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Teacher Performance

Assessment
Task 2
Tori Kilgore
Spring 2016
Grade 2

Kilgore, 2

Table of Contents
A. Detailed Narrative

B.

Instruction Commentary

C.

Works Cited

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Detailed Narrative
1. Identify the number of the lesson among the plans in the learning segment, which
contains the focus lesson.
Lesson 1
2. Provide a detailed narrative description of the focus lesson. Include a specific
description of what you and your students did during the focus lesson, providing
sufficient content for your reader to understand your subsequent analysis.
The focus lesson started right after a restroom break following recess and lunch, and the
students felt fresh. I began the lesson by reminding students of the pretest I gave them a
couple weeks ago over 2D shapes and explained to them that I used them to help me plan
the most beneficial and engaging activities based on what they do and do not know about
2-D shapes. I then began the lesson by discussing the term geometry with the students by
having them think, pair, and share. I told them that we would be studying geometry and
looking at 2D shapes this week, and then proceeded to ask them what they know about
2D shapes. After a few students shared what they know about 2D shapes, I showed them
a video that discussed the different types of 2D shapes and their attributes. I would pause
the video periodically to discuss the terms angles, sides, and vertices with the students.
After the video, I asked students to recall shapes that they remembered from the video
and asked them to name as many attributes as they could.
I then brought the idea of polygons to the students attention, which was a completely
new concept. I told them that all of the shapes that we just saw in the video are
considered polygons. We then went over the fact that polygons are flat, closed figured
that have at least 3 straights sides by hanging our poster up on the board. I then proceed
to show the students several examples and non-examples of polygons and the students
had to raise their hand and tell me if they thought it was a polygon or not and why, and
encouraged them to use the attributes listed on our polygon poster.
Now that the students were starting to catch on to the concept of polygons, I explained to
them an activity we would be doing in two small groups that would help us practice
identifying polygons. My supervising teacher took half of the class and I took the other
half to complete the activity. I split these group based off of the pretest and which
students were able to identify polygons or not on this test. In the small groups, we each
had two paper headings labeled, polygons and not polygons. There was also a stack
of shape cards face down. Each group sat in a circle with the heading and stack of cards
in the middle. The students took turns drawing a shape card, telling the group why or why
it wasnt a polygon and then had to place it in the correct category. I encouraged students
to use as much reasoning as possible based on our polygon poster that we had up on the
board that told us the attributes of polygons. The rest of the students had to agree or
disagree with that student. We continued this activity until we got through all cards.
While the activity was taking place, I made sure to ask probing questions that would help

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the students and I get a better understanding of their learning and how well they were
catching on to the concept of polygons.
This activity brought the focus lesson to an end and students were directed to go back to
their seats quietly. I then proceeded to tell them that we would be studying different types
of polygons very closely now that we are able to identify which shapes are or are not
polygons. For the last 5 minutes of class, I gave the students an exit slip which was a half
sheet of paper where they had to write one sentence about something they learned in
todays lesson and another sentence about a question they still had or about something
they were still confused about. As students finished, they raised their paper up in the air
for me to walk around and collect and then they could quietly begin packing up for home.
As students answered my questions throughout the lesson, I made sure to praise them for
answering and encouraging them they were close or on the right track when their answer
just wasnt quite right.

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Instruction Commentary
1. Engaging and Deepening Students in Learning
Refer to examples from your description of the focus lesson (prompt 1 above) in your
explanations.
a. Explain how your instruction engaged students in developing a deeper
understanding of content-related concepts. Cite specific examples of what
happened in your classroom to support your explanation.
The first thing I did in the lesson was activate the students prior and background
knowledge by discussing the term geometry. Once we were able to all understand the
definition of geometry, students then did a think, pair, share to discuss what types of
things they have learned in geometry before, such as shapes, etc. We did the same thing
for 2D shapes. I knew that many students were familiar with this term, but I wanted to
see if they actually knew what attributes make up a 2D shape, and I did this by calling
on students to share what they knew. Other student responses often set off a light bulb
in another students mind, and they would then raise their hand to share something that
they remember about geometry and 2D shapes.

Another way that I engaged my students in developing a deeper understanding is by


showing a 2D shape video. This video explained what a 2D shape was, but also showed
several examples of 2D shapes, such as triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon etc. While
many students were already aware of these shapes based on their appearance, it was
quite clear that the students were not familiar with the attributes of sides, angles, and
vertices. Throughout the video, I would pause it to explain the meaning of these three
attributes by using a yardstick to point up on the video.

After this video, I could tell that students were feeling a lot more comfortable with 2D
shapes, and so I asked this question, These are all considered 2D shapes, but does
anyone know what we also call all of these shapes? One student was able to finally
figure it out after several other student responses and through my assistance. I could
tell immediately that the students had no idea what a polygon was. I then projected a
polygon poster that listed the four attributes a shape must have to be a polygon. As we
went through these, we use a square as an example. I then proceeded to show the
students several examples and non-examples of polygons and they had to tell me why
or why it was not considered a polygon based on the attributes listed on the polygon
poster.

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Lastly, our small group activity is what really engaged the students in developing a
deeper understanding of this content area. The students split into two small groups,
each with a teacher, and had to sort shape card based on whether they thought they
were polygons or not. Not only did they have to decide for themselves by taking turns,
but they also had to use all of the reasoning they could based on the attributes we had
talked about that make up a polygon.

b. Describe how your instruction linked students prior academic learning and
personal, cultural, and community assets with new learning. (In Task 1, you were
asked a similar prompt related to the entire lesson segment. For Task 2 write
more specifically about how these issues relate to the focus lesson.
To link the students prior academic learning and skills related to the focus of this
lesson, I began the lesson by activating the students prior and background knowledge
by discussing the term geometry. Once we were able to all understand the definition of
geometry, students then did a think, pair, share to discuss what types of things they
have learned in geometry before, such as shapes, etc. We did the same thing for 2D
shapes. I knew that many students were familiar with this term, but I wanted to see if
they actually knew what attributes make up a 2D shape, and I did this by calling on
students to share what they knew. Other student responses often set off a light bulb in
another students mind, and they would then raise their hand to share something that
they remember about geometry and 2D shapes.
I also knew beforehand that many of the students in this classroom do very well when
they have the opportunity to learn visually. This is why I chose to show a video, as well
as use visual shape cards in this lesson. For a second grade class, they do very well in
discussion-based lessons. Almost every student is proactive about wanting to share their
ideas and build upon one another, which is why I chose to begin this lesson as a
discussion and to ask a lot of questions. Sometimes, these students have difficulty in
writing down their thoughts, but are very good at speaking and explaining their
thoughts out loud and listening to others. I also think giving students time to think, pair,
and share really enabled them to use their own experiences as a way to show what they
have learned in the past All of these techniques allow the students to bring their
personal and cultural aspects into the lesson.

I also knew that it was important to excite the students about learning 2D shapes form
the very beginning because they are always very eager to learn something new. I also
chose to do small group activities because students work well with one another and
enjoy having a closer student-teacher interaction.

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c. Explain how you elicited student responses during the focus lesson to promote
thinking and deepen students understanding of content area material. Consider
ways you have facilitated interactions among students so they learned from one
anothers thinking and/or evaluated their own abilities to build conceptual
understanding, fluency of procedural skills, and/or problem solving.
Throughout the lesson, it was important for me to ask the students plenty of
questions, not only to ensure that they were listening and engaged with the lesson, but
also to ensure that they understood the concepts and skills being demonstrated. I
believe my questioning skills are very strong and was reflected in this lesson. I like to
ask as many questions as I can to help clarify what the students are trying to say, are
learning, and to make them use higher order thinking skills. I asked a lot of openended questions and also would ask for more elaborate answers by sometimes even
calling on another student to add to the previous students answer. This helped me see
that students were not only getting the correct answers to my questions, but also knew
the reasoning behind why their answer is right. I also like to encourage students even
when their answer is just not quite right by saying things like, youre on the right
track or you are really close. This usually creates a spark for that student or
another student to know exactly what part is missing and what additional answer I am
looking for.
The students were also about to build knowledge upon each others thinking during
our think, pair, and share and during group time. Having time to communicate with
one another about what they have learned or are learning is a great way to build their
conceptual understanding.
During the group activity, it pushed students to think critically on their own about
whether or not their shape on the card was a polygon or not by having to explain their
reasoning to me and the rest of the small group. This task required them to act and
think fairly quick about the content. I would also ask further questions in small
groups to deepen the groups thinking and understanding of polygons.
Lastly, the exit slip at the end of the lesson required students to put their thoughts
about the lessons down on paper. By doing this, the students needed to have a pretty
good grasp of polygons in their own mind so that they could put their thoughts
together and write in sentence form.
d. Explain how you deepened students understanding of content area material by
using content specific concepts, skills, and procedures. (Follow-up
instruction/questions/adjustments/etc.)

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I made sure to use shapes in this lesson that they learned about in first grade to ensure
that they were making connections between the shapes they already know to
identifying polygons. Giving each student a chance to explain individually their
reasoning behind whether they thought their shape was or was not a polygon provided
them with an opportunity to use the polygon concepts on their own. I also asked a lot
of why questions throughout my lesson to ensure that students could articulate why
they answered the way that they did so I knew that they knew the reasoning behind
their answer. This not only shows me that students have a deep understanding of the
content, but can also help me see misconceptions or confusion that I need to address.
Before the students could leave the group to return to their seats, I asked each student
to tell me one attribute a shape must have to be a polygon. This was one other way
that I made adjustments, asked questions, and did some follow-up instruction to
ensure that the students were deepening their knowledge about polygons and 2D
shapes.
2. Analyzing Teaching
Refer to examples from your description of the focus lesson (prompt 1 above) in your
explanations.
a. How did your instruction support learning for the whole class AND students who
need greater support or challenge?
For example, consider the variety of learners in your class who may require
different strategies/support (e.g., students with IEPs, English language learners,
struggling readers, underperforming students or those with gaps in academic
knowledge, and/or gifted students).
Throughout the lesson, I knew it was important for me to keep the students engaged
and involved so that they would get the most out of the lesson. I did this by starting
with a discussion (think, pair, share) then showed a video, back to a discussion, to a
small group activity, and then an individual activity. I also called on some specific
students who I knew needed the concepts to be further explained to be able to answer
my questions, based on the pretest. This ensured that they were listening and
following along in the lesson. I also looked for students who seemed to be dozing off
to get them back into the discussion. I think that keeping the students busy and not
doing one single thing for very long helped keep them all engaged. The small group
activity at the end of the lesson was beneficial for all of the students at each ability
level because it provided them an opportunity to practice the skill and communicate
with me and their peers in a less stressful environment. Many students who are afraid
to raise their hand or ask questions during the whole class will usually ask questions
and raise their hands during small group. For the low students, I put them all in a
group with me so that I knew I would have a smaller student-teacher ratio to work

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with them all on the same needs and skills. Small group instruction also helps keeps
the students who tend to doze off in whole group more concentrated and involved in
the activity that we are doing. It is also a lot easier to monitor student behavior while
allowing me to see who is individually catching on and who still needs more
assistance. I felt that through all of the different activities I did in this lesson, that I
was able to successfully meet the needs of all types of leaners in my classroom.
b. What changes would you make to your instruction to better support student
learning of the central focus (e.g., missed opportunities)? Refer to specific
information you have gained from the assessments utilized during this lesson.
If I were to make any changes to this lesson, I would have liked to do something more
interactive with examples and non-examples of polygons. I would also like to do less
whole group discussion. Even though we had some really good discussions that
allowed me to ask the students some higher-order questions and receive some really
good answers, I felt that the students did begin to get a little bit restless and were
ready to get up and moving before I had planned for them to. They also seemed to get
a little restless towards the end of the group activity simply because I think they were
getting bored of doing the same thing for too long of a time period. While I thought
this lesson was very effective, there are some things I would change it I were to
reteach it. If I were to teach this lesson again, I would like to add more activities that
allow students to get up and moving out of their seats and off of the floor. I think
having multiple stations all for shorter periods of time would have been a better
alternative. I think that spending time at three different stations for a shorter amount
of time each that allowed them to do three different activities would have been a more
effective approach. I also would have liked to have students create their own
examples and non-examples of polygons and share them with their classmates. I think
the lesson and central focus would have been more meaningful if I would have
incorporated real-life shapes that are polygons throughout my lessons. This would
have helped reinforce and connect these different types of polygons to the real world.
The students would have been able to see how these shapes are out in our everyday
world. Students could have pointed out and used shapes such as wheels, TV screens,
microwaves, etc. Using real objects to represent these shapes would have really given
them the opportunity to deepen their learning and apply what they have been learning
about polygons to the real world. Lastly, the students in my classroom also do really
well learning with videos, so I would have liked to show a video to describe and
explain the concept of polygons.
c. 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 as appropriate.

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According to Blooms Taxonomy, there are six tiers of developing content literacy,
which are: remembering, understanding, applying, creating, evaluating, and analyzing
(Armstrong). In the focus lesson, the tiers remembering, understanding, and applying
took place. The students proved that they remember many types of 2D shapes from
first grade by applying those shapes to identify polygons. They also showed me that
they understood and made sense of the information I was presenting throughout the
lesson about polygons by giving me explanations for why certain shapes were and
were not polygons in both whole group discussion and small group activities. The
students also applied their knowledge of remember and understanding polygons by
sorting shapes based on polygon attributes. In my focus lesson if I were to teach it
again, I would like to reach the tier of creating by having students create their own
examples and non-examples of polygons. I think that the students became bored with
just sorting shape cards, while creating their own shapes where they could then
challenge their classmates to discover if the shapes were polygons or not would have
been a more effective and higher-order thinking way to address the student
understanding and application of this skill. I have learned that whenever the students
have the opportunity to create something on their own to show what they have
learned and are given the opportunity to play the teacher role and challenge one
another, not only encourages and motivates them, but also allows them to self-reflect
on how well they are understanding the concepts and skills being taught and learn
from one another.

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Works Cited

Armstrong, P. (2006). Center for Teaching. Retrieved March 10, 2016, from
https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/