Asked about reading/math instruction

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by texasteacher33, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2015

    Hey y'all-I am feeling kinda blue.
    When asked questions like "What would your reading instruction look like?" or "What would your math instruction look like?" - I just don't know what to say. (I don't know what the right thing to say is) :confused:

    Any pointers on figuring out how to answer these questions?
    Thank you more than I can say! :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Oct 2, 2015

    I'm sorry to hear you're feeling blue. I don't have much to offer except to research some of the different ELA and Math curriculums being used int he districts you are applying and go in with a prepared response to this question. Hope that helps!
     
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  4. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2015

    I agree with the prepared response answer. The last time I interviewed I typed out responses to common interview questions that I found on this forum. I then practiced these responses so I would be able to say all I wanted to in an interview.
     
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  5. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Oct 3, 2015

    What part of TX are you in? I am in TX too trying to be a teacher. I bought this book for teacher interviews, and it even has help for alt certs to anwser the interview questions. It also has questions for each subject and grade level. I got it on Amazon for like $10. message me if you are interested.
     
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  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    What do you say? What are your ideas?

    Ramble a bit here so we can see where you need help.
     
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  7. Helicase

    Helicase New Member

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    Oct 3, 2015

    Those questions help them gauge the level of forethought and preparation for the classroom. From my experience, what they're asking you is - if you were hired and put in the classroom today, what would you do with your 45, 60, 90 minute blocks (whatever they do at the school), and what instructional methods you'll use to educate your students. They lose confidence if a teacher doesn't have at least a basic image in their mind of how they're going to structure/sequence their ELA and Mathematics blocks and present the content in an easily digestible form to the students.

    Quick question - Did you graduate from a program with a student teaching component? If you did, you might pull some successful teaching ideas/sequencing that you used there that worked well.

    I'm going to recommend a few things you might want to check out that helped me land my first elementary teaching job.

    1) Check out the school's website before the interview. See if they have any particular curriculum or materials that they use/emphasize and get familiar with them. You'll have a significant advantage if you can speak with some confidence about the curriculum or at least say "I've heard of it/seen some of the materials".

    2) Know the Common Core Shifts for ELA and Math by heart. Explain how your teaching and lessons would incorporate each of the shifts and use the common core standards (answer will be different if you're given a scripted curriculum). Many schools, as I'm certain you know, are very driven by their standardized testing and use of common core.

    3) Research the Balanced Literacy and Balanced Math Approach/Programs.

    4) If you're not 100% sure of your block structure, find Balanced Literacy and Math templates/guides. Design some of your own lesson plans using that as a structuring guide.

    5) Every teacher is different, but for myself, ELA and Math blocks should at least incorporate the following, usually in this sequence:
    - Pre-knowledge/Review bellwork
    - Skill review
    - Whole class, large group instruction
    - Center rotation, small group instruction
    - Guided Practice
    - Problem Solving
    - Assessment (Formal or Informal)

    6) If the school emphasizes a certain type of instructional approach or focus make sure to mention it and how it would fit in. Some schools emphasize project-based learning, cooperative learning, small groups, focus on reading programs, math programs, incorporating a successful science/STEM program into the curriculum, strong reading program, etc... every school has something they like to brag about and like to improve or keep as their strong point.

    7) Have a portfolio with you that can showcase some of your own lesson plans, curriculum designs, and photos of students doing activities (if you have any). This can help as a backup that you're not just talking, that you mean business.

    8) For reading, I loved the Reading Rockets website - it has some great ideas that can help you out.

    9) For math, check out the Math Is Fun website, it has a lot of activity ideas.

    All in all, they just want you to have a solid working idea of effective, quality instruction and productive use of instructional time. If they hire you, they want to feel confident that you won't walk in the first day, look at the kids and go "Uh oh, what do I do now?" or have several failed lessons. They also want to minimize the time where students may not be actively engaged in some learning pursuit, resulting in problem behaviors.

    Also, they'll probably ask you about your classroom management methods (which many principals have told me is an immediate make or break point in an interview, it is the number one factor established day one and onward, as you can't have a productive class without strong classroom management, so keep that in mind, too, as I'm sure they'll get after that question) and philosophy as a separate question, but it helps if you reiterate your ideas in this area too.

    You could make a statement such as - "If I setup my block in X manner and use X techniques, for example, I believe it will allow for students be more actively engaged. Actively engaged students are learning more, retaining more, which improves test scores. Because they're being involved in their learning, it also reduces their likelihood of misbehaving and missing valuable instructional time. "
     
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  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Oct 3, 2015

    What do you say? What are your ideas?

    Ramble a bit here so we can see where you need help.
     
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  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 3, 2015

    This:thumb:

    A 'prepared' response is simply that....interviewers want to know who you are as an educator. What are your philosophies/deeply held and proven practices in these content areas?
     
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  10. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

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    Oct 4, 2015

    I've sat in on several interviews in my school, and the principal always expects the interviewee to go through a sample reading lesson they've done (whether in a previous job or during student teaching)--basically, step by step, going through all the parts of a typical lesson they'd want to see during a formal observation.
     
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  11. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 4, 2015

    This question always annoys me, because what I want my answer to be is: "I'll follow whatever reading program your district has adopted."

    Me doing what I think should be done, versus me doing what the district expects me to do, might be very different. Ultimately, I'm going to do what is expected of me.

    At a minimum, I think an effective answer includes the following components:
    1) A bellringer - something productive to do when they first walk in
    2) "I do" - the teacher models and teaches a lesson
    3) "We do" - students have opportunities to practice in a guided way
    4) "You do" - students practice on their own
    5) Closure - a brief review of what they've learned for the day, and possibly some kind of short assessment or ticket out the door
     
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  12. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Oct 4, 2015

    When it doubt mention small group, whole group and independent reading.

    I too remember this question and I was like "Uh...I'm in sped so I have no clue" YouTube is your friend.

    Find some videos. I think most do the workshop model so you're at a round/kidney table with a small group, the rest are in literacy center/stations and independent reading.

    I remember rambling and just mentioning lots of cooperative groups, small groups.
     
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  13. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2015

    Hi! I am in the Central Texas area (Austin/San Marcos) How about you? Wow, that would be awesome to read the book you're talking about! Thanks so much!
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 9, 2015

    I am a HUGE fan of "I do, we do, you do" for ELA, and am certain it works for math lessons as well. It gives lots of room for modelling, guided practice, and independent work with some supervision. Think about ways you could implement this and other ideas in your ideal future classroom.
     
  15. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2015

    Thank you to all of y'all for the amazing advice!! :) I love this community so much! God Bless Y'all! <3
     
  16. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2015

    I can't even tell you how helpful your response was...wow... :)
    All of your recommendations and ideas really helped me to organize my thoughts. Thank you soooo much for taking the time to help me! Everything you said was spot on and again, THANK YOU!!! :)
     
  17. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Awesome advice- I really love "I do, we do, you do"! I will start to think of specific ways that I can implement that into my future classroom! Thanks catnfiddle! (oh, and your cat in the picture is adorable!) :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  18. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Thanks for the reply! :) Do you know how I would be able to find out what Math/ELA curriculum is used in the district? I have been on the website and can't figure out where to look to find that info.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  19. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Great advice! :) thank you!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  20. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2015

    I am in the process of putting all of my ideas/thoughts/ramblings down on paper and will share will yall! Thank you :)
     
  21. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2015

    Thanks for the info-that's a great idea to have a step-by-step reading lesson prepared in my mind for when I go in. So, would that include telling them how I would activate prior knowledge/review etc. or just that "first, I would activate prior knowledge...then,...." ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  22. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    That is also why I have been getting so frazzled by this question...being a new (almost) teacher, I don't have much experience with different reading programs. I wish I could find out what reading program the district uses so that I could study up on it.
    Can you give me an example of what kinds of different reading programs there are? Do they have specific names for the different programs?
    Thank you so much!! :)
     
  23. texasteacher33

    texasteacher33 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2015

    Wow I never even thought to look at YouTube for videos!! That is such a great idea-thank you! :)
     

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