April 16, 2008 To Whom It May Concern, I had the privilege of being Lindsay Shumaker’s field instructor from the

School of Education at the University of Michigan. I first worked with Lindsay in her year long student teaching placement in the elementary teacher education program. During this time I worked with Lindsay in her third grade student teaching placement at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I also taught the weekly elementary education course that accompanies the field placement. It is through our interactions in the elementary classroom and in the university seminar that I have come to know Lindsay as a student teacher and a future educator. At the very beginning of the semester Lindsay took on the planning and teaching of the Everyday Math curriculum completely. She studied the curriculum materials, planned and taught for almost the entire semester of student teaching. As early as the second week of student teaching Lindsay was teaching math when her cooperating teacher was unexpectedly absent and there was a substitute in the room. I was impressed with Lindsay’s ability to get to know her students with the use of multiple assessments, plan lessons that reflected this information and follow the lesson with further assessment of student understanding. Lindsay’s planning provided detailed information that gave insight into student learning in a way that made it possible to individualize and modify the content. Lindsay taught all of the content areas during her student teaching. Lindsay planned and taught the guided reading groups. She also taught many science lessons including handson experiments during the teaching of the unit on light. She frequently taught literacy through a variety of teaching tools in both whole group and small group instruction. Lindsay was certified to substitute teach during her student teaching and filled in for her cooperating teacher on several occasions. Lindsay’s knowledge of the curriculum and of her students along with her professional and personal maturity gave her a unique ability to take on the responsibilities of lead teaching all areas of the curriculum. During her lead teaching Lindsay modified, planned and taught a unit on essay writing. The unit was adapted from the Lucy Calkins writing curriculum. Lindsay led the writing workshop by starting each session with a whole group discussion of a review from the prior session, a particular focus for the day and then independent writing. Some of the lessons included developing a thesis statement, writing topic sentences and using outside sources for information. Students published their final drafts and presented them to their classmates at the close of the unit. Lindsay also created a bulletin board to display the essays and had students read them to another class.

Throughout student teaching, Lindsay attended school staff meetings and professional development seminars. After school hours Lindsay tutored at the local center that supports children from her student teaching placement. She also volunteered to take part in a research project that involved additional observations and debriefing sessions based on her teaching of science. Her level of comfort and willingness to seek out opportunities to learn about teaching is evidence of a commitment to reflective practice. One of Lindsay’s strengths is her organizational skills. Throughout student teaching she managed all the requirements from the university and from her classroom in a very organized and thoughtful manner. She managed many tasks at once. Her lesson plan book was organized in a way that showed careful attention to daily, weekly and long-term planning. Her lesson plans and unit planning documents consistently showed attention to detail and a level of reflection that will serve her well as a beginning teacher. Over the last year I have found Lindsay to be an extremely eager to learn, thoughtful and motivated beginning teacher. I have seen her grow professionally during the program and expect that she will continue to do so in her future teaching endeavors. If there is any additional information that I can provide, please feel free to contact me. Sincerely,

Meri Tenney Muirhead Field Instructor University of Michigan 610 East University 1228-O, School of Education Building Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259 merimuir@comcast.net (734) 414-9482