This section of my portfolio contains artifacts that exhibit my ability to fulfill the role of “Choreographer of Instruction,” which coincides with Domain 1 (Planning and Preparation) of Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching, as well as the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS). This domain addresses one’s ability to be an efficacious teacher through planning and preparation that:
Understands the diverse backgrounds of students (IPTS #1);
Demonstrates a commanding knowledge of the content area (IPTS#2);
Includes plans for differentiated instruction (IPTS #3); and
Incorporates reading, writing, and oral communication (IPTS #6).
As a choreographer of instruction, I consider diverse factors that impact student learning. As I design lessons, I synthesize these considerations in a harmonious and meaningful way, such that all students are capable of learning. I differentiate materials and instruction to accommodate students with various, specific learning needs. I incorporate the use of technology to render my instruction engaging and interdisciplinary, allowing students to use tools that will ready them for future advancements.
As evidence of my competency with regard to choreographing instruction, you will find a unit plan developed for a high school Drawing and Painting course that covers watercolor media, techniques, and color theory. This unit culminates with a project that allows students to explore their unique interests and artistic preferences. This unit was successfully executed during my student teaching, and was used as the basis for my edTPA portfolio (teaching performance assessment to determine qualification for licensure).
You will also find sample elementary and high school lesson plans that follow the Understanding by Design (UbD) model for curriculum planning developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. In this method of planning, instruction is implemented by first considering desired instructional outcomes (essential understandings for students) and then determining the best way to achieve these outcomes. The content area standards used in planning throughout my portfolio are the National Core Arts Standards for Visual Arts. Additionally, all of my instructional planning considers Lois Hetland’s Studio Thinking framework, which focuses on instructing students in the following eight studio habits of mind: develop craft; engage and persist; envision; express; observe; reflect; stretch and explore; and understand art worlds. These dispositions that the arts teach equip students to be successful learners not only in visual arts, but in all disciplines.
In all of my planning and preparation, I strive to demonstrate evidence of my understanding of not only the content, but also the context in which my students are learning – that is, what factors relevant to their school, communities, homes, and abilities influence their learning? I consider these questions as I plan instruction that includes specific overarching goals while accommodating all students’ learning styles and diverse characteristics. I strive to integrate the use of technology as well as the use of language skills in an effort to grow well-rounded, high-achieving students who can make interdisciplinary connections and synthesize their learning across various subjects through studio practice. I use scaffolding strategies so that students in my class may progress through Webb’s four Depth of Knowledge levels until they perform rigorous inquiry and ultimately gain more independence and autonomy in their learning. Assessments are designed with the learning objectives in mind, and both formal and informal assessments are used so that as the teacher, I am continuously aware of what students are able to do or what may present too great a challenge. Each component of my planning and preparation supports meaningful learning for all students.