Advice for a second interview

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Johnjoel, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Hey everyone - I recently was invited to come back for a second interview at a school district and one of the requirements is to teach a 10 minute lesson to the superintendents and principals. The vice-principal was very accomodating and gave me some advice such as name tags with new "kid" names for all of the administrators and posting classroom rules....

    Does anyone have any other helpful advice related to teaching a lesson at a second interview - As always, I would greatly appreciate it!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Remind us again of the subject and the grade level.

    And congrats for getting this far!!
     
  4. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Oh sorry, and thanks! - 3rd grade, and the lesson must be a 10 minute lesson involving expository text and a graphic organizer.
     
  5. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Any ideas?
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sorry, not a clue for 3rd grade :)
     
  7. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Oooh, how fun!

    What if you did context clues within the text? You could possibly have the "students" determine how the character felt, or who the character was based on the clues? They could write down their clues in the graphic organizer and then determine their answer.

    So, for instance:

    The lion preys at all times of the day. He is afraid of very few animals. In fact, most animals fear him. He is known to destroy entire families of animals and is well respected by his?????

    I'm running out of ideas, but you get the drift.

    The answer choices would be:

    The lion is: a.) brave b.) large c.) fearful d.) tired

    The map would show the clues they found to determine that A was the answer.
     
  8. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    What about starting a RAN (like a modified KWL)? You could give the students Post-Its and ask each to write a fact they think they know about your topic (lions, dolphins, etc) and put it on the "What I Think I Know" section. Then, you could do a brief shared reading of a short text (maybe the first paragraph of a book) and the students could work in partners to write new facts, questions, or determine Post-Its that need to be moved to "Misconceptions"?

    http://www.readingrecovery.org/pdf/conferences/NC07/Handouts/Stead_Preconf.pdf
     
  9. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Also, what about a retelling web? You basically share a short piece of text, and do a retelling web (main topic in the middle, key ideas radiating out from the main idea), and then use ONLY the web, not the original text, to write a retelling of the text.

    http://blog.stenhouse.com/archives/tag/tony-stead/

    (Then do a search on that page for "retelling")

    Both the RAN and retelling web are from "Reality Checks" by Tony Stead.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Johnjoel,
    Although I teach 2nd now, I taught 3rd for most of my career.

    I'm not sure I'd do re-telling -- that is really more a 1st grade and early 2nd grade skill. I might hit on summarizing instead, which is definetely a 3rd grade skills.

    Identifying the main idea was a big skill when I taught 3rd. Context clues are always a good one -- especially if you can tie them into another topic -- like homophones or multiple meaning words. (How do you figure out when the word "wind" is wind (blowing in the wind) or wind (wind the clock before you go to bed.)? I love teaching lessons about multiple meaning words and figuring out the meaning based on context clues.

    I would look at your state standards and pull a topic directly from the 3rd grade objectives -- they use your own personality and teaching style to come up with an approach that shows your "teaching style." Let them see the real you.

    Good luck with your demo.
     
  11. JoviHawk

    JoviHawk Rookie

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    Are you familiar with Kagan strategies? Using one in your lesson will "wow" them. They will see that you are into cooperative learning. Also, make sure you do a lot of all student engagement strategies. NEVER say "Can anyone raise your hand and tell me..." Instead ask the question and have everyone answer it with a partner. Then discuss a few of the answers. You could do an indentifying text structure lesson using a Kagan strategy. If you're not sure what that means, let me know!
     
  12. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    I've never heard of Kagan strategies, I'm intrigued....Jovihawk, I was planning on putting a Think, Pair, Share in there w/ regards to to you mentioning to never say "can someone raise their hand".

    What are they?
     
  13. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I don't know what part of PA you are in but LFS (Learning focused schools) is a BIG deal here. It emphasizes using strategies such as using graphic organizers and think/pair/share so you would definitely be on the right track here.
    I had a student teacher who used a big book with some spanish words to show the concept of using context clues to figure out meaning. Don't recall the title though, sorry. Mamacita something?
     
  14. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Actually, the retelling web for non-fiction is a skill that Stead pushes throughout K-5. It's a strategy to help students put information read in a non-fiction text into their own words. If you go to that spot on the blog, you'll see an "example conversation" from a third-grade classroom. It helps students to summarize the text in their own words. :thumb:
     
  15. JoviHawk

    JoviHawk Rookie

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    Kagan Structures are a way to teach cooperative learning. A lot of them are things we as teachers always do. Spencer Kagan just happend to write tons of books and give workshops about coop learning and become very rich in the process! Google it and I'm sure you'll find something. Our school has been heavily trained in Kagan. I use the structures daily and love to teach this way. Kids love it too! Tell your principal/district to look into the trainings...well worth the time and money!
     
  16. PalmettoTeacher

    PalmettoTeacher Rookie

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    Sounds interesting! Where in PA?
     
  17. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Jul 4, 2009

    Thanks

    Thanks for all of the wonderful help!
     
  18. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Make lots of visuals to show them that you have put lots of time into this lesson and that this is indicative of you as a teacher. Show them that you will put lots of thought and time into your lessons.

    I hope things go great for you! Congrats on getting this far!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Thanks - I already spent a lot of time making a "rules" poster and will probably make the end result that I will show the "students" as a model for what I expect.
     
  20. RainStorm

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    Johnjoel,
    Here are my tips:

    -Make it fun and exciting, yet standards-based. Have some action in your instruction. Instead of a "thumbs up" maybe have the students use a 'hand flutter" or a sign language "applause." It will make you stand out while accomplishing the goal.

    -Have a clear objective, an anticipatory set that will trigger background knowledge, and make sure you have both guided and self-directed practice (although keep it very short so you can fit it in the 10 minutes.) If you don't have enough time, do the guided practice and hand out the self-directed "to be done later." It will show that you know the difference, and what types of things are appropriate for each.

    --Make sure you use some time of quick assessment at the end (NOT a quiz!!) so you can demonstate that you know how to determine if the students "got it."
     
  21. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Think-pair-share is from Kagan. : )
     
  22. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    I think I know what I will do:

    I'm going to open with a reading about rainforest and model a retelling web in front of the class.

    I will have the students make cut outs of the particular animal they will be reading about. Once they are finished, I will have them buddy read with a partner and have them individually write down the main topic word of the paragraph on the animal and glue it to the center of a retelling web organizer.

    Thats just the basic idea....I'm going to also throw a Think Pair Share in there somewhere too...
     
  23. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    In 10 minutes? Have you timed it out? Cutting out means handing out scissors, and throwing away scraps. What will the students who finish quickly be doing while the ones who take forever to cut thigns out are still cutting? Then you have to hand out glue sticks, students use them, then put caps back on and collect them.

    Johnjoel, I'm not trying to knock your idea -- just make sure you have all of your "what ifs" covered. Personally, I find this to be a lot of "listen to me" (you reading aloud) and then cutting out a picture is a "fluff activity" to many administrators.

    Where have you activated prior background knowledge? What was your anticipatory set? I don't see either in this.

    What is the objective of this lesson? To use a retelling web or to learn about rainforest animals? How will you know you have been successful when it is over? Be prepared for these kind of questions.

    It might help if you post your actual lesson plan here. There are many of us who have been on the "interviewer side" of demos before, and we can tell you what they will be looking for, and how to tweek your plan so you will have it.

    You always want your objective clear before you determine an activity.

    I guess my question is, what is your learning objective for this activity?
     
  24. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    That was a rough idea - Here it is in a little more detail....

    The main objective is for the students to learn the retelling strategy - the background is that 3rd grade is in the middle of a biomes unit - with each biome lesson, a new expository text strategy is taught.

    For an anticipatory set, I plan on having the students work in pairs in order to write down as many descriptive adjectives as they can that describe the rainforest. Then I will guide the class in a whole group discussion comparing narrative text to expository to help bring back some prior knowledge.

    Then I will model the retelling web strategy by reading a short nonfiction piece about the ecosystem and doing a think aloud as I make the web.

    Before the students work in pairs, I will pass out a rubric and go over expectations. The students will then work in pairs to buddy read their own texts about animals in the rain forest and complete their webs individually. I added the "cut out" as a way to make the lesson a little more hands on, and admittedly, I don't think its the best way to incorporate hands on learning in the lesson, but I guess its not really that kind of lesson.

    I would use the rubric to assess how well the students grasped the strategy.

    Any more suggestions would be very helpful, and Rainstorm, I thank you for your honesty!
     
  25. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Okay, let's start here.


    An objective must never contain the words "understand," "learn," or "appreciate." That is the cardinal rule for objectives.

    Didn't your education program teach you how to write an objective? Pull out your class notes and your text book, and go over the objective section.

    An educational objective should focus on observable behaviors – knowledge, skills or attitudes that can be measured.

    Some “action verbs” frequently used in writing educational objectives are:
    · list
    · define
    · identify
    · select
    · name
    · describe
    · interpret
    · predict
    · solve
    · demonstrate
    · differentiate
    · explain
    · compare
    · contrast.

    (Remember that Bloom's list your teachers made you study? If it is on Bloom's taxonomy, you can use it as the action word in your objective.)

    Second, how will it be measured? (The rubric is a tool, not a measurement)

    You need to list what will occur so that you will know mastery has occured.

    Johnjoel,

    If you do a demo, they are going to expect you to come in with a written lesson plan. What format did you certification program teach? You need to put it in that format. If your program taught many and you can't choose, look up Madeline Hunter and use that one (it is the most accepted.)
     
  26. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Okay, next thing.

    You are going to read a book about the rainforest. What book?

    For retelling, you want to pick a fiction book rather than a nonfiction book. This is because the essential elements of retelling are "beginning, middle, and end." Nonfiction stories don't always have a beginning, middle, and end. (Some do, but most don't.)

    What book are you thinking about?
     
  27. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    This isn't an anticipatory set.

    In the Anticipatory Set section, you outline what you will say and/or present to your students before the direct instruction of the lesson begins.

    The purpose of the Anticipatory Set is to:

    •Provide continuity from previous lessons, if applicable
    •Allude to familiar concepts and vocabulary as a reminder and refresher
    •Tell the students briefly what the lesson will be about
    •Gauge the students' level of collective background knowledge of the subject to help inform your instruction
    •Activate the students' existing knowledge base
    •Whet the class's appetite for the subject at hand
    •Briefly expose the students to the lesson's objectives and how you will get them to the end result

    To write your Anticipatory Set, consider the following questions:

    •How can I involve as many as students as possible, piquing their interests for the subject matter to come?
    •How should I inform my students of the lesson's context and objective, in kid-friendly language?
    •What do the students need to know before they can delve into the lesson plan itself and direct instruction?
     
  28. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Johnjoel,
    In a pm, you gave me a description of the actual assignment. You said (I hope you don't mind me quoting it here)

    Now this is something to start with. :)

    First, I wouldn't use a retelling graphic organizer for expository writing.

    Expository text is nonfiction reading material. The intent of these written works is to inform or explain something to the reading audience. Expository text can vary in nature. Some common formats of expository writing include the following:

    How-To (Procedural)
    Definition
    Description
    Persuasion
    Analysis
    Classification
    Comparison

    None of these lend to retelling.
     
  29. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Typically, in the 3rd grade, the types of graphic organizers used for expository writing are:

    Venn Diagram (I'm not suggesting you use this one.)
    KWL Chart
    KWHL Chart
    KWS Chart
    Cycle chart (works great for life cycles)
    Sequence Chain
    Problem/Solution Chart
    Fishbone
    T-Chart
     
  30. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    Whoa - thanks. Yes, I'm very familiar with how to write objectives: describe the audience, the behavior, the condition and the degree to which you want them to accomplish on the assessment - I was writing everything quickly, so I wasn't writing in teacher language.

    Thanks for you help!!
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't teach 3rd grade, though I do have a 9 year old daughter.

    It sounds to me as though you're hoping to do a LOT in 10 short minutes!!!

    Keep in mind, the point behind this exercise is to see you interact. They know you can download entire lessons from the web, so I don't think they're going to be analyzing exactly what you do. I think they're looking at your comfort level, your explanations, your personality, your eye contact-- all those things.

    If I were in your shoes, I would cut the lesson a LOT. Avoid the use of scissors, keep it incredibly simple, and do something that involves a lot of student-teacher interaction.
     
  32. Johnjoel

    Johnjoel Companion

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    I got the position! I interviewed today and they called me back two and a half hours later to let me know!

    Thanks to everyone on the board for your advice and for listening to my (many) concerns!!
     
  33. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    CONGRATS!
     
  34. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    This is my first time on this thread, but CONGRATS!!!! I know that is an exciting time for you,
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    YAY!!!!!
     
  36. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Way to go, Johnjoel!
     
  37. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Fantastic! Congrats!
     
  38. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    That's awesome!
     
  39. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Congrats!!! What all did you end up getting to do with the "students" for your lesson in those 10 minutes?
     

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