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Here’s A Reflection Exercise I Did With My Student Teacher

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Being a student teacher and supervising a student teacher offers unique challenges. You might be interested in a three-part series on the topic I did at Education Week Teacher.

I’ve probably had 12-15 student teachers over the year, and it’s generally been a very positive experience for me, students and, I think, the student teacher.

I thought readers might be interested in a reflection exercise I did with one of my student teachers this year (I have two). It seemed to go well, and my student teacher said it was very helpful.

To help her get a grasp on what instructional strategies I was using that were making content accessible specifically to English Language Learners, I asked to jot down notes responding to the following questions, which we then discussed:

1) We’ve done several multi-day projects with our students.  What scaffolds were done for each one?  Try to remember their sequence of all the supporting activities leading up to each culminating project and note them.

2) Which domains (listening, speaking, writing, reading) were practiced for each one and how often?

3) Higher order thinking skills include, but are obviously not limited to:

* categorizing

* transfer – applying something learned previously to a new activity in a different context

* critical thinking – making a judgment and providing evidence to support that judgment

How were these utilized in each of those activities?

4) What academic language, if any,  were taught in each of these activities?

6) Given your answers to the previous four questions, what do you think are some of the elements of good SDAIE lessons?

7)  If you add up the total amount of time these projects took up, and then add-up the amount of time students have read together using comprehension strategies (considered a best practice in SDAIE), what is your guesstimate of the percentage of class time that has been spend over these first four weeks on SDAIE instructional strategies?

Do you have suggestions of questions I could have added, or ways I could have reworded the ones I asked?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. I like your reflection activity. I always like to ask about the goal/aim/purpose of the lesson. The lesson goal could be different from the unit goal, and if so the question is “what purpose did the lesson serve toward the unit goal?”. I find that teachers want to develop critical thinking skills, an ambitious goal; but fall short when lecture and worksheets are the strategies used.

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