Teacher Work Sample Contextual Factors Learning Goals

Teacher Work Sample
Contextual Factors
Learning Goals
The Teacher Work Sample
• An attempt to sample your ability to do “teacher
work”. “teacher work=student learning”
• All teachers do this work, but the TWS asks you to
write out aspects of teacher work that is done
mentally or without conscious thought at times.
• This work includes: understanding contextual
factors: aligning learning goals, instruction, and
assessment; making instructional decisions;
analyzing data, and reflecting and self-evaluation.
Contextual Factors
• Knowledge of community, district, school, and
classroom factors
• Knowledge of student characteristics and
varied approaches to learning
• Knowledge of student’s skills and prior
learning (whole group and identified students)
• Implications for instructional planning and
Why Contextual factors are Important
• The most effective instruction and assessment
comes from decisions made based on an
objective understanding of the community,
district, school, whole class characteristics
and knowledge of your individual students’
strengths and abilities.
• You’ll be asked to reference back to your
contextual factors in chapters: Chapter 2,
Chapter 3, chapter 4, and chapter 7
Devote more space to the contextual
factors of students over community,
district and classroom
• Knowledge of community, district, school
and classroom
• Knowledge of student characteristics
• Knowledge of students’ skills (whole
group/and selected students)
Make a list of community characteristics
Make a list of district characteristics
Make a list of building characteristics
Make a list of classroom characteristics
Make a list of student class characteristics
Identify one student (student A) and what are
some characteristics you’ve noted about
student so far.
Which of these contextual factors
would be relevant to your TWS?
• The district has a student population of 850 students k12
• The community is primarily middle to upper-middle
class social economic status
• The classroom has 24 student desks, white boards on
two walls, and reading table near the back.
• This is a required class that all students must take
before graduation
• Of the 22 students in the class, five of the students are
identified as English Language learners.
¾ of class is currently reading below grade level
• The daily schedule consists of 4 block classes of
90 minutes that alternate between “A” and “B”
• The technology in the room includes a CD player,
an elmo and two computers for student use.
• The class consists of 18 students of which 12 are
• The district recently passed a bond issue for
construction of a new middle school.
Relevance, relevance, RELEVANCE
• Description vs identifying relevant
• Which characteristics are most relevant to you
as you plan your instruction and assessment ?
• Rely on your professional judgment which
characteristics are the most relevant.
• Go back through your list and identify the
characteristics that are most relevant in your
decision making
You need at least four implications: One from the
characteristics of community, school, &
classroom; one from class characteristics; one
from student skills (group or individual students)
“Implication” is a noun: it identifies something
suggested or implied by a contextual factor.
For each one of your starred characteristics, write a
possible implication for that characteristic.
A couple of hints
• This chapter should be 6-8 pages long. If it’s
longer, you may be giving too much
• Use the word “implication” in your text and
bold it; scorers find that easier to identify your
• You’ll not include town, school, or student
names in your chapter; but you can edit these
out of your TWS near the end.
Chapter 2 Learning Goals
• What do you want students to know or be
able to do as a result of your planning and
• Chapters 3, 4, and 6 all align with your
learning goals.
Learning Goals
• Goals reflect varied levels of learning and are
significant and challenging
Use a learning theory, such as Blooms’ revised
Taxonomy, to indicate the different levels of
learning of your goals.
You should have 3 to 6 learning goals. Too few and
it’s hard to show different levels of learning; too
many and your TWS will get too long as you deal
with each goal in later chapters.
• Goals are clearly stated at learning outcomes
• Focus on specific learning outcomes of the
series of lessons you’re teaching.
• Don’t include year-long goals
• Goals should not be activities unless you’re
dealing with a performance based content.
• Goals are appropriate for the development;
pre-requisite knowledge, skills, experiences; or
other student needs
• Done in a narrative manner where you discuss
why the goals are appropriate for your group
of students; might include scope and
sequence or district expectations
• Goals are explicitly aligned with national, state or
local standards
• It’s best to find the district goals and indicate
which district goals are being met with each of
your goal.
• Show the connection with the Iowa core
• You don’t have to use all three levels of standards
to align your goals with
Evaluate each of these learning goals
• Students will gain an appreciation for poetry
• Students will become better citizens in society
• Students will be able to recall the causes of
world war one, discuss how world war one
contributed to the cause of WW II, and what
role each world leader played as the war
• Students will understand the rules of
• Students will be able to identify the seven
continents with 100% accuracy
• Students will write a short story
• Students will compare poems by Poe and
Dickenson recognizing different literary
devices used by each poet.
• Student’s watercolor painting will
demonstrate their use of the dry brush
• Although learning goals that are easy to quantify and
make the TWS easier; if you have learning goals that
have higher levels of learning or involve a performance
or creation element; assessing those goals may require
a set of criteria for assessment.
This will be one of the shorter chapters, but most critical.
Your learning goals must align with assessment (chap.
3), instruction (chapter 4), analysis of learning (chap.
6), and references reflection and evaluation (chap. 7)
Hints for this chapter
• Label each goal in some logical manner (ex: LG 1,
LG 2)
• There may be other goals for your unit that you
don’t include in your TWS. Just be aware in your
assessments that you may just be pulling out the
assessment pieces that address your LG.
• You can have both qualitative goals and
quantitative goals.
• Alignment!!

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