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Christina

Slavin
March 13th, 2016

TWC 6: Strengthening Professional Practice



After completing the Teacher Work Cycle assignment, I realized how important it is to
truly get to know all of your students as learners. When looking at my case study student,
Tracy, I spoke with her about her learning preferences, her interests, and what she likes best
about school. After speaking with her, it sparked an interest for me to get to know all of the
students preferences and needs. My goal is to always create engaging lessons, but I first need
to know what engages the students. This assignment allowed me think about my students
learning styles which pushed me to incorporate movement within my math lessons, to use
counters, to use snap cubes, and to model problems on the interactive white board. It
promoted me to think aloud during reading activities to engage the auditory learners and to
always incorporate technology to engage the visual learners.

Getting to know my students as learners felt the most natural to me. Observing them
interacting with their peers during centers was also a crucial way for me to get to know my
students. Students may act differently with me than they do with their peers, so observing
students truly allowed me to see how they were with their peers, and how comfortable they
were with explaining content to their peers. I want to create the most effective lessons that I
can and part of that is getting to know the learning styles within my classroom. With my Special
Education degree on top of my Early Grades Preparation Degree, differentiating is very
important to me. Administering the pre-assessment presented itself as a challenge for me.
Since the students are in Kindergarten, I felt bad not helping them with their writing. I think
that assessments can be scary for students, especially Kindergartners. As much as I tried to let
them know that the scores did not matter, I felt that they were still confused why I could not
help them with their writing, especially since that is what they are used to.

Collaborating with other professionals on assignment two helped me plan my
instructional approach for my lesson. Having to talk aloud about the childs strengths and
preferences allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of her. I explained how she enjoys
listening to me teach and perform examples in the front of the classroom. While discussing that
with my peers, they confirmed that she definitely is a visual/auditory learner, which allowed me
to determine how I wanted my lesson to run. After talking with my peers, I learned that spacing
words can be a tricky concept for young students. They also suggested that I utilize interactive
writing and to get students to go up to the easel to model effective strategies. I loved that idea
that they presented me with, and it was confirmed through the research that I did. One of my
professional articles that I read discussed the importance of utilizing interactive writing and
modeling with young writers. If I had not read the professional literature, I would never have
thought to utilize the snap cubes in my writing lessons. By collaborating with peers and reading
professional work, it guided my instruction and allowed me to utilize research based practices.

As an educator, I want to make sure that I reach all of my students in the classroom. I do
not want any of my students to slip behind and administering small pre-assessments and postassessments allow me to see how the students are progressing. As hard as it was to not help

students with their writing for the pre-assessment, it allowed me to notice areas that certain
students needed extra work with. For example, half the class needed help with punctuation
marks, and most of the class needed help with finding sounds within words. I would not have
taken notice of that if the pre-assessment was not given. Reaching and teaching all students
is a crucial component in a classroom. Students need to be accommodated as learners and
retaught material until they grasp the concept. No teacher should ever continue to teach
without providing check-ins to ensure that the students are understanding the content. Also, I
have learned that if students are not grasping the material being presented to them, I may
need to find an alternate way to present it.
From this project, I have learned that I am very aware of ensuring that I reach the needs
of all students. I am thorough in my lesson plans, and try to find ways to incorporate activities
that reach the needs of at least two different learning styles in every lessons. This assignment
has also shown me that I am motivated to want to gain information about the school I am in,
and that I strive to provide appropriate assessments and lessons for the Kindergarten students.
Along with that, I have found that I collaborate well with other professionals, and use advice
that I receive from peers or knowledge that I take in from articles to shape my instruction. The
strategies that I learned from reading the articles allowed my lesson to be as effective as it was.

Reflecting upon areas that I need to work on, I have found that I have determined many
ways to help the visual and auditory learners, but this assignment has shown me that I need to
continue to find ways to reach kinesthetic and tactile learners as well. As I continue with my
professional career, I hope to receive professional development on taking effective data, and
providing appropriate pre-assessments. I saw the importance of providing pre-assessments, but
want to to continue to create appropriate pre-assessments and use them to always drive my
instruction. Finally, I want to continue to read professional literature about reaching all
students within the classroom and research different ways to reach the needs of different
learning styles.