: Rationale
Teachers are responsible for planning learning activities that are based on the Ontario Curriculum. They are also to ensure that each student is able to find a way to demonstrate that learning. Having a set of learning goals and related success criteria to accompany a unit of study is a good way to approach this. In addition, at the conclusion of a unit of study, having a rich culminating assessment task that is differentiated for all students can help in ensuring that all students are successful. It is a tactile activity that differentiates instruction by the teacher choosing which "role" is right for each student in the group. As a new teacher when I think of the task of creating a unit plan I feel slightly overwhelmed, as it’s hard to know where to begin. I think of how to start the unit, end the unit and ultimately how to assess the unit and how I am going to get my students from point A to point B. We were asked to come up with our culminating task. It’s important that teachers plan with the end in mind. This way the expectations for the students are clear and teachers can help students be successful because they know what they want their students to learn. As teachers, we can ask ourselves questions like, “what knowledge do my students need in order to understand this unit?” and “how will students communicate their knowledge and understanding of this unit?” These questions will help refine our unit and keep us on track to get to the final goal. As well, this allows us to think of students with special learning needs like ESL and special education. We can look at the final task and come up with differentiation strategies to get them to the end. Hence, differentiating and using the appropriate culminating task is all part of this standard of practice.

In the following assignment, the culminating assessment for a Grade 5 Geometry unit was developed, along with the rationale , related success criteria, and the rubrics. While planning for the culminating task and responding to the needs of individual students and learning communities, I have used appropriate pedagogy, assessment and evaluation, resources and technology.

Ken Robinson says Schools Kill Creativity (video)

I decided to include this TED talk by Ken Robinson, because I strongly believe that some of the ways that we have been teaching our students in the past and present, have been killing creativity in service of teaching them "to the test"."We are educating people out of their creativity," Robinson says. I have found this video to be extremely inspiring and motivating. Creativity should be fundamental in teaching and it is something I personally strive to infuse into my lessons and something I encourage from my students. This TED video is worth watching.

Artifact 1: Rationale
The reason why I have included this assignment under this principle is because as stated in the principle, in order to facilitate student success it is very important to know them, and we can do so by developing class and individual profiles. This will further facilitate in creating a collaborative, safe, and supportive learning environment. In order to achieve our instructional goals we need to know our students’ needs, interests, and abilities. By identifying these aspects amongst our students, we as teachers can mould our teaching strategies accordingly. We should build a close relationship with our students by showing interest in them and their lives. When we are able to create a collaborative learning environment in the classroom, it leads to more students achieving their potential.

By developing a class profile and individual student profiles when necessary, the teacher establishes informative and insightful references to guide the selection of effective teaching and learning strategies and interventions to maximize all students’ achievement, as appropriate in the context of each student’s individual learning and growth continuum.
Learning for All,K-12, Draft document, 2011, page 45

Artifact 2: Rationale
Developing this timetable was a challenge, but also an opportunity to develop an understanding of proper planning, policy, and structure. I enjoyed the leadership component that was inherent in this assignment, and having a greater sense of how the junior day is structured. This assignment helped me to understand about the whole planning which is involved while creating a timetable. It helped to make me aware of how crucial it is to have a well developed timetable that allows for long uninterrupted block of learning that maximize instruction time. Use of time in the junior classroom is an ongoing challenge for the teacher. Eliminating confusion during transition times as well as avoiding unwanted interruptions is essential to maximizing on-task and instructional time. Being able to speak to other junior teachers about how they plan their timetables, and realizing where there can be some flexibility, helped me a lot while I tried to create my own timetable. A timetable will help to create a routine and schedule that promote optimal student learning and allows us to fulfill curriculum requirements. . Learning takes time and the teacher must exercise flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the junior learner.


By considering both individual learner and class profiles as living documents, we can do more thoughtful and supportive planning throughout the school year. Creating class and individual profiles helps the teacher in knowing their students and reflects on who they are and how they learn. This further helps the teachers in making differentiated instruction (DI) possible. In the beginning of the year, information can be gathered from various sources like a student’s previous teachers’ records, from his or her parents, as well as formal sources, such as the Ontario Student Record. The information gathered provides a baseline that informs further assessment, the results of which can be used in developing a student profile and/or a class profile.

It is an essential practice which should be completed at the beginning of the year as individual and class profiles help us to identify the individual and collective strengths, needs, challenges and interests of the students in our class. This information helps us in personalizing how we teach them. Based on this information in the beginning of the year we can select effective instructional strategies, supports, resources and interest-based topics for individual students and the class as a whole.
It is important that we maintain these profiles throughout the year. We should consider them as live documents and keep on updating them as teaching-learning is an ongoing process. Most importantly junior learners at this age are growing rapidly both in terms of cognitive and physical growth. A change in their interests and talents can be identified while updating their profiles. By identifying these changing patterns amongst their students, teachers can mould their teaching strategies accordingly.
Also, at this stage students’ learning styles and preferences changes. As a teacher, we should keep on collecting and summarizing the information gathered about the students through various resources like diagnostic and summative assessment. This will help us as teachers to identify the changing patterns in our class and further enable us to personalise how we teach them.

My question is that – Students are growing at a very rapid rate and consequently their interests, learning styles, and preferences are transforming at an expeditious rate. So, when and how often we need to update their profiles?

Artifact 1: Rationale
One of the newest areas for professional learning in Ontario is the area of assessment. With the implementation of Growing Success as a policy document, teachers around the province have been engaged in learning about the various facets contained within it. As they come to understand the ideas such as Assessment For/As/Of Learning, the use of Learning Goals, Success Criteria and Descriptive feedback, and how to assess and report in a criterion based system, rather than a norm -based one they have changed what happens in the classroom.

Parents have a vested interest in the welfare of their child at school. They want their child to be safe, happy and enjoy the learning experience. Although many parents work today and often there may only be one parent in the home, including them in the education of their child is critical.
Research shows that children do better in school when parents talk often with teachers and become involved in the school. Reporting and conferences with parents are only two ways of communicating with parents. It is important for a teacher to develop methods for ongoing communication so parents feel valued and know what their child is doing at school.

This assignment helped to show how some of those changes could be communicated to the parents of the children in the system. This not only helps them to understand the changes in the province, but also serves to give the teachers a way to consolidate and demonstrate their newly minted understanding of the changes in assessment policy

Artifact 2: Rationale
Principles of Assessment

The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning. The following seven fundamental principles lay the foundation for rich and challenging practice. When these principles are fully understood and observed by all teachers, they will guide the collection of meaningful information that will help inform instructional decisions, promote student engagement, and improve student learning. The Seven Fundamental Principles of Assessment to ensure that assessment, evaluation, and reporting are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of learning for all students, teachers use practices and procedures that:
•are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;

•support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;

•are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;

•are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;

•are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;

•provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;

•develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

As a continuation of my ideas on professional practice, I have included rationale and examples of how three principles of assessment can be used in my classroom. I believe in transparency in the classroom, and that students should be made aware of my intentions and expectations. These three principles of assessment explore this idea, and how it could be maintained in the classroom.

To ensure that assessment, evaluation, and reporting are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of learning for all students, teachers use practices and procedures that:

 are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;

I believe that technology can bring in transparency in the evaluation and reporting criteria as through technology we can make all the data available to students and parents at all the times. There are various sites available online like http://turnitin.com/en_us/features/grademark, Google Docs, which we can use create, share, and keep all our records.
We can use various resources provided by EQAO and Ontario Writing Assessment which can act as a starting point in helping students understand that why they are being assessed in a way that they are. Junior level students can relate to these resources as they are the original work of students.

 are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
I think that to achieve this goal of providing multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, I can introduce a daily quiz in my junior math class. In this way, I will be able to assess their understanding of the concepts so far and will help me decide that which topics need to be reinforced. This will also help me in determining the individual learners’ strengths and weaknesses. Similar quizzes/tests /small group discussions can be held in all the subjects from time to time which will help students to demonstrate their learning and can help us as teachers in adapting the curriculum and instructional approaches as per students’ needs.

 provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;

Again, to provide timely descriptive feedback I think technology can come in very handy. As discussed above we can use various software available to upload and share the data with the parents and students.
For junior level students, we should put a lot of stress on daily agendas as well. Daily agendas can keep the parents updated and help the students in a clear and concise way by making them aware of what they are expected to do. A regular parent-teacher meeting should be held and apart from these scheduled meeting if the need be, parents should be specially called to provide the feedback about their children. Also, all the tests should be sent home so that parents are aware of where their child is lacking behind and they can help them at home. This will furthermore help in improved learning and achievement.

What I have gained from this ABQ Junior Course?
Being new to Canada and this being my first Canadian degree, this course has made me aware of how the system of education works here. After doing this course, I feel enriched. I have learnt a lot about the junior learner in terms of their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth; their different learning styles, and also explored how we can use UDL’s and differentiating learning to facilitate the diverse needs of the learner. I also learnt a lot about curriculum, planning, and assessment meant for junior learners. Being an immigrant, learning about Aboriginals and how we can promote their experiences and perspectives in our classroom is something which has left an impact on me. For the same, I would like to explore more about Aboriginals and implement their education strategies in my classroom.

I found few sections of this course very challenging and at the same time they helped me a lot to learn. While interviewing a junior classroom teacher for one of my assignments, I got to know about n number of things which will definitely help me in future. Also, I never knew how the classrooms over here look like before I started with my ‘setting up of classroom’ assignment. I searched a lot for the same and talked to my teacher friends before I came up with my ideal classroom.

Timetabling was another big challenge for me. Since, we used to have different courses and different time allocations for each subject from the board in India; I had to go through all the curriculum documents and all the links provided in the module for the same. Apart from that, I have always found all the links provided to us are very helpful and helps us to not to get lost on the web.

There are many connections that I have made in the course between theory and classroom practice and one of them is ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’. Bloom’s taxonomy is indeed a great tool with which the learning objectives can be achieved.
Preparing a shared reading lesson plan for the junior students was another learning point for me. I particularly gained insight into how to consider the infusion of cross-curricular literacy into subject areas.

Also, last but not the least I have learnt a lot from the discussion posts where all my colleagues shared their experiences and views. I also loved to read our instructor’s valuable posts discussing about various aspects of junior students.

All in all, I feel I grew as an educator and gained many insights that will serve me well in the profession, whether it’s in a junior classroom, senior class or any other role. I think I now have a broader based understanding of learners and what teachers can do to help with their success.

Well rounded learners come from experiences, learning from others around them as well as putting their thoughts into what they are learning and giving it meaning. I would like to apply all of the learning I’ve done in this course into a junior classroom. I want to start applying and putting into practice many of the ideas and concepts that I’ve learnt in this course. Apart from this, I am planning to take up FSL part1 in the winter session. I feel that by taking up this course my horizons will be broadened and it will help me to secure a job.

My Educational Goal
Geometry Fiesta

To ensure that assessment, evaluation, and reporting are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of learning for all students, teachers use practices and procedures that:

My culminating activity for the geometry unit will be ‘Geometry Fiesta’. Stations will be set up around the room and the students will shift from one station to another.


1. Geometry vocabulary game:
Students will play a geometry vocabulary game.
Game Directions: Draw a spinner. Place a paperclip in the center of the spinner and place your pencil on the center. Spin the paperclip with your finger. Perform the task the paperclip lands on for your team. If they guess the vocabulary word in under a minute, your team gets a point. Continue taking turns. The first team to reach 10 wins.

2. Where are they?
Use the isometric grid paper to find the different polygons.

3. Egyptian Rope:
The ancient Egyptians were said to make right-angled triangles using a rope which was knotted to make 12 equal sections. What regular shapes can you make - that is, shapes with equal sides and equal angles? (You must have a knot at each corner.)

4. Shape Recipes:
Students will fill a shape card and write the recipe (pattern blocks used) for their creation.
 Fill the shape with pattern blocks so it makes a large triangle or hexagon.
 Create a recipe for the shape. Include the “ingredients” and directions for filling the shapes.
 Repeat for the second shape.
 See how many different ways you can fill the shapes.

5. Secret Structure:
Students will use pattern blocks to create a structure behind a book or file folder. Have the student describe the shape to his/her partner and reconstruct the shape.

Rationale for the Culminating activity
As a culminating activity for my unit geometry, I have chosen this ‘Geometry Fiesta’ because I feel that students will enjoy doing various activities available at different stations and also this task will allow them to successfully demonstrate what they have learned. This task will be a good fit for students and their learning styles and needs.
While playing the vocabulary game, they will be able to demonstrate that how well they have understood the various terms involved in 2 D geometry. Also, while drawing different shapes on the isometric paper they will use their knowledge about the properties of different shapes and how they are classified on the basis of sides and angles.
Egyptian rope activity will further help the students to show their understanding about triangles classified on the basis of their sides and angles. During this activity they will asked to use mathematical terms like equilateral, scalene, obtuse, acute, etc. while describing the triangles they have made. Secret structure and Shape recipe activities will help the students to identify, sort, and classify different polygons. All this time students will be asked to use mathematical terminology which they have learnt in the unit. While they will be working on these stations, students will be marked using the rubric given above.

Success Criteria
Two dimensional Shapes and Cartesian plane (Grade 5)
To support the specific expectations of my unit, I am listing the following success criteria. In order to experience success, students need to:
 distinguish among polygons, regular polygons, and other two-dimensional shapes;
 identify acute, right, obtuse, and straight angles;
 identify triangles (i.e., acute, right, obtuse, scalene, isosceles, equilateral), and classify them according to angle and side properties;
 compare grid systems commonly used on maps (i.e., the use of a coordinate system based on the cardinal directions to describe a specific location).
The ABQ Junior course was a valuable learning experience. It has helped me to gain a new perspective about the junior learner. I have learnt a lot of new things, and was able to apply concepts from other contexts to the idea of the junior learner and how the junior classroom is different from the others. The ideas from my colleagues have been particularly beneficial because they offered different perspectives for Science, Language, Math and Arts areas. I have felt an immense amount of support from all of the positive responses and feedback, both for my postings and for others. I am grateful for the many resources which my classmates have shared and look forward to implement many of their ideas into my own practices. I feel I’m better prepared to address learning needs in any classroom now through the application of ideas, principles, theories and strategies that were learned with my colleagues in the course.











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Bodrova, E. & Leong D.J. (1996). Tools of the mind: The Vygotskian approach to early childhood education. Merrill: Ohio.

Chard, S.C. & Katz, L.G. (2001). Project Approach.

DeVries, R. (2004). Why the child’s construction of relationships is fundamentally important to constructivist teachers. Prospects, 34(4), 411-422.

Gardner, H (1982). Art, mind and brain: A cognitive approach to creativity. Basic Books: USA.

Isenberg Joan Packer, Jalongo Mary Renck (2001) Creative Expression and Play in Early Childhood 3rd ed. Merrill Prentice Hall, Ohio.

Nixon D, Aldwinckle M (2003) Exploring: Child Development from three to six years2nd ed. Social Science Press, Katoomba.

Nixon D, Gould K (1999) Emerging: Child development in the first three years. 2nd ed. Social Science Press, Katoomba.

Table of Contents
Slide #
Introduction 2

The Purposes of the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession

First Standard of Practice (Commitment to Students and Student Learning) 5

a. Rationale for Artifact 1(My Classroom)
b. Layout of My Classroom
c. Characteristics of My Classroom
d. Rationale for Artifact 2(UDL)
e. Reflection on Universal Design of principles

Second Standard of Practice (Professional Knowledge) 11
a. Rationale for Artifact 1(Learning Theory Belief Statement)
b. Reflection on Learning theories
c. Rationale for Artifact 2(Unit Outline)
d. Reflection on Unit Outline

Third Standard of Practice (Professional Practices) + Video 16
a. Rationale for Artifact 1(Technology)
b. Reflection on Technology
c. Rationale for Artifact 2(Culminating Activity)
d. Reflection on Culminating Activity(Geometry Fiesta)
e. Success Criteria for the Culminating Activity
f. Rubrics for the Culminating Activity

Fourth Standard of Practice( Leadership in Learning Communities) 22

a. Rationale for Artifact 1(Class and Individual Profiles)
b. Reflection on Class and Individual Profiles
c. Rationale for Artifact 2(Timetable)
d. Reflection on (Timetable)

Fifth Standard of Practice (Ongoing Professional Learning) 27

a. Rationale for Artifact 1(Parent Brochure)
b. Brochure
c. Rationale for Artifact 2 (Principles of Assessment)
d. Reflection on Principles of Assessment

Reflections 33
Conclusion 33
Educational Goals 33
References 34


Level: Grade 5 Mathematics
Unit: Geometry and Spatial Sense
Topic: Two-dimensional shapes and Cartesian plane
Timeline: Ten, 60 minutes period

Overall Expectations
By the end of this topic, students will be able to:
 identify and classify two-dimensional shapes by side and angle properties;
 identify and describe the location of an object using the cardinal directions.

Specific Expectations

Geometric Properties
- By the end of Grade 5, students will:
 distinguish among polygons, regular polygons, and other two-dimensional shapes;
 identify and classify acute, right, obtuse, and straight angles;
 measure and construct angles up to 90º, using a protractor;
 identify triangles (i.e., acute, right, obtuse, scalene, isosceles, equilateral), and classify them according to angle and side properties;
 construct triangles, using a variety of tools(e.g., protractor, compass, dynamic geometry software)

Location and Movement
- By the end of Grade 5, students will:
 locate an object using the cardinal directions (i.e., north, south, east, west) and a coordinate system,
 compare grid systems commonly used on maps (i.e., the use of numbers and letters to identify an area; the use of a coordinate system based on the cardinal directions to describe a specific location).

Cross-curricular Connections

Visual Arts :
Geometric shapes can be used in ‘Abstraction’- a technique of depicting observable phenomena such as figures, places, or objects in a simplified or modified form.

Resembling a shape or pattern from geometry (e.g., triangle, straight line)

Social Studies :
Analyze maps, and construct simple maps using appropriate elements (e.g., showing the location of parks, bodies of water, or shopping districts, using co-ordinate grid and cardinal directions)

Reading, writing, and oral communication.

Learning skills
 Responsibility
 Organization
 Independent and group work
 Self-regulation
 Understanding and Application
 Problem Solving
 Co-operation
 Positive attitude
 Communication Skills

Rationale for Unit Outline:
In this unit I have focused on making students identify and classify two-dimensional shapes by side and angle properties and describing the location of an object, using the cardinal directions. Students can look for various examples of different kind of two-dimensional shapes in and around the classroom. They will also look for different kinds of angles around them and will be able to realize that how angles are part of our day to day life. We will also discuss about few particular examples like: What is the measure of the angle the door makes with the floor? What if it does not make a right angle? How will it look like? Is it practical to have a door with any other measure of an angle?
They will be asked to make a presentation/project on different kinds of two-dimensional shapes (used in their daily lives) classified on the basis of their sides and angles.
They will also analyze maps and in a group construct simple maps using appropriate elements e.g., showing the location of parks, school, or shopping malls, using co-ordinate grid and cardinal directions.
As discussed in the ‘Choices Into Action’ document, this unit will help students to develop their learning skills, interpersonal skills, and knowledge and skills in the area of career planning. They will be able to apply what they have learnt in this unit to other areas of their lives. They will also learn how to work cooperatively and productively with a wide range of people while respecting their diverse cultures. Students will also learn self-discipline, personal and social responsibility.


Different learning theories like Behaviourist, Social Cognitive, Cognitive, and Constructivist used for teaching young children are linked to each other. Behaviourist theories are based on the principle of stimulus and response. These theories help in learning of a child by using the behaviourist ways of classical and operant conditioning. Social Cognitive theories are an extension to the behaviourist notion of observed behaviour and relating it to a social context. Cognitive learning theories focus on the thinking processes of the learner rather than the behaviour of the learner. Cognitive theory tries to explain human behaviour by understanding the thought processes. According to Constructivist learning theories, learning is an active process of constructing knowledge rather than acquiring it. Together, the four learning theories present a highly complex knowledge base of how individuals learn.

Lev Vygotsky’s socio- cultural theory relates to both cognitive and social development and this one closely resonates with my beliefs as well. Vygotsky developed his theories around the same time as Jean Piaget, yet he emphasized the importance of relationships and interactions between children and more knowledgeable peers and adults. He believed that children’s cognitive understandings were enriched and deepened when they were ‘scaffolded’ by parents, teachers or peers {the term scaffolded was first used by Wood, Bruner and Ross (1976)}. Vygotsky also believed that a child learns within social interactions that involve communication and thus emphasized the role of language in the development of thinking processes. Like Piaget, he felt that children are active partners in their own learning and in his view even though thought and language develop independently but they are merged when language is required to express the thoughts. He therefore emphasised the importance of language development, learning and teaching to child’s cognitive development. When you scaffold a building, you support it structurally while internal developments occur. In the same way, we can support children by directing them on the right path while they grow intellectually.

As a teacher, I believe that for junior age inquisitive children, we should encourage them to ask various questions and express their view point on different topics. As viewed by Vygotsky, an adult can play a vital role in the process of ‘scaffolding’ the child’s behaviour. Children always need passionate teachers and it is both rewarding and satisfying to ensure that we get connected with them and this can be done by incorporating class discussions, open–ended questions, higher order thinking tasks and co-operative learning, which will enable us to facilitate a highly interactive and inquisitive class atmosphere. As an educator, our main goal should be to emphasize on conceptual understanding of topics along with facilitating connections between current lessons, students' previous knowledge and the usage of educational concepts in real life. For example, while teaching the topic of ‘Area and Perimeter’ in my class, I had a discussion on what do the students understand by these terms. One of the replies was that ‘the perimeter of an object is its area’. This answer gave me an insight into a child’s mind on how he perceives the two terms. To explain the terms, I took various examples from real life to bring them to the right interpretation, which I believe will be a lifelong learning. We should strive to provide students with a stimulating, challenging, and healthy learning environment that will allow them to become active participants in their learning experience. We should seek to encourage students to enjoy extra-curricular activities and study groups, which I believe, will instil in them a self-directed lifelong learning.

The Purposes of the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession
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