Classroom snapshots

 Feedback received after walk-throughs

Establishing a positive learning environment

“To someone who didn’t know, it would be impossible to work out who was the homeroom teacher, which is exactly the model we would wish to see for in class support. You and Melinda appear to have a very relaxed and mutually beneficial team teaching relationship and students seemed to feel equally at ease in asking either of you for clarification. Students very much engaged throughout and perfect example of team teaching which demonstrates the way you plan with all aspects of the curriculum. It would be good to video one of your sessions to show others.”

“As Kath Murdoch would say, your classroom is the third teacher. You have used every available space to complement the units of inquiry that you are collaborating on with homeroom teachers or for just straightforward language learning. You are incredibly patient with the repetition that is required, which is obviously exactly what these young learners need. One inquiry technique is to honour student theories (even wrong ones). You did this and also asking the next question in order to foster deeper thinking.”

Being knowledgeable about learning styles and differentiating instruction to meet students’ learning needs and styles.

“You modelled yourself as a learner with comments such as “I am not sure/let’s take another look and see if  that is right because it doesn’t make sense to me’. When it was time to transition it was you that got the class quiet and to pay attention and then [the other teacher] spoke and then you again. You asked one of your students to share what he had found (the meaning of ‘scapular’) and there was a lot of discussion about other similar words.”

“You front-loaded the students with ideas, sites, related QR codes. You further developed language by using all the correct terminology.”

 “All students were clearly beginners on the language acquisition spectrum, yet all at very different places in their learning journeys. The differentiated (and at times, completely different) scaffolds that you offered the students was outstanding. You met them where they were, and moved them on. All but the most timid, newest member to the group, was using the target language. They were completely immersed in a unit-related inquiry into simple machines that allowed you insight into their learning and thinking process. You truly provide an environment where ELL have a myriad opportunities to demonstrate their learning, no matter their level of language acquisition. Each child was engaged, and each understood the expectations placed on them which gave them their focus. You modelled language whenever possible, and added to their own growing vocabulary i.e. one student used the words “go up” and you supplied “lift”. Everyone was respectful of everyone else’s contributions, and ideas were valued and peers assisted in a spirit of ongoing collaborative inquiry.”

Demonstrating realistically high expectations for all students and engaging students as inquirers and thinkers

 “In class support – word studies. Looking for the roots of prefixes and suffixes in body part words and making connections to same meaning in other languages and words with same roots. It was the sort of inquiry that enables students to develop their own understanding – and it was fun.”

“A small group of students were working on the producing a video. It is evident that you know the students and have a mutually respectful relationship with them.”

“You were modelling language in a way that would really help the children’s vocabulary grow. You were respectful of each of the girls’ contributions and managed to stop one of the more dominant girls taking over and gave space for the quieter one to speak confidently.”

“Your use of language encourages thinking and you double checked with the girls to make sure they understood what you said……’it is really good to be specific and write down exactly what is being said’. One of the clips had been subtitled in a way that could have been negative and you cleverly navigated it so the girls thought about other perspectives on what they were seeing.”

“Your use of technology is exemplary in the Elementary School and this was just another example of this.”

“Student engagement was high, as evidenced by the fact they were doing most of the talking, not you (once they were underway). They asked a lot of questions, and likewise, you asked them questions or guided their thinking about where to find answers. You were not rooted to the spot but moving in and around the students throughout the lesson. Students were physically leaning into their work, and there was a happy buzz of conversation among all students.”

“You focused the group immediately by launching into a quick opening activity related to immigrants and economy. Your questioning throughout the session really caused students to dig deeper, and not give the first answer that popped into their head. The personal connection you made by sharing your own father’s story of migration as told through your son’s PowerPoint was great and seemed all the more powerful for following the polished video about America. Student responses to the VT routine I used to think , and now I think demonstrated how successful your session had been to turn around their thinking and to re-open their minds to the fact the majority of migration is positive.”