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Elementary Education

Task 1: Planning Commentary

TASK 1: PLANNING COMMENTARY


Respond to the prompts below (no more than 9 single-spaced pages, including prompts) by typing your responses within the
brackets. Do not delete or alter the prompts. Pages exceeding the maximum will not be scored.

1. Central Focus
a. Describe the central focus and purpose for the content you will teach in the learning
segment.
[The central focus of the content I will teach is presidents. The lessons will focus on George
Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The purpose of the lessons is to introduce important figures
in American History to the class.]
b. Given the central focus, describe how the standards and learning objectives within your
learning segment address

an essential literacy strategy


requisite skills that support use of the strategy
reading/writing connections
[The learning segment will require the students to utilize context clues in order to comprehend
the texts presented. Many of the terms that will be used are unfamiliar to the students. The
instructor will encourage the students to use context clues in order to determine the appropriate
meaning for unfamiliar terms. The learning segment will require the students to focus on the text
in order to achieve comprehension. The instructor will demonstrate some of the requisite and
reading comprehension skills required for decoding and using context clues. The students will
need to utilize decoding and knowledge of letter sounds and forms in the learning segment. The
students will be required to make a connection between uppercase and lowercase letters. The
students must apply knowledge of letter sounds in order to complete activities within the
learning segment.]
c. Explain how your plans build on each other to help students make connections
between skills and the essential strategy to comprehend OR compose text in meaningful
contexts.
[The lessons build on each other by slowly increasing the content that is delivered to the
students. The learning segment will begin by introducing the students to the term president to
the class. The instructor will create a chart that will allow the students to share what they know
about presidents and what they have learned throughout the learning segment. Initially, this
chart will be utilized to activate the students schemas. The students will be asked what comes
to their minds when they hear the word president. The students will revisit the chart
periodically throughout the learning segment. This will aid the students in making connections
between the lessons and prior knowledge. Lessons within the learning segment will also require
the students to build on their knowledge of letter forms. Students will have to replace uppercase
letters with the corresponding lowercase letters in order to accurately spell the names of two
famous presidents. The students can apply knowledge of phonics to the lessons to aid with
comprehension.]
2. Knowledge of Students to Inform Teaching
For each of the prompts below (2ab), describe what you know about your students with
respect to the central focus of the learning segment.

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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

Consider the variety of learners in your class who may require different strategies/support (e.g.,
students with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners, struggling readers, underperforming
students or those with gaps in academic knowledge, and/or gifted students).

a. Prior academic learning and prerequisite skills related to the central focusCite
evidence of what students know, what they can do, and what they are still learning
to do.
[According to the pre-assessment, the students have little knowledge of the terminology that will
be utilized in the learning segment. The students are familiar with the term president but need
further education in order to expand on the topic. The pre-assessment scores tell me that the
students need to be introduced to factual information related to presidents. Attached is a copy of
my pre-assessment interview responses. This chart serves as a graphic organizer for what my
students already know regarding presidents.]

ELA Pre-Assessment Responses


What is a president?
Aguilar, Jolin
Bishop, Zoe
Camps,
Anderson
Cupp, Matt
Dixon, Dalton
M
Encinas,
Annsleigh
Greenleaf Jr.,
Andrew
Harvey,
S'Mone
Hendricks,
Sophia
Jackson,
Kennedy
Jenkins Jr.,
Kingston
Jones, Hannah
Jones, Zachary
Kemp, Shane
Mangham,
Abigail
Martin, Wyatt

Someone who is in charge


The man that makes
speeches on tv
The king of somewhere

Im not sure
I dont know

Assessm
ent
Score
50
50

My dad

A person
I dont know

Ms. Andrews
Ummmm I dont
know
George I think

0
0

Someone that gets voted


for
That black man on tv that
always talks to everyone
The boss of the world

The devil

50

Maybe his name is


Kirby
I forget the name

50

The person that lives in the


White House
Someone who chooses
what we do
Ummm the person that
makes all the rules
The man that lives in
Washington, D.C.
The person that has to sit
in long meetings and make
choices
The man that lives in the
White House that spends a
lot of time working for
others
A superhero

Barrack Obama

100

I dont know

50

The mommy in the


house
Roger

I dont know

50

George Bush

100

I dont know

The person in charge

Name a
president.

50

50

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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

Maruko, Risa
Powell, Taylor
Stephens, Jada
Tennison, Teil
Vining, Katelyn

Walker, Kaleb

The person that lives in


Washington
A man that is in charge of
what happens here
I never heard of that
The person that messes up
everything
Maybe like the person in
charge, kinda like the
teacher but for much more
people
I dont know

I dont know right


now
I think Ben Ten

50

I dont know a name


I dont know

0
0

Ummmm maybe
Mrs. Stanley

50

I cant really
remember

50

b. Personal/cultural/community assets related to the central focusWhat do you know


about your students everyday experiences, cultural backgrounds and practices,
and interests?
[According to my learning styles inventory, the majority of the students are either auditory or
visual learners. The learning segment incorporates both auditory and visual activities. The
auditory learners will be presented with the opportunity to participate in a read aloud. The visual
learners will have the President chart which can be referred to throughout the lesson. This
chart serves as a graphic organizer for the learning styles inventory results.]

Ms. Andrews Class


Name
Aguilar, Jolin W
Bishop, Zoe J
Camps, Anderson D
Cupp, Matthew L (Matt)
Dixon, Dalton M
Encinas, Annsleigh A
Greenleaf Jr., Andrew D
Harvey, S'Mone E
Hendricks, Sophia R
Jackson, Kennedy A
Jenkins Jr., Kingston A
Jones, Hannah G
Jones, Zachary I
Kemp, Shane A
Mangham, Abigail R
Martin, Artimus W (Wyatt)
Maruko, Risa
Powell, Taylor S
Rozier, Dominique C

Learning Styles
Inventory
Visual
Auditory
Auditory
Auditory
Kinesthetic
Visual
Visual
Visual
Visual
Visual
Auditory
Visual
Visual
Kinesthetic
Visual
Kinesthetic
Auditory
Visual
Auditory

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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

Stephens, Jada K
Tennison, Teil R
Vining, Katelyn N
Walker, Kaleb C

Auditory
Visual
Visual
Visual

3. Supporting Students Literacy Learning


Respond to prompts 3ac below. To support your justifications, refer to the instructional materials
and lesson plans you have included as part of Task 1. In addition, use principles from research
and/or theory to support your explanations.

a. Justify how your understanding of your students prior academic learning and
personal/cultural/community assets (from prompts 2ab above) guided your choice or
adaptation of learning tasks and materials. Be explicit about the connections between
the learning tasks and students prior academic learning, assets, and research/theory.
[The students have a common interest in learning about people in history. I decided to utilize
this information in combination with the curriculum map to create a unit that focuses on
presidents. This learning segment is being taught within the same time frame that Presidents
Day is observed. The students will begin the learning segment by expressing prior knowledge
on the topic. The information that the students verbalize will be recorded on a chart. This chart
will remain present through the course of the learning segment. I will create learning
experiences by introducing childrens books into the lessons. The students seem to be the most
engaged in lesson that include a read aloud with a childrens book. The students in the
classroom were all born in American. They are all familiar with the American culture and some
aspects of the government. The students have different heritages and traditions. Regardless of
their differing lineage, they are all familiar with America. Creating a learning segment that
focuses on presidents allows me to expand on the students prior knowledge of America.]
b. Describe and justify why your instructional strategies and planned supports are
appropriate for the whole class, individuals, and/or groups of students with specific
learning needs.
Consider students with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners, struggling readers,
underperforming students or those with gaps in academic knowledge, and/or gifted students.

[Each lesson in the learning segment provides a portion of whole class instruction. Following the
whole class instruction, students that required small group or RTI will received individualized
attention. I will utilize scaffolding to aid the students to reach realistic educational goals. These
students will have an opportunity to sit with the instructor and receive assistance while the other
students are working independently. Learners that are identified as gifted will be expect to meet
more challenging requirements. For example, during the writing assignment, gifted students will
be required to write a minimum of two sentences. Gifted learners will be provided with activities
that are more challenging but satisfy the same standards. Providing the gifted learners with a
challenge will promote learning. Essentially, in order to effectively teach all the students,
differentiation will be a key component. I will be able to utilize information from personal
knowledge of the students and the learning styles inventories to create aspects of each lesson
that will engage all my learners. At various points during instruction time, students on RTI are
sent to another classroom for more individualized attention.]
c. Describe common developmental approximations or common misconceptions within
your literacy central focus and how you will address them.

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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

[Many students believe that George Washington lived in the White House. I will correct this
misconception by reading A Picture Book of George Washington written by David Adler. The
text explains where the president lived. Students will be guided to ask questions about the
White House. I will correct the students by explaining some historical information regarding the
White House and its construction. The students will learn that the White House was not yet
constructed when George Washington was president. This discussion will aid the students in
comprehending why George Washington did not live in the White House.]
4. Supporting Literacy Development Through Language
a. Language Function. Identify one language function essential for students to develop
and practice the literacy strategy within your central focus. Listed below are some
sample language functions. You may choose one of these or another more appropriate
for your learning segment.
Analyze

Argue

Categorize

Compare/contrast

Describe

Interpret

Predict

Question

Retell

Summarize

Explain

[The learning segment will require the students to retell, describe, summarize, and explain.]
b. Identify a key learning task from your plans that provides students with opportunities to
practice using the language function in ways that support the essential strategy. Identify
the lesson in which the learning task occurs. (Give lesson day/number.)
[Lesson 1 (Monday): The students will summarize what prior knowledge they have on the topic
of presidents. The students will interpret information from a nonfictional text about George
Washington. The students will describe George Washington and retell important information
from the text.
Lesson 2 (Tuesday): The students will explain who George Washington was and why he was
important. The students will analyze letters and the corresponding sounds to accurately spell
the name Washington.
Lesson 3 (Wednesday): The students will analyze the information on the Presidents chart. The
students will interpret information from a nonfictional text about Abraham Lincoln. The students
will describe Abraham Lincoln and retell important information from the text.
Lesson 4 (Thursday): The students will explain who Abraham Lincoln was and why he was
important. The students will analyze letters and the corresponding sounds to accurately spell
the name Lincoln.
Lesson 5 (Friday): The students will describe what actions they would take if they were the
president. The students will summarize their answers to create at least one complete sentence.]
c. Additional Language Demands. Given the language function and learning task
identified above, describe the following associated language demands (written or oral)
students need to understand and/or use:

Vocabulary or key phrases


Plus at least one of the following:
Syntax
Discourse
Consider the range of students understandings of the language function and other language
demandswhat do students already know, what are they struggling with, and/or what is new
to them?
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V3_0914
The edTPA trademarks are owned by The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. Use of the edTPA trademarks is
permitted only pursuant to the terms of a written license agreement.

Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

[The learning segment will require the following vocabulary: President, White House, George
Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Father of Our Country. The students will utilize language
syntax by requiring the students to write sentences explaining what they would do if they were
president. Language discourse will be used when the students explains components that should
be added to the president chart. The students will be required to verbalize the information that
should be added to the chart. The students should be able to justify their responses.]
d. Language Supports. Refer to your lesson plans and instructional materials as needed
in your response to the prompt.

Describe the instructional supports (during and/or prior to the learning task) that help
students understand and successfully use the language function and additional language
demands identified in prompts 4ac.

[Language supports will include all the childrens books and worksheets that will be utilized in
this learning segment. Lesson one will require President chart paper activity with post-it notes,
A Picture Book of George Washington by David Adler, and George Washington activity book.
Lesson two requires the Washingtons Plantation activity sheet. Lesson three will require
President chart paper activity with post-it notes, Book: A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln by
David Adler, and Abraham Lincoln activity book. Lesson four requires copies of the Lincolns
Log House activity sheet. The fifth and final lesson will require President chart paper activity
with post-it notes and the Presidents Day writing page.]
5. Monitoring Student Learning
In response to the prompts below, refer to the assessments you will submit as part of the
materials for Task 1.

a. Describe how your planned formal and informal assessments will provide direct
evidence that students can use the essential literacy strategy and requisite skills to
comprehend or compose text throughout the learning segment.
[Informal assessments will be conducted throughout the learning segments. The instructor will
make observations of student work and participation. The instructor will also keep anecdotal
records to determine whether student growth and learning is occurring. The instructor will have
a list of checkpoints that each student must reach before the student can continue to the next
lesson. Formal assessments will include accurate completion of the worksheets or assignments
for each lesson. Another portion of the formal assessment will be the students ability to
verbalize content from the lesson. The students will engage in post assessment interviews with
the instructor. The instructor will record student responses to the interview questions. The
results from both types of assessment will provide the instructor with data on whether or not
learning occurred. The chart below is the checklist I will utilize for this learning segment.]

ELA Checklist
Student verbalize why
the president is
important.

Student can name


one U.S. President.

Student accurately rec


about a U.S. President

Aguilar, Jolin
Bishop, Zoe
Camps,
Anderson
Cupp, Matt
Dixon, Dalton
M
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permitted only pursuant to the terms of a written license agreement.

Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

Encinas,
Annsleigh
Greenleaf Jr.,
Andrew
Harvey,
S'Mone
Hendricks,
Sophia
Jackson,
Kennedy
Jenkins Jr.,
Kingston
Jones, Hannah
Jones, Zachary
Kemp, Shane
Mangham,
Abigail
Martin, Wyatt
Maruko, Risa
Powell, Taylor
Stephens, Jada
Tennison, Teil
Vining, Katelyn
Walker, Kaleb
b. Explain how the design or adaptation of your planned assessments allows students with
specific needs to demonstrate their learning.
Consider all students, including students with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners,
struggling readers, underperforming students or those with gaps in academic knowledge,
and/or gifted students.

[Many of the students express more confidence when they do not realize that they are being
assessed. Teacher observations will allow the instructor to understand what the students have
learned from the lessons and the degree of comprehension. The formal assessments will
provide the instructor with artifacts of student learning. These formal assessments will be serve
as physical proof of what the students have learned. Each lessons formal assessment will be
compared to the pre-assessment data. This will determine whether the instructor needs to alter
the upcoming lesson plans. Students with specific learning needs will have the opportunity to
verbalize the information they have obtained throughout the lessons with the teacher. These
students will be able to engage in a one-on-one conversation with the instructor regarding what
they learned. This information will allow the instructor to determine what will benefit the students
with specific learning needs in future lessons. Many of these students lack the confidence to
speak out during class time. These students are often characterized as shy or soft-spoken.
Providing them to speak with the instructor directly will encourage students to share the
information they have learned. The fear of embarrassment if they list an incorrect answer will be
eliminated. Gifted students will have the opportunity to serve as classroom tutors to the
students who are struggling. The gifted students will be able to engage in cooperative learning.
The students that are struggling will have the opportunity to learn from their peers. Sometimes,
children of the same age can communicate concepts in a more valuable way than an instructor.
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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

The gifted students will likely experience higher levels of self-confidence and mastery when
presented with the opportunity to teach their peers.]

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