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Elementary Education

Task 1: Planning Commentary

TASK 1: PLANNING COMMENTARY


Respond to the prompts below (no more than 9 single-spaced pages, including prompts) by typing your responses within the
brackets. Do not delete or alter the prompts. Pages exceeding the maximum will not be scored.

1. Central Focus
a. Describe the central focus and the essential literacy strategy for comprehending OR
composing text you will teach in the learning segment.
[ The central focus of this learning segment is identifying main idea and theme, using
appropriate abbreviations and suffixes in writing, and understanding the writing process with
persuasive writing. Other goals are to encourage students to actively participate in small group
settings, work effectively on individual activities, and to use teacher evaluations as a learning
tool. ]
b. Given the central focus, describe how the standards and learning objectives within
your learning segment address
the essential literacy strategy
related skills that support use of the strategy
reading/writing connections
[ The standards ELACC5RF4c: Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and
understanding, ELACC5W2: Write informative/explanatory b. Develop the topic with facts,
definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic,
and ELACC5RI2: Determine two or more main ideas and explain how they are supported by
details and summarize align directly with the central focus of this learning segment. Using
context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and determining two or more main ideas of a
text are the main components of the learning objectives of this learning segment. The students
in this classroom are unfamiliar with abbreviations but are familiar with suffixes, main idea, and
persuasive writing. Interpreting correct abbreviations, identifying main ideas of a text and using
context for word recognition will help students better understand the writing process and what
needs to be included in their own writing by seeing good examples in texts they read daily. ]
c. Explain how your plans build on each other to help students make connections
between the essential literacy strategy to comprehend OR compose text and related
skills that support use of the strategy in meaningful contexts.
[ This learning segment utilizes prior knowledge of main idea and theme, the writing process,
persuasive writing, and increases the cognitive demands on the students each day. The three
lessons build upon students prior learning and increasingly ask students to link new information
and skills to their prior knowledge. Day one of the learning segment provides students the
opportunity to connect with prior knowledge but also learn a new concept. It gives the students
the experience of identifying and analyzing main ideas in texts in a small group setting. Day two
increases the cognitive demands as students are required to link prior knowledge and
prerequisite skills with an unfamiliar learning task. They will be utilizing graphic organizers in
order to begin the writing process for persuasive, informative pieces. The students will also be
provided teacher evaluations on their planning of their writing on how they can improve and add
more details to extend their writing. On Day three of the learning segment, students will
complete their writing while receiving teacher conferences while they are writing. They will also
identify the main idea of their own writing once they complete their writing. This integrates prior
knowledge of main idea with a new task specific writing assignment. These students have
limited exposure to the full writing process and this part of the learning segment will push the

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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

boundaries of their comfort zones as they plan, create, revise, and then find the main idea of
their own writing. ]
2. Knowledge of Students to Inform Teaching
For each of the prompts below (2ab), describe what you know about your students with
respect to the central focus of the learning segment.
Consider the variety of learners in your class who may require different strategies/support
(e.g., students with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners, struggling readers,
underperforming students or those with gaps in academic knowledge, and/or gifted
students).
a. Prior academic learning and prerequisite skills related to the central focusCite
evidence of what students know, what they can do, and what they are still learning
to do.
[ Students will have prior knowledge of main idea, persuasive writing genre, and suffixes. They
can identify main idea in texts, identify persuasive writing in texts and use context to determine
the meaning of suffixes. The small group settings for reviewing main idea and suffixes helps
engage students with their peers and give them the opportunity to learn a new skill of writing
abbreviations. Scaffolding and teacher modeling will support and engage student learning for
the new skills of abbreviations and the persuasive writing process beginning with planning on a
graphic organizer. The variety of learners in this class will be further supported by modifications
that will be applicable to the special education students and the general education students. For
example, students will have graphic organizers and provided examples that break activities into
chunks that make the learning tasks easier to accomplish. ]
b. Personal, cultural, and community assets related to the central focusWhat do you
know about your students everyday experiences, cultural and language
backgrounds and practices, and interests?
[ The students everyday experience and cultural backgrounds are formed by their community,
which is blended and consists of working lower and working middle classes. Many of the
students are products of single family household and often are raised by someone other than a
biological parent (i.e., grandmother, aunt, etc.). This can make it more difficult to engage student
learning in texts that seem complex and outside their realm of experiences. Scaffolding the
instruction and working to find connections between these students and the texts becomes a
main goal of my instruction, because of the cultural and community assets that they bring into
our classroom. ]
3. Supporting Students Literacy Learning
Respond to prompts 3ac below. To support your justifications, refer to the instructional
materials and lesson plans you have included as part of Literacy Planning Task 1. In
addition, use principles from research and/or theory to support your justifications.
a. Justify how your understanding of your students prior academic learning and personal,
cultural, and community assets (from prompts 2ab above) guided your choice or
adaptation of learning tasks and materials. Be explicit about the connections between
the learning tasks and students prior academic learning, their assets, and
research/theory.
[ This three-day learning segment builds upon students prior learning and increasingly asks
students to link new information and skills to their prior knowledge. Day One of the learning
segment provides students the opportunity to connect with complex texts that have been part of

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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

previous lessons, and to view the texts and apply prior knowledge of main idea and suffixes in a
new manner. This gives the students the experience of identifying main idea in an interactive
way by using their own writing to identify main idea. Using student examples and letting
students share their writing has proven to be an effective way to engage my classes in learning.
Also, it will re-teach some of the skills to students that may not have a strong understanding.
Students will work individually on their graphic organizers to plan what they will write about
given two persuasive prompts from which to choose. Day two of the learning segment will have
students utilize their graphic organizer to start their persuasive writing. They will be exposed to
teacher writing conferences to better their writing through the writing process. On Day three of
the learning segment, students will complete their writing, revising and editing where necessary.
The students will also finish any incomplete work from previous small group work in which they
participated. Students are expected to utilize the skills of abbreviations and suffixes learned
earlier in the week in small groups in their writing where applicable. ]
b. Describe and justify why your instructional strategies and planned supports are
appropriate for the whole class, individuals, and/or groups of students with specific
learning needs.
Consider the variety of learners in your class who may require different
strategies/support (e.g., students with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners,
struggling readers, underperforming students or those with gaps in academic
knowledge, and/or gifted students).
[ This learning segment employs several teaching strategies that are aimed to engage a variety
of learners, including students with specific learning needs. Planned supports during the first
day of the learning segment will include: I will employ teacher modeling of identifying suffixes
and abbreviations on the board. I will also model the writing process and how they should
complete their graphic organizer used for planning their writing. This instructional scaffolding will
provide the students with effective strategies for completing the tasks. Day Two of the learning
segment also employs teacher modeling and guidance by providing students with examples of
how to revise and edit their writing in the writing process and how to identify the main idea in
their own writing. This learning segment combines several types of learning settings: direct
instruction, activating prior knowledge through a re-teaching activity, small group instruction,
large group instruction, individualized instruction, and checking for understanding by informal
and formal assessment. ]
c. Describe common developmental approximations or common misconceptions within
your literacy central focus and how you will address them.
[ The central focus of this three day learning segment is identifying main idea, creating
persuasive writing, and using context to identify word parts (suffixes). During past learning
segments students have demonstrated some struggles with identifying main ideas and specific
word parts within context. They have also struggled with writing and each of the steps of the
writing process. I will re-teach in order to activate prior knowledge of main idea, word parts, and
the writing process. Students have confused main idea with theme in the past and need to re-
visit this skill. ]
4. Supporting Literacy Development Through Language
As you respond to prompts 4ad, consider the range of students language assets and
needswhat do students already know, what are they struggling with, and/or what is new to
them?

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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

a. Language Function. Using information about your students language assets and
needs, identify one language function essential for students to develop and practice the
literacy strategy within your central focus. Listed below are some sample language
functions. You may choose one of these or another more appropriate for your learning
segment.

Analyze Argue Categorize Compare/contrast Describe Explain

Interpret Predict Question Retell Summarize


[ Teaching my students to analyze text in order to identify the main idea of any text is an
essential language function for the students in my class. They must bring this skill to the
progressively more complex learning tasks on day two and day three of the learning segment,
as they are asked to compose persuasive writing and then analyze their own writing to identify
the main idea of the text. ]
b. Identify a key learning task from your plans that provides students with opportunities to
practice using the language function in ways that support the essential literacy strategy.
Identify the lesson in which the learning task occurs. (Give lesson day/number.)
[ During day on of the learning segment, students will be actively engaged in analyzing provided
text to determine the main idea. The students will use prior knowledge of main idea and details
and will participate in a small group activity to identify and analyze main ideas from texts they
are provided. ]
c. Additional Language Demands. Given the language function and learning task
identified above, describe the following associated language demands (written or oral)
students need to understand and/or use:
Vocabulary or key phrases
Plus at least one of the following:
Syntax
Discourse
[ In the learning task described above, students must utilize prior knowledge in order to be able
to analyze a text and identify the main idea of a text. Students must understand the following
vocabulary: main idea, details. A quick review of the difference between main idea and theme
will be conducted in the beginning of small group setting. This learning task will also re-teach
the concept of main idea and supporting details to struggling students. Students must acquire
knowledge of these vocabulary terms but also must immerse themselves in the discourse of
writing, which includes understanding the writing process and persuasive genre of writing.
Immersing students in the discourse they are studying was a teaching tool I learned in the
course, Reading Assessment and Instruction. The importance of immersion in the discourse that
students are learning about was emphasized. They need to be active readers and writers to be
able to have a deeper understanding of the discourse. ]
d. Language Supports. Refer to your lesson plans and instructional materials as needed
in your response to the prompt.
Identify and describe the planned instructional supports (during and/or prior to the
learning task) to help students understand, develop, and use the identified language
demands (function, vocabulary or key phrases, discourse, or syntax).

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Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

[ Instructional supports that took place prior to the learning task include a whole group activity to
deepen their understanding of main idea and the writing process. This will reinforce learning
from prior learning activities including a graphic organizer about main idea and details they filled
out and placed in their writing journal. During the learning task, students will be asked to
analyze text in order to identify main idea and details from the text. This will be done in a small
group setting, then will be completed on an individual basis based on their own persuasive
writing. The small group activities will provide language support and build students academic
language and usage when describing main idea and details and beginning the writing process.
Students with a lower level of academic language comprehension will be supported by the
interactive nature of the learning task. ]
5. Monitoring Student Learning
In response to the prompts below, refer to the assessments you will submit as part of the
materials for Literacy Planning Task 1.

a. Describe how your planned formal and informal assessments will provide direct
evidence that students can use the essential literacy strategy to comprehend OR
compose text AND related skills throughout the learning segment.
[ During the first day of the learning segment, students will be informally assessed through their
participation in the whole group activity. Different students will identify the main idea and
supporting details of a short text. There will also be a whole group discussion of the writing
process and the genre of persuasive writing. This discussion will also be informally assessed.
Additional assessments during the first learning segment include: observation of students as
they work in small group settings and individual settings. Formal assessments for the first day of
the learning segment will be on the provided texts of identifying main idea and details and also
the start of their planning for persuasive writing on their graphic organizer. During the second
day of the learning segment I will informally assess students as they work independently on
their writing. I will formally assess students when they come to me for a teacher writing
conference on their writing. On the third day of the learning segment I will formally assess them
on how well they revised their writing based on the notes they received from their teacher
writing conference and if they correctly identified the main idea of their own writing. I will
informally assess them by what they share to the class about their writing in whole group
setting. ]
b. Explain how the design or adaptation of your planned assessments allows students with
specific needs to demonstrate their learning.
Consider the variety of learners in your class who may require different
strategies/support (e.g., students with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners,
struggling readers, underperforming students or those with gaps in academic
knowledge, and/or gifted students).
[ Much of the planned assessments for this learning segment were developed to be applicable
to a variety of learners, including students with IEPs. In my classes, there are a variety of levels
of skills among students and my planned assessments were utilized in order to be fair for any
level of learner in my classroom. Specific modifications for my students with IEPs will be
implemented upon necessity. Planned supports include: during day one of the learning
segment, extended time will be provided to those who need it for planning their writing. Their
assessment will be consistent with the rest of the class. They will be working in small groups
with students of varying abilities so that higher level learners will be able to assist the lower level
learners. During day two of the learning segment, students will be required to utilize their
knowledge of the writing process as they continue with their persuasive writing prompts.

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All rights reserved. V4_0915
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permitted only pursuant to the terms of a written license agreement.
Elementary Education
Task 1: Planning Commentary

Students with IEPs will be allowed extra writing conference time and extra notes on their writing
when necessary. Assessment of their writing will be consistent with the other students in the
class. ]

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The edTPA trademarks are owned by The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. Use of the edTPA trademarks is
permitted only pursuant to the terms of a written license agreement.