Hello and thank you for taking the time to view my portfolio. Here is a little background information about myself:
I am in my fifth year of teaching at East Palo Alto Academy in East Palo Alto, California. I am currently teaching kindergarten. Last year I taught a 2nd and 3rd grade combined multi-age classroom.
I received my BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish from Radford University.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, writing, cooking, traveling, singing, bike riding, dancing, and swimming.
Inside you will find a collection of my work spanning from 2007-2010.
Table of Contents Language Arts Math Science Social Studies Technology PLC After-school Activities Student Work Certification Just for Fun! Classroom Meetings
Language Arts Reading Writing Word Study “ The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Dr. Seuss Home Kindergarten Reading Workshop
Guided Reading In the second grade, Reader’s Theater was one of favorite oral reading activities! Here, our reading group performs, complete with props! Home Back to Lang. Arts
Writing Home Writing Con’t There are two pieces to my 2nd and 3rd grade writing workshop. They are writer’s craft and mechanics. Workshops are taught as a mini-lessons, where the goal is to move from teacher modeling to student application. In our classroom, writing is a virtuous ritual. We continually strive to get better at our craft as we learn and apply new things throughout the school year! Here, a student chooses to mark his work as “private”, by folding the page over. This lets me know I do not have permission to read this page in his notebook. There is a huge emphasis placed on privacy, as well as creative self-expression in our classroom. “ Writing only leads to more writing” -Sidonie Gabrielle
Writing Con’t Students routinely conference with one another during our writer’s workshop. Here, three students are sharing ideas. An important goal in our classroom is to incorporate every step of the writing process. Home Back to Lang. Arts
… More Writing Still!
In kindergarten our writing workshop consisted of 4 parts:
Minilesson: students learned something new
Writing Time: students applied their knowledge of writing
Pair Share: students shared their work with a different partner each day
Author’s Chair: one student’s work was celebrated by the class
Back to Lang. Arts Home Our kindergarten author’s wall
Word Study Home Back to Lang. Arts
Word work is an important part of our literacy diet. Each day, my second and third graders worked in their word study groups. Our word study schedule is as follows:
Monday--Initial, Cut and Sort
Thursday--Practice Spelling Tests
Every student is held accountable for their work with the following rubric: Star--excellent work Check--good work “ R”--this work needs to be redone
Kindergarten Reading Workshop Shared Reading Guided Reading Literacy Centers Home
In kindergarten the foundation of our word work is our word wall. At the beginning of the year we start out with our names. Each week, a new sight word is added to the word wall. Our word wall is instrumental in our Literacy Centers: a time for students to have hands on work with literacy materials. Some of our literacy centers include:
Word Wall Bingo
Home Back to Kindergarten Reading Workshop
Guided Reading Home Back to Kindergarten Reading Workshop Guided Reading groups are held daily where students meet with me in their leveled reading groups. Our main focuses are decoding, comprehension, sight words and building fluency. Christopher and Vicente practice their buddy reading.
Every month we study a new author. Some of our favorite authors are Mo Willems, Todd Parr, and Cynthia Rylant. During shared reading we build on comprehension strategies such as making predictions, asking questions, and making connections.
Back to Kindergarten Reading Workshop Home
Math 1-on-1 Math Club Small Group Instruction Home When I taught Second Grade, I collaborated with another teacher, and we decided to group our math classes according to our data. I volunteered to instruct and re-teach students that were below the benchmarks, and my colleague instructed and enriched those that met and were above the set benchmarks. “ Math is like love - a simple idea but it can get complicated.” -Anonymous Kindergarten Math
Math Club Home Back to Math I designed “math club” as a social setting alternative to math help for struggling students. Math club was held every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during lunch. It was open to any student that wanted to attend. The atmosphere was warm, friendly, and social. Students were are able to brush up on their math skills and enjoy lunch at the same time!
1-ON-1 Home Back to Math I made the best use of my instructional time and always tried to implement best practices. Students in my math class had access to 1-on-1 assistance because there was an extra body in the room at all times.
Small Group Instruction Home Back to Math Students are able to get the support they need in a risk-free environment that promotes meaningful student engagement.
Our kindergarten math block consists of 2 parts: learning new material with me, and math centers with our 8th grade volunteers. Everyday the students have a conceptual math minilesson with me, and then go to their math center for that day while I pulled students for small group math support.
Back to Math Home
Science Home Field Trips Experiments “ Science does not know its debt to imagination.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson Kindergarten Experiments Kindergarten Field Trips
Experiments Home Back to Science Hands on science experiments are a big part of our science instruction. Here, students construct water clocks in science class as a tie in to our measurement and Ancient Egypt units in math and social studies!
Here, students learn about hedgehogs and get to pet “Pearl”. This was a part of our science unit with Ms. Megan, a representative of the Palo Alto Junior Museum. Ms. Megan came to our classroom every Friday for 2 months to conduct experiments with us and provide hands on experience with our current units of study.
Home Back to Science
Field Trips Home Back to Science We went on a trip to our local ski resort to learn about the water cycle and conduct a digital photo scavenger hunt to find examples of solids, liquids, and gases. A lot of learning occurred…. … .however the snow tubing was where the REAL FUN took place!….
Kindergarten Field Trips
Reyman and Carmela explore making waves at the Discovery Museum.
Home Back to Science We learn about nutrition at Whole Foods.
Social Studies Field Trips G.L.A.D. Home “ History doesn't repeat itself - at best it sometimes rhymes” -Mark Twain
G.L.A.D. Home Back to Social Studies I use the G.L.A.D. model to teach social studies. The strategies found in the model promote English language acquisition, academic achievement, and cross-cultural skills. “ Our Earth” unit in kindergarten.
Field Trips Home Back to Social Studies In Virginia, we visited Jamestown to learn about the Powhatan Indians and the First American settlers.
Technology We loved incorporating technology into our second grade class! Here is an example of how we used ComicLife to learn about Ancient China! Home “ We're changing the world with technology.” -Bill Gates
PLC Home In Virginia, our Second Grade Team functioned as a “true” PLC with an established charter and norms. We met every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during our common planning times to discuss pacing guides, curriculum framework, student work, and any other business items. Our meetings flowed smoothly, and each team member had a unique job essential to the ebb and flow of our *superstar* team! Click here to view our team charter. I served as the team’s secretary and technology liaison. I was responsible for recording and organizing our team’s meeting minutes, as well as collecting, organizing, and creating technology resources that match our SOL’s. Kindergarten PLC
2nd Grade Team Charter Kay………Facilitator Sarah……Timekeeper Renee…..Secretary/Technology Liaison Jennifer…Process Observer Susan……Agenda-maker
90% of all students on or above grade level in reading and math
Implement the Framework for Quality Learning
Commonly develop, use and revise when necessary pacing guides for all subjects
Show up on time!
Stay on topic!
Know your job!
Home Back to PLC
I was fortunate enough to continue my PLC work with my move to California. At East Palo Alto Academy our kindergarten team took true ownership of the professional learning community. We established norms, had rotating jobs, and developed multiple cycles of inquiry surrounding student data.
Home Back to PLC
Being a teacher isn’t simply about what happens during school hours. I realize the importance of community outreach, and strive to be a role model (both as a minority and a female) for the students at my school. My afterschool activities included:
Bay Area Writing Project
“So You Think You Can Dance” Dance Team--Coach
“ Red Hot Steppers” Second Grade Step Team--Coa ch
Afterschool Math Tutor
SOL Math Tutor
This year I was a member of our school’s positive behavior intervention and support leadership team. With the team I developed a program for supporting positive in our school, as well as planned an led multiple professional developments for supporting positive behavior in the classroom.
Home Back to Activities
Bay Area Writing Project
Writing is a true passion of mine. The Bay Area Writing Project is a summer writing workshop fellowship for teachers at UC Berkeley. I was nominated for the program by the reading coach at my school. I was accepted in February and will complete the program this summer!
Back to Activities Home
“… So You Think You Can Dance?…” Working with age-appropriate popular music from yesterday and today, 4th and 5th grade students explored different styles of dance in a fun, funky class focusing on body rhythm, style, and original, energetic moves. The students learned athletic conditioning (stretching, toning, and endurance work), and were responsible for performing a final piece in front of their peers--the ENTIRE school! The “So You Think You Can Dance” Dance Team Home Dance, Con’t
“… So You Think You Can Dance?…” Con’t One member of our dance team was especially lucky to work with a celebrity drummer. Darryl Rose, a local drummer donated countless hours of his personal time to teach a student how to play a “djembe”, an original African drum. Mr. Rose was kind enough to let us borrow his drum so that our Kolion could play it during our final performance! Home Back to Activities
Red Hot Steppers The “Red Hot Steppers” was our very own Second Grade step team! Every year in June we performed our routine in front of the entire school! The “Red Hot Steppers”! Home Back to Activities
“ Little/Big Sibs” I certainly do have a lot of siblings to be an only child! For me, the label of “big sister” has been unshakeable since college. My second year at Radford University I became a big sister in my sorority, and have continued to collect siblings by being a positive role model in my community/peer groups ever since! I am a “big sibling” to two brothers, a 5th grader, and a 3rd grader, one of whom was a former student of mine! Home Back to Activities
SOL Mentor In addition to being a big sib, I was also an SOL Mentor. My role as an SOL mentor was to provide positive feedback, encouragement and support to students that are preparing to take the Virginia Standards of Learning. In addition to regularly spending time with Keturah, my mentee, I also provided care-packages and “notes of encouragement” during SOL testing week. Last year, my SOL mentee passed ALL of her Virginia SOL’s. WAY TO GO KETURAH!!! Home Back to Activities
Afterschool Math Tutor I tutored math to Second Grade students in need of extra support on Tuesdays and Thursdays afterschool. Home Back to Activities
SOL Math Tutor In addition to tutoring Second Graders afterschool in math, I was also an SOL math tutor. I met with a small group of at-risk girls for 4 weeks before the Virginia SOL’s are administered. We reviewed all of the concepts covered for the year, as well as test-taking strategies! Home Back to Activities THE TEST I'm getting ready for the test. To listen, think and do my best. I'll plan, study, and get my rest. I know I can pass the test!
Student Work Some examples of my students at their finest….. Home
Classroom Meetings a.k.a. “Lobster Talks” LOBSTERS MATE FOR LIFE! In alignment with the principles of the Responsive Classroom we hold classroom meetings. In Virginia, our class mascot was the lobster. We chose the lobster to represent our classroom, because lobsters mate for life, and we are friends for life! Our classroom meetings, or “Lobster Talks” as we like to call them were run like a true business meeting. We had an agenda board, where students are allowed to add any item they would like to discuss. At the end of each meeting we have something called “pass the lobster”, where our special lobster pen is passed around and students are able to share any compliments, concerns, wishes, or personal problems. Every meeting was closed with our friendship song, our very own rendition of Sister Sledge’s “We Are A Family!”. Home Classroom Meetings Con’t
In kindergarten our classroom mascot is our bunny rabbit, Mr. Fluffy Bottoms. Mr. Fluffy Bottoms is a “free range” bunny, meaning he hops freely throughout the classroom all day. Every weekend, he goes home with a different student. We love our Mr. Fluffy Bottoms!
Certification “ Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.” -Anonymous I currently hold a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in the state of California. I am in the process of obtaining my TEFL certificate, expected summer 2010. Home *Resume and Letters of Recommendation available upon request.*
Just For Fun! All work and no play makes for super dull day! Sometimes you just have to be silly! Ice Cream Socials Home
Pics of us just “clowning around”…. Home Back to Just For Fun!
Ice Cream Socials Each year, students in my classroom work together to earn an ice cream social. They earn classroom links by getting complimented on a job well done as an entire class. Once the links in our classroom reach from ceiling to floor, I reward the class with an ice cream social! Everyone dresses up in their Sunday Best, and we spend the day celebrating our accomplishments with ice cream and toppings, savory treats, dancing, and arts and crafts! Our classroom ice cream social is the “must attend event of the season” in our classroom! Home Back to Just For Fun! “ Everybody thinks the calypso song comes from Trinidad…..”
THE END! Created By: Renee Evelyn Fuller 2008 Revised 2010