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Transcript of Port
Full Year Student Intern
Conservatory Lab Charter School
Ms. Cates' and Ms. Han's
Fourth Grade Class
I can challenge
and engage students
in a effective way
I can plan curriculum and instruction.
I can deliver effective instruction.
I can manage classroom climate operations.
I can promote equity.
I can meet professional responsibilities.
University of Massachusetts
Bachelor of Arts
GPA: 3.2 Cum Laude
Masters of Art in Teaching
This portfolio contains lesson plans, reflections, and photographs of my one year internship as part of the Conservatory Lab Charter Community. These products best represent my first semester experience teaching through the internship program at Simmons College in Boston, MA.
I have been teaching as a full-time intern at Conservatory Lab Charter School in Brighton, MA. Conservatory Lab is an Expeditionary Learning school with a music focus. Music is focused into our students' learning in three ways: 1) First, music is integrated across the academic curriculum in Learning through Music expeditions, 2) Second, all students participate in El Sistema's youth development, choral and orchestral program with direct music and 3) Third, our weekly Listening Project ensures that all students study seven different genre of music ranging from folk songs to opera. Conservatory Lab prepares students to achieve academically and to make music performance and appreciation a rewarding part of their lives.
I am especially fortunate to be a part of a community that always displays deep love and care for the students that gather from all around Boston. Collaboration and harmony are the big ideas in our school. We always communicate with one another in small settings and well as large ones. The Principal and the Head of School always do their best to provide these opportunities.
Ms. Rachel Cates is the head teacher of our classroom and has been mentoring me. She is an excellent teacher that does her best to caters to the needs of students. We have very similar teaching philosophies and values which helps us to have a great relationship and work as a team. She has taught me many valuable skills and lessons that I will definitely carry into my next practice. You will see many products in this presentation that have been inspired by her.
I hope you enjoy getting a small glimpse of my journey of my fall semester as a student intern. I used this program (Prezi) to create my portfolio because it was very user-friendly. Prezi allows you at any time to zoom in and out of any section. If you come across anything you really like, feel free to zoom in as close as possible so that you don't miss out on the small details! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my through my lessons and reflections.
Claudia Sarah Han
Learning Through Music Expedition
Summer Institute 2012
As teachers, we met once a week for professional development. Issues were shared, lessons from Teach Like A Champion by Doug Lemov were discussed, and we also met with educational specialists.
These meetings helped us communicate as classroom teachers and allowed us the opportunity to plan curriculum in a more effective way.
As a staff (classroom teachers, music teachers, and administrators), we met for whole day training on the days that students had half-days.
We were trained in various fields ranging from expeditionary learning to CPR and First Aid.
We collaborated as a staff to better serve our students and school community.
Meetings with the Literacy Coach were held bi-weekly. Important topics were discussed such as writing units, MCAS scores, and reading levels were discussed. We collaborated as the fourth grade team to improve our instruction.
We were lavished upon with excellent ideas and strategies that would truly help our students succeed in reading and writing.
During the Summer Institute, each staff member was assigned to a Critical Friends Group (CFG). Each group was comprised of classroom teachers, music teachers, and administrators. Groups were often very small so that each members' voice could truly be heard by others.
The purpose of these CFGs was so that each staff member could always have a group of educators to turn to in times of needs regarding the students or the school community.
Our principal allowed a time and space to meet with our Critical Friends very often. We met and discussed ways that
All students can learn when they are accepted for who and where they are in their educational journey.
We met with our senior researcher and curriculum designer once a month to plan our learning through music expeditions.
Having been a immigration lawyer, she played a huge role in designing our immigration unit.
We were provided with excellent resources an were connected to great individuals to help our students experience and learn about immigration in a new and engaging manner
There are no insignificant acts of kindness, no forgotten words of encouragement, no meaningless hugs of congratulations. Long after students have forgotten day to day lessons, they remember who you are, what you stood for, and how you treated them.
As a teacher, I believe that...
A teacher is always a student.
The classroom is a fresh and exciting place where learning is always happening. As educators, we need to have open minds and hearts that have a need to learn on a daily basis. We constantly need to refine our teaching in order to cater to the needs of students. By consistently reading educational books and children's novels, I continue to grow my repertoire of knowledge and skills to be a better teacher.
Effective learning requires a collaboration between teachers, students, and parents grounded in mutual respect and trust.
I am always looking for ways in which each student can succeed, regardless of prior knowledge. By differentiating instruction to cater to the wide range of learners, I can be confident that every student is learning in a way that works for them.
The community that surrounds our students is vital to their learning. When everyone around the student is supportive, loving, and caring, the student is equipped to be successful. Collaboration is key to providing for the child as a student.
Arts education provides students with new avenues for communication and making connections in their world.
“ I have no question that students who learn, not professors who perform, is what teaching is all about…teachers possess the power to create conditions that can help students learn a great deal- or keep them from learning much at all. Teaching is the intentional act of creating those conditions, and good teaching requires that we understand the inner sources of both the intent and the act.”
-Parker J. Palmer
Working in a music school has helped me to value arts in education. The arts allows students to express themselves in ways that often cannot be done through academic subjects. It also equips students with another avenue to succeed in.
Goals and expectations allow students to succeed to their full potential.
High expectations are always set for all my students. By setting high expectations and goals, students are made aware of what is expected and made know that they are capable of overcoming challenges and succeeding. I always push my students to make educated guesses, so"I don't know" is never an acceptable excuse in my classroom.
Students spent 10 minutes once a week working on computers. The went on a website called IXL to practice their math skills.
Those who finished their work always had the option of using computers to play educational games.
When producing and publishing written work, students used Microsoft Word to type up their products.
Conservatory Lab Charter School graciously bought 6 Amazon Kindles for our classroom. Students meet once a week with a book group and they get an opportunity to use the Kindles. Students are assigned homework which requires them to read and complete assignments. They have the option of reading from the personal copies or from the Kindles.
Our students are in love with the reading devices! Students who were turned off by the idea of reading are now excited to dive in to a book thanks to technology.
In the beginning of the year, we reviewed a lot of the concepts learned in third grade. We wanted to make sure that students had the foundational skills to successfully move on.
So far in math, we have learned about factors, multiples, area, perimeter, units, multi-digit multiplication, and long division. Students are always eager for math and really challenge themselves to master new concepts.
We try our best to give our students a lot of choices. We do our best to offer different strategies for solving problems. When learning about multi-digit multiplication, we taught our students 3 different ways to solve problems. Although we taught the area model, the partial product method, and standard algorithm, we offered students the choice to choose whichever method worked for them.
It is always an challenge to develop and use engaging ways to begin a new lesson.
I could teach a lesson by reading a pre-made lesson but I do not believe that is always the most effective way to deliver instruction. Teachers need to constantly be reading and researching new ways to engage students. Websites such as LearnZillion and Pinterest are great resources that help me think about effective instruction in a new way.
I do my best to always provide colorful visuals and help students express their thoughts in new and interesting ways.
I have learned many strategies and about many tools that help me manage routines and procedures without loss of significant instructional time.
"Ago"- Are you ready to listen?
"Ame"- Yes, I am ready to listen
Call and Response
One! Two! Three! Eyes on me!
One! Two! Eyes on you!
I am fortunate to be a part of a school community that truly values social emotional learning (SEL).
At our school, we have 5 main crew qualities that drive our students. We believe that together, we are a crew of hard working individuals. We encourage students to believe that they are an important part of our community. We do this by fostering a community that loves, accepts differences, and works together to bring about change in our immediate community. In the beginning of the year, we spent a significant amount of time focusing on the crew qualities.
The students have put together skits about bullying, given each other compliments, and read many books about each crew quality. They have individually matured and changed so much since the beginning of the year. We are proud to say that each student does their absolute best to display our school's crew qualities on a daily basis.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Intern.....................................................III
Main Learning Target.....................................................IV
Planning Curriculum and Instruction.........................V
Delivering Effective Instruction..................................VI
Managing Classroom Climate Operations.............VII
Meeting Professional Responsibilities.....................IX
Each and every lesson that is taught at CLCS has a learning target. Lesson objectives are very similar but also quite different at the same time. Learning targets phrase goals for the lesson in a "I can.." format. By doing this, we enable students to believe that they can accomplish the task at hand.
Post-lesson, students are told the learning target again and check for understanding and confirmation for hitting the target.
I love to challenge students by asking questions that require them to use high order thinking skills. By believing that students can achieve the task at hand, I can do my best to have them also believe the same.
Each week, students received a Math Challenge to complete. The questions were often difficult and required students to think deeply. They were required to complete the challenge by following a 5 point rubric.
We always created opportunities to have deep discussions with students. Whether the students were making connections or asking questions, we always encouraged students to think deeply.
We always did our best to create an environment that was conductive to learning. Whether it was by giving students a choice where to sit or choosing the right music play, we always thought of enabling students to be successful.
During group work, students have the choice to sit where ever they feel most comfortable. They have the choice of sitting on the risers, at their desks, or on the couch. By have students be comfortable, they are able to enjoy their learning.
We always played quiet music while students worked independently. Students really enjoy the range of instrumentals that is played in the classroom.
As a full staff, we spent a week in the summer to attend the Conservatory Lab Summer Institute.
The school Principal led us in workshops and discussions. She engaged us in new ways and modeled great strategies that we could implement in our classrooms. We even discussed why we chose teaching as a profession. We got to the core of a lot of issues in order to recognize any obstacles that were hindering us from being effective educators.
Our School Designer from Expeditionary Learning (EL) came in to teach us about how to incorporate more EL techniques into our classroom. She taught us to frame our learning targets in ways that help the students to meet it.
It was a very exciting time for me as a new teacher to see all the staff collaborating together. We shared many concerns and laughs together which created a very warm and comfortable environment. I feel that one week in the summer really helped to create a family within the school community.
We collaborated with our school designer to have student-led conferences this year.
It is very important for teachers to meet with parents and discuss the student and their progress in school. We truly value that time but wanted to try something different that would allow students to be responsible for their learning.
We spent a lot of time going through collected work and picking what they wanted to share with their parents. They were required to pick one star (what they were proud of) and a stair (what they wanted to work on) for math, writing, reading, and crew qualities. The students were able to take responsibility for their work.
After the students shared, we were able to have a conversation with the parents about the student's performance and progress. We were able to build many connections with the parents and start great school-home relationships. Although I did not get to lead any conferences, but was so grateful to be a part of each and every one.
We pre-assess by having discussions, making KWL charts, and having students infer and make predictions on new topics.
Informal assessments occur through turn and talks, conferring with students, and through exit questions.
Formal assessments take place in the form of essays and exams after a unit is over. Our school is part of the Achievement Network (ANet) and regularly take practice tests similar to the MCAS.
Self-assessing has become a norm in our classroom. Students have learned to be honest about their work and progress.
Read Aloud is a part of the day when students are jumping with joy. They love being read to and especially enjoy participating in all the discussions that arise. As readers, they have learned to ask thick questions, make predictions, envision, infer, and make connections.
A particular unit I taught helped them to be prepared for book groups. Students are assigned to a group based on their reading level and meet with their group once a week. Each group is reading a historical fiction novel about Immigration (our expedition). For each meeting, students are assigned certain chapters to read, summarize, and ask questions based on their reading.
Students are encouraged to read every night for at least 20 minutes. In school, students read everyday for 35 minutes. We have a wide range of readers and a large leveled library to accommodate each of them.
We study history and science through Expeditionary Learning. For our history expedition, we focused on immigration from European countries through Ellis Island.
Student were each assigned to a a country and group. They researched their countries and Ellis Island. We even did field work by traveling to Ellis Island in New York. The students had a lot of fun and were able to be a part of a rich learning experience.
They placed themselves in the shoes of an immigrant and wrote journal entries about their journey from their assigned homeland to America. Students focused on writing their journal entries with historical facts and voice. They focused on writing about leaving their homeland, being on the ship, the Ellis Island process, and life in America. Our students did an excellent job of being empathetic and taking on the role of an immigrant.
All student work is differentiated in order for every student to be successful to the best of his/her ability. Everything from our worksheets to our exit questions are differentiated. We do our best to cater to the needs of students as individuals.
Students who need extra support are provided for by teachers, specialists, and volunteers. Those who need to be challenged are always given more difficult worksheets or extra work that stimulates their minds.
I always encourage all students to believe that effort is a key to achievement.
By using words of affirmation to encourage positive thinking, students are enabled to do their best work.
Students that struggle often lose the stamina to complete their work. With the right motivation and support, students can successfully finish their work. I continuously check-in with students who struggle to motivate them to persevere.