Treiber-Kawaoka Spring 2015

Your Name: Jennerra Maemori

Lesson Title: Caterpillar Growth

Reflection questions & edTPA Instructional Commentary
Note edTPA has you video a learning segment of 3 connected lessons and
choosing a lesson or lessons to edit. I am only requiring one lesson.
1. Non-edTPA question: Use your assessment tool to assess and discuss the learning
of 3 diverse students. Copy and paste your tool here and show the scoring for
your students. Discuss the evidence – what did they do or say. Be detailed and
specific in your descriptions. You may attach samples of student work or photos. If you
did a student self-assessment, include the students’ response, too. (see exemplar from
Past lessons)
EdTPA Instructional Commentary: Your edTPA commentary should be no more than 6
single-spaced pages, including the prompts. Use Arial 11 point type, with 11” margins. If
needed, insert no more than 2 additional pages of supporting documentation for the video
recordings at the end of the commentary (e.g., digital copies of indiscernible materials or
transcriptions of inaudible comments). Read the edTPA Handbook pages 18 – 25.
Assessment tool

___ Student participated in the activity
___ Student used body movements to display interpretation of the story
___ Student achieved consistent spacial awareness throughout the activity

This is a screenshot of my video showing that everyone is participating in the activity that I am
conducting. I want to focus on the student in blue because it seems as though he is a little off
task and distracted but the movement and cooperation of his fellow classmates motivates him to
pay attention and keep up with everyone else.

Treiber-Kawaoka Spring 2015

This is a screenshot of the students forming their cocoons. I want to draw focus on the student
in the blue shirt on the left because of his unique form and creative use of levels. He really
stands out to me because he chose not to do what everyone else was doing. He made his own
independent decision to try something different.

Treiber-Kawaoka Spring 2015

This last screenshot is a picture of a couple of the students interpreting the emergence of a
butterfly. I want to draw focus to the taller girl with the butterfly tank top because I as I was
watching the video I noticed that she did an excellent job of maintaining spacial awareness. She
was calm and graceful and made sure she didn’t dump into anyone.
2. Promoting a Positive Learning Environment: Refer to scenes in the video clip(s) or
the lesson you implemented where you provided a positive learning environment.
a. How did you demonstrate mutual respect for, rapport with, and responsiveness to
students with varied needs and backgrounds, and challenge students to engage
in learning?
In the beginning of my lesson, I clearly state the expectation of the class. I gave them each an
individual task to memorize and perform a given line straight from the book that we have read
and reviewed. The tags around their necks are not visible in the clip, but they are images
exactly like the ones from the book. I took the time to attach a stick for them to hold it with, and
a string so it would allow them to wear it around their necks. Being in only kindergarten, I made
sure that the words had pictures to go along with them, for those students that use the pictures
to decode what the words say.
As I was handing out the tags, I chose to give the harder and longer lines to the students that I
knew were more advanced in reading than the other students. Majority of these tags contained
unfamiliar words that haven’t been taught yet but I wanted to challenge my students as readers
to see if they could apply what they learned from reading groups. I also encouraged the
students to partner up and help one another out. I also gave individual assistance to two of the
students that I could tell were having a hard time decoding the unfamiliar words.
3. Engaging Students in Learning
a. Explain how your instruction engaged students in developing key
understandings and requisite skills.
In the second clip, I had the students organize themselves so that the sequence of the story
matched the order that they were reading in. I feel that by having them physically involved with
the story, it helped them to grasp a better understanding of what was happening. This

Treiber-Kawaoka Spring 2015
play/activity was to be used as a mnemonic strategy to help them remember this book and the
order that it plays in.
From the review at the end, I could tell that by having them perform each step of the life cycle of
a caterpillar, they were able to easily repeat or retell each stage in the correct order.
b. Describe how your instruction linked students’ prior academic
learning and personal, cultural, and community assets with new
learning.
On the first day when I introduce the topic of caterpillars, I was sure to expand
their knowledge. I asked them what they knew about caterpillars and butterflies,
and then I provided them with facts and real pictures of the life cycle of a
caterpillar so they can relate it to what they have seen before.
I also connected it back to cultural because I informed them that caterpillars in
the mainland eat milkweed, but the caterpillars here in Hawaii eat crown flower.
Small facts like that keep them interested and engaged because now they
know to look for the crown flower plant if they are looking for caterpillars.
4. Deepening Student Learning during Instruction (Subject Specific
Pedagogy)
a. Explain how you elicited and built on student responses to
promote thinking and develop key understandings.
At the beginning of the lesson I briefly walked them through the book as we have already
read it thoroughly, the day before. I also built upon their prior knowledge by comparing the
story to nonfiction texts and visuals of the caterpillar life style. I shared information on
caterpillars that I thought were important for them to know, such as the specific types of
foods that they eat, how long they eat for, and how long it takes them to transform. I did this
to expand their knowledge in order for them to gain a better understanding of what a real
caterpillar goes through. It was also to help them understand that the story was all
compacted into one week and provided foods that caterpillars would never eat.
b. Explain how you facilitated interactions among students so they
develop or apply strategies or representations in ways that
deepen and extend their understanding of key concepts.
During the discussion portion at the end of the clip, I reviewed with the students the cycle of
a caterpillar to a butterfly in the correct order. As I was prompting them with questions, I
wanted to make sure that their responses were specific and not so vague. I made sure to
dig a little deeper to see if they were really paying attention to lessons from the previous
days. One student responded that caterpillars eat leaves, so I asked what kind of leaves.
Another student answered milkweed leaves; these are only found on the mainland so I
asked what plant we have here in Hawaii. The third student responded with crown flower.
I thought it was really important for them to elaborate on their responses because I wanted
them to be able to relate it back to our lives here in Hawaii. When that fourth student said
“yeah like the one we have over there” I knew that he made that connection. I feel as though
when students make connections to real life experiences, the information tends to stick with
them or gives it value or purpose that makes it worth learning.

Treiber-Kawaoka Spring 2015

5. Subject-Specific Pedagogy
a. Explain how you support students to learn, practice and apply
the essential performing arts strategy in a meaning-based
context? (for edTPA this will be a math or language arts
question)
I led the students through a warm up exercise of pretending to be something
that they physically know they are not, just to see if they were capable of using
their imagination to act. My focus was on role-playing. The students were
narrated through the life cycle of a caterpillar. I would pose a situation and they
had to adapt their mindset to imagine how they would transform their bodies to
best play the part of a caterpillar. I didn’t have to do much modeling because
kindergarteners have such wild imaginations, they began acting even before
they were instructed to.
6.

Analyzing Teaching
a. What changes would you make to your instruction—for the
whole class and/or for students who need greater support or
challenge—to better support student learning of the central focus
(e.g., missed opportunities)?
Consider the variety of learners in your class who may require
different strategies/support (e.g., students with IEPs or 504 plans,
English language learners, struggling readers, underperforming
students or those with gaps in academic knowledge, and/or gifted
students).

When I first introduce the activity that we were going to be doing that day, the students started
to get really excited and rowdy. Next time I would adjust my instruction to personally assign
roles instead of it being random because I noticed that some students really struggled to
memorize their one line. Also I should have arranged the students in a more orderly fashion
from the very beginning. This would’ve saved me a lot of time that was wasted, while trying to
reorganize them in the middle of the activity.
b. Why do you think these changes would improve student learning? Support your
explanation with evidence of student learning AND principles from theory and/or
research.
“A significant stumbling block to the flow of instruction is in attention to transitions between
activities, lessons, subjects, or class periods.” I had a difficult time transitioning from one part of
the activity to the next. As stated by this website, it says that it is important to maintain smooth
flow in between transitions in order to keep control of the learning environment. In the lesson
they began to feed off of one another’s energy, which led to majority of them loosing focus away
from the teacher. I did end up sticking to my discipline plan, but I did not want it to come to the
point where some students had to be left out. Next time I will be sure to have smoother
transitions in between.
Works cited

Treiber-Kawaoka Spring 2015
"Classroom Management - Creating a Learning Environment, Setting Expectations, Motivational
Climate, Maintaining a Learning Environment, When Problems Occur." - Students,
Teachers, Student, and Teacher. Net Industries, 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.
<http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1834/Classroom-Management.html>.