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R.C.

TALMEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL


9500 Kilby Drive Richmond, Be V6X 3N2 604-668-6275 Fax 604-668-6173
http://talmey .sd3 8.bc.ca Principal: Mr. Don Dixon

General Description of Responsibilities Ms. Colleen Bryant has completed a good 10-week practicum in a grade 6/7 classroom at R.C. Talmey Elementary School in Richmond B.C. R.C. Talmey School is a small school of close to 165 students, situated in an average socio economic area, with a portion of families coming from government subsidized housing. Colleen performed well as a beginning teacher. Her class consisted of28 students, with one Levelland two Level 2 ESL learners. She was under the guidance of Ms. Karen Burroughs. Colleen taught Language Arts, Science, Socials, Grade 7 Math, Physical Education, French, Fine Arts, and Health and Career Education. Professional Qualities Colleen demonstrated genuine care for all of the children in her class. She thoughtfully created a classroom community that allowed each student to be an individual and work to his/her own potential. Colleen was highly motivated to learn as much as she could during the ten weeks in order to meet the diverse needs of her class. She was very flexible and in tune with the classroom climate often adapting lessons to fit the current needs and interests of the group. Colleen sought out the feedback of her advisors and is still developing her ability to build relationships with the rest of the staff to use them as means of support and resources. She was continually looking for new ideas to better her practice and will benefit from using those around her to help refine and enrich her teaching. Colleen always was well prepared and dependable. Her unit and lesson plans were handed in well in advance and each day was planned and ready to go before she left school the day before. Over the course of the practicum, Colleen became increasingly cognizant ofthe breadth and complexity of the teaching role and gradually assumed responsibility for the many aspects it entails. She contributed to the school community by helping twice with the after school Marathon club, coaching and supervising at our district track meet, travelling with our class to outdoor education, and running a Leadership Club with the intermediate students where they worked to improve the school playground. Colleen also participated in professional development days on "Investigating our Practices" where she presented her inquiry project, as well as going to workshops on SMAR Tboards and iPads. Colleen was then able to do a number of activities with the class using iPads. This demonstrated her willingness to take risks and try new things even though the lessons she developed were not part of her initial plan.

Colleen was comfortable communicating with parents as necessary. She was also willing to meet with parents and answer any questions they had. One of Colleen's specific strengths was in the area of relationships between herself and the students. Inquiry and Reflective Practice Colleen responded well to feedback during informal dialogue and discussions on her lessons. She would reflect on this feedback and implement suggested strategies. Colleen was open to using different strategies of teaching. She would often reassess her lessons prior to teaching them to ensure they were appropriate. Colleen built an inquiry topic of beauty that weaved through all of the subject areas. This topic was particularly powerful in Social Studies where the students designed their own beauty project that looked at the connection between their perceptions of beauty and their ancient origins. Colleen was able to use her relationships with the students to help guide them towards topics that met the criteria of the project and also peaked their interests. Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Colleen's planning was to be commended. She worked with her school advisor and faculty advisor to understand the curricular requirements at the Grade six and seven level, and to plan lessons and units that would provide for hands-on experience and inquiry based learning. She developed her ability to incorporate meaningful opportunities for learning during her course of instruction. Fostering engagement is an area of continued development for Colleen, she is continuing to push her boundaries and find ways to have the students as interested in the topics as she is. In many subjects she planned appropriate assessment through the development of a variety of different forms of evaluation including rubrics, self-evaluations and returned marked assignments in a timely manner. However, there were a few subjects that lacked proper assessment and documentation. Colleen has learned from this experience and I do not foresee this being an issue for her in the future. Colleen was able to make a good contribution to the compilation of final report cards. Colleen planned and implemented successful units in the following area; Math (Measurement, Geometry), Social Studies (Ancient Civilizations: notions of beauty), Science (Earth Science), Language Arts (Poetry), PE (Badminston), Career and Personal Planning (Prejudice/Media), and Fine Arts (Emotion Paintings). Colleen occasionally used iPads for research purposes. She was consistently well organized and prepared during her practicum. Diversity and Social Justice Colleen was aware of the diverse needs in our classroom. Once she took ownership of the class she began to demonstrate an awareness of the different needs of the individual students. She formed a bond with our new ESL level 1 students and translated notes and parts of some lessons into Arabic to improve communication and understanding of what was happening in the classroom. She began to give students more choice in their own learning based on their interests within a specific topic linked to the learning outcomes. One of Colleen's strengths was not shying away from important topics that came up during her time teaching that may not have related to her planned curriculum. One week

Colleen became increasingly aware of the language the students were using when talking to each other. Rather than just let it pass she created a powerful lesson on the importance of the words we choose and how they reflect our beliefs. When the students were faced with the language they had been using and had been heard by Colleen they were flabbergasted and deeply moved. As a class they decided that they needed to improve and committed to playing more attention to their language and their role in Social Justice in the classroom and school. Language, Literacies and Cultures Colleen strived throughout her practicum to become more cognizant of the diversity and range of volume and articulation in her voice to help engage the students. She continues to develop these skills around engaging all the students in her lessons and most specifically through her hook. Her language skills were always very professional and she consistently used proper grammar and vocabulary. Her questioning skills were well developed and she became more comfortable experimenting with open-ended and higherorder questions. Over the ten weeks there was a great improvement in student understanding of expectations through wait-time and proximity. Colleen experimented with audio, video, ipads and the Internet throughout her practicum. She often would incorporate the Infocus projector into her lessons. Colleen shared texts and stories that connected literacies to different subject matter, particularly in Art and Social Studies. She developed her ability to write pertinent information on the board in order for students to have a reference for their assigned task. Colleen invited the school to listen to the reading of poetry by each student from their poetry booklet. She also held an open house for the school and parents to allow the students to present their Social Studies inquiry projects on Beauty to the whole community. Colleen worked hard to develop a classroom culture that respected and supported all learners in the room. Classroom Climate Colleen maintained a warm and inclusive classroom environment. Classroom management continued to develop throughout her practicum. She has continued to build strategies to engage students especially at the beginning of lessons. It became obvious very quickly that the students respected her position as their classroom teacher. She was clear with her expectations and provided consistent structure and direction to allow the children to explore within reasonable boundaries. She had a strong and positive presence within the group, and was able to use familiar signals to gain student attention. Colleen used wait time, individual cues and specific positive reinforcement to create focus for direction given and to structure and direct transitions. Due to her organization and plaIU1ingskills the students were usually focused on the task at hand even when working in groups or on open-ended activities. Colleen developed a positi ve relationship with her students. The students communicated openly and shared a lot of their daily experiences with her. Since the students saw her as their teacher they felt comfortable coming to her if they had a problem or concern. She was able to handle negative behavior diligently and effectively.

Summary Colleen has had a good practicum experience at Talmey Elementary. She demonstrated commitment to her students and their learning. Colleen implemented suggestions when given and she attempted to engage her students in a wide variety of different learning activities. I have enjoyed working with Colleen and know she is ready to undertake the role of TOC and enroll her own class when the opportunity becomes available. Colleen immersed herself in the teaching role during this practicum. She showed strength in her planning, and developed a broad repertoire of instructional strategies and management skills to allow for the successful implementation of her many good ideas. Most importantly, Colleen developed a strong understanding of how to support the diverse learning needs of young children. She expanded her understanding of the teaching role and will continue to develop her capacity through ongoing experience and mentorship. She has a great ability to connect personally with students one on one and I have found it to be a very enjoyable experience to work with Colleen!

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