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Educator Portfolio

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Michele M

on 24 November 2013

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Transcript of Educator Portfolio

M. Morenz
Educator Portfolio
Teacher Preparation
Program Experience
Planning and Implementing Effective Instruction
Throughout my years as an educator, I have been able to craft the ideals, practices and values from which I will create a successful, joyful, student-driven classroom.
Educational Philosophy
Classroom Culture
Planning lessons is one of my favorite things about being a teacher! Not only do I get to be creative and thoughtful, but I get to plan amazing experiences for my students! While there are many aspects to teaching a successful lesson, some of the following examples display the overarching aspects of lessons that I value most.
Lifelong Learning
You've heard enough from me. My most valued critic has always been my students. Hear what they've had to say throughout the years.
My Classroom
My Practice
Educator dedicated to creating a learning environment that is:
Children are born with an innate desire for understanding the world around them, and teachers should foster this quality by providing meaningful, enriching, and diverse opportunities for students to explore the unknown.
By maintaining a collaborative and supportive learning environment, my students take responsibility for their learning and build positive relationships with peers, teachers, their communities, and themselves. Engaging and effective standards-based lessons appeal to the multiple intelligences and demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of the learning process.
Celebration and Support
Students are encouraged to frequently celebrate their peers, as well as themselves. A classroom where mistakes are welcomed, students are held accountable for their learning, and growth is celebrated is the foundation for an environment that fosters deep thinking, connections, and reflection.
Students continually reflect on their learning and set goals for improvement.
Communication is one of many integral foundations of a successful classroom.
For this particular assignment, students were asked to provide THOUGHTFUL and SPECIFIC feedback on their peers' writing.
Celebrating Learning
Colorado Alternative Teaching License
Differentiation is a keystone in the teaching profession, and educators must be thorough and intentional when differentiating for each of the children in their classroom. It can be difficult to find management strategies that allow accommodations for both gifted and struggling students; however, this practice is an integral step in helping push all students towards their highest achievement. To maintain a clear and concise visual on where student achievement lies, teachers must strive for assessment practices that outline each student's capabilities, followed by practices that provide ways for students to show their thinking clearly and effectively. As an educator, I strive for instruction that allows each student to find success in their learning. even if that path to success may look very different from one individual to the next.
cultural competency
Any educator knows that assessment is

During my intern year, I placed emphasis on refining my assessment practices as a means to track student growth and proficiency with various content. To me, assessment is the first step towards long-term, backwards designed units. If I know what standards I need to attend to, I can then figure out how my students will be assessed. Whether it's the process or the product, I always begin planning the unit with the diagnostic and summative assessments From there, I can build my learning objectives that directly correlate to daily assessments, which vary from lesson to lesson. Below I have listed and briefly described some of my favorite and well-used assessment practices.

Informal: running records, anecdotal notes, observation during classroom activities. I continually use data from practices such as "checking for understanding" to re-evaluate the current lesson or the lessons to follow. How my students perform can significantly alter the remaining lessons in a unit depending on how much they seem to be "getting it."

Formal: Diagnostic and Summative assessments - When planning diagnostic/summative assessments, I strive for authenticity in order for students to synthesize and apply their newly-gained knowledge. In designing assessments, I try to maintain focus on accessing higher-level thinking. For example, instead of giving a multiple choice test, I would create an open response that engages the application of knowledge.
As an educator, I have been told that I am extremely reflective. Whether it's about a particular lesson, student, management technique, or group of lessons - I am constantly THINKING. How can I make this better? What strategies would improve this particular situation? This personality trait has benefited me greatly as an educator and will continue to help me improve my own classroom practices, schoolwide practices, and collaboration with other educators and peers.

I believe that one of the most impactful things a teacher can do is to be an exemplary model of lifelong learning. Although the teaching profession lends itself to constant reflection and revision of core practices, I believe that it is equally important to be transparent about your learning to your students. Modeling behaviors such as lifelong learning can be impactful in setting high standards for your students as people.
engage with professional teaching networks and broader communities
She prepares diligently for any lesson that she is teaching and is able to effectively teach a lesson with very little notice. - Tiffany Askins, mentor teacher
"Michele has developed easy rapport with students and her care and compassion are evident in her relationships with them. She is creative and strategic in her problem solving around our more challenging students and coordinating implementation with staff."
- Marcia Fulton,
Director of the Odyssey School
"For a tree to become tall it must grow strong roots among the rocks." - Nietzsche
Reflective Thinkers
As an educator, I push my students to understand the incredible value that reflection holds. My students are able to identify not only their successes, but are diligent in making academic and personal goals for the future.
Daily Learning Targets not only provide students focus and clarity for academic content, but steer students towards success in behavioral aspects as well.
Focused Learning
Students who feel cared for and respected by their teacher and peers are more likely to be open and honest about their learning struggles and successes. Encouraging a growth mindset fosters a classroom environment of motivated learners that are cared for. In order to celebrate a student as a learner, I first celebrate them as a person.
I am thankful to have had an array of experience working with children from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

Working with a classroom with 100% English Language Learners presented many challenges for my instruction, and provided me with opportunities for me to think outside the confines of my own brain. This opportunity pushed me to think of creative ways to differentiate so that my students could access information in a meaningful way. Additionally, it opened my eyes to the immense difference in schema and life experience these students came to school with, compared to the more affluent populations I have worked with in the past. Attending to their needs both socially, emotionally, and cognitively was vastly different than anything I had experienced prior, and I am thankful that this time in the classroom with these incredible learners allowed me to begin the lengthy process of helping close the achievement gap in my future students.
Experiential Learning
My entire background in education has been crafted around the ideal of hands-on learning. My experience teaching outdoor and environmental education, followed by years of experience in British Primary and Expeditionary Learning environments have provided me with ample evidence that children learn best whilst getting their hands dirty.
“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”
During the first week of school in 2012, I wanted to create a craft project that exemplified "revision." Students were shown a model yarn balloon, and were given directions on how to construct the masterpiece.
After following the directions carefully, many students discovered that their creations were unsuccessful. This provided a unique, enriching opportunity to discuss the importance and meaning of REVISION. Students reflected on what they may have done incorrectly, shared ideas as a class, and retried the project with a new vision and set of skills to see if their new projects were more successful.
Because students were provided with an opportunity to see revision at work in a physical project, they were able to directly correlate it's importance in each aspect of their learning. Throughout that year we had continually revisited our "balloon" project, and the balloons hung in the windows to remind us of the importance of revision and perseverance!
Educators must provide enriching scaffolds for every student need, whether it be a social, emotional, physical, language, or cognitive need. Spending a year in my teacher preparation program learning about the stages of child development has allowed me to work diligently to provide students with an intentional and structured approach to scaffold learning that accomodates not only cognitive abilities, but social and emotional aspects of my classroom learners as well. Furthermore, I strive to create lifelong learners that engage and reflect on character as well as academics, hoping to encourage positive and responsible citizens of the future.
Learning Targets provide clarity for both myself and students. Targets provide a focused expectation of both short and long-term responsibilities, and students thus become more actively engaged in their learning.
Understanding Child Development
I rely heavily on my innate organizational skills and affinity for technology to keep my planning focused, detail-oriented, and time-effective. This increases the amount of time I can spend on the multitude of other daily responsibilities.
This snapshot is of my google calendar, where I keep track of my short-term and long-term planning. Each subject is color-coded, and UBD lesson plan documents are embedded within. Click next to take a look!
Each event has embedded lesson plans!
As our society becomes increasingly reliant on the connectedness and easily accessible information through the internet, it is imperative to foster a 21st century classroom mindset. Our students today are digital natives that need to be taught skills that are relevant to their lifestyles. In my classroom, I try to implement technological skills in my own practice (lesson plans, etc.), and I push students to use technology in both process and product aspects of their learning. The ideology of the blended classroom is the exact type of forward-thinking model we need to pursue if our methods of instruction are to remain relevant and engaging to students in the 21st century.
Based on his peer feedback, a third grader reflects on his performance collaborating for a group project.

the link below to access my resume.

The way I speak to my students and coworkers, the the clear and explicit communication I maintain with parents, and the collaborative efforts I put forth with co-teachers - communicating
clearly and effectively eliminates opportunities for hang-ups and problems inside and outside of the classroom.
COmmunication with Students
Communication with Families
Communication with Faculty
CollaborativeThinking and Processing
Real World
of Content
"This is the endpoint
of the line, ray, and line segment!"
How do I best represent the food of the Pueblo Indians?
"Oh so THIS is what a larva feels like!"
During my years in a classroom, I find that there are several factors in having successful communication with students:


explicit instructions

consideration of multiple perspectives in times of conflict


active listening

consideration of multiple perspectives in times of conflict


keeping them "in the loop"
Well wouldn't you know it? Most of those same strategies work for parents, too!
Being part of a team means considering all sides. Understanding that different people have varying opinions and ways of teaching can be the first step in communicating effectively with your teaching cohort. Maintaining a rapport of respect and support can make or break a school's culture.
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