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Part Seven: Reflection and Self-Evaluation

TWS Standard: The teacher analyzes the relationship between his or her
instruction and student learning in order to improve teaching practice.
INTASC Standard: 9
A. Interpretation of Student Learning
Based on comparison of the data from pre and post assessments, the students
overall were successful in learning and mastering the concepts I planned for this
unit. One aspect that contributed to their success I believe was the journals. This
gave them a chance to review the concepts and basic definitions from a
previous class each day and discuss it briefly as a class. It really helped to create
a bridge of continuity from lesson plan to lesson plan. I feel that the students
were also generally successful because our daily activities focused generally on
one basic concept, so they could get practice on that concept in a variety of
circumstances (improvisation, technique, original choreography, viewing videos
of other work, discussion, etc.). I also think it was helpful for them to have
multiple days to work on the same sequences, but address that same
movement through the lens of an alternate concept the next day.
B. Insights on Effective Instruction and Assessment
Possible reasons for the students who were not completely successful on
the post-assessment could be attendance reasons (they were absent or late

one or more days during the unit) and/or learning activities/assessments that
were not well suited to their learning styles. One of the students in particular who
did poorly on the post-assessment can generally demonstrate the concepts
covered in movement, but perhaps needed one-on-one time and coaching for
written definitions to stick. In my other units, I have often done a study guide for
what students should be prepared to write and demonstrate for their
assessment; however, for this unit I chose to make it more informal and not
prepare them in that way. The result was interesting because I felt that in
general, the students did not do as well on this assessment as they did in past
assessments. I wondered if at least part of the reason could be that they did not
feel that they needed to take it as seriously since they were not prepped with
the study guide like my other assessments. I wondered if the study guide puts
some exquisite pressure on them to focus and take it seriously like a test. By
doing an informal assessment in this way, however, I was able to see that
without having a chance to study at home and review on the study, the
students did not all have the tools to answer successfully based only on our in
class discussions and activities. I am not sure if I should be bothered by that or if
it is okay to expect my students not to be able to get all the mastery they need
in class alone.
C. Implications for Future Teaching
In the future, I think I could improve by using better data collection
techniques. I was not as centered on using my assessments as tools as I was

interested in using them as something to stick on their gradebook. While grading


procedures are important, I would like to be more focused on assessment as
feedback for my teaching rather than as feedback for my students alone,
which is kind of an old fashioned approach anyway. I would also like to better at
having my lesson plans completed earlier. While there will always been last
minute alterations, I think if I could be better prepared earlier, I could course
correct easier and see the bigger picture throughout my units rather than
waiting to reflect only at the end when it is too late. I would also like to do
better at using interesting technology resources. I had a couple fun uses of
technology in this unit, but I wondered how I could make them more useful to
the students and help them see how dance and technology can mix more.
D. Implications for Personal Professional Improvement
The two main areas for improvement that emerged for me during the
teaching of this unit were finding creative and interesting resources for this
material and data collection. I would like to spend significant time this summer
looking for better resources that could catch my students eyes and be more
interesting rather than the same sorts of technique sequences every day. What
props, technology, etc. could I use to teach these concepts? As far as data
collection, I wondered if there are more efficient tools available through my
district for data collection. I believe there are even ways on my district
gradebook (Skyward) to analyze student data more efficiently and I know there
is a teacher at our school assigned to train others on these functions of Skyward.