My pre-conference consisted of a ton of questions about my lesson plan for my formal observation including accommodations for ESOL and ESE students, standards, etc. I really felt like I was being tested. The questions were part of Marzano's Art and Science of teaching iobservation evaluations so I don't blame my principal for these hard questions but it is a lot to answer. I won't get into all of it but if you are a Florida teacher you know what I'm talking about. So during this pre-conference I had to answer all questions pertaining to my lesson and domain #2 which is planning and preparing. I felt frusterated because some of the information about tracking had not been mentioned to me previously and my principal wanted me do it in my lesson with my kids that day in formal observation. I had approximately one hour and thirty minutes to introduce to my kids a new way to track their own learning (insert sarcastic cheers). Needless to say I left the meeting scrambling back to my room to try and implement this in my room.
Once I initially freaked out and calmed down. I decided to put sticky notes on my students desk so they could track their learning using their scales each time the learning goal was said and they showed their understanding on their learning scale. It sounds like a lot to do but my kids had already been showing me their understanding by using their fingers 4-I can teach a friend 3-I understand 2-I understand most of it but need more help and 1-I'm trying but I don't understand yet. So all they had to do was write this down on the sticky note during the beginning, middle, and end of the lesson. It worked out well (thank goodness, I must have a teacher guardian angel) and the lesson ran smoothly. My students enjoyed working together in cooperative groups and making the foldable. My students behaved and did a wonderful job with the lesson. My principal loved how I had differentiate activities for all types of learners. Yeah, go me! She gave me a high five on the way out and said great job. Seconds later I got an e-mail already from iObservation telling me what I got on my observation which was applying.
I worked diligently on my post conference reflection and conference that afternoon while my students watched the cutest Reading Rainbow video on If You Give A Mouse a Cookie and cause and effect and went to specials. Who would have thought all these years later Reading Rainbow would still be a hit? Well it certainly was! No, I'm not a teacher that lets my kids watch movies all the time but it was Friday, St. Patrick's Day, I had my formal observation for 45 minutes, and we're all really ready for Spring Break so yes I took a "break" and worked on my teacher paperwork.
Then this morning I worked hard to make sure I had all the questions prepared, my individual professional plan, data notebook, and lesson plans all ready for my post conference. I went in prepared and I felt so much better about the post conference! My principal coached me through some of the harder domain questions and was super complimentary of my lesson. She said she was very confident in me as a teacher and liked how I engaged my students. She also let me know that she is most likely putting a student with special needs in my class next year who has a para professional. He is currently in a K-1 class but is staying another year in first grade. She said she think I would be the best teacher for him next year and already wants him to visit my class at the end of the year. To ease the transition to a new teacher and create less anxiety. She said she cannot say yet if I will for sure be in first grade because this would be preferential treatment and she has to continue to look at her numbers but it looks like I'll most likely be staying in 1st grade next year! Now I still have to meet one last time for my entire evaluation and to see what my assignment for next year will be. I'm so glad it's mostly done!
For other Florida/Marzano teachers:
Cheat sheet for Domain 1
Celebrate success by:
- Show of hands
- Parent notification
- Pat on the back
- Stickers on a chart
- High fiving a friend
Track student progress - chart/graph progress
- thumbs up or down for understanding
- point to faces chart of understanding
- number over heart for understanding
-track on paper
Learning Goals - Goal posted on board
- Refer to statement
- Clear statement
-Restated in students' own words
Establish Classroom Routine:
Remind students of rules
Signal students when to use rules
Layout of the classroom:
Clear traffic pattern
Decorated to enhance learning
Easily move about
Up next Field Day and 2 more days until SPRING BREAK!