You are on page 1of 29

WTS 7 Page 1

Instructional Design
Julie Rollins
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs
Portfolio Entry for Wisconsin Teacher Standards 7
EDUW 693 Instructional Design and Assessment
Sara Heisler, Instructor
March 22, 2014
WTS 7 Page 2

Targeted Descriptors from Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure
The descriptors listed for each Wisconsin Teacher Standard (WTS) on this page and the
next are copied from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website. Areas targeted for
improvement are preceded by a ♦ rather than a • symbol.

Wisconsin Teacher Standard (WTS) 7: Teachers are able to plan different kinds of lessons.
The teacher organizes and plans systematic instruction based upon knowledge of subject
matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.

Knowledge
• The teacher understands learning theory, subject matter, curriculum development, and
student development and knows how to use this knowledge in planning instruction to meet
curriculum goals.
♦ The teacher knows how to take contextual considerations (instructional materials,
individual student interests, needs and aptitudes, and community resources) into account in
planning instruction that creates an effective bridge between curriculum goals and students'
experiences.
• The teacher knows when and how to adjust plans based on student responses and other
contingencies.

Dispositions
♦ The teacher values both long-term and short-term planning.
• The teacher believes that plans must always be open to adjustment and revision based
on student needs and changing circumstances.
• The teacher values planning as a collegial activity.

Performances
♦ As an individual and a member of a team, the teacher selects and creates learning
experiences that are appropriate for curriculum goals, relevant to learners, and based upon
principles of effective instruction (e. g. that activate students’ prior knowledge, anticipate
preconceptions, encourage exploration and problem-solving, and build new skills on those
previously acquired).
♦ The teacher plans for learning opportunities that recognize and address variation in
learning styles, learning differences, and performance modes.
♦ The teacher creates lessons and activities that operate at multiple levels to meet the
developmental and individual needs of diverse learners and help each progress.
• The teacher creates short-range and long-term plans that are linked to student needs and
performance, and adapts the plans to ensure and capitalize on student progress and motivation.
• The teacher responds to unanticipated sources of input, evaluates plans in relation to
short- and long-range goals, and systematically adjusts plans to meet student needs and enhance
learning.



WTS 7 Page 3

Pre-assessments
Introduction
To improve instructional design, I targeted a sixth-grade writing lesson for my learning
process. The major student learning objective (SLO) is to write an essay about a novel theme.
In addition to the Wisconsin Teacher Standards (WTS) 7, the Wisconsin/Common Core State
Standards guided the academic performance assessment in Table 1a. The Danielson model
(2007) guided the instructional and learning environment assessments.
Assessment of Student Performance Related to WTS 7 and Academic Expectations

Below is an estimation of current student knowledge and skills for the targeted subject,
based on standards guiding the content and student performance evidence available at this time.
Table 1: Pre-Assessment of Current Academic Student Performance Compared to PK-12
Vertical Standards
Skill
Level
Grade
Level
Significant Performance Factors that Determined Current Proficiency Rating
(proficiency = performance meets all expectations at and below the rating)
Lowest 1-W
2-R
Lowest students struggle to use “facts and definitions to develop points” and
cannot provide a “concluding statement” at Grade 2 level. They need be
prompted. For reading, they struggle to “explain how the message or the
moral is conveyed through key details in the text” at Grade 3 level.
Median 2-W
4-R
Median students do not independently “include illustrations when useful to
aiding comprehension,” and “using linking words and phrases to connect
ideas” at Grade 3 level. For reading, most students cannot “include how
characters in a story respond to challenges” at Grade 5 level.
Highest 3-W
5-R
Highest students struggle to use “concrete details and quotations or other
information and examples related to the topic,” and “using precise language”
and “domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic” at
Grade 4 level. For reading, the highest students have a difficult time
“providing a summary distinct from their own personal opinions” at Grade 6.
Overall
comment
Source: Previous writing related to standards.
Overall understanding of theme and writing skills is at paragraph level instead of
essay level.




WTS 7 Page 4

Self-assessment of Instructional Methods and Practices Related to WTS 7
Table 2a: Pre-Assessment of Instructional Planning and Preparation
Danielson A Framework for Teaching, Domain 1: Planning and Preparation Component 1c:
Setting Instructional Outcomes (p. 51-53 and chart on page 54).
Element Rating Current Evidence to Support Rating/Area to Improve
Value,
sequence,
and
alignment
Basic Outcomes represent moderately high expectations and rigor. Some
reflect important learning in the discipline. Some outcomes
connect to a sequence of learning in the discipline. Some outcomes
connect to a sequence of learning in related disciplines.
Clarity Basic Outcomes are moderately clear, written in the form of a
combination of outcomes and activities. Some outcomes permit
viable methods of assessment.
Balance Basic Outcomes reflect several different types of learning, but little
attempt to coordinate or integrate disciplines.
Suitability
for
diverse
learners
Proficient Most outcomes are suitable for most students in the class.
Outcomes are based on evidence of student proficiency. Needs of
some individual student or groups are accommodated.
Overall
comment
Source: written novel unit plan and weekly lesson plans
Overall pre-assessment of instructional planning shows that I mostly at a basic
rating in these areas. My lessons need more clarity of student learning outcomes as
well as integration of other disciplines.


Table 2b: Pre-Assessment of Instructional Planning and Preparation
Danielson A Framework for Teaching, Domain 1: Planning and Preparation Component 1c:
Setting Instructional Outcomes (p. 55-59 and chart on page 60).
Element Rating Current Evidence to Support Rating/Area to Improve
Learning
activities
Proficient All learning activities are suitable to students or to the
instructional outcomes. Most represent moderate cognitive
challenges. Some are differentiated for groups of students.
Instructional
materials
and
resources
Proficient All of the materials and resources are suitable to students,
support the instructional outcomes, and engage students in
meaningful learning. There is some evidence of appropriate use
of technology and of student participation in selecting or
adapting materials.
Instructional
groups
Proficient Instructional groups are appropriately varied for students and the
different instructional outcomes.
Lesson and
unit
structure
Basic The lesson or unit has recognizable structure that organizes
activities. The structure is not uniformly maintained throughout.
Uneven progression of activities. Reasonable time allocations
for each activity.
WTS 7 Page 5

Overall
comment
Source: written novel unit plan and weekly lesson plans
Overall pre-assessment of instructional planning shows that I am mostly at a
proficient rating in these areas. My lesson planning needs to focus more on
higher level thinking activities as well as allowing for different pathways for the
diverse student needs.

Assessment of Learning Environment Related to Assessment Practices
Table 3a: Pre-Assessment of Instructional Delivery Outcomes Related to Engaging
Students in Learning
Danielson A Framework for Teaching, Domain 3: Instruction. Component 3b: Using
Questioning and Discussion Techniques and Component 3c: Engaging Students in Learning
(combining rows in the charts on pages 82 and 85).
Element Rating Current Evidence to Support Rating/Area to Improve
Quality of
questions
Proficient Teacher’s questions are mostly high quality in cognitive
challenge. Students generally respond with thoughtful responses.
Questions are asked with adequate time to respond.
Discussion
techniques
Basic Teacher-student interaction is with some attempt to engage
students in genuine discussion. Teacher steps aside when
appropriate.
Student
participation
Basic Teacher attempts with limited success to engage all students in
the discussion.

Activities
and
assignments
Basic Activities and assignments are appropriate to some students’ age
or background. Some students are cognitively engaged in the
activities and assignments in exploring content.
Overall
comment
Source: previous novel unit and writing lessons
Overall pre-assessment of instructional delivery shows that I am mostly at a basic
rating in these areas. I need to increase the thinking level of my discussion
questions to engage students in more cognitively challenging activities and
assignments as they explore the content.

Essential Question to Guide Research and Assessment Conclusion
The overall inquiry question to guide my 693 learning process is “How do I improve my
standards-based planning so my students achieve their developmental capabilities through
competent, confident, and independent learning?” The assessments of student performance,
instruction, and learning environment, guided by WTS 7, suggest a need to improve (a) planning
learning activities that are differentiated, highly suitable to all students, and designed to engage
WTS 7 Page 6

all students in higher levels of thinking and (b) delivering instruction so that all students are
engaged throughout the entire learning process and interested in taking the initiative to explore
and adapt to enhance their understanding.
Research Summary
Introduction
To address growth related to Wisconsin Teacher Standard 7, teachers must use both PK-
12 coordinated practices and specific strategies to “organize and plan systematic instruction
based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.”
Coordinated practices include backward design from deconstructed standards and an
understanding of individual student needs based on assessed evidence. Those general practices
incorporate specific differentiation strategies and delivery methods to engage students based on
group and individual needs. This research summary highlights planning and delivery practices
that emerged as logical choices to begin improving my instructional effectiveness.
Heisler (2013) suggested the PAVES-OVER acronym as a mnemonic device to improve
thinking and task performance for student writing assignments. The purpose of this mnemonic
device is to increase student learning, improve their application, and take thinking to a higher
level. P is for purpose; students need to define a specific purpose including mode, audience,
purpose, and topic. Students need to consider the knowledge and attitude of their audience, A.
Voice, V, is the process where students decide on the 4 P’s: point of view, perspective,
personality, and person. Students need to generate their ideas to be emphasized (E) and develop
supporting details (S). O is for organization; students plan the organization of their essay and
begin to write their paper. The VER is when students check the quality of their paper (chapter 4,
p. 2, 9). Students validate their ideas and audience, edit their paper so that it focuses on the
WTS 7 Page 7

purpose, and revise so that their ideas meet the requirements of the purpose, audience, and voice.
This teaching strategy proved to be effective. When students are brainstorming ideas for a
writing assignment, they might use a graphic organizer or a template as a guideline so they are
focused on finding the main ideas. Students are then thinking about ideas and details before
writing them in sentences and paragraphs. The PAVES-OVER method emphasizes this process
and provides a strategy that will enhance student learning outcomes for essay writing. For
example, if students were writing an essay on a novel character, the key ideas might read:
P: Define theme so my peers agree it is true for this novel. A: ↑K, +A. V: 3
rd
past insightful
reader; E: dynamic and static characters by end who represent theme truth the best.
S: character thoughts/words/actions that demonstrate theme. O: degree of importance in story.
According to Heisler (2013), the GF Words is another effective teaching strategy for
essay writing. As students are writing a conclusion for their essay, they should be choosing one
of these three ideas as their focus: a general fact idea, a general feeling idea, or a general future
idea (chapter 9, p. 27). Students need to recognize that their conclusion is the valid end of a
reasoning process. The conclusion should pertain to the purpose and audience of the essay. All
of the details of the body of the essay must support and lead up to the final statement. This
strategy provides students with a more specified direction for writing a conclusion to their essay.
For example, suppose a student is writing about theme in a “coming of age” novel. The main
character learns that a person must balance the need to be independent versus the human need for
companionship. The student may use two examples of when the character was anxious to get
away from people versus lonely to prove his choice of theme. The key idea in the conclusion
paragraph for a General Fact (GF) might read, “In My Side of the Mountain, Sam Gribley faced
many obstacles of living alone that illustrated the theme of survival.” A General Feeling
WTS 7 Page 8

conclusion might read, “Jean Craighead George shared with the reader a character who struggled
emotionally with the choice of living with his family in the crowded city and living on his own in
the mountains.” The final choice might be a General Future statement, which might read, “The
main character, Sam Gribley, chose to live off the land rather than go back home with his
family.”
According to the Georgia Department of Education (2013), the interactive notebook is an
effective teaching strategy that allows students to become more actively involved in learning as
they read a novel. The teacher would set up the notebooks with the entire class, so that everyone
has a notebook with the same expectations and formatting. The interactive notebook is an
educational organizer. The goal of this notebook is for students to record their work and learning
in a structured organized manner. The notebook should include a cover, rules, table of contents,
and reference pages. The cover should contain the title of the novel, the author, the student’s
name, and possibly his or her own creative artwork to represent the novel. The rules would be
very specific such as “Bring the notebook to class every day” and “All work for the novel should
be done in this notebook.” Rules are important because they clearly inform the students of the
teacher’s expectations. The reference pages might contain resources such as a graphic organizer
of the plot line and a list of literary elements targeted in the curriculum. Students would then use
the notebook to respond to their reading, journal about characters or as characters, apply real
world skills to current events related to the novel, practice usage of vocabulary, and connect
concepts of the novel to topics of other content areas. The interactive notebook is a structured
collection of all learning done by the student, which inspires higher levels of thinking during the
novel unit.
WTS 7 Page 9

Furr and Bauman (2003) emphasized that writing workshop can help our struggling
learners gain confidence with writing. Allowing students to have a choice in the topic and voice
of their writing is essential in motivation. Frequent journal writing, peer editing, and teacher
writing conferences allow students to discover their best kind of writing. Struggling readers
often succeed at writing informational reports. Reading nonfiction books and then reporting on
them can be a positive writing experience for these students. One successful teaching strategy is
to use a graphic organizer to allow students to brainstorm and develop their ideas before writing
the paper. Modeling the entire process is an essential tool for student success. The teacher
should model using the graphic organizer as well as writing the first paragraph. Then students
would maybe work in pairs to write the next paragraph. Finally, students would have knowledge
and examples of good writing, and they would continue the writing process independently.
According to Furr and Bauman (2003), writing conferences are a critical part of the writing
process to keep students on track and to assist them with editing. Struggling students frequently
miss common mechanical and grammar errors when editing, and they will benefit from teacher
guidance with this part of the writing process. Writing workshop is a teaching strategy that can
provide teachers with the opportunity to work with and give extra support to struggling learners.
Classroom discussions are a part of everyday teaching. It is not enough for students to
simply pay attention during class discussions; they need to be actively involved in the
discussions. Curwin (2013) provided five ways to make class discussions more active and
interesting for students. One effective idea is Throw the Ball. The teacher asks a discussion
question and calls on a student by tossing them a ball such as a beach ball or Nerf football. The
student catches the ball and then answers the question. This method of calling on students
creates a sense of fun and energy in a class discussion. Group Answers is a second effective idea
WTS 7 Page 10

for discussion-based questions. The teacher would allow students to form groups of three or
four. When the teacher asks a question, every group has a small discussion of an answer. The
teacher would then call on a group to share their answer with the class. Questionnaire is yet
another idea that can make discussing characters more interesting. The teacher would divide the
class into groups of three or four. Each group would then come up with five questions they
would ask the character. Every group passes their list of questions to another group so that all
groups have someone else’s questions. Groups would work together to answer one question in
writing as the character would answer it. Papers are passed around again and again until all
questions are answered. Papers would be handed back to the original group; students would then
share their questions and the answers as a way of discussing the character of a book.
Implementing these teaching ideas would increase student interest and participation during
classroom discussions and take thinking to a higher level.
Deconstructing the standards is a skill that teachers need to know to be successful.
Knowing the grade level and subject standards is what makes a teacher become a good teacher.
All lesson plans need to be written based on the standards; teachers need to know how to break
down the common core standards and understand what the students need to know and learn.
There are three areas that make up the standards. Content is the specific objectives; it is what the
students have to learn. Cognition is the area of the standards that identifies how deep the
students have to learn the objective. This is where a teacher takes a look at Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Is the student learning for knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, or
evaluation? Finally, context is where the teacher needs to utilize appropriate teaching strategies
and assessments to show what the students have learned. Being able to look at the common core
WTS 7 Page 11

teaching standards and break them down is an essential skill for effective teaching in the
classroom.
Research Conclusion
To achieve each student’s developmental capabilities through competent, confident, and
independent learning, standards-based planning relies on knowing the teaching standards,
identifying student needs, and designing lesson plans that incorporate teaching strategies that
will meet those needs. Many teaching strategies are readily available that will provide
differentiation for struggling learners as well as higher-level thinking activities to challenge all
students. The acronym of PAVES-OVER and the GF Words are just a couple of examples of
teaching strategies that will help improve thinking and task performances in student writing
assignments. Throw the Ball and Questionnaires are two effective ways to increase student
engagement during class discussions. Writing workshop is another teaching tool that provides
teachable moments as the students explore their skills of writing with a variety of learning
opportunities. Using these strategies and ideas serves as a good starting point for improving
instructional planning.
Research Implications
To apply research findings to my targeted lesson, I plan to try the following strategies:
1. allowing students to work collaboratively with activities such as Group Answers as they
brainstorm ideas for their essay
2. having students create a graphic organizer to gather details for the essay before writing it
3. implementing the ideas of PAVES-OVER to the writing process
4. incorporating the GF Words as the students are writing a conclusion for the essay
5. using the writing workshop as an opportunity to conference with students on their essay
WTS 7 Page 12

Research-based Action Plan
See Artifact A, which is the lesson plan that resulted from research and in-class learning.
This plan represents one lesson in a series of lessons forming a learning unit.
Post Assessments
Tables 1 (pre-assessment of student performance) and 4 (post assessment of student
performance) show direct comparisons between the two tables. The subsequent tables show pre-
assessment results with improved post assessment ratings added in italics within parentheses.
Comparison of Pre- and Post Assessments Regarding Student Performance
Table 1: Pre-Assessment of Current Academic Student Performance Compared to PK-12
Vertical Standards
Skill
Level
Grade
Level
Significant Performance Factors that Determined Current Proficiency Rating
(proficiency = performance meets all expectations at and below the rating)
Lowest 1-W
2-R
Lowest students struggle to use “facts and definitions to develop points” and
cannot provide a “concluding statement” at Grade 2 level. They need be
prompted. For reading, they struggle to “explain how the message or the
moral is conveyed through key details in the text” at Grade 3 level.
Median 2-W
4-R
Median students do not independently “include illustrations when useful to
aiding comprehension,” and “using linking words and phrases to connect
ideas” at Grade 3 level. For reading, most students cannot “include how
characters in a story respond to challenges” at Grade 5 level.
Highest 3-W
5-R
Highest students struggle to use “concrete details and quotations or other
information and examples related to the topic,” and “using precise language”
and “domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic” at
Grade 4 level. For reading, the highest students have a difficult time
“providing a summary distinct from their own personal opinions” at Grade 6.
Overall
comment
Source: Previous writing related to standards.
Overall understanding of theme and writing skills is at paragraph level instead of
essay level.


Table 4: Academic Student Performance Outcomes After Applying Learning
Skill
Level
Grade
Level
Significant Changes in Performance Compared to Previous Evidence
Lowest 3-W
4-R
100% developed the topic with facts, definitions, and details; grouped related
information together; and provided a concluding statement in their writing.
For reading, explained the theme with details in the text.
Median 4-W
5-R
100% developed the topic with facts, definitions, and details; grouped related
information together; and provided a concluding statement in their writing.
WTS 7 Page 13

For reading, 80% included how the character responds to challenges to
support the topic.
Highest 4-W
6-R
20% developed the topic with concrete details, precise language, and
vocabulary from the text; linked ideas together; and provided a concluding
statement in their writing. For reading, explained the theme with details in the
text distinct from personal opinions.
Evidence source:
Most improved
performance:
Formative assessments of brainstorming with graphic organizers, peer editing
checklists, and the summative assessments of their final essay.
Students were much more successful with the entire writing process with the
use of a graphic organizer to develop their ideas before beginning to write.
100% of students were better able to write the concluding paragraph of the
essay with the “GF Words” concept.

Significant Overall Observations Regarding Student Performance Outcomes
Students showed the most improvement with identifying and understanding the concept
of theme, using details and examples from the text to support the theme in a written essay, and in
writing better concluding paragraphs. In previous lessons, students were not using the
appropriate vocabulary terms to identify the theme of a story. Not only were students able to
correctly identify the theme, they could also define the term and apply it to their own life and
experiences. Students gained a deeper understanding of the concept of theme, and they were
able to support the theme throughout their written essay with details from the text. Taking
students through the brainstorming process with a guided, formatively-assessed task was an
effective strategy for this unit. Students used the ideas to organize and plan their written essay. I
saw great improvement in the details of their supporting paragraphs. Teaching and
implementing the “GF Words” was very helpful with writing conclusions. In previous lessons,
students struggled with what to write in the final paragraph of an essay. This strategy gave the
students a direction and a purpose for their conclusion. This was another effective strategy for
this unit. Overall, students wrote much better essays and scored higher on the final assessment
than they have in the past.
WTS 7 Page 14



Comparison of Pre- and Post Assessment Regarding Instructional Design
Table 2a: Pre-Assessment of Instructional Planning and Preparation
Significant improvements from pre-assessments noted in italics.
Danielson A Framework for Teaching, Domain 1: Planning and Preparation Component 1c:
Setting Instructional Outcomes (p. 51-53 and chart on page 54).
Element Rating Current Evidence to Support Rating/Area to Improve
Value,
sequence,
and
alignment
Basic
improved to
Proficient
Outcomes represent moderately (moderately to high) high
expectations and rigor. Some (some to all) reflect important
learning in the discipline. Some (some to all) outcomes connect to
a sequence of learning in the discipline. Some outcomes connect to
a sequence of learning in related disciplines.
Clarity Basic
improved to
Proficient
Outcomes are moderately (moderately to all) clear, written in the
form of a combination of outcomes and activities. Some (some to
most) outcomes permit viable methods of assessment.
Balance Basic
improved to
Proficient
Outcomes reflect several different types of learning, but little (little
to some) attempt to coordinate or integrate disciplines.
Suitability
for
diverse
learners
Proficient Most outcomes are suitable for most students in the class.
Outcomes are based on evidence of student proficiency. Needs of
some individual student or groups are accommodated.
Evidence
source:


Area to
improve:
Pre: Recall of past writing assignment lesson plans and areas of weakness in
student writing process
Post: Identified teaching strategies to improve the areas of weakness in student
writing process and implementation of the strategies in the lesson plans
Opportunities for students to integrate their learning into other disciples of their
education

Most Significant Improvements in Planning Appropriate Instructional Outcomes
1. Previous lesson plans focused on writing about the theme based on general use of the
text. This plan allowed students to explore the specific actions and behaviors of the character as
well as the concrete details of the story to analyze the theme. Students also made connections in
their own life to the theme they wrote about. A sequence of learning was a defining
WTS 7 Page 15

improvement to my lesson plan. This sequence allowed students to truly understand the concept
of theme and complete the writing process with success.
2. Previous lesson plans took students through the writing process with the start and the
finish as the focus. This plan took the students through the writing process step by step. This
lesson focused on completing each step with accuracy and elaboration of components to
successfully write the multi-paragraph essay. The essay was broken down into smaller tasks and
each part was formally assessed as the students moved from start to finish.
Table 2b: Pre-Assessment of Instructional Planning and Preparation
Significant improvements from pre-assessments noted in italics.
Danielson A Framework for Teaching, Domain 1: Planning and Preparation Component 1c:
Setting Instructional Outcomes (p. 55-59 and chart on page 60).
Element Rating Current Evidence to Support Rating/Area to Improve
Learning
activities
Proficient
improved to
Distinguished
All learning activities are suitable to students or to the
instructional outcomes. Most (most to all) represent moderate
cognitive challenges. Some (some to all) are differentiated for
groups of students.
Instructional
materials
and
resources
Proficient All of the materials and resources are suitable to students,
support the instructional outcomes, and engage students in
meaningful learning. There is some evidence of appropriate use
of technology and of student participation in selecting or
adapting materials.
Instructional
groups
Proficient Instructional groups are appropriately varied for students and the
different instructional outcomes.
Lesson and
unit
structure
Basic
improved to
Proficient
The lesson or unit has recognizable (recognizable to clearly
defined) structure that organizes activities. The structure is not
uniformly maintained throughout. Uneven (uneven to even)
progression of activities. Reasonable time allocations for each
activity.
Evidence
source:


Area to
improve:
Pre: Recall of past writing assignment lesson plans and areas of weakness in
student writing process
Post: Identified teaching strategies to improve the areas of weakness and
implementation of the strategies throughout the writing process in the lesson plans
Allowing more opportunities for use of technology and different pathway choices
for student participation and student needs

Most Significant Improvements in Structuring Learning, Resources, and Groups
WTS 7 Page 16

1. Previous plans did not have organized structure that engaged students in the writing
process. This plan has purpose throughout the writing process as students followed an even
progression of activities. Reasonable time was given which allowed students to achieve success
with each step of the writing process. Formative assessments were used to monitor student work
along the way and ensure that students met the learning targets of the unit.
2. Previous plans did not allow for learning activities that were highly suitable for the
diverse learners in my classroom. This plan allowed for appropriately differentiated activities
that engaged students in meaningful learning activities.
3. Previous plans allowed for cooperative learning opportunities; however the plans did
not provide students with structure that reinforced higher level learning. This plan provided
structured activities for cooperative groups to complete that engaged students and moved them
from one clearly defined step to the next during the writing process.
Comparison of Pre- and Post Assessment Regarding Learning Environment
Table 3a: Pre-Assessment of Instructional Delivery Outcomes Related to Engaging
Students in Learning. Significant improvements from pre-assessments noted in italics.
Danielson A Framework for Teaching, Domain 3: Instruction. Component 3b: Using
Questioning and Discussion Techniques and Component 3c: Engaging Students in Learning
(combining rows in the charts on pages 82 and 85).
Element Rating Current Evidence to Support Rating/Area to Improve
Quality of
questions
Proficient Teacher’s questions are mostly high quality in cognitive
challenge. Students generally respond with thoughtful responses.
Questions are asked with adequate time to respond.
Discussion
techniques
Basic
improved to
Proficient
Teacher-student interaction is with some attempt to engage
students in genuine discussion (genuine discussion among
students is created). Teacher steps aside when appropriate.
Student
participation
Basic
improved to
Proficient
Teacher attempts with limited success to engage all students in
the discussion (successfully engages all students).

Activities
and
assignments
Basic
improved to
Proficient
Activities and assignments are appropriate to some (some to
most) students’ age or background. Some (some to almost all)
students are cognitively engaged in the activities and assignments
in exploring content.
WTS 7 Page 17

Evidence
source:

Area to
improve:
Pre: Recall of past writing assignment lessons and areas of weakness in student
participation during the writing process
Post: Teacher observations and student feedback
Student discussion that engages all students and for students themselves to take
charge of the discussion by formulating their own questions and actively
contributing to one another without needed teacher directives
Most Significant Improvements in Questioning, Discussion, and Engagement Techniques
1. An increase of student involvement in the class discussion was evident when the
structure and learning targets were more clearly defined. In a typical whole-class discussion,
about 40% of the students were involved. That changed to at least 75% participation during this
lesson. Defining the essential question and allowing students to make connections to their own
lives/interests/needs was an effective strategy for this lesson plan.
2. Students were much more on-task throughout the writing process of this lesson. The
student learning outcomes were clearly identified, and students knew what to do each day.
Students were engaged in learning and able to confer with peers during each step. They worked
cooperatively to provide support with peer editing for one another and successfully met the
targets. Because of the structure, students were more on-task and engaged in the expectations of
the specified step of the writing process.

Reflection of My Entire Learning Process

My Most Effective Actions/Attitudes in My Seven-Step Learning Process, with Evidence
1. Using thinking pattern strategies and the five levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy as I
planned my lessons proved to be very effective. The students excelled when pushed to a higher
level of thinking throughout the novel unit.
2. Designing the novel/writing unit to meet the standards promoted an increased student
performance in the areas of reading and writing. The expectations and learning targets were
clearly defined, and the students worked to meet those goals.
WTS 7 Page 18

3. Incorporating specific steps of the writing process, which were formatively assessed
resulted in higher quality of student outcomes. Students were more actively involved in their
writing as they thought about their own lives and how the topic of the essay connected to them.
4. Previous to teaching this lesson, one area of weakness that I had identified was that of
writing conclusions. With the implementation of the concept of GF Words, the students were
much more effective with their conclusion writing. Students took more of an interest in what
they were focused on and demonstrated a deeper level of understanding.
My Least Effective Actions/Attitudes in My Seven-Step Learning Process, with Evidence
1. I had plans of incorporating technology with this unit by the use of a YouTube video to
demonstrate theme. It was very difficult to find a video that was informative and interesting for
sixth-graders. I had conversation with my district team members, and they also struggled to find
a good video to use in the classroom. I will continue to search, but this was a frustration in my
lesson plan.
2. Time was a challenge. I wanted to be able to conference with all of the students
during the editing phase of the writing process, yet I was not able to meet that goal. This is an
on-going issue that I struggle with each time the students are working on a writing assignment.
Students collaborated with peers and did a great job with the peer editing process; therefore I am
assured that they were getting feedback. However, I would like to be able to meet with the
students as well.
My Next Steps for Improving My Learning Process (What to Learn and/or How I Learn)
1. I plan to use the thinking pattern strategies and all five levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy on
a more consistent basis. I need to challenge all of my students with higher-level thinking. I must
also remember to differentiate those strategies so that all student needs are met.
WTS 7 Page 19

2. I plan to continue using the PAVES-OVER and GF Words with the writing process so
that I, myself, and the students become more comfortable with that terminology and thinking
process.
3. I plan to incorporate the teaching strategy of an Interactive Notebook when I teach my
next novel unit.

















WTS 7 Page 20

References

Action Learning Systems, Inc. (2012). Webinar: Deconstructing the common core standards:
Analyzing for content, cognition & context. [edWeb.net]. Retrieved from
http://www.actionlearningsystems.com/index.php?q=content/content/webinar
Curwin, R. (2013). 5 ways to make class discussions more exciting. Retrieved from
http//www.edutopia.org/blog/make-class-discussions-more-exciting-richard-curwin
Danielson, C. (2007). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching. (2
nd
ed.).
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Furr, D., & Bauman, G. A. (2003). Struggling readers get hooked on writing. Reading Teacher,
56 (6), 518.
Georgia Department of Education. (2013). Teaching literacy analysis with interactive
notebook/source book in grade 6. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
FG20TBEjE5s
Heisler, S. (2013). Write teaching. Retrieved with password and username “write1” from
“MY SMU” to Blackboard site at http://www.smumn.edu
Strohmeyer, Luke. (2012). Interactive notebook – introduction and set up. Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JldLvXoFlUE





WTS 7 Page 21

Artifact A: Improved Lesson Plan
Highlighting represents understanding of lesson planning terminology and practices
aimed at aligning expectations, content, process, product, and assessment into one learning unit.
Text boxes in the lesson plan indicate new practices applied to this first attempt at aligning five
elements in lesson planning.
▪ 5 planning elements: objectives, content, process, product, assessment (3 types: diagnostic,
formative, summative). One example in CAPITALS/YELLOW HIGHLIGHT
▪ 5 assessment tools/methods: five formative or summative methods
▪ 6 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (explain missing or eventual levels)
▪ 5 thinking patterns (place term next to synonym: Introduce/Define by group
▪ 5 instructional strategies/techniques: see 693 term sheet for ideas
▪ 3 different differentiation strategies (LL, ML, HL; multiple intelligences
MUS, VIS, VER, LOG, BOD, INTER, INTRA, NAT, EXIST; learning styles
SEE, HEAR, TOUCH, SMELL, TASTE, DO, EMOtion, SETTING; explained
specific differentiation needs and coded in the lesson.
▪ 1 use of technology incorporated into entire unit (green type)
▪ 1 example of making purposeful connections: widening perspectives to realities, interests,
student’s past/present/future, cultural/racial/ethnic awareness, gender sensitivity, etc.

Instructional Unit Plan Excerpt
693 Goal: Demonstrate Understanding of Lesson Design Process and Elements (WTS 7)

Teacher: Julie Rollins
Unit Name: My Side of the Mountain novel unit – writing a multi-paragraph essay on theme
Grade(s): 6
Time Period/Dates for Entire Learning Unit: January 2 – February 10
Technology/Resources/Materials Needed for Targeted Portion of Unit: My Side of the Mountain novel, student
worksheet packet, YouTube video, graphic organizer template, word processing program (Microsoft Word)

1. Assess current skills grade range based on vertical standards:
Lowest=Gr. 1 (W) and Gr. 2 (R)
Highest=Gr. 3 (W) and Gr. 5 (R)

2. Define this unit’s proficiencyrange (P) based on vertical standards:
↓P=Gr. 3 (W) and Gr. 4 (R)
↑P=Gr. 4 (W) and Gr. 6 (R)

3. Clarify targeted expectations to include subject standards, discipline literacy standards, and other expectations
that will represent this unit’s assessed proficiencyexpectations.

Wisconsin Writing Standards
LA Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes
CCR Anchor Standard 2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly
and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Grade Grade-Specific Standard
Grade
1
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some
sense of closure.
WTS 7 Page 22

Grade
2
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and
provide a concluding statement or section.
Grade
3
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding
comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.
c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of
information.
d. Provide a concluding statement or section.
Grade
4
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
a. Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g.,
headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples
related to the topic.
c. Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

Wisconsin Reading Standards
LA Reading Standards for Literature: Key Ideas and Details
CCR Anchor Standard 2: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize
the key supporting details and ideas.
Grade Grade-Specific Standard
Grade 2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central
message, lesson, or moral.
Grade 3 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central
message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
Grade 4 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
Grade 5 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in
a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic;
summarize the text.
Grade 6 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details;
provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

Other Assessed Expectations: concept of theme

Differentiated Expectations: Students with IEP documentation will receive more direct guidance from special education teacher
as they write their paragraphs about theme. Students will work more so in a cooperative group atmosphere, and the expectation
will be a lesser number of paragraph requirement for the essay.
____________________________________________________________________________________
4. Briefly define the summative task(s) to demonstrate proficiencyin this unit’s objectives.
Students will take a final assessment in the form of a written test. Students will write a 5 paragraph essay including a topic
paragraph, 3 detail paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph and be assessed with a scoring rubric.

5. Attach assessment tool or list criteria for measuring summative proficiencyon this task(s).
Written test for reading will be scored and proficiency is 70% or higher. Written essays will be scored with the attached rubric
for the “5-Paragraph Essay”; proficiency is a score of R2 or higher.

_______________________________________________________________________________________
6. Define Essential Unit Answer/Understanding: lasting truth/principle/rule/insight to answer EQ at #8.

Theme is the life lesson that authors teach through the behaviors and actions of the main characters. Most essays begin with an
introductory topic, include supporting detail paragraphs, and end with a concluding statement.

7. Define Essential Unit Question: Motivate and broaden learning beyond academics. (Student Appeal!)

What lesson have you learned from a story you have read?
Do all essays include a topic, details, and conclusion?

WTS 7 Page 23

8. Make Connections! (Briefly explain one (a, b, c) example that could be used in entire unit.)
a: Thinking patterns to connect EQ to EA:Define the behaviors and actions of the main character. Relate the behaviors and
actions to the life lesson (theme).
b: How connect to students’ lives/interests/needs and widen perspectives based on realities? How is the student similar to or
different from the main character? Does the main character compare to anyone in your life? anyone who is in the public eye? How are they
alike?
c: How build integrity, empathy, insight? Would you want to be like the main character? Why or why not?
________________________________________________________________________________________________
9. Formative Learning Steps Leading to Unit Standards and Expectations:
9a. Formative Step 1 18 days
9b. Standard(s)/Expectation(s): Read the novel and complete worksheet packet of comprehension check, vocabulary
understanding, and literary terms application.
1. 1. 1.

9a. Formative Step 2 2 days
9b. Standard(s)/Expectation(s): Determine the theme of the novel. (Reading 6)
PURPOSE for/to AUDIENCE

What to learn? (knowledge/skills)
9c. Clear Learning Objectives
VOICE (delivery role), EMPHASIS, SUPPORT, ORGANIZATION

How to learn? (patterns/process to think→do)
9d. Methods to Motivate/Connect/Sustain Learning
VALIDATE,
EDIT/REVISE
9e. How Assess→
Correct→Confirm
to Proficiency?
1. Understand the concept of
theme





2. Recall the behaviors and actions
that define the main character of
the novel.







3. Apply their knowledge of theme
by identifying the theme of the
novel



4. Compare the theme of this novel
to other novels that students have
read with a similar theme
1. Teacher directed discussion with an oral quiz-type discussion.
Students write answer on individual white boards and depth of
discussion is based on their response to the question.

Share with the class a YouTube video explaining and showing
examples of theme.

2. Students compare themselves to the main character by
Identifying similarities and differences.

Share similarities between the main character and people that the
students know.

Group Answers Activity – students work in cooperative groups
to make a list of important behaviors and actions. Students are
grouped together based on ability so that higher level students are
mixed with lower level students.
PRODUCT

3. Students choose the theme of the novel. Students with an IEP
will choose the same theme, so that they can work cooperatively
with the special education teacher.

4. Think-Pair-Share Activity – students think of novels they read
that have a similar theme and then share and discuss with a
partner.
1. Pre-assess student
knowledge of theme with
an informal assessment
using individual white
boards.
DIAGNOSTIC

2. Students share their list
with the class










3. Teacher check
FORMATIVE


4. Students share with the
class.




9a. Formative Step 3 2 days
9b. Standard(s)/Expectation(s): Gather evidence of the character’s behaviors and actions to support the chosen theme
with a graphic organizer.
What to learn? How to learn?
9e. How Assess?
1. Gather evidence to
support the theme of
the novel

1. Create a graphic organizer that presents evidence from the novel to support
the chosen theme isn a unique, but accurate presentation. Students with an IEP
work with the special education teacher to complete this together. CONTENT
1. Teacher check for
completeness of
evidence.

This is
something I
need to
continue to
work on
finding.
This was very effective. I
created a graphic organizer
for students to use. Students
felt that this was an activity
that was a very helpful tool
for them in writing their
paper.
This step of the writing process truly guided students
on the right path for writing a solid essay with
supporting details from the text.
WTS 7 Page 24

9a. Formative Step 4 2 days
9b. Standard(s)/Expectation(s): Develop the detail paragraphs of rough draft of essay with concrete details, examples, and
quotations related to the chosen theme and use linking words and phrases to connect the ideas. (Writing - 4.b,c,d)
PURPOSE for/to AUDIENCE

What to learn? (knowledge/skills)
9c. Clear Learning Objectives
VOICE (delivery role), EMPHASIS, SUPPORT,
ORGANIZATION

How to learn? (patterns/process to think→do)
9d. Methods to Motivate/Connect/Sustain Learning
VALIDATE,
EDIT/REVISE
9e. How Assess→
Correct→Confirm
to Proficiency?
1. Write informative/explanatory essay
and clearly convey ideas
OBJECTIVE





2. Share paragraphs with peers to check
for accuracy of writing and completeness
of details (DEFINE)
1. Use the PAVES-OVER acronym as students begin the
essay writing process focusing on purpose, audience, voice,
emphasis, and supporting details. Students with an IEP will
have a reduced requirement of a 3 paragraph essay rather
than a 5 paragraph essay.


2. Collaborating with peers to help check that paragraphs
contain accurate details and appropriate connecting words.
Students with an IEP will have more teacher directed
collaboration.

1. Teacher – student
conferences during the
rough draft writing process




2. Teacher observes the
pairs of students


9a. Formative Step 5 2 days
9b. Standard(s)/Expectation(s): Write introduction and conclusion paragraphs of the rough draft of essay. (Writing -
4.a,e)
PURPOSE for/to AUDIENCE

What to learn? (knowledge/skills)
9c. Clear Learning Objectives
VOICE (delivery role), EMPHASIS, SUPPORT,
ORGANIZATION

How to learn? (patterns/process to think→do)
9d. Methods to Motivate/Connect/Sustain Learning
VALIDATE,
EDIT/REVISE
9e. How Assess→
Correct→Confirm
to Proficiency?
1. Introduce the topic clearly and
provide a concluding statement

1. Use the GF words as a strategy for writing the conclusion
of the essay. Students want to focus on a general fact,
feeling, or future idea.
1. Teacher – student
conferences.


9a. Formative Step 6 2 days
9b. Standard(s)/Expectation(s): Peer editing and revising to produce the final draft of theme essay.

PURPOSE for/to AUDIENCE

What to learn? (knowledge/skills)
9c. Clear Learning Objectives
VOICE (delivery role), EMPHASIS, SUPPORT,
ORGANIZATION

How to learn? (patterns/process to think→do)
9d. Methods to Motivate/Connect/Sustain Learning
VALIDATE,
EDIT/REVISE
9e. How Assess→
Correct→Confirm
to Proficiency?
1. Edit and Revise the rough draft










2. Use word processing to type the final
draft essay

1. Using the PAVES-OVER acronym, students evaluate
their own essay focusing on organization, verification,
editing, and revising. One strategy is to read their paper
starting from the end to find any spelling/grammar errors.
Peer collaboration to edit one another’s rough draft.
Students make revisions to their essays. Students continue to
work on this process during Writing Workshop. Students
with an IEP will have more teacher directed collaboration.

2. Students use a basic word processing program on the
computer to produce their final draft essay
1. Teacher observation of
peer editing process








2. Rubric scoring for
assessment of essay
SUMMATIVE

Students were able to transfer their
ideas from the graphic organizers to
a paragraph easily. They had
direction before beginning to write.
This required some modeling and guidance,
but it was a successful teaching strategy.
I had created a checklist to guide
students as they were peer editing.
This was a great tool. I observed
many great conversations among the
students during this step of the
process. I also looked over their
editing sheets as a way to formatively
assess.
WTS 7 Page 25

Artifact B: Samples of High, Median, and Low Proficiency Work



This is a sample of high proficiency work. This shows the appropriately identified theme for the
essay and organization of specific details from the text that the student was planning before
writing the essay. This student did a great job of choosing examples from the text. In previous
units, students did not describe specific events from the text to support the topic of their essay.
This sample also shows how the student was able to connect to the chosen theme.
WTS 7 Page 26



This is a sample of median proficiency work. This also shows the appropriately identified theme
for the essay and some organization of specific details from the text. The student was able to
identify events from the text that were used in the essay. In previous writing assignments,
students would not have put as much thought into this brainstorming step of the writing process.
My goal is that students learned the significance of this step and realized how it helped them
organize the paper before writing it.
WTS 7 Page 27




This is a sample of low proficiency work. This student was able to appropriately identify the
theme for the essay and attempted to organize specific details from the text. It shows some
improvement of identifying details from the text that were used in writing the essay. In previous
writing assignments, students have struggled with organizing their ideas into the detail
paragraphs. This sample shows how the graphic organizer assists the students in organizing their
ideas and details into the paragraph
WTS 7 Page 28

Artifact C: Final Assessment Rubric
5-Paragraph Essay on THEME
Common Assessment Writing Prompt Rubric
4 3 2 1
Introduction Paragraph The writing introduces
the topic of theme in a
precise and attention-
grabbing paragraph.
The writing introduces
the topic of theme in a
precise paragraph.
The writing identifies the
topic of theme.
The writing does not
identify the topic of
theme.
Ideas The writing
demonstrates an
understanding of theme
by supporting the topic
with 3 strong detail
paragraphs.
The writing
demonstrates an
understanding of theme
by supporting the topic
with 2 strong detail
paragraphs.
The writing
demonstrates an
understanding of theme
by supporting the topic
with 1 strong detail
paragraph.
The writing identified the
theme, but doesn’t
support with examples.
Voice and Audience The writing is of a third
person perspective and
appropriate for the
understanding of the
audience
The writing is not always
of a third person
perspective but is
appropriate for the
understanding of the
audience
The writing is not of a
third person perspective
and is not always
appropriate for the
understanding of the
audience
The writing is not of a
third person perspective
and not easily understood
by the audience
Organization Each paragraph contains
a topic sentence, 3
supporting statements,
and a concluding
sentence.
Each paragraph contains
some organization,
possibly missing a topic
or a concluding
sentence.
Each paragraph contains
some organization, but
the errors make it
difficult to understand.
Each paragraph contains
little comprehendible
information.
Concluding Paragraph The writing provides a
concluding paragraph
that summarizes with an
interesting final thought
of a general fact, feeling,
or future idea.
The writing provides a
concluding paragraph of
a general fact, feeling, or
future idea.
The writing attempts a
concluding paragraph.
The writing does not end
with a concluding
paragraph.
Conventions The paragraph contains
0-2 grammar & spelling
errors throughout.
Contains 3-5 grammar &
spelling errors
throughout.
Contains 6-8 grammar &
spelling errors
throughout.
Contains 9 or more
grammar & spelling
errors.

Overall Rubric Score: R_____
Comments:

This rubric was created to be able to assess the specific components of the final writing piece
based on the targeted outcomes of the standards.
WTS 7 Page 29

Artifact D: Student Outcomes
Assessment Rubric Score % of Students Achieving
that Rubric Score
R4 30%
R3 50%
R2 15%
R1
(requires a redo to fixe and resubmit)
0.5%

This chart shows the data of the final assessment of the multi-paragraph essay on theme. I was
very pleased with the results of the class that I focused on for this lesson. The class is made up
of the students who are struggling readers and writers. The data shows that all but one student
successfully met the learning targets of this assignment. The one student will work with our
Intervention Specialist to make improvements to the paper, and I will reassess it when
completed.