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VINCENT MASSEY SCHOOL

939, 45 St. S.W., Calgary, Alberta, T3C 2B9 t | 403-777-7870 f | 403-777-7872 | email: vincentmassey@cbe.ab.ca

April 15, 2019


I have been fortunate to work with Kristy Marshall during her Professional Semester II at Vincent Massey
School from March to April 2019 as her TA. During her practicum experience Kristy has been
responsible for delivering instruction to two Grade 7 Science and Mathematics classes. I appreciate
Kristy’s willingness to collaborate, observe classes and for spending time with me preparing and
following-up on my observations. Over the past six weeks through informal observations, discussions
with Kristy and our students, and on a more formal basis during observations, I have found Kristy to
possess many of the characteristics of an exceptional teacher.

Planning and Preparation


Kristy is an extremely well-organized teacher. One of Kristy’s strengths is her ability to effectively plan
well in advance, consider many variables and prepare for rich and meaningful lessons. She is diligent in
ensuring unit plans and lesson plans are carefully planned and include learning objectives, an
introduction and closure, detailed procedures, key questions, teaching strategies, learning activities, and
assessment of learning strategies. Kristy intentionally and effectively grounds her lessons in the Alberta
Education Program of Studies ensuring her planning is relevant and appropriate for the grade level.
With science being new to my teaching assignment, Kristy was asked to engage in lengthy collaborative
planning sessions with the entire Grade 7 science team and from this then created a full and rich Plants
for Food and Fibre unit plan spanning 35 lessons. This spans further than her PSII assignment however,
allows for her to demonstrate her ability to plan an entire unit through completion. This required her to
be very flexible, exercise assertiveness in ensuring she gathered the information she needed to stay
aligned with the rest of the classes and carve out time to observe numerous laboratory experiments such
as the Stomata lab so she could be prepared for her students to engage in a well-planned, safe, and
exciting learning opportunity.

In contrast to working collaboratively planning in a team setting, Ms. Marshall designed a Circle
Graphing Unit in Math with a complete through line from the outcomes of the Program of Studies, to the
end with a summative checkpoint. This opportunity represents Kristy’s ability to design instruction
completely independently which is a challenging task, and she engaged in it with both excitement and
effectiveness.

Instruction
Kristy incorporated many high impact instructional strategies into her practicum on a daily basis. She
also was confident enough to challenge our department’s current practice and implement strategies that
she felt was more effective based on her teaching style and the students’ needs. Throughout her time at
Massey she had students working independently, collaborating using technology (ipads, laptops,
computer labs, Kahoot, SMART board), in well planned out student groupings, and at the board using
vertical spaces all in an effort to engage her learners in meaningful worthwhile tasks.

With her previous experience in the elementary school setting, she has built an awareness of scope and
sequence and is able to relate her lessons to previous learning. Kristy has the courage to take risk and
try new strategies or deal with new content with her students. This was evident when she modeled circle
geometry classes prior to increasing her teaching load and taking the lead on the math classes.
Classroom Leadership and Management
Kristy’s classroom routines are well established and her students clearly understand the expectations
she has for them. It should be noted that all stations and materials required for each lesson were set up
in advance such as the flower dissection as well as many other hands on activities she provided for her
students. Kristy has established routines in her class to deal with students who have been absent and
students who are in need of extra help. She also thoughtfully created seating plans with student success
at the root of her design. Kristy’s efforts and knowledge of her students as learners was reflected in the
effective placement of students around the room.

Ms. Marshall’s classes are structured to allow student to interact with one another while they work in a
group. Lessons were paced in such a way that students seldom wasted time or created discipline
problems, and Kristy demonstrated a good balance between teacher direction, group work, and
individual work. Kristy ensured that students remain on task by moving continuously through the class
while they are working, connecting with each individual. I would like to highlight that Kristy knew and
addressed each student by their names by the second day. This attention to building quick and effective
relationships was recognized by both myself and her students.

Assessment
At all times Kristy is aware of what her students know and has evidence to demonstrate this. Kristy
embeds formative assessment strategies throughout the units she plans for and delivers. She
intentionally collected evidence of student work, reviewed each piece in careful detail and either adjusted
her instruction or targeted individual students based on the data she collected. Through these imbedded
formative assessment Kristy is able to provide students with actionable feedback which then guides the
student to a better understanding and subsequent achievement. In addition to effective formative and
summative assessment practices, Kristy created rubrics aligned to both CBE outcomes and our
achievement indicators. She also provided exemplars for students to use to check and refine their
google slide in their Provincial Flower Project.

In addition to imbedding multiple and varied assessment opportunities in her practice Kristy used
technologies such as Brightspace D2L, Grade Cam, and PowerSchool on a daily basis to communicate
students’ progress to families.

Professional Attributes and Responsibilities


Kristy is a competent, compassionate, dedicated, and intuitive educator. I have observed her integrity
and the positive manner she interacts with all of her students, staff, and parents. She works hard and
gives generously of her time to ensure her classes provide a positive learning experience for all
individuals and reflect what is in the best interests of her students.

With respect to Kristy’s school wide involvement in the short time she’s been with us, in addition to being
available for extra help before and after school and at lunch for struggling learners, Kristy participated in
extensive planning sessions with the science department, participated in our Parent Teacher Student
Conferences, engaged in both Math and Science PLC meetings, supervised a trip to the Calgary Zoo,
and was diligent about covering our supervision schedule. All of these are examples of Kristy’s
willingness to become a member of our school community.

Kristy has been a valuable asset to the Vincent Massey school community as she has made many
positive contributions toward making Massey a great place for kids. I wish Kristy continued success in
her career, and hope that at some time in the future, we can have an opportunity to work together again.

Leanne Lauzier

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