ANN ARBOR, MI 48109 To Whom It May Concern: April 25, 2011

It is my pleasure to recommend Jamie Ray as a candidate for a position in your school. I have known Jamie as a student in my instructional design course, and have also had the opportunity to observe her teach in the field. In both contexts, Jamie approached her work with responsibility and creativity. Jamie plans for instruction using the Backwards Design planning framework to create, teach, and annotate units of study for her students. Jamie’s planning focuses on creating coherence between state/district standards, and the goals, objectives and assessments she determines for a lesson or unit. Jamie designs essential questions to engage her students’ interest in a topic, and plans a variety of assessment strategies to determine the level of each student’s achievement of the lesson or unit goals. Jamie is able to adapt existing curriculum materials to better meet the needs of her particular students, as well as create lessons of her own to strengthen students’ understanding of the content she is teaching. In addition, Jamie is learning to differentiate her instruction to meet the wide range of needs within her classroom. She designed an engaging unit to teach her students how to write a compare and contrast essay that her students appeared to enjoy. During instruction Jamie engages children as sense-makers while delivering focused instruction. She breaks down her teaching into “chunks” and uses the gradual release model of instruction to ensure that she is supporting her students as they grapple with new concepts and skills. Jamie models a skill, provides her students with guided practice and works on checks for understanding before releasing them to independent work. Jamie is developing nicely as a classroom leader. She has worked on making the directions and expectations for students’ behavior clear and models how she wants her students to conduct themselves so they can successfully manage their own behavior. Jamie uses norms and routines in her classroom to help her children felt safe and for the classroom to operate smoothly. I observed that she interacts with her students in a warm and kind manner, but is able to be firm when necessary. Jamie is also a positive team member. She contributes her ideas at meetings and listens thoughtfully to what others have to say. She is supportive of her peers and colleagues, welcomes feedback, and is able to incorporate other’s suggestions into her teaching to improve her practice.

Because of her interpersonal skills with children and colleagues, and her knowledge of the instructional cycle of planning, enacting, reflecting, and revising, I believe that Jamie has the capacity to be a terrific teacher. If you would like to discuss Jamie’s strengths further feel free to contact me. Sincerely,

Katrin Oddleifson Robertson Lecturer, Field Instructor Elementary Master of Arts with Certification Program 734.678.5827

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