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 6526 Week 2

For the second week in EDU 6526 we studied chapter 2, Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition, and chapter 3, Cooperative Learning, in Classroom Instruction That Works by Dean, Hubble, & Stone.  For the purposes of this blog, I will be self-assessing my teaching in these areas, and make plans for improvement based on the research that is provided in our text.

In self assessing myself on how I do in providing feedback that reinforces effort and recognition, I would rate myself a 3 on a scale of 1-5.  Previous classes at SPU stressed the importance of providing feedback that reinforces students’ effort in a very positive manner.  During my student teaching, I would always try and provide feedback to students that was constructive and simultaneously positive in praising their effort in what they had already accomplished.  Through participating in our class blackboard discussions, a classmate suggested the idea of a teacher being vigilant in looking for that good behavior and praising them in the moment.  By being well prepared to teach lessons, I will be able to be vigilant and focused on catching my students being good.  I could improve in this area by utilizing some of the suggestions in Classroom Instruction That Works.  One of these strategies is to use an effort rubric to go along with assignments (p26-28).  After students finish an assignment they could self-assess their effort.  In utilizing an effort rubric, as the text suggest, I could also create a graph that could depict the effort that students self-assessed on an assignment, or test, along with the resulting grades that were achieved.  This would be helpful to show the students a visual correlation between overall effort and achievement.  Additionally, the text mentions making sure that our praise is thoughtful, limited and individualized to the student (p31).  In making lesson activities that allow for differentiation, students will be able to be operating at the edge of their present level of performance (PLOP).  This will also assist me in being able to provide feedback that is personalized, constructive, and growth oriented.

In self assessing my-self on cooperative learning, on a scale of 1-5, I would have to give myself a 2.  In the middle school special education self-contained classroom that I was student teaching in, cooperative learning groups were not always encouraged.  There were often students that were on no contact contracts with one another.  I did utilize the think-pair-share strategy and a jigsaw activity.  Reflecting on these activities, it was very clear that I needed to spend more time establishing the expectations for the group work.  The text mentions some great ideas about being very explicit in defining roles for each member in the group to ensure that everyone is equally involved.  In my own classroom, I would like to spend time discussing with students the importance of cooperative learning and getting along with one another as well as the expectations for the different activities and roles for each group member.  For this week we also watched videos that described great ways to utilize jigsaw strategies, the silent card shuffle, and numbered heads together.  I really enjoyed watching these videos.  In special education, instruction often is occurring in very small groups.  However, I will still try and get creative, and adapt these different activities for my learners.  Special Education is very goal oriented towards academic goals.  As I am learning in EDU 6120, the goal of education is also to promote citizenship.  Cooperative learning is a great way for students to build social and communication skills that will be necessary to be good active participants in our democracy.

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.

ISTE Standard 5 post

How can I keep up with all of the demanding requirements of the teaching profession, and still continue to find new tools to enhance my students learning with technology?

I came across a great blog that combines the use of technology and collaboration.  Collaboration and technology are becoming ever entwined.  Through reflection and great effort, I can continue to enhance my collaboration skills both as a digital citizen and with the community that I will be teaching with.  This site provides excellent descriptions of the various roles that we will need to be comfortable maneuvering in and out of, if we are to meet the necessity of collaboration and technology.

A classmate of mine shared a link to a site that promotes teachers to be lifelong learners.  There are ten ideas that are meant to inspire us.  Reading this list, three of the ideas have on-line in their titles.  With this being our last blog post for this class, I find it very fitting to have my final bog for this class include advice that advocates for more time spent on-line to further our learning.  I have included a link to the sight below.

I have been participating in online learning for quite a long time know.  I have not ever participated in any kind of twitter activity.  After watching the Vialogues video for the week, it is clear that twitter can be a place to keep track of what great teachers are doing in the classroom.  This was very nice to learn.

I found it interesting to read about the National Education Technology Plan for 2010.  To say that technology will be included in education would be to put it mild.  Every step of the educational process will be linked into using technology.  The report mentions the term connected teacher.  The connected teacher will have access to all sorts of programs that will allow them to be better teachers.  Assessments, lessons, discussions, will all be able to be held online.  The word connected implies hooked, plugged in, or an on-line teacher that will be aware of all the available resources.

I will need to work on becoming more efficient at navigating the various teaching tools that are available.  At the same time, I will need to remember to do so with proper etiquette that I aspire to use while having in-person conversations.  In engaging with the world, via the web, I also need to remember the ultimate purpose will be to enhance my students’ growth and learning.

Reference and Links


Atkins, D.E., Bennett, J., Brown, J.S., Chopra, A., Dede, C., & Fishman, B. (2010) Teaching:

Prepare and Connect from Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology. National Education Technology Plan, 39-50.

Autism room observation

I recently observed an autism classroom.  Instruction in this room is very specific to each individual.  The hope standard that this reflects is, P2 – Practice differentiated instruction.  There were five students in this class the day I observed.  The evidence for this post shows the classroom configuration.

IMG_9570The classroom set up was very instrumental in allowing for the differentiated instructional needs of each student.  The class functioned around different stations with each person rotating through the stations.  For some students, this meant receiving one on one attention.  The stations that I observed were reading, writing with new vocab words, and computer assisted reading programs.  One student, who is non-verbal, had assisted technology to help him communicate with the teacher during his reading time.  The entire structure of the classroom was designed to cater to each specific students needs as listed in their IEP’s. This was ideal for focusing instruction for each student’s unique learning goal as stated in their IEP’s.  The students each have their schedule attached to their locker for each day.  The activities are shown in picture form for most of the students with two of them having word descriptors.  As one activity is finished the students return the sticker to an envelope and then grab the next picture down the line. For the reading time, a couple of students were working on curriculum based measures (CBM) for words correctly read per minute.  This number was recorded on a weekly basis for particular passages.  These same students also had six vocab words that were introduced each week.  The reading for these students was pretty good.  The teacher noted that the struggle came with comprehension.  The teacher at another station worked with these students on comprehension questions.  A set of flash cards was used to ask students very general questions about the seasons and holidays.  Another student was also working on reading a very simple book about pumpkins and how many pumpkins were in each picture.  The teacher would read the story and try and get the student to pronounce some of the words.  Then the teacher would ask the student simple questions and the student would attempt to answer them using the assistive technology. For this particular student, they were also working on developing fine motor skills by having the student work with button fasteners and attaching cloth to buttons. I hope to spend some more time in this class and see how the students are progressing at a different time of the year.  This is a new program at my school.  I worked with some of these students last year in a self-contained classroom.  It was great to see this new model of service that they were receiving.  The teacher has put in a great amount of effort and it really shows.

EDU 6132- Attention and Motivation

Prompt: Describe factors influencing student motivation and attention. Elaborate on methods for improving motivation and increasing attention (you can write about a specific strategy, such as the “hook” or a strategy applicable throughout the lesson, such as integrating multi-sensory activities, or concept teaching).
Students’ microsystems will perhaps create the greatest influence on a student’s ability to self-motivate and pay attention in school.  When students’ basic needs, health, social, and emotional environments are not being met, it will be challenging to focus and motivate in school.  However, we have also learned, that students’ will be able to learn provided there is good engaging instruction despite outside influences that might not be supportive. Therefore, I will focus on what I am doing in the classroom to create a cultural climate that will keep their attention and create internal motivation.

I am extremely excited about creating learning environments that are enriching for my students’ and myself.  I will strive to create a culture within my room that is supportive, encouraging, and has high learning expectations that will foster positive self-efficacy while kicking learned helplessness out the door.  To do this I can create a task oriented culture that will create intrinsic motivation in all of my students resulting in them putting forth their best efforts.  In Pressley and McCormick (2007), “cooperative social situation exists when the goals of the separate individuals are linked together so that an individual can obtain his or her goal only if the other participants can achieve their goals” (p 275).  Teamwork!  An excellent way to do this is to utilize Jigsaw strategies in teaching.  Jigsaw technique allows students to break into teams, learn material, and then regroup and share the material they have learned with each other.  This will also foster an environment in which the students feel like they have control over the learning process while engaging with each other socially over classroom content. It will be extremely important to ensure the lesson goals are being met for the students while also being open to students’ interest potentially taking a lesson in another direction.

Medina (2008) mentions interest and a short ten minute attention span as being key points that are necessary in order to maintain attention.  Being aware of this, it will be necessary to know my students interests. This is why it is necessary to utilize the HOPE standard P2 – Practice differentiated instruction- when planning lessons.  There will be different interest in the classroom and although it may be impossible to cater to all these diverse interests simultaneously, the differing interests should be used on a revolving basis.  For example, in trying to relate the learning goals of a lesson I like to try and create situations that students’ can relate to.  I could use sporting analogies,video game analogies, or other interst depending on the student.  If I am assisting an individual student I will choose the interest that best relates to them.  There will be times when I will be addressing the whole class.  For these situations, it will be worthwhile to relate the material to students’ interest in a rotating fashion.  I could also try and switch to students’ different interest to regain attention at the ten minute mark.  This will not only grab their attention, it will also create an environment in which all students’ interest are encouraged, highlighted, and supported.  The result will be an increase in students’ self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and an increased interest in learning in school.

Medina, J. (2008). Brain rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.


Pressley, M. & McCormick, C. B. (2007). Child and adolescent development for educators. New

York, NY: Guilford Press.



vision for success

I envision learning effective teaching skills through SPU’s ARC program, and utilizing them in practice through my internship when applicable.  I will do this by putting forth my best effort academically to take full advantage of the learning opportunities presented.  I will use the HOPE principles for my goals in working towards competency.  During my internship, I will seek out opportunities to incorporate the skills I am learning in the classroom, to be of better service to my students.

My work ethic, dedication, compassion, and strong desire to see students learn will enable me to be a successful teacher.  I will strive to create a classroom that is inclusive, supportive, and embraces the learning potential of every student.  In doing so, I will create a community of learners in which we will all be able to reach our full potential.