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GWU Supervisor Observation, March 5, 2005

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Fairfax Transition to Teaching Partnership



Name:  Abigail Hunting

School: Robinson Secondary

Observer: Ann Lawlor

Date: March 5, 2005

Cooperating Teacher:   J. Odeneal  

Number of Students:  8

Course Title: ESOL B1 Resource

Time: 11:00- 12:30

Period: 5


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:

                                 Writing about Future Goals /Resource   

Evidence to Support:

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


            This resource class is designed to help these B1 ESOL students improve their reading and study skills and to strengthen their ability to communicate in English.  The students are middle class and literate in their native languages.  Students come from South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  Some have studied English in their home countries.  They are working to move out of ESOL into regular classes.  They will be tested and evaluated later this year to determine if they have made enough progress to move to regular all English classes.


            Objectives are observable, measurable and targeted to SOL standards: write 3-5 paragraphs on the same topic, provide support with details, use transitions, use sentence variety and appropriate word choice. They also will work on subjects from other classes and receive help from the teacher as needed.  The writing prompt is written on the board:  Describe your most important goal and how you plan to achieve it.


Strengths/ Suggestions / Questions:


            Students write for 25 minutes on a given topic.  The teacher checks it at a later time and provides feedback.  The assignment encourages them to think long term and to plan.  Questions are open-ended and give students an opportunity to write freely about topics of interest to them.  Students enjoy the feedback they receive and this in turn motivates them to write without fear of failure.


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


            The teacher welcomes students individually as they enter the classroom, setting up an atmosphere for acceptance and safety.  The teacher has routines in place so that students know what is expected of them.  On Fridays they write in their journals.  All students must come to class with materials with which to work.  The teacher hands out the journals and explains the writing assignment.  She explains the meaning of goal and gives examples to illustrate.


            This class meets every day so it is helpful when they have work from other classes that requires long-term planning.  They are better able to keep up with their school work because they can get assistance in this class every day.  Most of the students have questions or difficulties with biology and history classes.

            Abby keeps the students on task by reminding them of the classroom rules.  There is lots of space between the desks and the room is quiet as all students work on their writing.



Strengths/ Suggestions/ Questions:

            After lunch one student comes in late and asks to go to the library to do some research for another class.  Because he has been late many times before, the teacher does not allow him to go.  Instead, she offers to allow him to use her computer to do the research and email the results to himself so that he can print them out and turn them in for that class.  He does not want to do this and asks to go to the office when he cannot get his way.  The teacher holds her ground.  She writes him a pass to the AP’s office and then sends an email to let them know he should be arriving and why.  This is a good solution to what could be a potential problem.  The rest of the class also sees that rules are in place and will be followed just as if the regular teacher were in charge of the class.  Good job!


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


            In addition to the writing, students also work on words frequently confused by native English speakers: your, you’re; there, their, they’re; then, than.   The teacher has an excellent handout for this exercise. She uses a large font for easy reading and provides practice with 12-15 sentences for lots of reinforcement.

            Time is used meaningfully in the second half of the class after lunch as students work on individual subjects.  Students are reading, writing, using the dictionary, and doing worksheets.


Strengths/ Suggestions/ Questions:

To keep students on task, the teacher gives participation grades for the week.  Every Friday she has students take the grade sheet out of their notebooks and gives a grade of 1, 2 or 3.  Students can earn up to 15 extra points this way.  Students are responsible for keeping the grade sheet and the teacher returns it the next class with their grade for the week.  Also, students have input and can determine for themselves how they performed during the week.  Most are honest about their performance, showing they are aware of how they are doing.


Additional Comments:


            Abby shows excellent classroom management skills.  She thinks things through and has a plan for handling lateness, inattention, and non-participation.  She holds her ground when a student challenges her and the students accept her authority.  She is friendly and helpful to the students when they seek her help with schoolwork, but she is also firm and fair in her demands for good classroom behavior.


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