February 15: EDU 6361 Unit Assignments and Rubrics

As I continue to plan my conceptual unit for an English 12 class, I have worked to develop various assignments and rubrics to help my students achieve the unit goals. The link below includes the following 4 assignments with accompanying descriptions and rubrics:

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Research Essay
  • Peer Review
  • Research Presentation

English 12 Research Unit Assignments and Rubrics

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February 13: EDU 6364 Classroom Tips

Over the past few weeks I have been reflecting on co-teaching strategies; specifically how to most effectively co-teach no matter what the strategy or who the co-teaching team is made up of. Through my research, I have found that there are 5 tenets for effective co-teaching: communication, co-planning, conflict resolution, instructional delivery, and assessment. I hope that these tenets will be helpful for student teachers co-teaching with their mentors as well as current teachers in co-teaching postitions or innovative learning environments. My findings can be viewed by clicking the link below.

5 Tenets for Effective Co-Teaching


Heck, T. W., Bacharach, N., & Dahlberg, K. (2008). Co-teaching: enhancing the student teaching experience. Eighth Annual IBER & TLC Conference Proceedings. Retrieved from http://www.stcloudstate.edu/soe/coteaching/documents/clute_oct_08.pdf

Brown, N. B., Howerter, C. S., & Morgan, J. J. (2013). Tools and strategies for making co-teaching work. Internvetion in School and Clinic, 49(2), 84-91. doi: 10. 1177/1053451213493174

Beninghof, A. (2015) To clone or not to clone? Educational Leadership Co-teaching: Making it Work, 73(4), 10-15

Murdock, L., Finneran, D., & Theve, K. (December 2015/January 2016) Co-teaching to reach every learner. Educational Leadership Co-teaching: Making it Work, 73(4), 42-47

Heck, T. W. & Bacharach, N. (December 2015/January 2016) A better model for student teaching. Educational Leadership Co-teaching: Making it Work, 73(4), 24-29

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February 8: EDU 6361 Unit Goals and Outline

An important part of planning a unit is explaining the goals, aligning the goals with in-process and culminating student texts, and ensuring that students have the tools necessary to be successful as they work toward mastery of the prescribed goals. The link below will access my unit goals and outline for the English 12 research unit I am developing which includes a description of a variety of student texts as well as rubrics that will be used throughout the unit.

Unit Goals and Outline

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February 1: EDU 6361 Unit Rationale

Planning conceptual units has been the focus in EDU 6361. The first part of this planning process is producing a unit rationale. My conceptual unit focuses on the development of a specific strategy; teaching how to locate viable research to support an argument, compile that research, and present findings. Click the link below to see my complete unit rationale, written in the form of a letter to my students and their guardians.

Unit Rationale

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December 10: EDU 6160 Course Reflection

6.4 Using Assessment to Provide Feedback to Students: Teacher’s feedback to students is timely and of consistently high quality. This program standard emphasizes how important feedback, on both formative and summative assessments, is for student growth and achievement. Feedback is most beneficial, positive and constructive when: the student receives it soon after the assessment is completed, when it is related directly to a task, skill, or content, and when it is reliable. Feedback comes in many forms and should be given throughout the learning process, so that students are able achieve their highest potential. Feedback should be meaningful so that students know how and where to improve, just as Taylor and Nolen (2008) suggest; the most effective feedback highlights strengths while also communicating the student’s ability to improve by offering specific areas of growth which(p. 89). Feedback should cause students to think about their learning and how to produce better work. Feedback on formative assessments is extremely crucial as it helps students progress successfully as they work toward the completion of summative assessments. One way I have found to provide consistent and high quality feedback to students is through the chunking of larger assignments. Figure 1 is a reflection I wrote for EDU 6160 where I considered ways that teachers could provide timely, effective feedback to students. As I explored the purpose of feedback in the learning process I realized that when I provide various due dates for students over the course of a unit as they work on an essay, I am able to look carefully at their work, make suggestions, and commend their strengths all at once. One way that I can improve in scaffolding assignments to ensure that my feedback is being given and used most effectively is through the inclusion of writing workshops in my curriculum. This writing strategy allows the teacher to give real-time feedback, address the needs of individual students or the entire class, and allow students to do the majority of their writing in class with direct support from the teacher (Daniels, Zemelman & Steineke, 2007, p. 189). In the writing workshop, feedback is often given through individual conferencing allowing the teacher and student to be in dialogue around strengths, potential weaknesses, and brainstorm ways to improve. When students know how to use feedback, they are able to be actively involved in their success and set goals that are attainable. Feedback and assessments work together as students become masters of content, skills, and the learning process. Teachers should always strive to give feedback to students that is timely and effective.

Figure 1. Timely, Effective Feedback Module 3 Reflection EDU 6160

Figure 1. Timely, Effective Feedback Module 3 Reflection EDU 6160


Daniels, H., Zemelman, S., & Steineke, N. (2007). Conent-Area Writing: Every Teacher’s Guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Taylor, C.S. & Nolen, S. (2008). Classroom assessment: Supporting teaching and learning in real classrooms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

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December 5: EDU 6942 Course Reflection

Caring Educator Ellerbrock

Figure 1.1

5.Learning Environment – The teacher fosters and manages a safe and inclusive learning environment that takes into account: physical, emotional and intellectual well-being. This program standard emphasizes how important it is for a teacher to create and manage an instructional space for all students; a space that is designed with the student’s personal welfare in mind so that all students are able be successful learners. In relation to this standard, I found Ellerbrock et al’s (2015) article to be especially insightful as it focused on the significance of teacher-student relationships in creating such an environment. Figure 1.1 highlights the various expectations, norms and attitudes a caring teacher should begin to foster on the very the first day of school including but not limited to establishing a classroom culture that is safe and focused on learning, instilling classroom norms and values that all members of the classroom will share, as well as holding all kids at a high educational standard that encourages individual growth (Ellerbrock et al, p. 49). Developing a relationship with students is crucial when creating a safe space for students to learn and grow not only academically, but socially as well. If a student knows that they are cared for and that the teacher believes that they can and will be successful in their class, the environment begins to take shape into the safe and inclusive environment that all educators should strive for. One way I have attempted to create and manage this type of environment, and continue to plan to do so, is by including my students in the process of writing classroom expectations. Together we work collaboratively to outline, discuss, and define what it is we need from each other to have a school year where learning is engaging, meaningful and respectful of the various experiences and needs of all students in the classroom. This paired with opportunities for students to get to know each other, as Ellerbrock et al suggests, helps to create a space where students feel that their voice will be heard, their questions will be addressed, and individual improvement in the content area is possible. Students are able to learn effectively when they feel safe, included, respected, and valued in their classroom: when a teacher is intentional about creating this kind of environment the instruction itself that follows is student-centered. Creating a classroom environment like this is an ongoing process. I plan to continue to work on fostering this type of environment each year through dialogue with my students to see if their physical, social and intellectual needs are being met with periodic class meetings and brief surveys and by finding new ways to make learning centered on their experiences and continued growth. Each group of students is different and as such I need to be flexible when fostering a safe and inclusive learning environment as one set of norms, expectations, and instruction may not always work one year to the next.


Ellerbrock, C. R., et al (2015). Relationships-the fundamental r in education. Kappan Magazine, 48-51.

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August 19: EDTC6431 Individual Project

In Learning with Technology I had the opportunity to create an assignment that intentionally integrated technology into my future social studies classroom. I chose to integrate ISTE standard 1 and have my sophomore aged students create a project using a digital medium to pay tribute to people who lost their lives during a holocaust. This project not only allows them to experiment with technology, but use their knowledge and critical thinking skills to select words, text and even music or video to demonstrate what they have learned. To see all of the details relating to this project, please click on the link below:

EDTC 6431 Individual Project

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