P3 Additions

2 Jun

My understanding of legal and ethical responsibilities, including those outlined in the Washington State Code of Professional Conduct help inform my teaching because I know that I have a professional responsibility to create a safe environment for all my students.  I know that the zero violence policy at my school means that there is absolutely no tolerance for any threatening talk or behavior.  Understanding this helps me create very clear boundaries in my classroom.  Students know that I have a legal procedure I have to follow if anything is ever reported to me.  This makes it much easier to handle situations because I simply tell students “It is against the law for me not to report this—I could get in big, big trouble.  To be a good teacher it is part of my job to talk to the counselor about this”.  Making my professional role known to students takes a lot of the emotion about of sensitive issues.  If students are aware that, to do a good job and create a safe classroom, I have certain procedures I must follow it helps them feel secure and that all students are treated consistently.  Because I tell students that I am a mandatory reporter (this is something we have discussed in several class meetings—it is very explicit that students need to tell a teacher if something is not right) and it is part of my job to keep students safe they are much more likely to come to me if they need help.  This has a positive impact on student learning.  I demonstrate competency in this standard through my practice of mandatory reporting and discussion with students about my role.

I have this poster up in my classroom (it is based on my interpretations of the professional/ethical responsibilities of a teacher). I review it with students every time we have a class meeting. Doing so helps them know that it is my job to help them be safe.


P2 Additions

2 Jun

I have developed competency in P2 thorough my participation in in-service training.  In this training I have gained skills, in specific subject areas, that improve my teaching.  One training I feel was particularly beneficial was the Expository Writing and Science Notebooks workshop I attended at the Stanford Center.  The main focus of this training was incorporating writing within the inquiry science model Seattle School District uses.  Because I am interning at a school that is struggling to meet annual yearly progress—students only receive instruction in math, reading, and writing.  This is done to provide intensive instruction to bring students up to grade level standard.  In the workshop I attended I learned several strategies to integrate science and expository writing.  This was so beneficial to me.  If I could justify science instruction—through it’s use of developmental writing skills—I can teach science.  Since my students are in the 4th grade they take the MSP in writing—any practical expository writing they can do will help them take the test.  Using science notebooks throughout the science unit where students had to reflect, write scientific responses, and record observations helped them develop the skills they need to be proficient writers.  The workshop I attended taught strategies to help students develop into the best writers possible.  The workshop taught that students need writing structures, modeling practice, and constructive feedback to develop into strong writers.  I took these concepts and integrated them into my science instruction.  At the beginning of our science unit I did a lot of modeling for my students.  As the unit progressed students did more and more independent work.  After this stage students were able to write on their own and I could grade and evaluate their work.  Using the models presented in the workshop allowed me scaffold the writing work for my students.  This scaffolding incorporates best practices because I am instructing in a way students can be successful.  This has a positive impact on students because they are able to learn.

This is an example of modeled expository writing in the science notebook.

I use the strategies outlined in this booklet, received from professional training, to integrate science and writing more fully. By implementing these strategies I am improving my instruction under the P2 standard.This is an example of modeled writing in the science notebook in the beginning of the unit.

P1 Additions

2 Jun

Professional responsibilities and polices have a large impact on my teaching practice.  I constantly participate in collaborative teaching communities and have strong collegial relationships with other staff members at my school.  I believe that developing strong relationships with my colleagues at the school improves my teaching tenfold.  Through collaboration I not only gain insight about new practices, based on the strengths of master teachers on my staff, but I also can more fully portray to my students what it looks like to work effectively in a group and develop a strong sense of community.  Constant honing and refinement of my own teaching skills, gained from collaboration and reflection with other staff members enables me to instruct in the most effective medium for my students.  This has a positive impact on student learning because through collaboration I am building my repertoire of skills to effectively teach to the greatest number of students at my school.  Another thing I gain from collaboration is a knowledge of what my students need to know to be ready for the next grade.  By collaborating with 5thgrade teachers, I have a better understanding of essential skills needed for student success the following year.  Through collaboration I can give my students informed instruction that will fully prepare them to be successful next year.  This has a positive impact because it increases student learning.  By modeling respectful and genuine relationships with my colleagues, I am actively demonstrating how I expect my students to treat their peers in our classroom.  I know that it is part of my professional responsibility to participate in collaboration and be a team player with the other staff at my school.  By practicing collaboration and developing collegial relationships, I am demonstrating my competency in P1.  To further illustrate my proficiency in P1 I have included several screenshots of the collaborative wiki that the entire school staff uses.  This wiki is a place for all staff members at Dearborn to collaborate and assist one another to provide the best education for all students.  Dearborn also requires weekly collaboration meetings between grade level teams to enhance instruction.  These meetings are documented and facilitated by the team leader.  My collaboration team meets every Wednesday—and I’ve participated in each meeting.  In these meetings we plan units of study, evaluate assessments, or brainstorm about how to best reach individual students.  By actively participating in collaboration at my school, I’ve demonstrated my application of P1 to improve my teaching.

PLC Agenda and Log BLANK

At every collaborative meeting, the members follow a procedural structure to record the work accomplished. This is a good way to document planning and the implementation of the ideas discussed. I've also included the document as an attachment.

This is the collaborative wiki Dearborn staff uses to share lessons and strategies.This is our coordination page to keep track of one another's schedules. This helps use plan the best times for staff meetings and training.

Technology Goal

15 May

Personal Technology Goal:

I am a self-professed technology hater—one of those people who routinely offers baked goods to friends in exchange for fixing my email, phone, itunes, computer or any other technological device I’ve broken.  A prime example of my disability came during my internship when I could not for the life of me get the document camera to work.  I tried everything, checked all the cords, jiggled all the outlets, nothing worked.  I finally admitted defeat and asked the first staff member I could find, an elderly substitute in his late 70s, if he could look at it.  He peered at it for a few moments and then triumphantly flipped the on switch—it started working immediately.  Obviously, I need technology goals.

I have two areas within the realm of technology that I would like to improve.  One directly benefits the students and the other is more staff related.  The first goal would be to enroll in some type of training about how to utilize the document camera more effectively.  I know that there are ways I can use it that are more engaging for the students, but I need someone to explicitly show me.  Taking a course on the document camera would make me more confident when using it.  The ability to incorporate things like movies or music (or maybe even skype) cohesively into lessons would give my students an education that is more technologically well-rounded.  I found some websites that have suggestions about how to use the document camera in the classroom: http://www.edtechnetwork.com/document_cameras.html


My second goal is to utilize the staff wiki better.  I think this is such a beneficial tool for all the teachers to collaborate with one another.  Making sure that I update my portion of the wiki regularly will make it easier for all of the teachers to be on the same page and aware of what is happening in other classrooms.  To reach this goal I will make a commitment to update the wiki weekly with the class schedule and also the lesson plans so that everyone can be on the same page.

Schedule for collaboration.

The staff wiki.


14 May


Books and curriculum from some of the training I've received.

Participating in a collaborative teaching model shows my competency in P1.  I intern at a school that emphasizes the Professional Learning Community model (PLC).  Working at a school that encourages the professional development of the staff ensures that I receive constant education to improve my teaching and also become really comfortable working in group settings.  Since interning at the school I have had the opportunity to participate in Reader’s Workshop, Arts Impact, and Inquiry Science classes.  This training helps me develop into the most well rounded teacher possible.

Parent Communication Plan

12 May

Through the establishment of positive parent communication at the beginning of the year, I hope to forge bonds that encourage student success.  Involving the parents in the classroom not only helps me know my students better but also provides a greater support system for the student.  If a student knows that various adults in his life are concerned and care about his education his engagement and participation increases.  By striving to include and utilize parent involvement in my classroom I can enrich my students’ educational experience.  This enrichment shows my integration of standard L3 in my classroom.

Parent Communication Plan

Earth Day

12 May

Learning about the trees of Washington.

This year, my students have had the opportunity to participate in a lot of really neat activities—particularly activities that increased their awareness about the environment and the world.  Organizations have come and shared music from around the world and also teach about good Earth stewardship.  Utilizing these resources and building on the information presented helps my students develop into responsible citizens.  Earthcorps came and taught my students about plants in the Washington environment.  This information is so beneficial for student growth because it helps them become more aware of their Earth and also give them background knowledge for the week we spend at Islandwood camp.  Exposing my students to experiences that will help them develop into responsible citizens shows my competency in L4.

Bucket brigade.


12 May

Because my students are in 4th grade, and taking the state test, a large chunk of instructional time is spent focusing on reading, writing, and math (since these are the subjects assessed).  To ensure that the students still receive additional content areas integration has to be used.  Anytime I can integrate science, art, or history into the core subjects I do.  I feel this approach to learning actually enhances a student’s academic experience because the content is a richer combination of subjects.  This integration also allows the flow of the day to be more cohesive.  Science is one subject that is heavily integrated into the core content areas.  Using journals to develop writing skills and thinking processes is a big part of every lesson.

Ecosystem lesson

Week 16 Reflection

12 May

After being at my school for as long as I have, almost nine months, it’s funny to look at how my impressions of the school have changed.  I think particularly because I have had several friends visit the school and seeing their reactions lets me look at the school with fresh eyes.  I remember all the things that seemed different, which are now part of my everyday.  I think the biggest impact the school had on me the first week was the open concept.  I had never seen a school without classrooms before—it honestly took me awhile to adjust and get used to it.  After spending more time working in my classroom I know how to function in an open concept school but it took time to readjust my mentality and conception of what a school looks like.  Because I was so overwhelmed with the open concept aspect of the school, I don’t remember any other aesthetic of the building or classroom having an impact.  Despite the nontraditional nature of the building, I think the teachers and the staff do a good job making the place feel welcoming and open to students.

Our forest


11 May

Through the creation of a Behavior Management Plan that is a collaboration with the parents of the students in my classroom, I think I will be able to successfully manage the difficult behaviors that arise.  By creating a plan that utilizes parent involvement—in all aspects not just negative situations—I can develop strong communication with the parents and enforce accountability for actions.  Creating this type of structure will enhance the learning of my students and also demonstrates my competency in L2.  Creating an environment that encourages the most learning possible, in the classroom and in the school, allows the knowledge and growth of students to have a positive impact on the school as a whole.  This connection and consistency within the school increases student success.

Behavior Plan