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GWU Supervisor Observation March 16, 2005

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Fairfax Transition to Teaching Partnership



Name:  Abigail Hunting                                                          School:  Robinson Secondary

Observer: Ann Lawlor                                                                        Date: March 16, 2005

Cooperating Teacher:  J. Odeneal                                           Number of Students:  10

Course Title: ESOL Literature—B1                                       Time:  7:20-9:05      Period: 1


I.          Knowledge of subject matter and how to teach it to students

II.        Understanding of how to foster learning and development, and how to address special learning needs

III.       Ability to assess students, plan curriculum, and use a range of teaching strategies that develop high levels of   student performance

IV.       Ability to create a positive, purposeful learning environment

V.                Ability to collaborate with parents and colleagues to support student learning and to evaluate the effects of one’s own teaching in order to continually improve it


Focus of the Lesson:           Peer Editing and Response for Creative Essay on Hatchet 


Evidence to Support:

PLANNING (students' background, content knowledge & connections, goals & objectives, methods, activities, materials, resources, assessment)


            Students are finishing up reading the novel Hatchet, analyzing the imagery and figurative language, and writing a final essay.  Their warm up is a review for the quiz on the last chapters of the book.  The objectives for the lesson are to listen to directions and follow reading, work cooperatively, analyze literature and writing styles, and identify forms of figurative language and imagery.  Assessment is both formal and informal: peer assessment and response exercises as well as teacher monitoring of student work.

            The methods to be used include modeling, concept attainment, direct instruction, inquiry and cooperative learning.  The students in this class will benefit from these methods because they have a chance to check their own understanding and also to see if they can make themselves understood in both speaking and writing.


Strengths/ Suggestions / Questions:


            This is an excellent lesson plan to get students actively working with language, trying to make themselves understood.  They also are responsible to their peers for helping them to identify areas of confusion or vagueness.

The final creative essay is a challenging one: Imagine you are Brian.  Describe the plane trip home after being rescued.  Include in your essay four forms of figurative language and three forms of imagery.  A rubric for the essay is also given to the students and it is worth 45 points.  Students must include elements of figurative language, imagery, themes appropriate to the novel, and correct grammatical form.




LEARNING ENVIRONMENT (climate, rapport, learning expectations, behavior standards, physical environment)


            Students are seated in pairs to do the peer editing.  They cooperate well, sharing by reading their essays to each other and listening to the responses.  They are interested in reading what each has written since they all had to write on the same topic.  There is lively discussion as they look for imagery and figurative language and try to identify each type.



            Abby encourages all students to participate.  Two students do not have essays so she puts them in a group of 3.  In that way they can participate in the peer editing and peer response, while other students can get their feedback about their own essays.  She sets time limits for each activity and keeps students on track.



Strengths/ Suggestions/ Questions:


By explaining the directions for each activity and then modeling it, Abby ensures that students know what to do and how to do it.  The modeling is especially good when she uses the OHP and another student’s essay to demonstrate how to do the editing and responses.  Students enjoy seeing what others have written. They work hard to identify the figurative language and offer suggestions for improving their partner’s essay.



IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTION (instructional goals & procedures; comprehensible content; extending thinking; monitoring, feedback & adjusting; instructional time)


            The agenda is on the board and Abby begins the class by reviewing it.  Students know what to expect and what they are responsible for.  They will review for the quiz, complete the multiple-choice quiz, work on peer response and peer editing for their essays on the novel, and complete the final essay and the Hatchet folder for homework. 

            Throughout the class, Abby monitors and provides feedback as students work on the essays. Abby is knowledgeable about the subject matter and the writing process as she answers their questions easily.  While they are doing their editing, Abby decides to add another editing mark.  Students may put a question mark next to an item they think is wrong but are not sure how to fix.  This is a good solution to the problem to help the writer look at the essay again and perhaps rephrase or clarify the confusion.


Strengths/ Suggestions/ Questions:


            This assignment requires students to extend their thinking.  For the essay, they must identify figurative language, tell what is most interesting about the essay, identify the theme, determine how the writing could be improved, and explain why a part or parts are confusing.



Additional Comments:


            Abby is always well organized in her planning so that her lessons proceed in a logical way.  Students follow easily because she explains concepts in a number of different ways.  She frequently provides hands-on activities that help students think in an organized way.  Her unit on the novel Hatchet is especially well done and includes an excellent variety of activities to give students practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening.



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