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Snow Daze

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The end of an unexpected 6-day weekend is approaching, and the snow and ice that closed school has also put a freeze on my ability to slog ahead on Entry One. Bored with boredom, this morning at last I forced myself to the keyboard to write about work samples I’ve selected for use in my final portfolio entry.

“Making Good Choices” is the slightly paternalistic title given to the section in the bible offering advice on which assignments to select. It’s true, though, that my dilly-dallying on this entry is because I found it hard to choose only two out of my hundred some students; and then to choose only four out of the dozens of assignments they’ve done. Even with all those choices, I’ve actually recycled some of the work mentioned in other entries, in part because I have all the documentation handy.

I described the required work samples last time I wrote. Below is a paragraph outline in which I’ve sign-posted profusely to keep the somewhat obscure requirements straight, both for me and my NBPTS readers. All that remains is to flesh each graph out to a page in length, using the guide questions provided at the end. Oh, and then collect and label up to 40 pages of documentation. Has anyone checked the long range forecast for more snow?

Analysis of Student Work (10 pp; 5 per student)

Student A as Reader
The first response for Student A as a reader is in writing to a nonprint-based text. The response itself is writing based on observation: one part “shows,” depicting the scene using subjective or impressionistic language; and the other part “tells,” depicting the same scene in a more objective or “scientific” way . The “text” being observed is the natural world, specifically, the wetland refuge which is the site for a year-long science project involving water quality testing that is the centerpiece of the 9th grade IBET program as previously described.

The second response for Student A as a reader is in a non-print mode to a print-based text. The response itself was a dramatization: the student played a role in a skit that presented a “mock trial” in response to Earnest Gaines’ novel about the execution of a black man in 1940s Louisiana called A Lesson Before Dying.

Student A as Writer
The first response for Student A as a writer is a creative take on a personal narrative written from the point of view of a bird.

The second response for Student A as a writer is a “Review of Research,” a technical writing drawing on scientific sources from specialized databases which examines a topic related to the water quality project.

Student B as Reader
The first response for Student B as a reader is in writing to a nonprint-based text. The response is an observational sketch and drawing that records her work on a Native American dugout canoe being built by our 10th grade class this year in conjunction with local historical groups as part of a special project this year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. The “text” under observation is of course the canoe itself, and the process of building it-- using traditional stone tools and “primitive” technology-- with her classmates.

The second response for Student B as a reader is in a non-print mode to a print-based text. The response is a 3-tiered fountain that was made to represent the structure of a novel by Native American author N. Scott Momaday recording the rise and fall of the Kiowa people, The Way to Rainy Mountain.

Student B as Writer
The first response for Student B as a writer is an essay in response to a prompt which is thematically related to our canoe project, “Life is a Journey.”

The second response for Student B as a writer is a personal narrative describing a special moment from her childhood when she went sledding with her cousin.

Guide Questions

Experiences, skills, interests, etc about the student that provide insight into his work samples and my analysis of them...

My instructional goals to promote growth for this student as a reader and interpreter of text were... I used these texts, assignments, and strategies to accomplish these...

These characteristics of the selected work samples demonstrated the students ability to understand and interpret the text...

My assessment and feedback to this student promoted his growth as a reader and interpreter of text by...

Given this student’s responses, as a teacher I will do this to build on what they have already accomplished as a reader/interpreter of text...

7 Comments

I'm slogging through entry 1 right now as well, although the temperature here is in the 80s! I have a question: Are you answering ALL the questions about Student A, and then ALL the questions about Student B, or for each question dealing with first one student, and then the second? In the hundreds of pages of instructions we have, I can't find the answer.

Maybe someone else has an idea??

Hi, Emmet! I have written a few times before, but today, I wanted to write quickly!

When you said, "Even with all those choices, I’ve actually recycled some of the work mentioned in other entries, in part because I have all the documentation handy," it sent up a red flag. I was under the impression that none of your pieces can overlap from one entry to the next in entries 1-3. I flew to the "bible" and found the directions. It is on page 6 of the intro of the portfolio instructions. It says, "The teaching that you feature in Entries 1-3 must come from different units of instruction, different lessons, and different points of time." I hope this doesn't mess up what you are doing! I wrote as soon as I saw it. This rule made it difficult for me to complete this entry, which is why I remembered it so clearly.

Your fellow National Board candidate

But, if you have used some of this for entry 4, I think it's O.K. Make sure that you describe the water quality testing program in your contextual info or the 1st page of this entry, cause the person who reads entry 4 is not reading entry 1.

And all this nonsense proves we're good teachers?
Or, good at following rules?
Sigh.

Thanks, Emmet. I'm getting ready to choose my pieces for Entry One as well. Your layouts for the entries have been very helpful. I like what I'm thinking about using for Entry One; however, I'm in the same boat with material that I've used in another entry. I'm with Hillary...sigh, indeed. Good luck, Everyone.

PS Dude, you're SO lucky to have the snow days! We've been prayin' for them!! :)

Uh...so what's the answer?
I have made several videos/DVDs. The best ones feature the same class. May I submit both of the same class?

Yes, you may use the same class for both videos/DVDs. NBPTS encourages teachers to use more than one class in completing the portfolio entries in order to demonstrate the broadest range of their teaching practice. Therefore, teachers who have multiple classes that meet the age and content requirements should take advantage of the availability of these different classes when completing the classroom-based entries.

did you all pass? I am submitting on Monday and don't feel very confident.

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  • tsmith: did you all pass? I am submitting on Monday and read more
  • Anonymous: Uh...so what's the answer? I have made several videos/DVDs. The read more
  • Beth from VB: PS Dude, you're SO lucky to have the snow days! read more
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  • Hillary: But, if you have used some of this for entry read more

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