Beginning proficiency level: 3rd Grade

Support materials:
Video clip #186

Conversation with Observer (Excerpt)

Overall rating & analysis

Overall rating: One BP rating and one AP rating equal an overall BP+ rating.

Beginning

Advanced

Exemplary

Strand 1: The relevance of welcoming environment messages to students.

Effectively chooses a range of generic messages to support a welcoming environment (e.g., respect, tolerance, kindness and collaboration)

Effectively chooses messages applicable to student subgroups within the classroom (e.g., respect and appreciation for students? diverse academic levels, skills, learning styles, special needs, language barriers, races, classes, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds, etc.)

Effectively chooses messages applicable to student subgroups within the classroom and beyond and ensures that each student is affirmed and supported for the unique individual s/he is

Strand 2: The teacher’s effectiveness at establishing and maintaining a welcoming environment.

Adequately sets basic expectations for a welcoming environment as necessary, and consistently and effectively responds to breaches, using them as opportunities to convey messages that support the welcoming environment

Effectively sets expectations for a welcoming environment as necessary, anticipates and prevents most breaches by proactively using a variety of methods (e.g., explicit lessons, classroom jobs, community building) that will support a welcoming environment and effectively responds to breaches when they occur

Compellingly sets expectations for a welcoming environment as necessary, effectively empowers students to become leaders in sustaining a respectful, collaborative environment for all by teaching them to affirm and support their classmates and to resolve all conflicts in peaceful and enduring ways


Analysis: Why did the teacher receive these ratings?

Rating: BP Strand 1: The relevance of welcoming environment messages to students.

Why BP?

The teacher "effectively chooses a range of generic messages to support a welcoming environment." In the video, she focuses on respect, kindness, and collaboration: "No matter how much we apologize, someone might still feel bad. It will never all go away if you're mean to someone or say hurtful things. Which is why we have in our rules: encourage each other. we want to feel good about ourselves. So let's be nice to each other. We're all citizens. We're all team members in here. We're here to work with each other, and we're all here to succeed together. We're all here to do it together." These messages are sufficiently comprehensive to encompass a variety of components necessary for a welcoming environment. It is likely that, if theoretically asked, at least half the students would find the teacher’s messages important, relevant, and compelling.

Why not AP?

The teacher’s messages generically address aspects of a welcoming environment and are not designed to be "applicable to student subgroups within the classroom."

Rating: APStrand 2: The teacher’s effectiveness at establishing and maintaining a welcoming environment.

Why AP?

  • In the video, the teacher "effectively sets expectations for a welcoming environment" so that almost all students would be able to state what the teacher expects and why. This is based on the clarity of the teacher’s presentation in which she makes strong connections between her expectations and the ideas in a book the class has read and the activity students have engaged in
    and by the students’ demonstrated ability to meet her expectations and rarely breach the environment (context) (i.e., "No matter how much we apologize, someone might still feel bad. It will never all go away if you're mean to someone or say hurtful things. Which is why we have in
    our rules: encourage each other. we want to feel good about ourselves. So let's be nice to each other. We're all citizens. We're all team members in here. We're here to work with each other, and we're all here to succeed together. We're all here to do it together.")
  • The context reveals that breaches are rare in the teacher’s class and she "anticipates and prevents most breaches" (i.e., "There's such a difference in the way they treat other already. Every now and then they might still make some random rude comment or remark to one another, but it's already quite rare, and we always talk about it right when it happens.")
  • The teacher "prevents most breaches by proactively using a variety of methods (e.g., explicit lessons, classroom jobs, community building) that will support a welcoming environment." In the video, we see her teach an explicit lesson about students being supportive of one another and not picking on each other around the book Chrysanthemum. The context reveals that she has a number of other strategies to maintain a welcoming environment including: read alouds with explicit messages that support the welcoming environment, weekly "Class Check-ins," and the "Collaborator of the Week" award (i.e., "Once a week, I use our read aloud time to address these issues. I think it's really important to connect books to kids' lives, so I've chosen several books — like Chrysanthemum — that
    help us start conversations about values and tolerance and how to treat each other respectfully.We also have classroom meetings each Friday afternoon, called "Class Check-Ins," where we all come together for a few minutes and have a safe setting to discuss any personal issues that have come up throughout the week. It's just a nice time for them to air some of their feelings and support each other. Plus, I've started an award called "Collaborator of The Week," and the students know that the person isn't chosen for academic achievement, but is specifically chosen for being helpful, respectful and considerate. Each week, when I select the person, I speak for a few minutes about the behaviors that person exhibited and why those behaviors are positive and important.").

Why not E?

  • There is insufficient evidence that she "effectively empowers students to become leaders in sustaining a respectful, collaborative environment for all by teaching them to affirm and support their classmates and to resolve all conflicts in peaceful and enduring ways."
  • The teacher does not differentiate her volume and tone to effectively capture the attention of almost all students. Even during her demonstration, she uses few verbal cues or physical gestures to purposefully engage students.