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Act 13


Created by: Jennifer Schock

I believe that the classroom should be a safe place for all learners to thrive. It is my desire to create a stimulating educational environment where learners can meet their full potential by sharing their ideas; all while learning to embrace the differences of others.

Personal Belief Statement

Banner Question

How can I create an engaging classroom environment while integrating technology to help learners meet the course objectives?

Evidence by Domain

Planning and Preparation

Classroom environment


Professional Responsibilities

1C: How do you identify the rigorous and important learning in your course?

1B: How does your awareness of the special needs and learning styles in your class impact lesson planning?

Domain 1: Planning and Preparation

1A: Describe a strategy for responding to student questions

1F: How do you determine when to modify an assessment?

1D: How do your experiences with professional learning groups, community stakeholders, and organizations enhance your content knowledge and instructional practice?

1E: How do you provide opportunities for higher-level thinking?

Domain 1: Planning and Preparation

2C: How do you continuously model expectations, routines, procedures

2B: How do you communicate responsibilities and expectations for students as they move from one activity to the next in your class?

Domain 2: Classroom Environment

2A: How do you/will you continuously model expectations, routines, procedures?

2D: Describe your established standards of conduct for both physical and virtual spaces

2E: How do you ensure that the learning space and resources are accessible?

Domain 2: Classroom Environment

3C: What factors do you consider when pacing lessons to provide time for apprprioate student engagement.

3B: How do you measure active student engagement in discussions?

Domain 3: Instruction

3A: How do you communicate learning objectives to students?

3D: What do you provide to students to ensure they clearly understand the characteristics of high-quality work?

Domain 3: Instruction

3E: How and when do you employ alternative approaches when students are having difficulty?

4C: Communicating instructional information to families.

4B: Communication with students who are behind

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities

4A: What process do you/will you use to improve upon lessons?

4F: How do you ensure you are advocating for students’ best interests and providing opportunities for all students to succeed?

4D: Describe how you maintain a supportive and collaborative relationship with colleagues.

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities

4E: How do you provide opportunities for colleagues and your supervisor to contribute to your professional growth?

In order to maintain the rigorous and important learning in my course, I try to make the lessons as relevant to the students' lives as possible. For example, in the following edio lesson, child labor is discussed as well as the dangers of child labor and the laws that were credited to decrease it from happening. Students then reflected on how child labor laws impact their lives today.

Domain 1C

To improve upon lessons, I review old zoom recordings and also reflect on the lesson I am teaching in real time. I get feedback from students. Please review the following zoom recording where I ask students their thoughts on the live lesson that was completed on that day. You can watch the recording from 22:45 to the end of the video. Quite a few students responded to the chat stating that they liked the breakout rooms and the activity that was planned. Since I believe the breakout rooms were pretty successful, I do plan on including more opportunities for students to collaborate as the year progresses.

4A: What process do you use to improve upon lessons?

Learning objectives are displayed at the beginning of every class on the PowerPoint/Pear Deck/Nearpod.Before new content is covered, I read over the objectives and ask students the essential question of the lesson. At the end of the class, students reflect on the essential question using different types of exit tickets. Please see slides 2, 16, and 17 of the PowerPoint. Click on the interactive button below to access the PowerPoint file.

Domain 3A: How do you communicate learning objectives to students?

Here is my classroom genial as well as an example of a padlet of resources that are available to students for a particular unit.

All important resources are accessible to students in a multitude of ways. 1. The course home page includes a class genial which lists all classroom resources 2. The first lesson of every unit, there is a day component added which lists all important class resources. 3. The day before the new unit opens, a webmail is sent to all learner and caretaker webmails. 4. The resources are shared with students periodically throughout the unit and especially on the review day or day of the exam.

I communicate with students about missing assignments and overdue lessons by using edio chat and webmail. If students do not respond to my chat messages, I call home. To keep track of students' progress, I keep a list of students on paper with their overdue lessons. At the end of every week, I review my gradebook to check progress with students who accrue over 5 lessons.

Domain 4B: Communication with students who are behind

My monthly supervisor meetings allow for professional growth. When we are able to choose an edio lesson for a walkthrough, it allows me to reflect on the thought process behind the planning and execution of the lesson. Furthermore, I can critique my practice and how I can make the lesson better moving forward. As for my colleagues, I collaborate in my mini PLCs during our bi-weekly meetings. I also post new variants that I have created to the US History PLC page and ask for critiques. Lastly, a few US History teachers have a chat on Teams. We share variants back and forth all of the time and give feedback on how to make the variant better for all learners. Not only does it help make my lessons better, but it allows me to see different thought process' used by other US History teachers.

One way I measure active student engagement in discussions is by observation during class. I ask students questions and watch how they respond in Zoom chat. I also use zoom polls and applications like Pear Deck and Nearpod. In my unit 2 review lesson, I added a question on the edio lesson asking students how prepared they feel for the test. This will allow me to gauge asynchronous students. During the guided session, students will answer the question on the nearpod and/or in the zoom chat on the second to last slide of the lesson.

Domain 3B: Measuring active student engagement in discussions

Recently, I was out for a week on vacation, and I had the pleasure of working with a new teacher at CCA: Keith Veverka. At first, Keith observed my daily lessons. After a few days, Keith and I co-taught my class. A few days before my leave, Keith taught the entire class. Every day, Keith and I would meet at the end of class on Teams and discuss the lesson and I would address any questions and provide feedback. To support Keith as he received his own US History course, I shared all of my PowerPoint files and activities as well as told Keith to take any and all variants to use with his class. Besides just helping support Keith, I enjoy sharing variants to the US History PLC page so other teachers can use what I created and critique the work that I have done.

In my daily lessons, I try to ask thought provoking questions relating to the material to get students to think outside of the box. Often, we try to make inferences in history to today's time period. However, most opportunities for students come during live lessons. Students are given information and then expected to expand on that information in either creating products or answering questions. The following links are two live classrooms that I have completed, that I believe show a great job of providing students an opportunity to expand on their learning.

Domain 1A: Responding to Student QuestionsI use a few different strategies when responding to student questions. 1. First, I use a bell ringer at the beginning of every class period. This allows me to see what students remember from the prior class period before we start adding new knowledge of the unit.2. I like to use Padlet. This allows students to ask questions about the content. We can reflect on these questions as we move through the unit OR I can use their questions to create live classroom content or opportunities for extra credit. Here is an example of a KWL chart (going to include the L at the end of the unit)

Participating in the US History PLC has helped shape my instructional practices. Not only do I share resources that I create, but I take excellent ideas that are shared by fellow teachers and adapt them to meed the needs of learners in my classroom. In the mini PLC, I enjoy hearing other teachers discuss their strategies for the classroom. It allows me to reflect on my own teaching and incorporate what I have learned to my own learners. The following link is the grade improvement plan shared by my PLC. I took their Genially and tweaked it to meet the needs of my learners.

Every single class, I communicate responsibilities and expectations by example. I model what is expected of students and then allow time for questions. I use classroom screen to display the expectations of the class and to set timers. I use the broadcast feature on Zoom to broadcast text and my voice to keep students on track. In an upcoming live classroom, I am going to use the following form to keep students on track for the breakout room activity.

Domain 2B: Communicating Responsibilities and Expectations

All default assessments in edio are modified into at leasts four categories: Regular Education, three tiers of Special Education, and one tier of ELL.In each tier, more and more modifications are added to assist students and meet their SDIs. Beyond that, assessments have been modified for students who have not attempted an assessment or have turned it in blank. After reaching out to students offering support and 1:1 tutoring, I modify and create alternative assessments to give students choice. The following is a quizzizz that was created as a modified/alternative form of the unit 4 DBQ assignment

Advocating for students and providing opportunities for all students to succeed is really important. Since all learners are different, I try to incorporate UDL as much as possible into my daily practices. Students can participate in Zoom chat, Zoom Microphone, peardeck/nearpod, and/or Zoom poll. In many daily lessons, students have the choice of how they want to answer questions using the youpick feature. When students are behind on work, catch up plans are offered to assist students in getting caught back up with work. When students are struggling and are completing all work, grade improvement opportunities are given, as well as being able to reset assignments. Lastly, students can complete alternative assessments to show their mastery of a topic. The following link is a grade improvement opportunity for students.

For assignments and projects, examples are built into edio for learner reference. Learners can look at high-quality examples to allow them to reflect on their own work.Rubrics and checklists are also given on assessments and projects so learners can ensure they are meeting the criteria for the assessment.The following links are examples of projects where students are given examples. One example is the Unit 6 project, where students can download templates (refer to Day 3-R, page 4). The second link is to the Unit 9 DBQ project, where students can review a high-quality response before they attempt the answer on their own (refer to variant Day3 - R, pages 5-6).

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Domain 2A: How do you continuously model expectations, routines, procedures?

Classroom screen is used in my classroom everyday. On this screen, I include the bell ringer question, riddles/jokes, on this day in history and much more. I also include 2 images. One is the classroom expectations and the other image answers a question that many students ask when they join my zoom (can I submit blank today). At the beginning of every lesson, we review the two images. This classroom screen is displayed to students before class officially begins. Here is an example:

When students are having difficulty, I try to reach out to them 1:1. When we meet up on Zoom, if students are having difficulty with putting their thoughts into writing, I offer them to answer verbally and give them credit accordingly. If students have overdues for specific assignments/projects and have not responded to chats for extra help, I also offer alternative assessments which gives them other ways to show their learning. The following nearpod is an example of an alternative assignment for my unit 4 assignment. Learners also had the option to complete a quiz on edio.

To communicate instructional information, I use a US History Genially. I also webmail all learners and care takers at the beginning of every unit. This webmail provides a resource padlet students can use to be successful in each unit.

Domain 4C:

I continuously model expectations, routines, and procedures. I use a classroom page to begin class every morning. On this page, I display the class expectations. Students have learned the routine and procedures that are expected of them. For specific class days, I also model behavior and what is expected of students before we begin an activity or assignment.

Domain 2C:

Standards for behavior and conduct are gone over on the first day of class and are displayed every single day at the beginning of class using classroom screen. While students do not often get out of line and are pretty respectful, the class expectations are addressed, if needed. If absolutely necessary, classroom chat is turned to host only, and private messages are sent to the learner who is out of line. If behavior does not improve, a phone call home is made to discuss the issue.

Factors I consider when pacing and planning my lessons are what is the essential question to the lesson and what do I want students to really understand and grasp at the end of a lesson. In many nearpod lessons, I include timers on short answer responses. I also include bell ringer activities and exit tickets to gauge student understanding of a lesson. The exit ticket allows me to create a bell ringer activity related to questions student may still have regarding a previous lesson. Bell ringers are always conducted on a classroom screen. Exit tickets are always completed on either PowerPoint, Nearpod, and/or PearDeck

Domain 3C:

My awareness of learning styles and special needs drives my thought process when lesson planning. For many lessons, I try to incorporate UDL and give students choice in their learning. With that, I also do my best to create multiple variants which include accommodations that are needed for my students. The following edio lesson includes variants that have been made to reach different learners. When this lesson was taught for a live lesson, students also had the opportunity to work in breakout rooms. This year, my students enjoy this type of activity so going forward, I am going to plan more engaging breakout room activities for them to collaborate.

Domain 1B: Lesson Planning