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Note: The following observations were made of teachers in Virginia by Jeanette Gordon.

The teachers were given a pre-observation form to complete if they chose to. If they did
not answer some of the questions, those were deleted. They also had the option of
using a different format of their choice to communicate prior to the lesson.


Teacher: Jennifer Garrett (Mainstream 3rd grade with ELLs

Observation Date/Time: Mar 3, 2008 8:15am No. of students:

21Grade and ELP level/s: 3 with 2 ELLS Subject: Science

What big idea do you want students to understand in this lesson?

Cycles in nature, such as seasons are necessary to our world.

What critical content do you want students to know?

Why there are seasons and what causes them

What is the content objective? (How will they demonstrate what they know and
Evaluate their previous knowledge of earths seasons and how they occur. Compare
the results of straight versus tilted light rays in an experiment in order to explain the
way the suns rays strikes earth, by answering conclusion questions in a numbered
heads group.

What is the language objective?

Identify and model the words strike tilt and axis and explain how it relates to the
suns rays and the tilt of the earth on its axis to a partner.

What modifications will you use for the ELLs?

I will provide a demonstration before the students try the experiment and will use
vocabulary explanations while having them hold objects to see how to apply the
terms before the experiment.

What strategies will you use to accomplish your objectives?

I will have the ELL students help me model examples that I show the class.
I will give them sentence beginnings to help guide them in answering the conclusion
questions within their group.

What are the roles and responsibilities of the collaborating teachers?

The collaborating teacher (if available) will assist with student groups during the

What led up to this lesson and what will follow the lesson?
This is an introductory lesson on what causes earths seasons. Following this
lesson, students will be exploring the causes of day and night, the revolution of the

earth around the sun and the moon around the earth, as well as the phases of the

Do you have any concerns?

I am concerned that the ELL students will still be confused with the words tilt and
strike. I am also concerned that students will not make the connections between the
experiment and the following day when we focus on the earth on its axis and the
suns rays. I am concerned about the variables and the flow of the groups during the


Observations Comments
The teacher had a web on the board with the SIOP
center missing. The stems from the center Review
circle were water, animal, plant, and earth with Building Background
a ? after it.
The children were to guess what the web topic
would be. The students are orderly and
One student discussed that plant, animal and attentive.
water were all cycles, so he thought perhaps
there was an earth cycle.

The teacher wrote cycle into the web and said SIOP
the student was right. The children were then Interaction
to talk with a partner about the cycles. Review
All children were on task talking with a partner.
The teacher then asked students to share SIOP
what they could about any of the cycles. Review and practice
One student summarized the plant cycle. It is evident that the teacher is
Another summarized the animal cycle with the teaching important
example of a moth. understandings, not just the
The student had trouble remembering moth. content for the topic.
Other students helped with teacher prompting Evidence of implementation of
since the first child answered butterfly. Understanding by Design.

The teacher introduced the science and SIOP

language objective and stated how it was Content and language
related to other cycles. objectives.
Lesson planning is very evident.
Were going to talk about earth cycles, but Interaction
there are many parts. Today we are only
going to do one part.
How the suns rays strike in different ways on
the earths surfaces.

I want you to first share what you know.
Im going to number you off and each number Roundtable:
will go to a different poster to tell what you Students were asked to take
know to answer the questions on the posters. turns writing on the poster.
What causes the changes from day to night?
Describe and draw examples of moon The students went to the posters
phases? quickly and started talking about
What causes the moon change? them.
What causes the seasons? The option to draw provides
Why does the earth tilt on its axis? helpful differentiation for
What does tilt mean? students with less literacy or
What is an axis? language.

Teacher clarified directions. Teacher adjusted one group

The students were going to cycle from one because too many students
poster to another. were there.
Teacher rotated from one group
If you dont know what to write. Let me to another. She noticed any
suggest that you draw. student that was less engaged
and used different strategies to
Teacher emphasized the need to know the engage them.
vocabulary during this activity to prepare for
the experiment. Two boys were dominating at
one group. She encouraged the
Teacher used a rain stick to get students to girls to become more engaged.
change teams. Use of classroom procedures for
orderly on-task behaviors is

Students were discussing what they knew.

They were generating questions about what Suggestion: Have the students
they didnt know. initial anything they write. It will
What makes the earth rise and the sun set? be easier to determine if all
students are writing.
Rain stick. Students rotated.
Students have many
The collaborating teachers rotated from one misconceptions. The group near
group to another encouraging engagement of me was confused about why we
all and asking thought-provoking questions. have night and day.
Some felt the cause of night and
Teachers encouraged students to label any of day was related to the revolution
their drawings. around the sun rather than the
Teacher prompted active involvement of rotation of the earth. On some
students who did not have ideas to write. posters students thought that the
Ex. Can you draw a picture of what the moon sun rotated.
looks like sometimes?

Use of the posters is a wonderful
One boy was clarifying for his group some of way for the teacher to determine
the incorrect assumptions on the poster. Her not only background knowledge
drew and explained. but she can teach specifically to
student misconceptions.
Teacher used a clap pattern which the children
repeated to get attention. Having the students discuss
their current awareness of the
ideas will promote interest in the
correct answers.

Teacher put two of the posters on the board

that related to the lesson for the day. Teacher is having an ELL
She read the questions and emphasized the participate in the modeling to
critical content vocabulary: tilt, axis, incorporate as many modalities
What does the word tilt mean? as possible for the learner as
E (Ell) please come up and show use with the well as to ascertain the
meter stick, show us what tilt means. understanding of the students.

The meter stick was on a stool.

He picked up one end. Using the meter stick before
The teacher used the word slant, showed and using the globe was very helpful
angle and tilted. because it was easier for the
Most of the students to understand the
The teacher had a student bring up a globe. concept of tilt.
She held the globe with her fingers on each
end and asked him to tilt the earth. They could then transfer that
understanding to the more
He was confused how to tilt the earth. She confusing task of tilting the
showed again with the meter stick. With this earth.
example, he was able to tilt the earth.
One ELL student was ill and
The teacher then modeled an axis by using could not participate in the
two pencils one on each end of the globe. demonstration the teacher had
planned to do with her.
The teacher demonstrated the earth tilted on
its axis. SIOP
The teacher asked students what the word Comprehensible input
strike meant. throughout the lesson.
They answered hitting.
The teacher demonstrated striking something Effective vocabulary instruction:
with her hand and then a flashlight beam connecting the word to more
striking different objects. familiar uses, explaining the
word and giving examples,
Lets read our directions to make sure what rather than a definition.
materials we need and the procedure. This is reflective of research-
What does the earth tilt on its axis and what based practices.
causes the seasons?
We are going to tape a graph paper to the

book. The book will represent the earth.
Shine the light straight down. The beam will Thought-provoking questions
make a circle on the paper. How do I hold the rather than just showing and
flashlight to make it a small circle? telling.
Students answered.
Using the flashlight and shining
The students will draw lines around the light it on the students engaged them
when it is direct and when they tilt the book more than if she had just shined
with a block. it on the objects in front of the
They will draw a black line for straight light
rays. SIOP
They will tilt the book up with a block and draw Strategies
around the light when the book is titled with a
red line. The teacher was not only
sharing the directions for the
They will decide when the light is the activity but sharing the need for
strongest. They will later predict which would materials and correct use of
have the hottest temperature. procedures.

The students will also be asked to predict what

the light would look like if they had an even
larger block to tilt the book (their earth) even

She gave roles for each person in the team.

One gets the materials, one will read the
directions. Different members will conduct the
Students moved to their number teams to do
the investigation.
Higher-order questions
The directions indicated how high to hold the
flashlight and to hold it in the same position.
The students near me were checking the Teachers circulated and focused
procedures to see if they were doing it right. on the procedures that the
However, they put the meter stick down and students needed to follow in the
werent doing that. scientific process.
The collaborating teacher came and asked,
They were constantly using
Where is the meter stick? You have to keep words related to the scientific
the constants constant. That is what we need process and emphasizing the
to do in the scientific process. If youre need for scientific controls
moving it around, it isnt the same. during any scientific process.

When recording the answers about how many

squares on the grid paper were included in the
circle, one student said,
Are we doing math now? This seems like


One student didnt have his procedure sheet.

He said he thought they could share. The

collaborating teacher explained the need for
each student to have their own procedure
sheet and to record their own data.
We are out of time. SIOP
Lets review what we did today. Review
How many of you found the brightness of the Referred back to the objectives
light to be in the black circle? for the lesson.
There were some different responses.

If we got different answers, we need to look at Again emphasis on scientific

our variables to see if we did the experiment processes, not just this one
correctly. activity. Very helpful in getting
students to really understand the
need to always control the

Students were asked to line up by having each

group that was ready line up quietly. They did
so in a very orderly way.


How did you feel about the lesson?

It always takes longer than you expect, so at the end I felt a little rushed.
I wanted to make sure I tied in the previous knowledge that they had. I dont want to
wait to do that.
I am trying to decide whether to wait one more day to introduce the hands-on activity.
I think the other thing would be saving time in helping students get their materials
quickly. Normally I have a designated student handle the materials. I probably
would have a bag to put the materials in. That would be faster. I cant have the
materials at the locations because they rotated to the posters earlier.

How did student behaviors compare with what you expected?

I think about what I expected. I have some students that I have to get involved or the
other teacher needs to. I know which students they are and go to them right away.
The other students tend to be engaged quickly.

Do you think the content objectives were met?

I think in terms of building the background knowledge and the vocabulary terms for
the lesson they were meant.

I think that the idea of comparison of the suns rays whether they are direct or tilted
was not meant yet. The connection of light rays to the suns rays on the earth will be
continued. There was not time to complete that objective today.

Do you think the language objectives were met?

I think the language objectives were met in that they were able to explain to each
other previous knowledge. They were able to explain to each other what they had
studied previously and seemed to be using the new vocabulary. Discussion of the
new ideas will be continued.

Do you feel that the ELL modifications were adequate?

I was paying attention to what the ELLs could review about previous cycles studied.
I had planned to involve the two ELLs in the demonstration so they could act out the
words. One needed to leave because she was ill.

Were you satisfied with the collaborative roles and responsibilities?

One of the students in our class comes in for certain lessons during the day. Special
education support shadows him. She circulates and helps support the groups.

The ESL teacher works with the ELLs in language arts. They are introduced to the
skill after an exposure with them in my class. I am on the exposure end and she
helps them. They do use different readings with her so that they are reading at their
independent or instructional level.
I use a 3rd grade text when we do the shared reading. They do seem to understand
the reading, and Ive seen improvement in their vocabulary
Theyre at expanding, possibly bridging in their English skills. One is stronger in
writing, the other orally.

What will you do the same and what will you do differently if you do this lesson
I would definitely start out with the vocabulary terms before we started the
Differently, I would definitely try to maximize the time in the experiment itself.
I like the idea of the four posters in the rotation. Maybe I could demonstrate how to
use the blocks to tilt the earth. Some were putting it on the side, some on the end. I
noticed that for one team the circles were the same. I needed to model the process
a little better to help control the variables and to make sure that the students all did
the experiment correctly. We will watch a video tape of it afterwards to help clarify. I
didnt have them watch it first because I dont want to give away the answers.

Do you have any questions youd like to ask me?

Jennifer seemed interested in suggestions for doing both building background and
the investigation in one class period. I applaud her for not wanting to cut out the
review and building background. I also think it was exciting to the students to get
into the hands-on activity.
The suggestions I made follow:

Use the word investigation rather than experiment for any scientific process that is
not really an experiment. Students are often assessed in standardized tests to
determine if they understand the characteristics of an experiment.
Because of the time it took to have the students rotate to four posters, I would
suggest the following. I would not have them rotate any faster. I would just use the
two posters that were related to the instruction for the day. (I understand the desire
to give the students an overview of all of the activities related to the earth cycles.
Perhaps the other two questions could be shown on posters. The students could be
told that they will answer those on a later date.) The teacher could have duplicates
of the two posters. Students would work on one poster then trade places with
another group with a different poster rather. Hence, each team would be answering
two questions, and there would be answers from two teams on each poster. The
teacher would need to put all four posters up when discussing the two areas of
interest. This may help the students focus a little more on the upcoming scientific
investigation. I would suggest having each student initial his/her idea or drawing.
This way the teacher could make sure that all students had participated. It would
also help the teacher to more explicitly address misconceptions. Students often
have major misconceptions about what causes night and day and what causes
I suggested having the students watch the first part of the video clip when the
procedures were being demonstrated. I had suggested fast-forwarding the tape
when the results were shown. However, it wouldnt hurt for the students to see how
to trace the circle of light made by the direct light. She could stop the clip before the
students saw the shape made by the light when the book was tilted. The students
could still watch the complete video again and discuss again how the students were
controlling the variables.
We discussed options for the following day to help the students understand the
rotation of the earth and revolution of the earth around the sun.

Feedback from the teacher to observer

What did I do that was useful for you, and was there anything I did that got in
the way of your learning or thinking?

Jennifer volunteered that the ideas discussed were helpful. We did not have time to
discuss this question. I encourage any feedback that may help me more effectively
support teachers. Jennifer, thank you for sharing the idea of using an Oreo with one
cookie side removed to represent the dark and light side of the moon. Students then
cut the cookie to represent each moon phase. I also love the Moon cycle wheel that
you shared for review of the moon cycles.

A suggestion that I had emailed Jennifer follows. She had expressed a concern
about students understanding the more complex ideas related to this content.


Teacher: Jennifer Duncan (Mainstream 3rd grade teacher)

Observation Date/Time:10:45 3/4/08 No. of student:17

Grade and ELP level/s: 3rd grade ELLs Subject: Math

What big idea do you want students to understand in this lesson?

SWBAT apply their existing knowledge of multiplication facts to solve problems that
are multiples of 10, 100, 1,000
(Note from Jeanette. The format used is stated as an objective. If stated as a big
idea: I learned that I can apply my existing knowledge of multiplication facts to solve
problems that are multiples of 10, 100, 1,000.)

What critical content do you want students to know?

SWBAT use extended facts to solve multiplication and division problems using one
digit and a multiple of 10, 100, 1,000.

What is the content objective? (How will they demonstrate what they know and
SWBAT record their answers to teacher posed questions on a slate in a whole class
setting. SWBAT record answers to multiplication and division problems using
extended facts in their math workbooks independently.

What is the language objective?

SWBAT wirte their answers to teacher posed questions and explain to peer how they
solved it. SWBAT share with the class how they solved the math message with their
shoulder buddy.

What modifications will you use for the ELLs?

Record the definition of extended facts on the word wall and provide example.
Students will be given buddy support as well as teacher support.

What strategies will you use to accomplish your objectives?

Teacher demonstration and modeling, whole class instruction, independent practice
(solving teacher dictated questions and workbook)

What are the roles and responsibilities of the collaborating teachers?

Not applicable

What led up to this lesson and what will follow the lesson?
The students have learned about the concepts of multiplication and division. They
have also learned about patterns in math.

Do you have any concerns?

My main concern is that this math program has not been very centered on rote
recollection of multiplication and division facts, but more on number concept. I fear
that I may get diverted into re-teaching division concepts.


Observations Comments
Students were doing some physical Use of physical activity is so
exercises while doing some mental math helpful for concentration and
when I walked into the room to make the engagement.
transition between ss and math

The students read a math morning There is evidence of well-

message. established classroom
The distance around a racetrack is 500 procedures.
meters. How far does a racer travel in 8
Record the answer in your math response
book. Get ready to share your strategy for
solving the problem!
Write a number model instead of just
recording the answer.
Students were on task and working quietly.

Share your answer and be ready to share

your strategy. SIOP strategies

S The number model is 500 X 8 = 4, 000 Students are exploring multiple

T Did anybody do it just like --- did ways of solving the same problem
S I did 2 X 500 = 1000 and I did it 4 times. which is not only important in math
T Did you add it up? but promotes cognitive flexibility
I just took .. and awareness of diverse
S I put 500 down 8 times under each other.
I then added them up. SIOP practice and application
T Did you add them or did you count by 5? Asking students to consider
S I counted by 5. multiple options is also another
T Did anybody do it differently? way of providing practice.
SI did 5 X 8 =40. Then I added two more
T We came up with 5 different ways.
Does anyone have another way of doing When a student gave an answer
it? that wasnt related to the problem
S I have another way of doing it but did reflect some thought, the
One student said 400 X 10 because that teacher tried to build on the
equaled 4,000. positive aspect of the thinking and
T I see that you got that 400 X 10 equals still give helpful feedback.
4,000, but how did you get 400 and 10?

Actually this will relate to what we will do
later, so I will come back to you then.

The teacher asked students to read the SIOP Lesson Planning

content and language objectives that are Content and language objectives
recorded on the TV monitor.

One student read the content objective,

another read the language objective.
Thumbs up if you know what multiplication
is Rather than telling students what
If you know what division is. extended facts are, the teacher
gave examples and asked them to
Extended facts. think inductively to discover the
Factors Products answer.
3X2= 6
SIOP comprehensible input and
3 X 20 = 60 building background

3 x 200 = 600 Discovery math is very helpful for

ELLs because rather than listening
T asked the students to identify patterns. to definitions and explanations of a
There are 2s on the right side of the x and concept in a new language, they
6s in the answers can be thinking about the
Does anyone see a different pattern? numerical examples in their own
S You are adding 0s to the factor, you are language. They can then transfer
adding a 0 to the product. their discoveries in their home
T repeated by said the 2nd factor language to English.

T said that the 1 digit 2nd factor and the Oral explanations of math promote
product are the same number of digits. processing math orally, not just in
written form. On the ACCESS test
Students discussed their observations. (she assessment of language
proficiency in the WIDA states)
Teacher said you are already doing students tend to perform the
extended facts. poorest on oral math since it is
often not incorporated into many
7 X 5 = 35 classes.
7 x 50 = 350 It is empowering for students to
7 X 500 = 3, 500 realize that they are able to figure
out the point of the lesson.
The teacher commented on the
connections that student was
One student said that if you did 500 times
8 and took 500 away you would get the
He related the math morning message to
this answer. They knew in that problem

that if 8 times 500 was 4, 000, 7 x 8 would
be 500 left.

Wherere talking about extended facts. Effective vocabulary instruction

What does extend mean? where multiple examples are given
Im going to extend my stomach prior to a definition.
Ss enlarge, add on, make it bigger The examples of extended in
T lets look at some numbers more familiar contexts helps build
5 50 500 5000 background and create a visual
You made it bigger, I extended it. image.
Think about this
At the end of the lesson do you think you The teachers way of questioning
will be able to do this? evokes student thought.
If you know that 5 x 10 = 500. Do you
think you will be able to do 5000?
Think about this. Is 5 greater than less When transitioning from one
than or equal to 5000? activity to another, the teacher
uses strategies to maximize the
Would your rather have 5000 skittles or 5? use of time.
The students are to go get their
As the teacher is passing out the
whiteboards, she is asking students
questions about greater than and less

I will give you a problem. On your slate, The language of math is markedly
you are going to write your number model. increased when students are
If you are ready to share, you need to asked to explain their answers.
explain the answer. Systematic oral practice like this
Problem 6 x 80 = ? not only promotes math practice
S 580 and cognitive development but
T Im not excited about your answer. helps prepare students for
Could you call on a friend to get an idea? extended response answers on
S called on another student. state assessments.
S I knew 6 x 8 is 48. So I could just add a
zero to make it 480.
First student, oh I had an extra hundred. The teacher is helping students
realize different ways to see a
T Im going to write this one a little common problem.
7 [70s]
When you get it share with your shoulder SIOP
buddy. Interaction
Students turn to help each other.

One student was explaining to two others.

He wrote on the partners slate.

T Who wants to share? This strategy not only enabled
Only about half of the hands went up. other students to participate but
T Then said Who wants to share their gave them the opportunity to
partners answer? share what their partner had just
Different hands went up. taught them.

T Oh, that changes the game a little bit. This practice of asking students to
Your really had to listen. A student then share their partners ideas not only
shared and explained what his partner had promotes accountability and
said. summarizing, it conveys a feeling
of respect for everyones ideas.
Are you ready for a challenge 3 [8,000]
Share with your partner.
Who wants to share what your partner

He said that 3 x 8 = 24 and then you add

the 0s, so it equals 24,000

You guys are so smart that I am going to It is evident throughout the lesson
have you do division. that the teacher respects her
Ss moans students and sees them as very
T Lets have you look at your division table. capable learners.
The numbers on the side and the top are
the factors. The numbers in the middle are Again students were sharing
the products. multiple strategies. They were not
S I have another way to do it, just using the table, but
Students shared how to use the demonstrating awareness of how
multiplication table to find the division it is constructed.
They shared different ways.
S If you know your multiplication facts very
well you can think 4 x what =s 32.

4 into 32 = 8
2 into 8 = 4
2 into 80 =
2 into 800 =
Think 2 x what =
It is expected that the students are
One student stopped working. He was the on-task. When a student wasnt,
one who earlier had explained to others. the teacher went to him and
The teacher went to him and said in a very involved him in a way that
respectful way, Have you quit for today? demonstrated respect for a
He said that he had erased his answer. He possible need to take a break.
began working again and was later
explaining to his partners.

Does anyone know what the answer to a SIOP

division problem is? Interaction
It starts with quo
Ss after a few tries got to quotient.
Share with your shoulder buddy what you
know about the quotient of these 3

T What did your partner say?

S We agreed that the quotient was half of
the dividend.
T Anyone else.
I took 8 by 2 and added the 0s.
T Its expanded or extended.

T lets see if we can come up with a Subject word walls are very helpful
definition of extended fact. for vocabulary development,
Well add it to our word wall. especially when the words are
added only after they are
Think about how would you define meaningful to the students.
extended fact? It is important for students to say
She asked one student to look it up in the the definition in their own words
glossary to compare with theirs. It wasnt prior to reading a formal definition.
in the book, so we will have to do it
ourselves. The students need to state what
they learned about extended facts.
S If we add 0s to facts, we need to add the
same number of 0s----to the product. Evidence of UBD
T If we ad 0s to factors, need to add 0s to Discovery learning to help
the products. students discover the big
The teacher gave several examples and important ideas.
asked the students
Extended facts, we add 0s to factors or Suggestion: This may be a good
dividends, time to have the students use the
2x4=8 6 divided by 3 = 2 learning log to write their
2 x 40 = 80 60 divided by 30 = 20 understanding, give an example,
connect it with prior learning and
and we use existing knowledge of number think how they will use this in the
problems. future.

I know you are starting to get fidgety. I am Awareness of students need to

going to give you a couple minutes of free move and refocus.
time. The students walked around the
room, discussed the globe, discussed During free time, students were
plants on the windowsill, just moved voluntarily reviewing and
around the room looking at and talking discussing prior learning.
about different things.
The teacher clapped a pattern which the
kids clapped back to return to their seats.

She asked them to
Take a look at the instructions for 1-6
Write the number of 3s for each SIOP
How many 3s are in 30? Practice and application
S ten
T Youre right.
Look at numbers 7,8,9
We did some of these puzzle boxes like we
did last time.
You have the factors going across the top
and down the side.
You have 2 and 3 as the factors, what are Students had choices about how
the other factors? they would like to do the math
You may work by yourself. You may work activity which reflected prior
with a partner. You may work around the knowledge and new learning.
room, you may work


How did you feel about the lesson?

I think the lesson went really well. I cant remember if I had the class share with their
partner during the math message.
I think I spent a little too much time on direct instruction. I think most mastered the
concept quickly enough.

How did student behaviors compare with what you expected?

Great, They are great. I am totally thrilled with their behavior.

Do you think the content objectives were met?


Do you think the language objectives were met?

I dont know. I would say 80%, based on what I heard and saw them doing.

Do you feel that the ELL modifications were adequate?

Yes, I drew a picture of a race track for one ESL student to help clarify meaning of
the word.

Thats why I had them talk about what extend meant first with easy examples.
(Note: inductive teaching is very helpful for ELLs)

Were you satisfied with the collaborative roles and responsibilities?

I think they are doing a wonderful job. I know that some schools are set up so that
the teachers push-in and co-teach. I would love to experience that.

We come together as a 3rd grade team. We plan everyones day together. We plan
together upcoming things. We send that to ESL and all other specialists.

What will you do the same and what will you do differently if you do this lesson
Less time on direct instruction and teach them a math game called beat the
calculator. One person is a caller, one tries to solve the problem on the calculator,
one tries to beat the calculator.

Do you have any questions youd like to ask me?

I just want to hear your input.

(I expressed my positive impressions of the lesson which are basically indicated in

the comments.)
Feedback from the teacher to observer
I think the pre-observe questions are a good idea.

What did I do that was useful for you, and was there anything I did that got in
the way of your learning or thinking?

We discussed use of the Learning Log with sentence prompts in math. I had not
modeled that in the workshop, and the applications to math seemed less evident.
We discussed how use of the Learning Log would enhance the topical understanding
about extended facts as well as promote more overarching understandings. Ex. I
learned that there are strategies I can use to solve different kinds of math problems
We also discussed how the ideas connected to what they already know and how
they can use their new learning in the future.


Teacher: Christine Grasso (4th grade mainstream) and Nevin Berger (ESL
Date/Time: February 14, 2008 No. of students: 21
Grade and ELP level/s: Fourth Grade, 1 LEP B, 1 LEP C Subject: Virginia

What big idea do you want students to understand in this lesson?

Identify some of the important Civil War battles fought in and around Virginia.
Explain the impact of the war on Virginians not involved in battle.
Explain the Emancipation Proclamation and its effects.

What critical content do you want students to know?

Use evidence from the text to draw conclusions about the Confederacys early
successes and people involved.

What is the content objective? (How will they demonstrate what they know and
Students will show understanding by identifying major battles and people in the Civil

What is the language objective?

You will illustrate and match definitions, and write and present a text summary to
explain events in the Civil War.

What modifications will you use for the ELLs?

Slow language use, modeling, partner work.

What strategies will you use to accomplish your objectives?

Reading text, illustrations, talk and present quick summary on poster.

What are the roles and responsibilities of the collaborating teachers?

Realistically, she will monitor my ESL students, and observe my SIOP skills. She
collaborated with me in creating this lesson plan.

What led up to this lesson and what will follow the lesson?
The three causes of the Civil War, basic vocabulary, fact games, SOL/Pacing Guide

Do you have any concerns?

The actual written objectives are barely recognized by the students, but I let them
know the basic purpose of the activity regardless.


Observations Comments
Student heads were on their desks when I The students had just returned
entered the room. The lights were out with from recess, and the teacher
soft lamp light on. Music was on, and the was getting them to calm down.
teacher was speaking calmly to the students The physical activity was a
asking them to breathe in and out slowly. controlled activity to energize
Then the lights were turned on, and the them for study.
students stood to participate in a couple of
physical activities. They raised their arms and
breathed in deeply a few times, and then they
did a Tarzan.

What we be doing today in Virginia Studies SIOP

Several students gave a couple of answers Lesson planning
saying content, some unrelated, but she Objectives are written on the
focused them on the student objectives. board for each content area
All of the objectives for all of the disciplines with colored-tape separating

were written on the board. the disciplines.
When the students were not using the board
as a resource, the teacher asked, is this going
to be a difficult class for us?
The students said No and read the objectives
form the board. SIOP
The students were asked to do a Free write to Practice
answer. Review
What are the 3 reasons we entered the Civil
War? It is evident that the students
As students were writing., she said, I like what are expected to being on task
I am seeing at Appalachian Plateau and working during the time
The teachers circulated and said allotted.
Good job to several students
You have 12, seconds.8, 5.
Raise your hand if you wrote your 3 reasons.

Teacher called several groups to move close.

They came to the carpet. SIOP interaction

While the Elmo is warming up, can someone

tell answer, Who is the general of the
Turn to your partner and whisper the answer.
Where did Robert E. Lee live?
This is just a little bit of fun trivia, but where did
he live.
Students werent sure. Finally someone said
Where in Virginia? Using literature related to
The students didnt know. content promotes interest and
Its the city that we live in right now. increases background
Remember the story we read. knowledge.
You can even go to his house.
You can even get married there
They were going to listen to and sing a Song Use of diverse modalities. Use
Im going to wait until everyone is quite. of song related to the content
A student started the tape. Students followed increases interest and
along with the Elmo. promotes retention.
The teacher indicated with her hand as they Rereading enhances fluency.
moved from verse to chorus and verse. She
used the enlarge feature on the Elmo so all
could see clearly.
The song was related to the content being

T What were the 3 causes of the civil war? SIOP: Interaction

Tell your partner. Whisper. Review
Students whispered Interaction

What was the first one in our timeline Remind them of time line.

Nat Tuaners rebellion

John Browns raid on Harpers Ferry
President Lincolns election

When they explained why, they were getting to

the broader causes.
The discussed
The economy of the South
The economy of the North
T asked a question and told them to whisper to Fun way to get all whispering
their partner. and sharing the answer.
I dont even want to hear anyone
They all whispered in each others ears. Then
they all said it together.

Were going to be going back to our desks. Teacher uses balls in team jars
Then we will learn 5 new words about the Civil to help monitor student
War. We are going to draw the words. behavior.
The teacher gave the students points, balls in
individual team jars sitting on top of the TV.
She counted down as a prompt
Please grab your art boxes in 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, for the students to perform the
3, 2, and task quickly.
You guys got it. She was out of balls, so she
was going to take balls out if a team wasnt on

The teacher put their names and date on the Vocabulary demonstrates
back of a wheel in cursive. On the front they recommended practices.
put their name in Cursive.
Who can remember a quick detail? There are The teacher is asking students
5. to share anything they already
The Students are going to make a Word wheel know about any part of the
with pictures. word and having students
The first word starts with an S predict what it might mean.
Who can predict what it might be?
You can look at our word wall. There are lots The teachers are explaining the
of words on the wall color-coded by content. word and giving examples.
Emancipation SIOP
What is the root word of emancipation? Comprehensible input
S emancipate Use of demonstrations and
What is the nickname of the Northern States pictures are used.
S Free states

T I like your thinking, but they have a different
nickname also.
Union, Is Union going to be a proper noun or
a common noun?

S Proper
Why? S Its a name.
What is the nickname of the South?
S Confederacy
To model the vocabulary word secede, the two
teachers held hands. One broke away from
the other.

Draw it any way it will work for you.

ESL teacher was working at a table with the SIOP Comprehensible input
ESL students and special needs students to
help It was nice to see the ESL
S Can I write the definition? teacher working with a small
T Good question, not yet, just draw the picture group that was not only ESL.
of secede

The ESL teacher showed her drawing of a

Confederate flag and a US flag with a line
between them and arrows showing the
Confederate flag moving away.

Ss came up to share their work. Showing student work on the

The teacher showed several examples? She Elmo demonstrated respect of
explained how she could tell that they knew student work. Students
the meaning of the word. seemed interested in having
their work displayed and in
T What do you think the word blockade each others work.
means? The teacher pointed out that
There is no right answer. We are guessing. even a very simple drawing can
S I think it means block something because it convey the idea.
has the word block in it.
T Good
What do you think they are trying to block? The teacher used different
S The slaves. strategies to get the students to
T Thats a good idea, but during the war what attend and focus: Count down,
do you think they might be trying to block? clap etc.
The teacher reminded them about
Chesapeake Bay. Expansion of ideas through
The students discussed possibilities with higher-order questions
prompts from the teacher until they realized promotes thought, engagement
that blocking ships moving goods would be and language
important during war.

The teacher showed a real picture of the Emphasis was placed on
blockade. conveying the meaning of the
When sharing student pictures the teacher word, not the art.
You deserve an Oscar for that!

Suggestion: Mines is used in

The word mines is not a word and took a ball the home of many students.
out of that teams container. However, it isnt standard
English. It is helpful to teach
English as Standard.
Ways to focus on Standard
English in ways that are
respectful of non-standard
usage were shared in the

In response to a student who was not trying a T demonstrates concern that all
student said, One thing I will not tolerate is students are doing their best.
giving up on yourselves. Dont ever give up.
Always keep trying. The teacher periodically used
student movement of arms to
What did you draw? I drawed, give them an opportunity to
You drew, move between a task and to
I drew the United States. Blue represented refocus.
the Union.

Are you ready to do the very last one?

What are we doing?


ESL teacher was explaining what blue and

gray represented.
The teacher had taken a couple of points
away. Later she gave a few points back when
all students were on-task and working.
SIOP Interaction
Turn to your neighbor and take a peek at their
illustration. The students were doing 5
vocabulary words, and the
T Asked students to raise their hand if they teacher varied the task to
drew different things. provide variety.

Then students shared back other ideas of

what they had drawn.
She told them to go and
You have two things on your desk, your counted down when they were

entrance pass and your art basket. to put their materials away.

I want you to listen carefully. Im not going to T holds them accountable for
write it on the board. Open your Virginia listening but with directions
studies book to page -- rather than during instruction of
critical information.
Once you have your Virginia studies book
open, stand up and push in your chair. Again use of movement and fun
Raise your arms. Breathe. to transition and focus.
Do a Tarzan.
Sit down

You are going to Skim and Scan for 1 minute Effective literacy strategy.
pages 298 to 305. SIOP strategies

Just Skim and Scan what is this about?

You may share with your partners, what is this SIOP interaction
section about?

The ESL teacher went and talked to one of the ESL support to model and
students to try to help him focus on what to do promote comprehension.
when skimming.

Are any of the vocabulary words ones weve

seen today? Connecting prior learning to
new task.
Before we go into groups, what do you predict SIOP interaction and strategies.
this entire section is about?

Write it as a group. You have two minutes to

write it as a summary. Talk it over. It needs to
be a complete sentence.
The students were a little disorderly, so T did a
clap that they imitated.
They then were on task to write their sentence
in the time they had left.
40 second count-down. Suggestion:
30 second count-down Since the direction was to write
If you are finished, give it to me. a complete sentence, students
could give a thumbs up if it was
T Lets find out what you predict what the a complete sentence.
section was about.
If not, the team that wrote it
The teacher read them all. could change it to a complete

She complimented them on their summaries.

Im going to assign you a section to read. SIOP

The teacher assigned each group a section. Interaction
They were then asked to make a graphic Application of Team Jigsaw.
organizer to come up with a main idea and 4 Team jigsaw is a complex
details to support the main idea. structure. It is important to
make sure that all students can
Just like this boys and girls. We have been understand the section that
working all month on graphic organizers. She they have been assigned.
pointed to a model of a main idea and The teacher had them look over
supporting details on the board. We have our the chapter first which was very
main idea and our pillars to support it. important. Students need a
sense of how their part relates
Im going to give you ten minutes. to the whole before preparing
their part.
Make sure everybody is participating.
You dont want the person next to you to get Students may need additional
the same grade if they are not participating. support for finding the most
critical information.
One team had a heart for the main idea with
the details connected to it. If a team topic is very complex,
it is often helpful to assign a
Students were discussing what to do. In some specific task to each student
teams, all members seemed involved. In a and grade him/her on their part.
group of 3 boys and one girls, the 3 boys
were working together. It may be helpful to have
students all write the main idea
The teacher came to the team and first on a post-it note. They can
encouraged her to participate. They girl got up then share and discuss. Then
and started to contribute ideas. the students could all write the
details that they feel are
Most of the students were working, but important on individual notes,
involvement of all was difficult to maintain. share and decide on the 4 most
critical. Hence, individual
accountability is built in.
Students could each write one
of the details on the poster.

Use of language experience

approach is a very effective
The ESL teacher was supporting one group strategy with students who
and writing the ideas that they suggested. The have low literacy skills.
students were restating their ideas in their own
words rather than just reading. Suggestion: Be careful about

only using the term big idea
Sea Battle for complete sentences.
Or Battle on the Sea. Students are often asked for
Thats your big idea. the big idea on a test, and it
Now we need three ideas about it. must be in the form of a
complete sentence.
T Some people are using timelines to help

The teacher told students that they would

have time to finish next week

Students join me on the carpet.

They were going to sing a different song
related to the content.

They then realized they wouldnt have time to

sing the song and pass out Valentines, so they
passed out valentines for the last couple of

The class conveys learning throughout

Group names are Piedmont
Appalachian Plateau
Blue Ridge
Valley and Ridge

The books are organized into reading bins.

The back of the closet doors are covered with
a word wall, color-coded for each content
A lamp softens the environment and is used
with the lights out for calming the students.
Posters and pictures are present on the walls.
Technology is used effectively, and diverse
modalities are incorporated throughout the


How did you feel about the lesson?

I felt it was too rushed. I feel all in all it had a potential to be a good lesson. I think
their heads werent in it.

How did student behaviors compare with what you expected?

As soon as they didnt follow the procedures for reading the objectives, I knew it was
going to be a more difficult day.
However, they did get better and were on task for the most part.

Do you think the content objectives were met?

We discussed that some were met and that others would be continued in the next

Do you think the language objectives were met?

Christine asked for clarification of language objectives. Nevin explained and went
and got a resource bookmark from CAL that made it easier to write language
objectives. I shared ideas for providing more explicit focus on language and said
that would be modeled in the workshop the next day.

Do you feel that the ELL modifications were adequate?

We discussed the levels of ELLs and that with the support from the ESL teacher that
the students currently in the class seem to be able to participate in most of the class

Were you satisfied with the collaborative roles and responsibilities?

The teachers collaborate on modeling for the class. The ESL teacher works primarily
with a small group that has two ESL students and other students that need more

What will you do the same and what will you do differently if you do this lesson
We began talking about the use of jigsaw and ways to provide additional structure,
engagement and accountability of all learners.
See the suggestions in the comment section of the running record.

Do you have any questions youd like to ask me?

There were questions related to the use of jigsaw and language objectives.

Our time was up. I had wanted to discuss alternate ways of teaching Standard
English. I applaud the teachers efforts to teach the students to speak Standard
English. However, I feel it is important to do it in ways that reflect important

understandings about how standards are developed and used in different cultures
and settings, in both formal and informal settings. I discussed it during the workshop
with multiple examples.
I was also able to speak with Christine and Nevin about this during the workshop. I
had hoped to speak with them during a break before bringing it up in the workshop,
but felt that there was a logical connection when talking about standards for making
maps and reading a grid, so I spoke about it at that time.

Feedback from the teacher to observer

What did I do that was useful for you, and was there anything I did that got in
the way of your learning or thinking?

We did not have time for this question. Please do give me any feedback that you
feel might be helpful.

Pre-Observation Form 4th Grade ESL push-in

Teacher: Karen Shilling (push-in ESL) No. of Students: 6

Observation Date/Time: January 23; 11:30-12:00
Subject: Gr. 4 Virginia Studies

What big idea do you want students to understand in this lesson?

Virginians played an important role in the founding of the United States.

What critical content do you want students to know?

I wanted students to know and understand key vocabulary relating to three Virginians
who played important roles in the founding of the United States.

What is the content objective?

Students will be able to use key vocabulary words related to George Washington,
Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison to explain their roles in the founding of the
United States.

What is the language objective?

Students will be able to orally explain to a partner the meanings of key vocabulary.
Students will be able to paraphrase another students explanation of vocabulary
terms to the group.

What modifications will you use for the ELLs?

Each vocabulary word has a picture with it to help with meaning. The ESL students
have been reading a book related to this topic in their ESL class. We have also
discussed much of this vocabulary in advance in their ESL class. There are three
ESL students participating in this group. One is very advanced and working on

grade level in all subject areas. The other two are intermediate with good oral
language skills.

What strategies will you use to accomplish your objectives?

Students will work in partners. Each set of partners will be assigned one president.
One partner will explain the importance of the key vocabulary to the other student.
The second partner will then explain the importance of the key vocabulary to the rest
of the group.

What are the roles and responsibilities of the collaborating teachers?

The classroom teacher focuses on the big picture teaching the overall information
required in the pacing guide with additional background information as needed to the
whole group. I focus on key vocabulary and concepts required for the state SOL
test. These lessons are small group mini review lessons based on what has
already been taught. We meet once a week to plan for the next week. My lessons
are usually hands-on lessons including sorts, grouping, and TPR activities. They
also include visual images or other manipulatives.

What led up to this lesson and what will follow the lesson?

The students have been learning about the American Revolution and the founding of
the United States. During the past two weeks, I have done lessons relating famous
Virginians to their documents and quotes. They will be finishing the unit this week
with a unit test.

Do you have any concerns?

Students can sometimes become distracted by what is going on in the rest of the
classroom, and I have to refocus them.


Observations Comments
Children joined the teacher in a corner of They were orderly and did so
the room. quickly.

T told the student the goal of the lesson: to SIOP components:

review the famous Virginians. Preparation
She asked students to identify pictures of Content Objectives
the 3 famous people they had been
studying. The students could do it easily. Comprehensible Input through
Then she held up a picture with each visuals
famous person to review the contributions Review and assessment
of each person. Ss volunteered to answer.
Teacher explained the pair task. She had SIOP Content objective and

multiple pictures on a piece of paper that language objective.
were representative of 3 important people The objective was not written, but
and related ideas. the teacher showed students a
This is a picture of the Great Compromise visual of what they would be
Does anyone remember what compromise doing. There isnt easy access to
means? a board.
S It means to solve a problem? Use of both pair teaching and
T asked for students to add more ideas. Team Jigsaw to teach the group.
When Ss didnt the teacher explained. Explaining the term and giving
If Gideon wants to dance the whole period, examples rather than providing
and I want him to sit the whole period, what the definition first reflects
would a compromise be? research-based vocabulary
S answered instruction. SIOP building
T Asked students to repeat the directions. background by connecting the
What are you all supposed to do? content to the students lives.
The repetition supports
Partners work together. understanding as well as oral
One person explains: The other will be language development.
accountable for what that person says by
teaching the same information to the class. SIOP components:
The 3 contributions were as follows: Building backgrounds,
James Madison Father of the Constitution Comprehensible Input,
because of The Great Compromise. Strategies also incorporated
Thomas Jefferson and The Declaration of because the prompt for the task
Independence was a visual graphic organizer
Commander in Chief and Father of Our with key names and terms.
Country. Interaction

The students were to explain the Individual accountability

achievement as well as it why it was Student visuals for each piece
important. of the Jigsaw had only the names
and terms that each team was
responsible for teaching. The
others were blank.

Students were all engaged in talking about
the pictures. Instructional Conversations is one
This is part of the discussion of one pair. of the 5 characteristics of
James Madison wrote the Constitution. Effective Pedagogy as identified
No, he didnt Thomas Jefferson wrote the by
Constitution. CREDE research.
They discussed what he did to be Father of The teacher was effectively
the Constitution. implementing instructional
Ex. He signed it. They were discussing conversations.
whether just signing it would make him the The Great Compromise is a very
father of the country. complex concept.

The teacher asked clarification questions of Suggestion: Role-play this
each group as they worked and asked them concept with the whole class
to explain why. since other 5th graders will also
The teacher tried to explain the Great often not be able to understand
Compromise. this just through explanations,
She compared this class to another, a small examples, and readings. A
class and a big class. simulation activity may help
The House of Representatives and the everyone.
Senate. Historical fiction is very helpful in
Remember the story you read about the creating both comprehensible
House Mouse and the Senate Mouse. input and interest in the topic.

Each partner now needed to explain to the

group what his/her partner had taught them. SIOP Components:
S summarized Practice and Application
Other children asked him questions.
S How did he get into the revolutionary Students were practicing
war? summaries.
T repeated They were also asking each other
S They picked him because he was the best questions after the summary
leader. Discussion teaching.
T He had military experience. Hence, they were more engaged
T The Patriots represented what country? and thoughtful. They were also
Answers practicing making questions in
S Summarized why he was called the English.
Father of the Country. The practice of using student-
generated questions in response
S Summarized the Declaration of to instruction by other students is
Independence. highly effective for all learners.
All people are equal.
Building background by relating
4th of July. to a birthday.
T Why do we celebrate that day?
Whose birthday is that day? Teacher listens to students well
S gave several answers. and doesnt make assumptions
T pointed to the flag. but asks for clarification.
S America, United States
Birthday of Independence
Other S asked questions.
S Why did Thomas Jefferson write the
S Because people didnt have freedom.
T Did you mean why did they write the
Declaration of Independence or why did
they choose him to write it?
S Discussed When one student had trouble
Great Compromise summarizing the teacher did not
One partner had trouble. The other asked, let her partner do the task for her.
S Can I tell because she doesnt know? She continued in different ways to

hold the student who needed
T Give her a hint. (S talked to you.) Tell her. more support accountable for the
Then she tried to say. task.

T What was the great compromise?

S They can be fair. The teacher again used

Do the big states get to way what happens? classroom examples to try to
Do sometimes all states get the right to say explain the great compromise.
what happens?
The teacher restated ideas about Senate
House of Representatives

Teacher used the visuals and Key Words Formative Assessment

and asked students to suggest placement SIOP Component Review and
of the names and terms on a blank Visual Assessment as well as Practice
organizer. and Application.

Review with the written words.

The organizer was very well
done. It was laminated, was
neat, had pictures of the famous
people as well as visuals to
support their contributions. For
the blank one, the words were
attached with Velcro. It is a
teacher-made resource that can
definitely be used over and over.
The student organizer for
teaching and summarizing were
identical on plain paper, except
only the words for their portion
was included.

Scaffolding was incorporated

throughout the lesson though
modeling and progression of
T What was our goal today?
S One student summarized the content
objective and the other summarized the SIOP components
language objective. The teacher Continued review and
complimented one of the students on a very assessment.
impressive summary.
T You did a better job of summarizing than I The students will be assessed on
did. He seemed very pleased. this content with the whole class.
This preview and practice will
T What state was the famous people from? enhance, not only their

S United States understanding of the content, but
T No, thats our country. What was the their ability to perform well on an
state? assessment.
S Virginia
T added additional comment to help clarify The graphic organizer prepared
state and country but the time ended before by the teacher could also be used
there could be additional discussion or as an alternative form of
examples. assessment for students who do
not have the ELL proficiency to
take the 5th grade test.


How did you feel about the lesson?

I thought it was good. I had to do more talking than I had wanted. For example, I
had to talk more about the Great Compromise. I dont think they spent a lot of time
on that in class.

How did student behaviors compare with what you expected?

They were pretty much what I expected. At this point of the year Ive worked enough
with them to know what to expect. I see the ESL students more. I only work with the
nonESL students once a week.

I was surprised how well that Gideon was able to so accurately restate the goal.

Do you think the content objectives were met?

Yes, but they still struggle with the concept that this VA.
I think that the Great Compromise is very difficult for them.
They also still get confused about the Patriots and England. (The teacher had asked
a couple of times during the class whether the famous people were the Patriots or
the British. I didnt have time to record it.)

Do you think the language objectives were met?

I think they were doing well communicating.

One of the mainstream students working with the group is the quietest and does the
least talking.

Do you feel that the ELL modifications were adequate?

I think so. I try to use a lot of visuals. I use Google Images all the time.
I think you could see that we had read a story about George Washington and the
Revolution. In some ways I think they are more confident of the vocabulary and the
context than some of the other 5th graders in the class because of the story. They
had independently today also read a book on the Senate Mouse and House Mouse.
(Note: Such use of historical fiction is highly effective in helping Build Background)

Were you satisfied with the collaborative roles and responsibilities?
I think it works well. We meet once a week on Friday. She tells me what they are
reviewing. I focus on what the ELLs need to know for the test and still add things
that are interesting and make it fun for them. We also brainstorm ideas of what she
can do in class that are effective for ELLs. Im not always there, but she is still
interested in learning and using those strategies.

What will you do the same and what will you do differently if you do this lesson
Because James Madison is so difficult, I think I would have a stronger pair do that.

Do you have any questions youd like to ask me?

Do you have suggestions?

The only suggestion I would have is to talk with the mainstream teacher about doing
a simulation activity to help all students understand The Great Compromise. I do
think it is a concept that needs to be experienced to make it comprehensible to
students at this age. The ESL teacher also does not have much time to do that.
I encouraged her to continue her collaboration with the mainstream teacher as well
as her use of the strategies and evidence of effective planning that I saw.

Feedback from the teacher to observer.

What did I do that was useful for you, and was there anything I did that got in
the way of your learning or thinking?

I think Karen said that she didnt have any suggestions, but we were out of time, and
I didnt take notes on this part. Please, Karen if you do have any additional feedback
that would be helpful, dont hesitate to share.

Jeanette Gordon