EDU 6526 Video Analysis #2

Video Analysis #2-Middle Level P.E.

During my time last year as an Instructional Aid, I provided support during a period of P.E. for the students in my self-contained classroom.  For this reason, I chose to watch the video on P.E. instruction.  This video was a training video targeted for P.E. teachers. The instructors overall goal was to help teachers elevate P.E. instruction in order to ensure students leave the room each day feeling more “confident and competent”.

There were four objectives that the conference was highlighting for all teachers. The teacher was also asking the participants to think about them as he was instructing them: model respect, setting expectations, opportunities for success, and fostering social interactions.  All schools have some set of rules or expectations that they are trying to include building wide.  It was great to see these also be incorporated into the P.E. department.

One of the first instructional strategies we learned about was setting objectives.  The teacher in this video was very clear about the importance of doing this for the students for each activity.  In addition to the purpose/objective being clearly defined, the teacher also linked this together with formative assessment.  There was a form that he would use to assess students for a given activity.  For one of the activities that we watched, the teacher was having the other teachers participate in an activity in which providing support was the objective and area of assessment. There was a rubric that was provided for this activity that could be used to assess the students and give them feedback.  This is an excellent way of utilizing a strategy from our text of; “Provide students with an explicit guidance about what it means to expend effort” (p25).  Students will know exactly what is expected of them, how they performed, and how they can improve.

The teacher did an excellent job in this video of stopping play and requesting, “high five opponents and say well done”.  On another occasion, the teacher asked the participants to acknowledge their teammates for doing good work.  This was a great way to strengthen the community, foster positive social interactions, and keep things positive.  This acted to provide feedback, reinforce effort, and also provide recognition.  I thought it was great to have the students do this for each other in addition to the teacher.  The teacher also stopped the play at one point and commented on the effectiveness of a participant’s ability to provide support, the objective, through hand waving.  This was a great way to provide quick formative positive feedback specific to the objective.

Cooperative learning is necessary in P.E. in almost all activities.  This teacher placed a great emphasis on how he grouped the students together.  The groups were established with the intent of making sure that each student would have “opportunities for success”.  This was also how the teacher would be able to differentiate the instruction for the students. Depending on the activity and purpose, different rules could be set for the different groups that would allow everyone to succeed.  I really liked the idea of taking the time to group students together.  Groups could be made that would also ensure that the whole class would end up interacting with one another that would serve the purpose of fostering good social interactions.

In conclusion, I thought the instructional recommendations within this video would be great assets to any P.E. program.  From our text Classroom Instruction That Works, there are several strategies that are used in the video.  The most visible of these are setting objectives, providing feedback, reinforcing effort, providing recognition, and cooperative learning.  P.E. can be a place where only the athletic will leave having a boost in self-esteem.  I love that the instructor’s goal of ensuring that every student leaves his gym feeling more “confident and competent”.

Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B.  (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.

2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


EDU 6120 “All Things Considered”

“All Things Considered”

In the lectures for this week we learn about Horace Mann and his thoughts on a universal education.  I also enjoyed the provided reading by Horace Mann.  Mann writes about class distinction and distribution of wealth in his age.  He reaches the conclusion that the best way that the class distinction can be abolished is through education.  The education will provide the means for the lower class to be able to rise up out of the lower class. “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of the conditions of Men” (Horace Mann). I think that what Mann was saying back then is still very relevant today.  Education is becoming more accessible to all.  Unfortunately, area codes and education still share a troubling correlation.

Included in this week’s readings was a portion of Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition Address’.  I found this selection to be an interesting choice.  Mann on the one hand is talking about getting rid of any sort of class system and Washington is talking about making the working class be seen as more of a respectable place to be in society. “Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life” (Washington).  It is my understanding that during this time period W.E.B. Du Bois was also an influential figure of the time with a very different idea of education.  Du Bois wanted to see black people educated to have occupations that went beyond the labor class and would be considered to be upper class occupations.  I also believe that Mann, writing from Massachusetts, the North, would think that his idea of universal education would also apply to black people.


“On Achieving Social Equity” selections from Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address (1895)

“On Education and National Welfare”1848 Twelfth Annual Report of Horace Mann as

Secretary of Massachusetts State Board of Education (1848)

EDU 6526, “Generating and Testing Hypothesis”

For week 7 in EDU 6526, we read Chapter 9, Generating and Testing Hypothesis, in Classrooom Instruction That Works, by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.  We also used the companion book a Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works, by Pitler & Stone, to self-assess our current performance in creating opportunities for our students that require them to generate and test hypothesis.

In self-assessing my-self in this area of instruction, I would have to give myself a very low score.  Unfortunately, I was not able to provide my learners with opportunities to generate and test hypothesis during my student teaching in World Geography. I am disappointed that I was unable to provide the opportunity for my students to work more with their own thoughts on the content material.  Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, state that I could do this in the classroom through “system analysis, problem solving, experimental inquiry, and investigation” (p138).

For one of my lessons on green energy, I first introduced some of the more standard green energies.  We made list of the pros and cons for each one and then, as a class, the students chose one that we should install at our school.  In the process, we worked as a class to put together a loose letter we would send to the principal to pitch our idea.  The students were doing some good thinking with the material, but that was the end of the lesson.  I could have, as the text suggest, facilitated the students in doing more in depth research as to their choice by having them, “try your solution, either in reality or through simulation” (p140).  There are some schools in the area that already have solar panels, we could have contacted them.  There might also be schools that might have other sources in action, we could have performed more of an investigation to find out what some other schools are already doing.  This would have taken more time, but it would have created a great chance for the students to do research, and potentially make connections with students at other schools, in essence breaking down walls.

A classmate of mine also commented on how effective these strategies would be in teaching about consequences for behavior.  In the self-contained room that I was a part of last year, the students had a course that dealt with social skills.  If I were teaching a class on social skills, there is some great material to use with the students to have them create dialogue around different challenging situations they may have encountered, experience, or are concerned about.

As a special education instructor, I will be trying to facilitate my students in utilizing their strengths in order to reach their educational goals.  However, I would also like to impart skills that will enable them to be able to navigate the complexities of the modern world.   As Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone write, “What we ultimately want students to be able to do is find issues that are important to them, gather as much information as possible from a wide variety of resources that represent various viewpoints and motivations, and test- to the best of their abilities-the viability of these claims in order to inform their own decisions” (p149).   I hope to be able to create these higher level thinking opportunities by building relationships, utilizing strengths, and providing the proper amount of scaffolding to enhance my students’ abilities to be critical thinkers.


Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B.  (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.

2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Pitler, H. & Stone, B. (2012) A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. 2nd edition.  Alexandria,

VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

EDU 6526 “Identifying Similarities and Differences”

For this week in EDU 6526, we read chapter 8, Identifying Similarities and Differences, of our text, Classroom Instruction That Works, by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.  For this blog post I will be self- assessing my teaching performance in this area using, A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works, by Pitler and Stone.

In reflecting on my time student teaching, I would give myself a 2 out of 5.  This is an area that I would like to improve on.  One way that I used similarities and differences was in introducing students to the five themes of World Geography.  I made a power point slide that first defined the word theme for the students, and then prompted the students to identify some themes for the Seattle Seahawks.  With the Seahawks winning the super bowl this was a great way to get their attention, build excitement, and also activate their prior knowledge.  The students did a great job of identifying some of the themes for the Seahawks and then we moved on to the five themes of World Geography.  In initially studying the five themes of World Geography, we applied them first to the state of Washington and specifically the Seattle region to promote familiarity with the topic.

There were also lessons I taught were I could have done a much better job of having students identify similarities and differences.  For example, I taught a lesson on renewable and non-renewable energy sources. For this lesson, I introduced the major industries and then we made pro’s and con’s list for each one.  I could have also led the students in making a Venn diagram or a Comparison matrix as the Handbook suggest (Pitler & Stone, p247-248). This would have been a great way to get the students interacting further with the content, and tie it all together. Through participation in our classroom discussion, a classmate suggested using metaphors to compare our emotional states, specifically with anger.  This sounds like a great idea and I will have to do something similar next year.

According to our text, “many people consider these strategies to be the core of learning” (p119). The text also mentions the importance of variety among the different strategies, “comparing, classifying, creating metaphors, and creating analogies” (p121-2). I need to create activities that will focus on the latter two strategies.  There were times when I provided the students with analogies or metaphors but I didn’t have the students work to create their own.  An example of this came during a lesson on the greenhouse effect.  I had the students think about the schools double pain windows and then described my single pain windows at home and the heat exchange that occurred.  This is similar to the greenhouse effect and adding gasses is similar to adding layers of glass that will limit the exchange of atmospheric gasses.  However, I need to provide the students with increased opportunities to think on their own.


Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B.  (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.

2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Pitler, H. & Stone, B. (2012) A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. 2nd edition.  Alexandria,

VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


EDU 6120 “Search for meaning”

“Search for meaning”

For this week’s response to EDU 6120, the writing prompt is “search for meaning”.  There were numerous parts of the lectures and the readings that created meaningful reactions for me.  I enjoyed the portion of the lecture that made a distinction between persuasive and coercive power that a teacher has at their disposal.  Persuasive power is more challenging to implement but will be much more beneficial to the development of our students own self identities.  There is also this line from the second podcast “Compelling curriculum is the most compelling classroom management plan” (podcast 2).  As a teacher, I will strive to create learning experiences around the curriculum that are meaningful for my students.  If there is no meaning and participation for the students, the instruction will function, or be conducive to enabling a coercive power environment.

From the “The Ethical Basis and Aim of Instruction” by Johann F. Herbart, I really enjoyed this part,“18. The constant presence of the idea of perfection easily introduces a false feature into moral education in the strict sense. The pupil may get an erroneous impression as to the relative importance of the lessons, practice, and performance demanded, and so be betrayed into the belief of being essentially perfect when these demands are satisfied” (Herbart).  Throughout my internship, I have found students desire to be right a disappointment.  This seemed to be a main driving force behind their participation in class.  I tried to openly discuss the importance of being wrong and how we don’t know everything, that’s why we are here.  I also tried to maximize the amount of open ended question’s and activities in class.  In the search for meaning with my students, I hope to continue to develop a meaning in the classroom that will be a safe place for all students to be involved in the learning activities and a desire to discover new things.

From the Arthur Ellis reading Educational Challenges, I would like to discuss the following, “The one inescapable fact that the teacher must face is that he or she will teach values. Whether this is done formally in the sense of offering actual instruction in values, or whether students merely “catch” values through observation of the teacher’s day-to-day behavior, the teacher will teach values.”  There are numerous values that I would like to appropriately model for my students, calm, perseverance, compassion, to name a few.  In order to best model this behavior, I will need to prepare for the days instruction so I can be calm and responsive to my students needs with a meaningful disposition.


Readings for the week

Emile, or a Treatise on Education (1773, sel.) by Jean Jacques Rosseau

“The Ethical Basis and Aim of Instruction” by Johann F. Herbart

Educational Challenges by Arthur Ellis


EDU 6526 “Homework and Providing Practice”

This week in EDU 6526, we focused are attentions towards homework.  In doing so, we read chapter 7, Assigning Homework and Providing Practice, of our class text, Classroom Instruction That Works by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.  As with each week, we are to self-assess our teaching practice for these topics.

In self-assessing myself in the area of assigning Homework and Providing Practice, I would rate myself non-applicable.  During my student teaching, I was working in a self-contained special education classroom that had an agreed upon “no homework policy”.  The exception, was that students were asked to read each night at home for 30 minutes and keep a reading log.  Next year, I will be working in as an Elementary school resource room teacher.  How should I approach and assign homework for these students?

In Classroom Instruction That Works, they suggest that the amount of homework that students receive can be calculated by giving 10 minutes X grade level (p104).  They also mention a study that questions if homework should be given to students in the 2nd grade and lower.  As a resource room teacher, I will need to communicate effectively with the classroom teachers of my students to find out their current practices with assigning homework.  The text also mentions that schools should have homework policies in place.  What is my schools policy?  I might be able to help the classroom teachers out by making sure that any homework that is assigned will be differentiated to meet my student’s needs.  I will also make sure that any homework that I give will be, as the text suggest, with the purpose to “improve speed and accuracy” of a specific skill that has already been learned (p105).

Through-out my participation in the SPU ARC program, I have been extremely interested in creating ways that will increase familial participation in students learning.  Sending work home for students to do clearly creates learning opportunities for students to share with their parents.  However, as the text suggest, I need to make sure that the only role that parents are playing in their students homework is to be supportive in asking their child to put forth their best effort (p105).  I need to make sure that I am clear that they are not meant to instruct, or tutor their child during this time.  The student will be able to do all of the work on their own.  They will just need to be supportive and make sure they are able to create the time for the child to do the work.

Another strategy that I think I will employ is to have reflective conversations with my students as to the effectiveness of the homework.  Through participation in our course discussions, I was reminded of students coming back to middle school telling a teacher that they were not prepared for the amount of homework that they were getting in High School.  A peer was making the connection of homework preparing students for College.  Additionally, the importance of providing feedback is also highlighted in the text.  When I am providing feedback for students, I could also ask them to assess the effectiveness of homework that was assigned.  Working in a resource room, I will be trying to do all I can to help students catch up to the common core standards for their grade level.  In doing so, I will have to work efficiently with the team of educators at my school.


Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B.  (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.

2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Pitler, H. & Stone, B. (2012) A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. 2nd edition.  Alexandria,

VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.



EDU 6120 “Key Idea Identification”

“Key Idea Identification”

For week 5, I enjoyed the writing of Martin Luther (1483-1546) in “Letter in Behalf of Christian Schools”.  I found the following to quote to be very powerful:  “But the highest welfare, safety, and power of a city consists in able, learned, wise, upright, cultivated citizens, who can secure, preserve, and utilize every treasure and advantage”.   Martin Luther follows this with some very strong words directed towards leaders and their role in ensuring that education is a major priority.  Education is always been a major topic among the larger political elections that I have been around for.  However, it always seems to take a back seat to the economy.  As was mentioned in the lecture, everyone always will have an opinion on Education regardless of their experience working within the field.  Unfortunately, frequently these opinions will gain a voice in media outlets.

I also really enjoyed reading portions of the The Great Didactic (1633-38, sel.) by Johann Comenius.  I found his views in relation to nature to be very interesting as well as the positive environment that should be created: “4. Education should be carried out not with beating, severity and any kind of coercion, but easily, pleasantly, and, so to speak, by its own momentum”.  I particularly like the words selected for the end, own momentum.  I think that if we are able to create a climate that is pleasant and enjoyable for our students the desire for students intrinsic growth to occur is more likely.   I am also very interested in working with struggling readers.  I found the ninth postulate to be advice that is similar that I am encountering with some of the current suggestions for teaching reading.  “1. That the pupils have only such books which are fitting for their grade.  2. That these books be of such a kind that they can be called funnels of wisdom, virtue, and piety.”

Lastly, I am still developing my philosophy of education.  I found the readings by Arthur Ellis to be very interesting.  Ellis breaks down the educational philosophies into traditional and contemporary.  In reading about these different philosophies, there were aspects of each that were appealing to me.  I like to try and look on the bright side of things.  It was mentioned in this reading, that our philosophies on life might be similar to those that we will apply towards education.  I think looking on the bright side, will help me to keep an open mind, collaborate with all of my colleagues, reflect, and incorporate strategies into my instructional practice for the benefit of my students.


“Letter in Behalf of Christian Schools” by Martin Luther (1483-1546)

The Great Didactic (1633-38, sel.) by Johann Comenius,

Philosophical Perspectives by Arthur Ellis