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Planning, Preparation, Instruction, and Assessment

Sonya Swartzentruber

Regent University

In partial fulfillment of UED 495 Field Experience ePortfolio, Spring 2017



Planning, preparation, instruction, and assessment are all necessary aspects of effective

teaching. Teachers need to first plan a lesson that is closely aligned with the standards of

learning. Once a quality lesson has been planning, the teacher should begin preparations for the

lesson, and find meaningful, engaging ways to instruct students. During the time that students are

being instructed on the content, the teacher should be informally assessing students and their

knowledge of what is being taught. If students do not have a good grasp on what is being taught,

the teacher may need to adjust the instructional strategies. Lastly, when everything has been

taught and the teacher is confident that the students are well prepared for the formal assessment,

that is when they should be assessed. Planning, preparation, instruction, and assessment take

time and practice, but every step is vital in providing students with a quality education.

Rationale for Selection of Artifacts

The first artifact I chose is an assessment I created for students on abbreviations. This

assessment was used to determine if students know how to abbreviate months, days, et cetera.

The assessment is aligned with Virginia SOL 2.13g, which states that the student will be able to

use knowledge of simple abbreviations (VDOE). I chose this artifact because it truly shows

whether students have grasped the information being taught or if they are still unclear. There is a

mix of multiple choice and fill in the blank questions. Rather than students simply being able to

circle the correct answer, they also needed to know how to write certain abbreviations. On the

questions where students wrote their answers, I required them to use a capital letter and a period

after the abbreviation, but if they forgot to do either step, the answer was considered wrong.

The second artifact I chose is the data collection on how students performed on the pre-

assessment and how students performed on the post-assessment. Once students took the pre-

assessment, I used that information to decide how to move forward with my instruction. I noted

that a majority of students did not know much about abbreviations, meaning I would need to start

from the beginning. The data shows that eighty-four percent of my students received a score of

eighty percent, or higher. I met individually with the three students who did not meet that goal

and helped them specifically with the abbreviations they did not have a handle on. Overall, I feel

the instruction was effective and many students showed a great deal of growth.

Reflection on Theory and Practice

Assessing students, whether it be a formative or summative assessment, and collecting

data on student progress is a vital part of teaching. If teachers simply go through the motions of

creating lesson plans and instructing students, but do not collect data on student progress, they

are doing students a great disservice. Data should be used to help the teacher recognize who

needs extra help, when it is time to move on, how to group students, and when it is time to give

students a post-assessment on what they have learned. While it is important for teachers to

collect data, it is equally as important for her to use that data for planning and instruction. There

is little point in collecting data, if it is not being used.

The instruction I implemented on abbreviations was effective, overall. I used the pre-

assessment to determine what I needed to cover and I determined that I needed to start from the

beginning for abbreviations because some students did not grasp any of them. In order to teach

students about abbreviations, we met in whole group for part of the time, but I also had them

work individually on matching words with their abbreviations, writing abbreviations, and turning

words in a sentence into abbreviations. A majority of the class grasped the concept and exceled at

abbreviations; however, as there often is, there were a couple students who still had trouble. The

two students who did not meet the learning goal were often off task, which contributed to how

much they learned. For these students, I worked one on one with them on abbreviations and they

also, eventually, gained an understanding. I feel that every student can learn, and while it took a

few students more practice than others, it was worth the time and effort to get them to the same

level of understanding.

According to Wiggins and McTighe (2005), Because understanding develops as a result

of ongoing inquiry and rethinking, the assessment of understanding should be thought of in terms

of a collection of evidence over time instead of an event (p. 152). Assessment does not

simply occur at the end of a unit, but it should occur all throughout the unit. Throughout the time

I taught about abbreviations, I assessed students in several ways. I began with a pre-assessment,

but I also looked at papers they turned in to see how they were progressing and I had them

writing abbreviations on a dry erase board that they held up for me to see, which was helpful

because I could see how many of them they knew. At the end of the unit, I gave them the post-

assessment, which showed definitively what they had learned.

According to Rutherford (2008), in order to see increases in student achievement, it is

essential that we adjust instructional practices so that students have a greater chance of retaining

and transferring knowledge and skills to new situations (p. 43). While it is easy to go from

teaching one topic to the next, it is helpful for students to relate what they are learning to another

area of life. For abbreviations, students were able to see the importance of them because, for

instance, if they ever see a street sign, they will know what the abbreviations stand for, or they

will be able to abbreviate the address on an envelope. Rather than just teaching students about

the content, I helped them see how to relate it to and apply it to their lives.


Bergin, C. C., & Bergin, D. A. (2012). Child and adolescent development in your classroom.

Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Rutherford, P. (2008). Instruction for all students (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Just ASK


"VDOE :: English Standards of Learning Resources." VDOE :: Virginia Department of

Education. N.p., 2009. Web. 1 Apr. 2017