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Professional Semester III Final Report

Faculty of Education
Field Experiences
Spring 2015

Professional Semester III is a five-course equivalent integrated semester including half-time teaching and professional study in
curriculum design, leadership, advanced methods, and reflective practice. Intern Teachers are assigned full time to schools for the
semester during which they assume responsibility for approximately one-half of the teaching day. PS III professional study is
designed to complement and enhance the internship. The professional study components may occur on or off-campus and are
coordinated by the Faculty Mentors in collaboration with Intern Teachers and school personnel.

Education 4573

Special Focus Internship: Inclusive Education

Intern Teacher

Meagan Fullerton-Lee

Grade Level(s)

Grade 5

School

Our Lady of the Assumption

Administrator

Greg Kostiuk

Teacher Mentor

Cindy Clewes

Faculty Mentor

Donna Mackay

Intern Teachers Descriptive Report pg 2-4


Administrators Descriptive Report pg 5
Teacher Mentors Descriptive Report pg 6
Faculty Mentors Descriptive Report pg 7

PS III Final Report for Meagan Fullerton-Lee

Intern Teachers Descriptive Report


My PSIII final internship was at Our Lady of the Assumption School in Lethbridge, Alberta.
I was placed in a grade five classroom with my mentor, Cindy Clewes. During my time at OLA, I
taught primarily Grade 5 Math, Science and LA. 5C was a class with 24 students, 10 males and 14
females. They were a high-energy bunch. We worked hard and played hard, and it was nice to see
growth in the lives of each individual.
I also taught Grade 4 Gym, and a couple of lessons in a mixed Grade 4/5/6 Art class.
During this practicum, another teacher intern, a teacher on staff and I started a Knitting Club for
grades 4, 5 and 6 which we ran on Tuesday recesses. Additionally, I assisted my mentor in putting
on a Cake Auction to raise funds for a family in need in our school. We asked classes to bring in
donations, and the class with the most donations got to pick the first cake (each classroom supplied
one). It was a great success we raised over $1000!
I visited the school several times in December before the internship began, during which
time I was warmly welcomed by all the staff and students I met. OLA is a very tight-knit school
between teachers, students and the other support staff. It was truly wonderful to begin my practice
under the guidance and support of such a fantastic staff. Being a small school, I got to see my
mentor and all other staff daily, and we regularly discussed our lives and our practice.
Overall, it was a great way to end my time with the University of Lethbridge and take my first steps
into my teaching career.
Preparation and Planning
During my time at OLA, I was responsible for a Newspaper Unit and Novel Study in LA; a
Multiplication Unit, Fractions Unit, Measurement Unit and Probability Unit in Math; and the last
half of the Classroom Chemistry Unit, as well as the Electricity and Magnetism Unit in Science. In
Grade 4 Gym, I taught a Badminton Unit. A key learning for me during this semester was not to
major in the minor things in terms of planning. Initially, I had found a hard balance between daily
lesson planning and looking over the long term in a unit plan. I felt that by focusing on what would
happen the next day, I wasnt giving myself or my students the opportunity to see the bigger picture.
It made me feel a little out of control. Early in my practicum, I changed my planning so that I would
make plans (which could be adjusted, of course!) for the course of the upcoming week. It helped me
to realize where I had extra pieces of time I could use for additional learning activities, or to give the
students a chance to finish up something we hadnt had time for in just a single lesson. I made
planning and preparation a priority, and continued to experiment with different kinds of learning
activities and technology throughout. I did a lot of research into exciting resources and activities in
the weeks of Christmas break before my practicum began, and continued to research to find things
to enrich my teaching as my practicum progressed. I enjoyed how my students motivated me to get
creative with the things I came across.
Instruction
My students were energetic, enthusiastic and curious when it came to learning, but most
learned new concepts with difficulty. It was challenging for me to find ways to reteach things two,
three, four or even five times in wholly different ways. I found for my students that any worksheets
we did became assessment for and as learning. They became a dialogue between each student
and I, where acknowledging both good work and areas for revision would happen on a daily basis. A
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PS III Final Report for Meagan Fullerton-Lee

focus for my students was reading to find information. When I arrived, this was an area where the
whole class needed to improve in general. As a result, many of the tasks we completed, particularly
in science and LA, relied on applying these skills. When I arrived in January midway through the
science unit, I began with a review worksheet to help them jog their memory from Christmas break.
During that time, we focused on underlining and highlighting words in the question that could give
us clues about where or how to find the answer. This review worksheet was completed with some
difficulty. However, I saw things began to improve during our newspapers unit. We focused not on
reading for information, but ensuring that we conveyed all information in full through writing
classified ads, business ads and newspaper articles. I think this was particularly helpful in assisting
the students to think about texts they read. In the novel study unit that came afterwards, and in
subsequent science review sheets, I noticed students highlighting, circling or underlining words in
the question to help them find answers. Before, I was frequently called on to assist students in
understanding the question and then in finding the answer; towards the end of March, I received
considerably fewer questions about how to understand the questions or complete the assignment. It
was nice to see such growth in my students.
One area where I will continue to improve is in finding attention grabbing materials and
resources for introductions. A great way I harnessed my students desire to regularly share was in
calling on personal examples to help them relate to material we were discussing. This often made for
effective ways to introduce or close a lesson.
Class Leadership and Management
During my internship, one thing I struggled with was managing my students tendency to
chat frequently while I was teaching, during silent exercises, in lineups and more. It was frustrating!
Usually, my students were talking and making connections to the material we were learning about,
and while I was happy to see this happening, the trouble was that it was difficult to harness in a way
that would allow class and learning to continue without dampening their natural tendency to be
curious and explore. Together, my mentor and I came up with an incentive system to help teach
them self awareness and management skills. We talked with our class about the kinds of behaviours
we wanted them to improve on. At the beginning of most periods or learning activities, we would
outline the sorts of behaviours we wanted to see. At the end of each period, we would assess with
the class how we felt things had gone. Based on that quick assessment, we gave them either a check
mark or an X for their behavior. If they could meet a certain number of checkmarks for the periods
we taught them that week, they would receive one free period with their choice of a guided art
activity or outdoor play. My mentor and I noticed that while this was effective for a few weeks,
student investment in the system slowly began to dwindle. Since a positive reinforce had not been
successful, my mentor and I tried a negative reinforcement approach. We revoked privileges such as
working in the hall or working with partners until students could prove in their class work that they
could conduct themselves properly. Classroom management continues to be an area where I
research frequently to improve.
My Professional Inquiry Project related to building relationships with students. With some
students, this took a matter of days; with others, it took several months. I feel that, in many ways, I
was successful in building positive and trusting relationships with students. On some occasions, I
received handmade gifts from students. On others, I felt I had a strong relationship with my
students because they invited me to share in their activities (I spent one Friday afternoon in the
soccer field with some of my grade 5 boys!). Students often responded well to instruction, especially
as I became clearer in developing my management strategies and expectations. I believe that when I
leave in April, both my students and I will be sad to see the end of my practicum.
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PS III Final Report for Meagan Fullerton-Lee

Assessment
During this semester, I attended several professional development sessions on assessment,
and spent considerable time researching assessment tracking on my own time. I took a lot from each
session, but the key learnings which helped keep me organized, accountable and confident in my
record keeping were to label grade book sheets based on the reporting outcomes for each subject on
the report card, and to track that each outcome has several assessments for learning before there is
an assessment of learning. In retrospect, this seems like common sense, but it took attending these
sessions to change how I approached assessment. Thankfully, this information came to me early on
in my practicum, so I was quite prepared when report card time came.
My assessment practice, I believe, was very reflexive. Based on the information I collected
about my students learning, I consistently changed my planning to reflect their needs. An important
part in this process was the time I could take, particularly in math, to privately conference with
students regularly. Each week, we had a computer period where students practiced designated skills
with online/computer games in the lab. I used that time to sit down with students one-on-one to
watch them go through a math question or two. During this time, we would talk about thought
processes and motivations for the choices they made in their problem solving, and (if needed) take
the time to correct errors in process.
Professional Skills and Attributes
In addition to attending things like the staff professional development days and the Spiritual
Development day, I also attended several other conferences and professional development seminars.
Another teacher intern at OLA, Johannah Wirzba, and I attended the University of Calgary
Education Students Association Annual Symposium on February 4, 2015, and the WestCAST
conference at the University of Saskatchewan on February 19-20, 2015. At these conferences, we
presented on a topic closely related to our Professional Inquiry Projects titled Joyful, Gracious,
Connected: Building Classroom Community. Additionally, I attended the three-part series offered by the
SAPDC for beginning teachers. The session topics were on Classroom Management, Assessment
and Parent-Teacher Relations, and Engaging Students. I left each session with new strategies to
implement in my class right away. From the classroom management session, some strategies I
implemented immediately were to turn my focus to acknowledging positive behavior, documenting
serious incidents with students, and not repeating my directions. From the assessment session, I
learned the new gradebook strategy I described above, sharing rubrics with parents (on the class
website), and regularly reviewing my gradebook to see where assessment is at. From the Engaging
Students session, I walked away with a large selection of strategies to engage students for a few
minutes or over a few periods.
Overall, my experience at OLA was positive. I gained confidence in my ability to fulfill the
duties and responsibilities of my practice. I had the chance to explore a lot of different strategies for
instruction, management and community building. I made connections with some fantastic,
knowledgeable and supportive educators who share similar passions with me. PS III was the place
where I absolutely and concretely defined my teaching philosophy. I will be leaving this practicum
knowing without a doubt that I am in the right profession.

Intern Teacher Signature

Date
4

PS III Final Report for Meagan Fullerton-Lee

Administrators Final Descriptive Report

School Administrator Signature

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PS III Final Report for Meagan Fullerton-Lee

Teacher Mentors Final Descriptive Report


April 13, 2015
PSIII Final Report Meagan Fullerton-Lee
Through the PSIII Internship, I have worked with Meagan Fullerton-Lee for approximately four months.
We have spent a great deal of time collaborating together and discussing all areas of teaching and how
to do it the best way possible. We worked hard to establish a relationship of trust and commitment that
was instrumental in developing a teaching environment of cooperation and growth.
Meagan taught a variety of subjects in our Grade 5 Classroom during her practicum. She mostly focused
on language arts, math and science. She also taught physical education classes to the Grade 4 students
and a few art classes to Grade 4, 5 and 6 students. Meagan showed herself very capable of following all
of the learning objectives while planning and preparing lessons that were effective and engaging. She
had excellent organizational skills and was always looking for new ideas to teach concepts that would
help the students learn in different ways. It was great to see her use technology, group work, projects
and other techniques to deliver her lessons. Her creativity and flexibility also allowed her to adjust plans
as needed.
Another area of teaching that Meagan focused on was classroom management. She constantly strived
to maintain good classroom control by carefully and respectfully addressed challenging situations with
professionalism. During this time, Meagan has learned how to balance authority and competence with
sensitivity and patience. She is a very caring and understanding individual who truly wants to do the best
she can to establish a positive classroom environment.
During the time that Meagan was here, she willingly participated in a variety of professional
development opportunities. I was very impressed with her commitment to lead some of these sessions.
Meagan also volunteered to help with different types of extra-curricular activities within the school;
such as a knitting club and cake auction fundraiser. I could always count on Meagan to offer her
assistance when there was an extra pair of hands needed.
Finally, I would like to end by commenting on Meagans character. I feel that she always presented
herself in a positive manner. She was hard-working, perceptive and committed to becoming a better
teacher. Meagan interacted well with all the staff here at Assumption School. She was friendly, polite
and genuinely interested in establishing positive relationships with the students and parents as well. I
have learned many things from Meagan and I appreciate the opportunity to work with her. I wish her
the best in her future teaching opportunities, and I hope that she will take away valuable experiences
from this internship.
Sincerely,
Cindy Clewes
Teacher Mentor

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Mentor Teacher Signature

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Date

PS III Final Report for Meagan Fullerton-Lee

Faculty Mentors Final Descriptive Report


It has been my pleasure to have been the University of Lethbridge Faculty Mentor for Meagan FullertonLee PSIII Internship at Our Lady of Assumption with the Holy Spirit School Division. As her university
mentor, I had the opportunity to observe and interact with her on a number of occasions.
Meagan created a classroom climate that was inviting, safe and an engaging place to be. She
demonstrated an outstanding ability to connect and relate to each of the students on a personal level and
expressed compassion for each individual students situation. She was able to create an atmosphere of
trust in her class where students felt free to take risks by participating in classroom discussions and
differentiated activities. She maintained contact with parents through her classroom website.
One of Meagans areas of strength was classroom management. She employed strategies that fostered a
proactive, rather than reactive philosophy. She purposefully created positive relationships and it was
obvious that students really liked and respected her. Consistent and positive implementation of classroom
rules and routines were evidence of her understanding of classroom management principles. Students
who were not focused on an activity were made aware of their behaviour and reminded of their
responsibilities in a positive way. Inappropriate behaviors that emerged were dealt with immediately and
unobtrusively.
As part of PSIII internship, students must submit several additional course requirements .They continue
building a portfolio, asked to complete a professional inquiry project, set teaching goals and write their
descriptive report. These are shared with the mentors, administration and reviewed by the university
consultant. Students are also required to attend 3 seminars as well during their internship. All of these
endeavours are necessary to help the student develop professional attributes and skills
Meagan completed a professional inquiry project that was web based and easily accessible and will be
useful both to students and staff. The project We Be In Touch focusses on building community. It is an
outstanding website filled with inspiring quotes and the numerous activities and reflections will be very
helpful to others. Meagans professional growth plan centered on building a community involving parents
and students and creating an inclusive classroom. Her insightful summary celebrates the growth in these
areas. A web-based portfolio contains examples of Meagans understanding of KSAs and the
importance of life-long learning. Meagans organizational skills, work ethic, and commitment to
teaching were further proven through the submission of these requirements in a timely and professional
manner.
Meagans initiative and motivation were commendable as evidenced by the exceptional planning that
was done prior to the start of the internship. In particular, a newspaper unit for her class was very detailed
and comprehensive. Daily lesson plans revealed a commitment to students and the teaching profession as
evidenced in a variety of appropriate teaching strategies, the use of differentiated instruction and evident
assessment. Her classes were conducted with passion for the subject areas as well as a dedication to
making the curriculum both interesting and motivating for all students. This was infused by the use of
technology in the classroom.
Overall, Meagan has achieved a level of teaching competence that clearly meets the expectations one
would have of a teacher at this point in her career. Upon entry into the profession, Meagan will quickly
become a valued member of any school staff she joins. I wish her well in her future career.

PS III Final Report for Meagan Fullerton-Lee

I have read the complete Final Report and certify that the assigned grade is PASS.

Faculty Mentor Signature

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