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Darry Saunders Pre-Observation Conference Dr. Erin Connor EDU 704 October 11, 2011 Pre-Observation Conference

2 Pre-Observation Conference I conducted the pre-observation conference with Miss Amanda Velazquez (Miss V.), a colleague who teaches Biology at Pine Forest High School. This is the fourth year that the evaluee (Miss V.) has taught science courses at my current high school. We each determined that the observation would be conducted during her second period Biology class on Tuesday, October the eleventh, due to the fact that during that particular time frame I am on my break and she has a class during that time frame for me to observe. The Evaluee was enthusiastic about the observation, stating that she always welcomes the opportunity for professional feedback. As I have never had experience conducting a classroom observation, I asked Mr. Stewart; another colleague to sit in on the actually conference to offer feedback and suggestions. I utilized the questions that Danielson (2007) suggests as a framework for the pre-observation conference. 1. To which part of your curriculum does this lesson relate? The evaluee explained that the lesson is designed to introduce students to genetics and patterns of inheritance. The evaluee teaches this lesson as a means to evaluate student knowledge of D.N.A. concepts, review material from the Eight grade-Life Science curriculum and build a common foundation for the secondary Biology curriculum. This lesson is the introduction of the unit on equations and inequalities which includes solving linear equations and inequalities, solving absolute value equations and inequalities, rewriting formulas and equations, and using problem solving strategies and models. Evaluator is confident and knowledgeable when speaking about her lesson and how it relates to the curriculum, and she is passionate about including resources such as the use of Punnett Squares, Smart Response Clickers and Smart Board activities to broaden and

3 enhance student learning. Her knowledge and use of resources supports the elements outlined in Danielson’s Domain 1: Planning and Preparation (2007). 2. How does this learning “fit” in the sequence of learning for this class? Ms. V explained that the Biology teachers have utilized professional learning community (PLC’s) time to develop and map a curriculum pacing guide for each of the Biology courses offered at Pine Forest High School. While there is some flexibility for teaching styles and lesson presentation, all teachers must adhere to the outlined curriculum map. This lesson will address the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Competency Goal 3: The learner will develop an understanding of the continuity of life and the changes of organisms over time. Objective 3.03 Interpret and predict patterns of inheritance; which covers:
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Dominant, recessive and intermediate traits. Multiple alleles. Polygenic inheritance. Sex-linked traits. Independent assortment. Test cross. Pedigrees. Punnett squares.

3. Briefly describe the students in this class, including those with special needs. There are 18 students in the class and 2 of these students have Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s). Students are seated in pairs at lab tables organized in rows facing the front of the room. All of the students enrolled in this class are sophomores.

4 4. What are your learning outcomes for this lesson? What do you want the students to understand? The learning outcomes/objectives for the lesson are written on the board each day. The Evaluee also provides a lesson outline each day for the students with a space to write the daily objectives, notes, examples, and guided and independent practice. The outcomes for this lesson are that students will be able to create Punnett Squares to determine the probable genetic outcomes of a child based on the genetics of the parents. The organization and clarity of the lesson plan supports Domain 1: Planning and Preparation (Danielson, 2007). The structure of the lesson and the progression of the activities are clearly outlined on the daily sheet that Evaluator provides to the students. 5. How will you engage the students in the learning? What will you do? What will the students do? Will the students work in groups, or individually, or as a large group? Evaluator explained that she believes that it is important to create a structured classroom routine so that students are aware of the classroom expectations and the agenda for each day. She writes the learning objectives on the board and students take a warm-up minilesson when they enter class that they work on independently at the beginning of class to activate prior knowledge. She chooses students to write their completed problem on the board and then has them explain their process to the rest of the class. She teaches the daily lesson, connecting new material to the learning objectives and ensures that students make connections to the content. She completes several examples with the students and then allows them to work together for guided practice. She reviews the examples with the whole class and then has the students work on independent practice. The students

5 complete an exit Smart Board activity during the last few minutes of class using Smart Response Clickers. 6. How will you differentiate instruction for different individuals or groups of students in the class? The Evaluee rotates pairs of students at the tables in the class based on student need, learning styles, and lesson objectives. In Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Danielson (2007) states that students should have input into organizing the instructional groups, and Evaluator states that it is important to encourage students to have a choice with whom they work as it encourages autonomy and responsibility. She has them work in small groups and uses the independent practice time to work with those who are struggling as well as students who are ready for further enrichment. When asked about the classroom environment and how the evaluee uses the physical space to enhance the learning environment she stated that it was not ideal, because students are seated at stools and lab tables vs. desk with chairs with back, buts she works with what she has (Domain 2: The classroom environment, Danielson, 2007). 7. How and when will you know whether the students have learned what you intend? The Evaluee states that she utilizes informal assessments throughout the lesson. She has students demonstrate their work on the Smart Board, participate in the lesson with peer teaching and guided practice and she does check-ins with students periodically throughout the lesson. In addition, she has them complete closure Smart Board questions before the end of class to assess their comprehension. She uses this information to gauge what students may need for re-teaching, enrichment, or support and this helps her to form

6 instructional groups for the next lesson. The methods of assessment that evaluee uses support the elements of congruence with instructional outcomes and use for planning that Danielson outlines in component 1f: Designing Student Assessments (2007). 8. Is there anything you would like me to specifically observe during the lesson? The Evaluee stated that she would like me to specifically observe the use of Differentiated Instructional strategies/practices that she plans to implement into her instruction for my observation; for she has never used much D.I. in the past but is looking for suggestions on ways to implement its use.

References Danielson, C. (2007). Enhancing Professional Practice; A Framework For Teaching. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).