Essential question: What evidence am I collecting for my final project – and for what purpose? 

Looking ahead: This week  (through April 16) will be dedicated to teaching your unit as much as possible in your classroom.

This week, you continue implementation of your unit. Your focus this week is on the evidence you can gather: evidence of contributing to individual paths for learning, evidence of planning and customization as students go through the unit, and evidence of student learning. If your final project has one lynchpin upon everything else depends, then that lynchpin is evidence.

Along those lines – what is considered evidence? Is a reflection evidence in itself? Is it evidence to say “I did this”?

No – evidence is more than that. It is a pretest and posttest that demonstrates learning occurred. It is the analysis (along with citation) of a journal that you kept at the time (much different from a memory a week later) which documented what was done. It is pictures, video and/or student work that demonstrate that what you say happen did happen.

Evidence of learning is very important especially in today’s data driven educational environment. For all intents and purposes, this becomes a mini-action research study, in which you are using data to analyze the effectiveness of your strategies for differentiation, and areas in which you might improve the next time you teach this unit.

Remember that according to the rubric for the final reflection – contained in the syllabus, you need to do the following:

  1. Reflection of the internship provides evidence that the teacher participated in and contributed to individual paths for learning for students engaged in the experience. The teacher summarizes information from observations in the lesson about why students were making choices they did. – So, you need to make notes of the way that you helped individual students as they pursued their learning path (how your “scaffolded” student learning). This is the support that new learners need to become expert in their new knowledge. So if a student asks for assistance – why did this happen? Was it appropriate at the time? Is there a way that you could build in supports so that the next time you do this unit this issue is covered?
  2. Reflection demonstrates that teachers prepare for student work, customize for student engagement, and plan for classroom content, structures and systems that work appropriately for students. Evidence supports effectiveness of this planning. – For this criterion, you will consider the entire system that you have in place. How did you plan – from materials, to group work, delivery and facilitation, to assessment – and how did this work? What would you do differently next time? What evidence can you provide (student work – excerpts from the notes you create during the week) that this planning was effective? Remember that evidence is very important to meeting this criterion at pass. It isn’t enough just to say – yes – it was effective. You have to show HOW it was effective – and how you know.
  3. Reflection and twitter transcript demonstrates that teachers used data from observation and/or surveys to inform their work in the unit. An evaluation of two students’ work in the unit is demonstrated, with appropriate evidence to justify the score assigned. – Attention Twitter hosts for the week! 🙂 In our Twitter session, we should provide an opportunity for people to reflect on how their units are going. This way – the twitter transcript can serve as evidence that data from observation and pretests or surveys are being used to inform the way we approach instruction of the unit. Also – you will need to scan or take a picture of the work of two students (be sure that the names of the students are not mentioned and that the work doesn’t show the name of the students – you will wish to give the students pseudonyms as you reference them in your reflection). Then, you need to explain, analyze and evaluate what this work means about effectiveness of learning for these two students. Please do all three! It isn’t enough to explain if you don’t analyze and evaluate. And definitely you will need to include some sort of narrative with the student product. It isn’t enough to put the product in and expect it to stand on its own.

 


Blogging

Each week, between Monday and Friday, students are expected to post a response to the Essential Question for the week. Students then interact with others by making postings to their blogs and interacting in twitter. On Sunday, students are expected to post a reflection on their blog of the learning that they have encountered during the week.

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