Final Portfolio Julie Neuner EDUC 560 December 22, 2013 Dr ... Final Portfolio Julie Neuner EDUC 560

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  • Running head: FINAL PORTFOLIO 1

    Final Portfolio

    Julie Neuner

    EDUC 560

    December 22, 2013

    Dr. Vickie Cummings



    This paper provides a reflection on formative and summative assessment methods to inform

    teaching and improve student learning. Included in the reflection is a unit of instruction that

    includes graphic organizers, student metacognitive strategies, a teacher made test, student

    learning logs, rubrics, and a performance task. A reflection of personal growth is summarized as

    a result of field observation studies and through a professional learning community discussion

    forum within the course: Investigating Student Work at Southwestern College of Professional

    Studies. Appendix A is an example of Venn Diagram graphic organizer. Appendix B provides an

    example schedule from the field observations.


    Final Portfolio

    Reflection of Personal Growth

    The course Investigating Student Work has helped me to reflect on and view assessment

    in a different way. Before this course I typically thought about assessment with the picture of

    traditional summative tests in mind, and didn't really think about all the ways teachers assess

    students every single day. Conferencing, performance tasks, portfolios, graphic organizers,

    learning logs, and reflective journals all fall into the formative assessment category. I've used

    many of these tools in the classroom but didn't really think of them as assessments.

    While summative and standardized tests are important and will always be a necessity to

    measure learning and provide accountability, daily formative assessments are equally as

    important. Learning to reflect on all these types of authentic assessment will help to improve

    instruction and student learning. Teaching students to be reflective learners is also an important

    take away that I have from this course. I want to involve students more in their own learning

    through a shared understanding of the importance of assessment. As students progress through

    the grade levels the more they understand the purpose of their assessments the more likely they

    are to be motivated to succeed. A shift in the approach to assessment is required according to

    Burke (2009). Teachers "must use assessment as sources of information for both students and

    teachers; follow assessments with high-quality corrective assessment; and give students second

    chances to demonstrate success" (Burke, 2009, p. 1).

    Observing classroom teachers and collaborating with peers through a professional

    learning community, such as the discussion forum in the course, provide an educator with an

    opportunity to pause and reflect on what works and what doesn't. Reflection time is a vitally

    important part of effective teaching. Reflective educators take the time to pause and ponder what


    went well and what didn't. Structured professional learning communities provide opportunities

    for educators to learn from each other. Educators make a commitment to lifelong learning when

    they step into the profession. This course provided a time and a place to meet and collaborate in

    a 21st century digital platform.

    Overview of Field Observation Study and Goals

    The field observation study has provided the opportunity to gain perspective on

    classroom management, and broadened past experiences using technology in the classroom. I

    previously worked with Mrs. Jenny Raetz in a K-8 elementary school, and from that experience

    knew she was a dynamic educator who embraced technology to improve engagement and

    motivate in the classroom. Observing her teach third grade students has allowed me to gain

    knowledge in all areas of my learning goals. My learning goals were as follows: to develop new

    ideas for incorporating technology in the classroom; gain new insights for classroom

    management; reflect on how classroom routines and rules can affect student learning; identify

    effective behavior management strategies; and learn effective teaching strategies for primary


    I completed three separate classroom observations with each visit intentionally allowing

    me to observe various times and subject areas in the schedule. The observation schedule has

    allowed me to see various behavior management strategies in action as well as note strategies

    used for effective transition time between subjects. The methods of assessment observed include

    both formative and summative given in the form of pencil/paper, computer based, questioning,

    conferencing, and graphic organizers.

    During the first observation I observed students working in the computer lab. The

    students were highly engaged in the lessons they were practicing for math and


    spelling/vocabulary. Students practice vocabulary and math lessons to prepare for the computer

    based tests they take weekly. I also observed students transition back to their classroom into a

    whole group English lesson. The student movement and transition time allowed me to note

    effective behavior management strategies used to keep students on track for learning when they

    could have easily become distracted.

    During the second observation I observed Mrs. Raetz move from whole group math

    instruction to working in small groups to differentiate as needed for student success. I noted

    effective one to one student conferencing as an assessment method during this visit. I also made

    note that a timer is highly effective and can be used in many different ways to keep students on

    task and moving at an appropriate pace.

    The final observation was during the subject areas of Religion, Reading, English, and

    Science. I observed students transition to and from lunch and recess. I again noted examples of

    effective behavior management strategies engrained into various content areas. Mrs. Raetz uses a

    Behavior Bucks management system that allows students to earn and lose dollars for both

    behavior and academic performance. This is highly effective and students are motivated to stay

    on task. I also observed her sharing formative assessment data with her students. The results of

    the computer spelling test that students took in the morning were immediately provided to the

    student upon completion of the test on the computer screen. Mrs. Raetz reviewed the results

    while the students were taking Physical Education class with another teacher, and when the

    students returned to class she awarded Behavior Bucks based on their performance. This proved

    to be highly motivating for students.

    Educational Aspects I Will Apply


    In my current consulting role I will apply the valuable strategies learned in utilizing

    technology and share the engagement students have when working on computers. I teach

    educators how to incorporate software practice programs and computer adaptive interim

    assessments. The time to observe and reflect on students practicing and testing has helped me to

    put in perspective how I might incorporate new programs I am teaching into what they are

    already doing. Teachers sometimes feel overwhelmed when incorporating new technology in the

    classroom, but helping them realize how what they are already doing can be enhanced by

    technology will help them feel less anxious when learning a new program.

    Successful Classroom Management Strategies

    The classroom management strategies I observed were helpful for me to reflect on

    because I now have more experiences to share when I work with teachers to learn how to

    incorporate Renaissance math practice programs. Teachers often struggle to incorporate our math

    programs into their classroom because they lack effective classroom management strategies.

    Mrs. Raetz utilizes great strategies that I will be able to share with other educators whom I work

    with. Seeing these strategies in action has helped me gain a better understanding of student

    behavior and what motivates primary students.

    I will also try to incorporate the use of a timer in my adult seminars to help with

    transition between small group work and whole group instruction. This strategy may prove to be

    effective with adults as well as with children.


    During my field study observations I was able to observe all subject areas and see Mrs.

    Raetz teach using