Opinion
Education Opinion

Teach By Numbers

By Emmet Rosenfeld — December 03, 2006 2 min read

Last Thursday I gave a lesson in the media center on how to use the databases for scientific research and had kids start working on a “search ladder” that helps them find good sources to use for upcoming “idea papers.” One really great thing about the lesson was that the librarian (sorry-- media center specialist) was kind enough to videotape me three periods in a row. The first time, we worked on camera angles and where to place the mic. The second time, the camera somehow clicked off. And the third time.... we got it! Usable footage.

One student asked a question while standing right in front of the camera after my mini-lesson, and when I answered said something along the lines of, “Your direct and individualized instruction has not only made me understand this concept, it’s made me a better learner and a better person, too.” Well, maybe not in those exact words, but it was a moment caught on film that was better than anything I could have scripted.

So, what’s next? Just a quick 16-page write up. Below is the outline for the required analysis, which I’ll be busy pecking away at before the glow of pedagogical success fades. These sentence-starters are transcribed from the section in the bible on Entry 2, “Composing My Written Commentary” (EA/ELA 2006, pp 114-115).

Instructional context (1 pg)
The number, ages, and grades of the students in the class featured in this entry are... and the subject matter is...
Relevant characteristics of this class that influenced my instructional strategies for this lesson are... Instructional challenges represented by these particular students are...
Relevant features of my teaching context that influenced the selection of this particular strategy and style of instruction are...

Planning and Video Recording Analysis (6 pp)
My long-term goals for this class are... Thematic connections include ...
These goals and themes are appropriate for these students because ...
The instructional goals for this lesson are ... These short term goals fit into my long-term goals and tie in with class themes by... My rationale for choosing whole class discussion as the format to meet the goals of this lesson is…
Information about this particular class influences what is seen on the video in several ways…
There were several specific procedures and teaching strategies that I used in this lesson, including ones to foster student participation in the whole class interaction… My reasons for these choices were…
To ensure fairness, equity and access for all students I did the following… An example was when…
The materials and resources that I used in this lesson were… My reasons for choosing these materials were…
Activities related to this lesson that came before the video segment were… Activities related to this lesson that came after the video segment were…My rationale for selecting this sequence of activities was…
This lesson reflects my integration of the language arts strands (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and/or viewing) in these ways…

Reflection (4 pp)
I achieved the goals of the lesson to the extent…
The most successful moment/aspect of the lesson on the video recording was… It was successful because…
If I were to reteach this lesson, I would change… for these reasons…
The influence of the lesson’s outcome on future instruction of this class (or members of this class) is…

The opinions expressed in Certifiable? are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.