edTPA Training, July 9-11, 2019 _ Day 2

Day 2 Discussion 

djdinowitz's picture djdinowitz | July 10, 2019 10:36 am MST

Today's assignment was meaningful and something that I can use in working with my students. I will admit that while we talked about striving for a '5' , that was not what we analyzed, instead focusing in on the 4. I think that using these questions in seminar will support them from the beginning and I am hopeful that faculty who do not teach seminar , but perhaps a course with a lesson plan or reengagmeent lesson might use their experiences in this training in their course. Helping focus the students' understnading of what the rubric are asking of them will help them better meet the expectation. 

If you teach a course other than seminar, how might you use these in your course?




sawortman's picture sawortman | July 10, 2019 4:10 pm MST

I went into today's assignment thinking "this should be easy" but found that putting the rubric comments into questions, without simply copying the words word for word and putting "Does your lesson" in front of it was a little challenging. However, I think that it was a very valuable lesson. Each class (for the most part) has students working on one of the components of the TPAs during the course. I think that knowing which they are working on and encouraging the students themselves to 1) look at the rubric and 2) put the level 5 comments into a question will get them thinking about the steps necessary to meet those criteria. I think this would be a valuable lesson for students.

Within the course, I know we can't add additional "homework" but perhaps as an added discussion question we could say "Which rubric category do you struggle with most?" and "how can you ensure your TPA is a level 5?"

Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 7:46 pm MST



I am glad to hear that you feel you can use this activity with your students.  Is what I have been thinking is if I am teaching a course where the students have to write a lesson plan, I would use the guiding questions for lesson planning and maybe use the instruction guiding questions to reflect on their lesson.  To make certain that the lesson plans include edTPA elements such as language function.


What are you thinking?



jjanuse's picture jjanuse | July 11, 2019 9:29 pm MST

Hi Donna and Dee,


Yes, the guiding questions can be a great resource.  I love how they help students reflect and consider a different perspective.


I struggle with actually getting my students to do this though.  So many times, they make the same mistake again and again because they don’t read and/or reflect on the questions :(


Do you have any ideas on how we can inspire our students reflect on the guiding questions?


cindybauman's picture cindybauman | July 10, 2019 1:23 pm MST

From Cindy Perez

Hi everyone,

It was good to see the “Overarching Big Idea” chart in the presentation.  I usually only see the end product of the TPA when I assess them so it’s good to know that candidates also could have this information when they are developing their essays.

For the SMART goal, I’ve helped my new teachers that I was coaching a few years ago because they were required to write one and implement it. 

The “Gradual Release” is something I’ve also included in some of my University of Phoenix courses.  The course textbook calls it “Learning Continuum” rather than a “Gradual Release” but they’re just the same.  We also discuss in class how some subject areas require more time in some of these 4 parts of instruction.  For example, in a math class, there might be more time in the “I do it” than the others.  However, in an art class there might be a lot more time in the “You do it alone” area.

As the presentation continued, the content tied in very closely to what new teachers analyze and apply when they are in Teacher Induction here in California.  Therefore, I think the TPA will be a good introduction while the candidates are in their practicums and then they will get to visit these at least one more time before they earn their clear credentials.





Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 7:53 pm MST



That you for your comments.  edTPA is aligned with National Board Certification Standards; best practices.  Wouldn't it be great if we were able to get all of our teachers at that level of teaching throughout the United States?  


I am pleased to hear that these elements are tied closely to Induction.  There is actually a professional growth plan on our resource page that aligns directly with edTPA and how to continue and grow.


Thanks for sharing.



Lisa Brizendine's picture Lisa Brizendine | July 10, 2019 2:54 pm MST

I would love to get a copy of the presentation materials, are they posted somewhere? 

Mansureh Kebritchi's picture Mansureh Kebritchi | July 10, 2019 3:38 pm MST

Hi Lisa, 

The recordings of the presentations are available at the training homepage. I will also post copy of slides to the site. 

Thank you for your interest, 

Lisa Brizendine's picture Lisa Brizendine | July 10, 2019 4:12 pm MST

Hi Mansureh, 

I am not sure if I am viewing the correct training.  The syllabus looks like it has a team component.  Yesterday, I was able to view the July 9th materials and now I can't.  Is it the same as the previous training links (from June)? 

jjanuse's picture jjanuse | July 10, 2019 6:41 pm MST

Hey Lisa,

Yes, it is a bit confusing.  I asked this question yesterday, and from what I gather, this training was also held last month.  Last month, though, everyone worked in teams by elementary, secondary, and SPED.  This time, they are having everyone work individually.  

As for the July 9th materials, you can access them here: (Yes, they are the same from June.)


I hope this helps :)

Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 7:54 pm MST

Thanks for asking Lisa.  


It looks like Mansureh will get those posted, but feel free to let me know if there is anything else you need.



Lisa Brizendine's picture Lisa Brizendine | July 10, 2019 5:38 pm MST

Found the assignment!  I felt it was pretty challenging and tedious!  However, understanding the rubric level progressions are so important for students and facutly because you must understand what is required of you in order to meet that expectation.  I always tell students to shoot for the highest score on the rubric- and be happy with a pass!  


It would be interesting to read an actual response and attempt to provide feedback to students that addresses the weaknesses they have in one of the areas.  I think if we actually look at student work and use the rubric to evaluate it, this activity will increase in meaning for me (I think it is how I learn, hands on!).  



Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 8:15 pm MST



I couldn't agree with you more.  There is actually a training through Stanford where they come in and teach a group of facultly how to do the scoring so you can do local scoring.  I would love for us to do that, but it a 3 day training that would have to be paid for and that is always a tough one.


You can become a scorer for Pearson and get the training, but that does take quite a bit of time at first.


I will tell you this, you can Google edTPA and there are many teachers out there that have posted their portfolios and they say they have passed.  I do not know how accurate it all is, but it is a way to see some examples.

Thanks for your input.



benjaminadam's picture benjaminadam | July 10, 2019 8:56 pm MST

When my son did his TPA's that was part of his frustration. You submit answers and you receive limited feedback about your progress if you do not pass. It would be totally blowing up the boxes, but I think TPA's should be more like Freshman Comp. You take a stab at it. get feedback, try again, make more improvements.  I think students would be better served if it were more of a collection of formative assessments rather than the big scary formative assessment. I really think it should be more process oriented.



jjanuse's picture jjanuse | July 10, 2019 6:37 pm MST

I use a lot of guiding questions with my students in their edTPAs.  I actually use this on most of their assignments.  I find that it’s more helpful to students, though, to break down the questions by task—instead of by rubric.  I’ve found that students have a hard time connecting each rubric to each task, but when we break down the guiding questions by task, students are able to use it as a checklist to complete that specific task.  I actually have questions like this as a checklist to help students with the tasks.


I also think that guiding questions are important in all education courses.  It helps students reflect on what they wrote and consider a different perspective.  Many times, the guiding questions I pose opens a door for dialogue with my students, which is helpful to them in the learning process. 


On another note, I think the questions for reflection that are on the edTPA Resources link are very helpful too.  I incorporate those into my feedback to students a lot as well.


Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 8:20 pm MST



I completely agree with you that organizing the guiding questions by tasks is good.  One thing I have done is along with guiding questions I also list what evidence will be used with each rubric.  Not only which task, but which evidence such as the lesson plan or student work or assessment scores, etc.


I do remember a great presentation you put together about edTPA that I thought was well done.  I do remember you says you created a checklist.  I was going to do that, I just haven't gotten it done.  I was thinking to somehow add to the artifacts and specification tables to create a checklist.  What did you use?



jjanuse's picture jjanuse | July 11, 2019 9:38 pm MST

Thank you Donna :)  I truly appreciate your feedback.  I'm so glad you liked the presentation I created. I use the resources I create as "tips" I send to my students each week.  I try to find ways to help my students process and connect with the information.  I was actually thinking of creating mini-recordings around certain topics such as an overview of each task, academic language, key terms, requirements, tips for each task, what/how to submit, etc...  Then for my Live Chats, I would do a Q and A session.  This way I can label each topic, so students can watch them at their leisure.  Then I can still have Live Chats to help students process through their questions.  

What are your thoughts?


smohazab's picture smohazab | July 10, 2019 7:38 pm MST

Yes, I agree. I too found this useful although long and tedious! I always tend to look at the highest level when I am completing assignment such as this one but seeing what differentiates the different levels is very helpful too.

It is great to know about these rubrics because I can refer to them when they are creating their lesson plans and assignments.  I want them to know that I am not grading hard because I am a strict teacher but to prepare them for the edTPAs that are indeed very specific.

I have been on the grader side of the edTPAs and knew exactly what the lady in the presentation (can't remember her name) was talking about at times. One example is that students think if they ask the students to go their seats and read a chapter, it constitutes instruction and teaching.  They also often refer to research but fail to say how that relates to their specific situation. It was a very tedious task to grade these edTPAs and I don't miss it!

Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 8:25 pm MST

So you were a scorer?  I went through the training, but I agree with you, that job is very tedious and not the funnest thing to do!


I am glad to hear that you are requiring your students to meet high standards.  We have had student teachers ask, how could I have gotten the great grades I did in my course work, but failed edTPA assessment?  I hope we can help our faculty to have higher expectations for our students so we can better prepare them for the expectations that are coming.



Cheryl Burleigh's picture Cheryl Burleigh | July 10, 2019 7:17 pm MST

Based on the subject content area of the edTPA , the rubrics for the specific areas are found to be repetitive. One of the reasons, as noted during the Pearson edTPA assessor training, teachers need to think about how they plan and implement curriculum from different perspectives and approaches. We were warned as veteran educators, classroom teachers ,administrators, and curriculum developers, that the population we are evaluating are novices. Also, do not read into the answers provided by the teacher candidate. If the information is not found in the submission for the specific rubric, do not assume or interpret what has been provided. Additionally, each response for the specific rubric must stand alone. Assessors are not allowed to ‘go back’ to find the information. When working with my student teachers and interns, this is the information that I share; along with the need to provide steadfast evidence to support all claims ad rationale noted in each response. If the answer or the information needs to be repeated for each rubric, so be it. This is what is being asked of the CCTC and Pearson.



Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 8:31 pm MST



You bring up a GREAT point.  Students tell me all the time that they feel they are repeating themselves and they are!  That is because all of the elements are tied closely together, if it is well written!


Another great poin t you bring up is that the scorers cannot read into the answers, the students have to spell it out and support it with evidence and explain why!  Scorers should not have to hunt for the answer is has to be spelled out even if the student feels they have already said it once or twice!!!


Thanks for making those points.  They are important!



karinanderson's picture karinanderson | July 10, 2019 7:26 pm MST

Hi all,


I think putting the parts of the rubric into question or at least a format that requires a response will help students to form a response that they can use to be part of their TPA in an easier way.  I can see how some of these rubric items can be difficult and confusing for students, as I had a hard time understanding some of them myself! :)  Giving students these types of guiding questions will allow them to refect on what they have done so far, and determine whether they have additional data to gather from students to demonstrate that they have completed the tasks. I hope that by deconstructing these statements, we can help the students understand what they are reading and what they are to be looking for and striving towards for their data. 

Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 8:34 pm MST



I completely agree with you that when I read some of the rubrics I have to think about what the heck it is asking!  Deconstructing the rubrics and writing guiding questions helped me as well as the students!


I still have to go back sometimes and reread somethings to help me remember exactly what is being asked!



susanmartinez2's picture susanmartinez2 | July 10, 2019 8:24 pm MST

Hi Everyone,

Most of the courses I facilitate are offering opportunities for students to practice and learn the skills they need for their edTPA tasks. This has given me a lot of great thoughts on how to focus on the right knowledge for them. For example, in the Child and Adolescent Development course students do need to focus on all stages of language development. In some of the rubrics students will need to demonstrate their use of language function, vocabulary, and additional language demands.  This will also include helping them to find research and theories that supports specific strategies for English learners and students with disabilities. The great thing about really getting to understand the expectations of the edTPA tasks is knowing how to emphasize objectives in the course without being specific for the edTPA tasks. I look at this as a student did well on a task because they knew the knowledge not because they knew the task.


Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 8:37 pm MST



I love your statement that the, "student did well on a task because they knew the knowledge not becuse they knfew the task."  That is exactly right!  I tell my students all the time, edTPA is NOT another hoop to jump through, it is what you should be doing all the time!  Maybe not writing down everything, but reflection should be ongoing when teaching!


Thanks for sharing.



Erin Dudley-Krizek's picture Erin Dudley-Krizek | July 10, 2019 9:35 pm MST

Hi Donna,


I like this way of looking at edTPA. It reminds me of when admin used to come in to check on teachers. It never bothered me as I knew I was already doing what I needed to do: teach! edTPA is more of a culture than task, Maybe one day they could ammend the word 'task' to something like ''cornerstone' or Pillar? Something that doesn't sound like a chore.

Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 10, 2019 8:37 pm MST

Thanks everyone for the great discussion!


Let me know if there is anything more I can do to support you.



Erin Dudley-Krizek's picture Erin Dudley-Krizek | July 10, 2019 9:19 pm MST

Hi All,

I too started off thinking this would be simple, but alas it was technical and time consuming. It demonstrates the complexity of the rubrics and the edTPAs in general and how we must strive to connect and show examples from our courses.

There are so many rubrics, but many concepts that overlap. I love math and an algorithm of repeated words/phrases would be nice!

It was nice to see that much of the support I give already in my class that asks for a lesson plan addresses a lot of the language used in the rubrics. Many of the students in my courses already work in some capacity in a school whether it is a substitute, parent volunteer, tutor, after school program coordinator, or long-term sub. These students will 'get' the language of addressing diverse needs a bit better than those who come in with little to no experience in a classroom.

In my discussions regarding strategy it is fun to highlight best practices that support diverse learners. I like to model how to use a taxonomy to write objectives with precise and measurable verbs that allow for all students to access content.


From this point forward I will look for opportunities to utilize key words from the rubrics and point out when assignments help with the resoruces and thinking needed for tasks. I will try to find ways to use the edTPA handbook as a reference and encourage students to find their own connections early on.

benjaminadam's picture benjaminadam | July 10, 2019 9:04 pm MST

It was great to get deep into the edTPA’s today and get my hands dirty.  As I worked through the rubrics and was creating my questions, I tried hard to make connections with the content and also with the course objectives. Though I plan to be very explicit, I was looking for a way to “sneak” the edTPA into the context of the discussion that is already present.  Although, the discussion has changed somewhat, with my list of questions at the ready, I can pepper my students with them as I respond. It was a meaningful experience, but I still want to keep reviewing the edTPA to ensure I keep them in mind.  



cfranklin's picture cfranklin | July 10, 2019 9:36 pm MST

This was very informative for me.  Creating the questions allowed me to understand the rubric levels.  By changing them into questions, it will spur some thoughts into what is needed for the task. Having the essential question will enable me to see the student understanding through their critical thinking.  I have not had an edTPA class, but I can now answer my student questions when they have questions about the rubrics. I also can reference many to these essential questions in my classes.

heikosweeney's picture heikosweeney | July 11, 2019 10:59 am MST

Hello, all. I was able to go and watch the recorded presentation and really enjoyed it. Exploring the rubrics and changing the level five indicators into leading questions helped me to understand what is really expected of the candidate. I was able to look at different handbooks and expectations and this really helpled me not only for facilitating classes and understanding what is required of candidates, but also at my school site.

We have been developing smart goals for the last three to four years with our teachers so I feel really comfortable about doing so and evaluating them.

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