edTPA Training, July 9-11, 2019 _ Day 3

Day 3 Discussion 

Cheryl Burleigh's picture Cheryl Burleigh | July 11, 2019 7:25 am MST

Hi everyone,

Below are the examples provided for the day three assignment. The basis of this particular central focus is a biology unit focusing on the use of Punnett Squares and genetics. Most student enjoy learning about the process of genetics while at the same time discussing probability. When I had taught this unit and central focus years ago, I had frequently referred students to the concepts of probability from their mathematics class. Students were able to see the relevance and the beauty of mathematics integration in the sciences.

Some of the extension activities that followed were more game based in which they had to draw their ‘being’ based on the dominant F1 and F2 crosses, which is a unit that would follow the one noted below. The students had a great time in developing their drawings then sharing with the class. I would then post their artwork around the room. Everyday students would come into the class during the genetics unit and smile at all of the interesting beings created.

I often share this unit, along with others, and set of lesson plans with science educators, those in which I was their mentor, coach, administrator and now university faculty/supervisor.



Provide a specific example for the element of Central Focus. 

Genetics–Punnett Square Activity: Creating Offspring. Students are to gain an understanding of the role of probability in the distribution of traits that may occur between P1 and P2 in FI and the subsequent generations. Specific characteristics are examined first via paper-based activities and then in mustard plants (Fast Plants) such as leaf color and stem color as the summative assessment.

Provide a specific example for the element of Essential Literacy Strategy. 

Students would read the instructions for the assignment to predict the outcomes of the P1,P2 cross for the F1 generation. The evidence used would be the previous class discussion on Mendel’s pea plants and how genetic traits are transferred from one generation to the next based on probability. From previous discussions and a paper-based Punnett Square activity, students are able to draw conclusions as to what will actually occur when planting seeds.

Provide a specific example for the element of Language Function. 

Students will be able to explain the difference between the P1 and F1 generations, both for the phenotype and genotype. Students will be able to describe processes and procedures used in the experiment.

Provide a specific example for the element of Academic Language. 

The different elements of academic language include genotype, phenotype, cross, compare, contrast, analyze, evaluate, summarize, justify, explain, interpret, and classify. Within a lab experiment the academic language includes, but not limited to, process, procedure, graph, table, conclusions, hypothesis, and null hypothesis.

Provide a specific example for the element of Instructional Strategies. 

Through direct instruction and modeling via the smartboard/computerized whiteboard, the teacher would walk students through the process of the P1, P2 cross with the resulting offspring. A discussion would take place as to the probability of the phenotype and genotype that would arise from the cross. Then the F1 would be crossed for specific traits to determine the probability of both the genotypical ratios and the phenotypes that are expressed.

Provide a specific example for the element of Differentiation. 

Within this specific unit, differentiated instruction would occur in multiple ways. This would include the pairing of students, those who understand the topic with another student who may have difficulty grasping the concept. Students then can discuss the information in ‘student’ language to assist in learning the topic, vocabulary and application of the concepts. For students who are EL or have IEP/504, language supports such as a word bank and defined vocabulary word sheet would be made available in terms they can understand so the student is able to follow along with the discussion.

Provide a specific example for the element of Closure. 

For Punnett squares closure activity, students would predict through a discussion with their elbow partner the phenotype and genotype for a specific example given. Then members of the class would come to the board and share their findings. Another example would be an exit ticket activity in which students define the key vocabulary and complete a P1, P2 cross based on the example discussed in class.

Provide a specific example for the element of Assessment. 

As a formative assessment, students would complete a Punnett Square for both the P1,P2 and the F1 cross. Students would state the genotype and phenotype ratios for each trait noted based on the Punnett square.

As a summative assessment for the topic, students would complete a lab experiment with a formal lab write up on the P1, P2 cross and F1 cross of their Fast plants.



sawortman's picture sawortman | July 11, 2019 11:42 am MST

Cheryl, You did a great job on this assignment. I did not go into as much detail on each but I feel I still get the concepts covered. Great job! Did you feel that one of these was harder to put into words than another? The reason I ask is that I had a little difficulty on the "Language Function" and what it was really asking for. This made me appreciate what our students probably go through and their frustration in us not being able to really give specific feedback on their TPAs as they are creating them. I think having an example like this available to students - so we are helping them in general terms but not giving specific feedback, is a great tool and one I hope to implement in future classes.

Cheryl Burleigh's picture Cheryl Burleigh | July 12, 2019 4:28 am MST

Thank you for your response and kind words. I find the new terminology a bit confusing to the student teachers/interns. The glossary in the back of the handbooks can be helpful for students although supplemental resources are needed for some student teachers/interns to fully understand what is being asked. Besides my examples which I provide students and brainstorming on topics, I also direct them to the edTPA handbook and if all else fails a Google search. I do agree the student teachers/interns can be frustrated by the process and demands placed on them during the program. This is where we can help guide them through the program and instill confidence in their teaching skills and professional development.


Cheryl Burleigh's picture Cheryl Burleigh | September 27, 2019 9:22 am MST

Thank you for your message and kind words. The topic itself is not difficult to convey, just remembering each of the steps that student teachers/interns must think of in order to have their students fully engaged is the challenge. Educators, regardless of subject, are the subject matter experts. Because of this, in many instances, they  assume their students will intuitively know each step of a process.

To illustrate this concept, I would have my students in the classroom make a jelly sandwich (P&J is no longer allowed) but would need to do so from the initial steps. In front of the students would be a jar of jelly closed. a bag of bread closed with a twist tie, a paper plate, and a plastic knife. The students would first write out the instructions to build a jelly sandwich. The next step, I would walk to each lab table for the students to explain the process. Ultimately the first thing they would say is "take two pieces of bread". Yet, I could not get to the bread since I was not provided the direct instruction of how to untwist the twist tie on the bag of bread, then remove two slices of bread and place those two slices on a paper plate so the slices are next to each other flat. Something that individuals take for granted is not as easy to explain. Critical thinking is needed to successfully execute such a task.

Try this activity with your student teachers and interns and see how they do. Then you can directly relate the importance of thorough and meaningful instruction.


cindybauman's picture cindybauman | July 11, 2019 1:26 pm MST

From Cindy Perez

Hi Cheryl and everyone,

I also focus on the sciences and especially biology since I have a biology credential.  I included some science examples in my descriptions below.

As another approach to a biology class at the high school level, I have found much success with student engagement when I allow more inquiry learning.  When we do the unit on genetics, students do a research paper on a genetic mutation of their choice.  This is when I usually get the most student participation of anytime in my semester with them.  I think this is also applicable to adult learners, meaning, when we give some choices in our courses we often get better responses, which of course means that students better met the course objectives and standards.

Cheryl, I like your example “Some of the extension activities that followed were more game based in which they had to draw their ‘being’ based on the dominant F1 and F2 crosses, which is a unit that would follow the one noted below.” because in my courses here students often have to submit a lesson plan that includes an “extension” and many students either leave this blank or take an attempt at how to extend their lesson but they miss the accuracy of this.  I often make a comment for them to consider how to include learning at home as a way to extend the learning and how to have more parental involvement such as providing something the students could do at home with their families and report back to the class about what they asked their parents, etc.


My responses:

Central Focus – this can be the main idea of the lesson/unit.  For example, a science lesson could be DNA replication and so all of the lessons will build around this so that at the end of instruction students could restate how DNA replicates.


Essential Literacy Strategy – what the 3-5 lesson plans steps that students will use in order to master the central focus.  For example, if a student comes to a word he doesn’t know, he can look it up, write down the definition, write a sentence, then copy this into his Interactive Notebook for creating his own dictionary.


Language Function – this can be in the Language Objective of a lesson.  These often start with “Students will be able to (SWBAT) describe RNA…”,  “SWBAT analyze base pairs with a partner”, and “SWBAT restate how DNA replicates itself”




Academic Language – this is the target language (English) for the content area.  For example, in a science class these could be a list of new terms students are learning.


Instructional Strategies – these are those steps/strategies teachers use in order to help students learn the new material.  Examples are how teachers use cooperative grouping, technology, comprehensible input, etc.


Differentiation – this is how a teacher ensures the active and equitable participation of all students.  Examples include differentiation in instruction as well as assessments.  During instruction, teachers can provide visuals, partner work, audio material, hands-on, etc.  During assessments, teachers could provide creative choice so that students can choose how to show what they know and can do.


Closure – this is where the teacher restates the main points of the new material after a lesson and also could provide an extension of the lesson such as an at-home activity.  For example, the teacher could restate the new vocabulary introduced and help students better understand the definitions.


Assessment – this is how the teacher determines how well students met the learning goal(s) of the lesson.  This can be a formative, summative, performance-based, or other type of assessment.  For example, a teacher could have students complete an Exit Ticket where students write the answers to 2 questions about the lesson before he leaves the classroom.







heikosweeney's picture heikosweeney | July 11, 2019 4:52 pm MST

Cindy, I really liked how your lesson promoted student inquiry. I have found over the years that direct instruction can only go so far and student engagement suffers when we are not letting students actively participate in their learning. 


susanmartinez2's picture susanmartinez2 | July 11, 2019 9:00 pm MST

Review all of the rubrics in the edTPA Elementary in rubric 3 it focuses on using knowledge of students to justify instructional plans. One of the main classes I faciliate is child development. The objectives is relating the stages of the students to the expecations in the classroom. As I was reading about Cindy's startegy to have the high schoolers complete a paper on genetic mutation of their choice I thought about how developmentally appropriate this assignment is for high schoolers. When assignments require our students to create lesson plans or even create assessments, they need to understand the student first. For middle school students we do not want lesson plans that may put them in a position where they feel judged by their peers. In the primary grades we need to be aware of their attention span and even their fine motor skills. Looking over the tasks and the rubrics was helpful to expand my thinking about each area and how I can also work to help my students appraoch the task. 

Cheryl Burleigh's picture Cheryl Burleigh | July 12, 2019 4:20 am MST

Hi Cindy,

Thank you for your response. What I have observed in the sciences, with the additional requirements of NGSS student teachers and interns are faced with meeting two sets of standards within their districts. One district that I observe students teachers/interns have four high schools. Each of the high schools are implementing different curriculum to meet the NGSS standards while still preparing for the state mandated tests. One set of curricula, Next Generation Science Storylines, I have found not to be challenging. While the concepts of developing a central theme/story to learn about a topic shows relevance and relationships of content, the academic content is watered down. I kept asking the master teacher when they were going to increase the rigor of the content. Based on the content and the lack of depth, students would not have the prerequisite skills from general biology to AP Bio.

What have been your experiences with the implementation of NGSS?

Take care,



smohazab's picture smohazab | July 11, 2019 1:41 pm MST

Today we watched the last 2 edTPA modules described very nicely by Donna. THe third one is about assessment and picking 3 students who candidates will pick and analyze the work of. 
I think this is a really good part of the EdTPAs because it serves as such a valuable reflection. In my opinion my small group work time was always the most effective time of day. The reason is that I am able to take student data (in any form), analyze it and turn it over into positive results. When I was teaching first grade I would notice, for example, that students might be dropping the "s" at the end of words (plurals). I would get together a group that I had noticed were all doing this and I would provide instruction. Then after a few weeks I would reassess. We don't just teach to the students, we have to strategically teach and analysis and reflection are a part of that valuable process.

The last rubric is for elementary and regarding math. It too is very important to understand. We are definitely not one of the top nations in math scores (per PISA test results) and helping candidates become more confident in their math skills themselves is definitely one important way to guide candidates. Then teachers can reflect and analyze and be positive about their math skills and how to help students.

karinanderson's picture karinanderson | July 11, 2019 7:31 pm MST

Hi all,

I agree that the explanation about assessment was very helpful. I like how it was mentioned that students might choose students at different levels to evaluate.  This is a great way to reflect on how they were taught and how to help them if they need reteaching. 

For me, the deconstructed standards and other resources we have are going to be helpful for explaining to students what they are looking for with the edTPAs.  When we had to write questions based on the standards this was a great way to make them more understandable for myself so that I can better explain them to students. 

The assignment for today was challenging so I appreciate seeing some examples!  I struggled a bit with an example of language function, perhaps because I didn't know how to word it or felt that I was thinking too hard about it, since I was basing my responses off of a unit/lesson for Spanish.  I do facilitate many courses for elementary credential candidates, however as a Spanish teacher currently, it was easier for me to come up with those examples rather than something for an elementary lesson. 

Here are my responses:

Provide a specific example for the element of Central Focus

Students will use accurate vocabulary in Spanish to describe a camping situation, and use present progressive tense to say what is happening right now.  The focus of the lesson is conjugating the verbs into present progressive tense and understanding that we use a form of estar (to be) to match the subject, plus a verb ending in –ando/-iendo, the equivalent of an –ing verb in English.

Essential Literacy Strategy

Students will read the new vocabulary for the unit and read and write sentences using the target grammar.  They will work together in small groups to create their own sentences and then volunteers can read the sentences to the class.

Language Function

Students will understand the functions of the new words and verb tenses they are learning and will be able to use them in sentences to communicate novel ideas about the given situation.

Academic Language

The academic language required for the unit is that students know the new vocabulary words, which include verbs and nouns such as “acampar” or “la caminata” as well as understanding the meaning of the verb estar when placed with a verb to create the progressive tense, and words in English like “progressive” and “present participle.”

Instructional Strategies

The unit starts with whole group instruction of new vocabulary using pictures of the words and then a group bingo game using the new words for a visual, auditory, and kinesthetic approach.  For grammar, the teacher will do a demonstration on the whiteboard to show the pattern for creating present progressive sentences and then students will work in small groups to create sentences.


Differentiation can occur by pairing or grouping students in specific ways, such as putting students who have trouble with verb conjugation in one group that I can give more attention to, and then grouping students who are confident with most verb conjugation together in other groups that require little attention to complete the activity of creating sentences. English learners or students with IEPs or 504 plans can be given extra help after the lesson or be given vocabulary ahead of time.


Students come back as a whole group to share sentences they have created using the new grammar and have a chance to demonstrate their understanding of the grammar concept by giving more examples of sentences.  Students can write group sentences on the board, and then help to correct any errors in demonstrated sentences and can write down examples from the board.


Students can submit an exit ticket before leaving with a sentence using a pronoun with the correct form of estar plus a verb in present participle form from the unit (ex: Yo estoy acampando.)


jjanuse's picture jjanuse | July 11, 2019 9:25 pm MST

Yes, I too think that small group work is very important.  It can be used as differentiation or just an instructional strategy; either way, it's a great tool to help students with language and to think deeper.

djdinowitz's picture djdinowitz | July 11, 2019 3:37 pm MST

I agree Sherry, The process of analyzing the student outcomes, strengths and weaknesses and then aligning it to the content which was taught is so meaningful and enlightening. I have found that it definitely separates the students who deeply know the standards and the grade level concepts vs those that don't.  This is especially true in math unfortaunately, so I read  your post with interest and was nodding my head as I came upon your math comments.

As we wrap up the training, I continue to struggle with helping studnets differentiate between the central focus and the essential literacy strategy. I use the graphic organizer in the handbook to go over it with them , but I find that when writing commentary , they use the two terms synonymously , when they are not  the same.  I have found that those teaching a writing lesson segment find it clearer than a reading/comprehesion literacy strategy. So that is one area that I continue to look for some clarity.

What thoughts might anyone have on really helping to articulate the difference?  

I will admit that the cenral focus in writing is far more concrete for me as well.

heikosweeney's picture heikosweeney | July 11, 2019 5:01 pm MST

I also agree that analyzing the student outcomes serves as a great tool for the teacher and the students. This is a process that teachers will do for the rest of their teaching career and will help drive instruction.

jjanuse's picture jjanuse | July 11, 2019 8:11 pm MST

Hey Dee,

Yes, I too agree that the central focus and essential literacy strategy are quite simmilar.  We don't have those for secondary students, so this was pretty new to me.  From what I understand, the essential literacy strategy must start with a verb, and I think it has to focus on comprehending or composing text too.

heikosweeney's picture heikosweeney | July 11, 2019 4:50 pm MST

Thanks to those above for sharing your science lessons. I recently did a science lesson for one of our kindergarten classes that I will share.  Of course it is at Kinder level and was kept pretty simple using fossil handouts and excavation kits so it is not as in depth. It was mostly hands-on and stimulated tons of student engagement. 

Central Focus – The lesson dealt with fossils and how they help us determine evidence of animals from the past. 

Essential Literacy Strategy – Students were to predict the type of fossil they found and record on a flashcard. 

Language Function – In addition to the initial prediction students discussed with a partner their reasoning for their prediction and recorded their justification.

Academic Language – students were frontloaded with terminology with terms such as – prediction, justification, fossils, identification, evidence, etc. 

Instructional strategies- Using direct instruction, the teacher had students share predictions and then modeled for students that procedures to sift through the bucket of fossils and how to use the tools involved.  Each group of five students is provided an adult volunteer or instructional aide to guide the students through the discovery process. After students discovered their fossils, they compared them to the chart provided for identification and then recorded in their journal what they found.  They then compared their results to their prediction.

Closure – students shared their results out loud with the class and the teacher did an overview of the results of the excavation and went over the academic terms again. Students were able to keep one fossil.

Assessment- As a formative assessment students were asked question orally and responded to the teacher as part of their exit from class.  

jjanuse's picture jjanuse | July 11, 2019 8:03 pm MST

Hi Everyone, 


Below are my responses:


Discuss the assignment with your team.  Share each of the elements that you came up with.  

Central Focus Examples:

  • Analyze author’s use of imagery to develop a deeper understanding of the text
  • Compare and contrast themes of different literary works to analyze author’s purpose
  • Identify how the use of transition words and phrases enhances writing
  • Analyze gender roles in a variety of literary works and identify how this has changed with time


Essential Literacy Strategy:  (We don’t have this with secondary students, but here are some examples for elementary from the handbook.)

  • Summarizing a story
  • Using evidence to support an argument


Language Function:

  • Reading/listening for main ideas and details
  • Analyzing and interpreting characters and plots
  • Writing narrative, informational, or poetic text
  • Using presentation skills to present a play or a speech



Academic Language:

Tier 1:

  • Paper, pencil, desk, book


Tier 2:

  • Description, compare, summarize, contrast,


Tier 3:

  • Idiom, hyperbole, informal writing, genre


Instructional Strategies:

  • Cooperative learning
  • Front loading
  • Chunking
  • Scaffolding



  • Listening to both audio books and following along in the text as it’s read aloud
  • Using vocabulary words at students’ levels
  • Grouping students according to reading level and then assigning books and tasks according to that level


  • Having students self-reflect using a checklist to determine if objectives were met
  • Reviewing the objectives and having students do a quick-write to demonstrate learning
  • Reviewing the objectives and having students create 5 questions as a team to give to their peers that’s directly related to the objectives




  • Multiple-choice test
  • Essay
  • Presentation
  • Debate
  • Portfolio
  • Group project
  • Collage/poster


Discuss the deconstructing questions and guiding questions you created for your assignment.  What other guiding questions and/or feedback could you give to your students based on appropriate guidelines for feedback.

Deconstructing questions and guiding questions are very helpful.  They really help students focus and consider things from a new perspective.  I think we could give guided reading questions for all assignments in the edTPA, even in small parts.  Say for example a candidate needed to provide an informal and formal assessment, but he provided two information.  I might ask, "Did you provide both an informal assessment AND a formal assessment?  Consider the differences between the two.  Use this resource to help you better understand the two types of assessments: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/formal-vs-informal-assessments/

Discuss what you learned about edTPA and ask any last questions you might have. 

I learned a lot about the elementary edTPA.  I only work with secondary students, so I didn't know a lot about the elementary tasks.  I don't think I have any questions right now.


cfranklin's picture cfranklin | July 11, 2019 10:57 pm MST

I learned a lot about edTPA also.  This was new to me and I feel that I will be able help my students more this this knowledge. I have been working more with our high school so it was nice to work with elementary.

susanmartinez2's picture susanmartinez2 | July 11, 2019 8:51 pm MST

I stayed with my focus on elementary education.

The central focus is the identifiable theme to create learning segments. An example of a central focus is in third grade students read fables and folktales.  

Essential literacy strategy will be the specific strategy a teacher will want the students to learn and use to be able to comprehend the stories. An example of essential literacy strategies is for students to be able to refer back to the story when answering questions and to be able to determine the central message in each story.

Language function is the active verbs for the learning outcome. With the central focus on fables and folktales examples of lesson segment language function can be explain a characters actions, compare two folktales, and summarize a fable.

Academic language is the means in which students are asked to understand the learning in the lessons. If students are asked to list the sequence of events in the story, the academic language is sequence. Explain how the illustrations contribute to the story. This learning requires students to know the academic language of illustration and contribute.

 Instructional strategies are the approaches for students to be engaged and learning. With the central focus on fables and folktales the teacher can start with direct instruction as a few stories are read to the students and the teacher models how to think about the illustrations in the book. Cooperative learning is a strategy as students read a fable as a reader’s theater.

Differentiation is supporting all students so they can access the information and learn. For reading, an effective differentiation example is to ensure that all students have books that are at their current reading level. Technology can be used to support this by using eBooks. Some software programs also have the option of having a story shared at different reading levels.

Closure is how the central focus can be completed. An example for these lessons would be to have the students in groups and each group writes a folktale.

As assessment would be to have the third graders read two fables and then complete a Venn diagram as evidence of understanding how to compare and contrast two pieces of literature.


smohazab's picture smohazab | July 11, 2019 10:33 pm MST

I think this is a repetitive question from yesterday:

Discuss the deconstructing questions and guiding questions you created for your assignment.  What other guiding questions and/or feedback could you give to your students based on appropriate guidelines for feedback.

I think the appropriate feedback section was actually very helpful. It is very strategic to hone in on exactly what they did right and to suggest to them how to fix what they did wrong. And also important is not to overwhelm them with too much good or negative (fix-it) feedback.



smohazab's picture smohazab | July 11, 2019 10:34 pm MST

Discuss the assignment with your team.  Share each of the elements that you came up with.Give one another feedback and ideas.


The elements in a lesson plan are:


Central focus 

This is the overarching concept that you want student to learn in this lesson. Example would be: Students will learn how to compare and contrast the same story available in different cultures (e.g. Cinderella).

Essential literacy strategy

Strategies in literacy are clever & smart ways to help comprehension. Summarizing is an essential strategy that helps us recap what we have read. Summarize each of the Cinderella characters. Another strategy would be to have students compare and contrast the various Cinderella versions.

Language function

The actual verbiage the helps realize the central focus. If the lesson is about connecting repeated addition to multiplication then the language function would be that students are able to connect addition to multiplication by demonstrating with models.

Academic language

Academic language is not slang or commonly used language. It is the vocabulary that comes up academically (e.g. summarize) and it also means the variety of vocabulary that are used. "Students will summarize each of the Cinderella version so that we can compare and contrast the various Cinderella characters."

Instructional strategies

This relates to what methods teachers use for students to learn and master the concepts and ideas being taught. If I want my students to comprehend the differences in two characters by comparing and contrasting them I might decide to teach by creating a play for them to participate in so that they can see the different characters and their traits.


This relates to accommodating all students in the learning. One student might be an English Language Learner and I might have pictures on the wall with words under them. It might be for the whole group - closed captions in videos are an example of this. It might be seating arrangements or types of seating for the varying needs. It might be teaching in a more kinesthetic way for some students. The goal is to figure out how a student best learns and to make sure we have different ways of showing students the concepts.


How will we end the lesson and how will students demonstrate that they have understood what the central focus stated? It might be an activity or a paper or something else the teacher selects for students to complete to show mastery.

Have a play where the various Cinderellas show up and become friends and find out how much they are alike or different.


Assessments are the means for us teachers to see how well students have understood. We should be very strategic with them. In an assessment we should focus on exactly what we have asked for them to learn and master.

The play will serve as an assessment because they will be able to compare and contrast each other during the play. They will make posters of each of the Cinderella's.


heikosweeney's picture heikosweeney | July 11, 2019 9:51 pm MST

Thanks for the training class, the summative assessment at the end of the class really helped me to understand what students need to turn in for each task.

cfranklin's picture cfranklin | July 11, 2019 10:52 pm MST


Central Focus -Students will se knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening and expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style and also compare and contrast the varieties of English


Essential Literacy Strategy -Students will  organize ideas before writing, note taking from informational text to support drafting a topic, using graphic organizers to organize writing and using a rubric to revise a draft, or using quotes as evidence to support an argument. 


Language Function -Simple to complex sentences in essay writing.

Create sentence stems to show structure of description


Academic Language -Use academic vocabulary they will compare, analyze, evaluate


Instructional Strategy -Students will use group discussion, cognitive organizers, and literature response 



Differentiation -Design lessons based on students' learning styles and group students by shared interest, topic, or ability for assignments.



Closure -Reviewing the key points of the lesson and students will  describe when the students can use this new information. 


Assessment -Rubric using assignment criteria


The feedback section was very helpful.  I have many students have a hard time saying how they will give feedback and they type of feedback they will provide.  


Deconstruction was a lttle easier today.  Everyday I am understanding edTPA a little more.  

Erin Dudley-Krizek's picture Erin Dudley-Krizek | July 11, 2019 11:08 pm MST

This was a dauting task! I do not understand why the wording is so technical. To me the Central Focus can be found in the standards. The langauge fucntion is the verb that would support the lesson content (AKA objective). Academic language = vocabulary. I think that having the information located in many different documents can be confusing .Which ones are the best ones to start with? I found the handbook and the Making Good Choices particularly helpful, as well as the lesson plan segment feeback.


All in all I can see how students need to be given tools early on in order to pass their edTPA. It definitely took me out of my comfort level.


Central focus 

When reading informational texts, students in 3rd grade will determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea 3-5 lessons will be created around this Central Focus.

Essential literacy strategy

Students will need to know how to utilize strategies such as reading titles, headings, and captions. They will need to examine pictures and graphics. They will look for bolded or italicized words. Students can learn how to make concept maps or take Cornell Notes as system of organizing information. Students will be prompted to read the first sentence or two to find main idea concepts.

Language function

The key language function is to explain how the supporting details support the main idea.

Academic language

During the lesson students will use the terms main idea, key details, and support to demonstrate mastery of the Central Focus.

Instructional strategies

Some instructional strategies would be to model how to pay attention to key words, read titles, subtitles, captions and bolded/italicized words prior to reading to help create a frame of reference and make connections. Teacher could use a think aloud as well as utilize highlighters to highlight key details and main ideas


Differentiation would entail orally giving sentence starters as well as providing them as sentence frames for written work. Students who are behind in reading could use a text at a lower level. Those with language barriers could be pulled in a small group to see extra modeling and use of visual aids.


Closure would be going back to state the steps of how to identify the main idea, finding key details, and explaining how they support the main idea. Students will know the lesson has ended when the Central Focused is summarized and students are given tools to apply this new skill the next day.


Students will be given an informational text to locate main idea sentences and also provide at least 2-3 key details that support the main idea. Students will need to explain how those details support the main idea.



Lisa Brizendine's picture Lisa Brizendine | July 12, 2019 5:50 am MST

For me.. the deep dive into the rubrics was the most valuable.  Understanding what students will need to know will certainly help me to guide them in writing good commentary.  There is an overwhelming amount of information for students (and for us) to know and understand for edTPA.  How do we synthesize this?  How do we get students to synthesize this information so that they are successful (while they are teaching for the first time).  

While I get that the edTPA really shows if a teacher is prepared for teaching in the classroom, I can't help but think it is very difficult task for students to complete during student teaching.  In the old system of CalTPA, students were able to submit each section seperately and must finish the first 2 before student teaching, which was in my opinion made it easier for students to conceptualize the stages of teaching and learning. 


benjaminadam's picture benjaminadam | July 12, 2019 8:33 am MST

This was a very helpful epereince.  Since, I am in the midst of my fist BbU class, I will be taking all that I learned this week and making some adjustments to better integrate and be more explicit about the edTPA concopts in my feedback and in the discussion. Showing students where they have mastered an edTPA concept within the context of the class will help see what they might need to preserve as evidence or to have a refrece in their won work of  a similar task they will be asked to complete for edTPA.  I agree with Lisa, that edTPA is a huge task and causes fear and trepidiation in our students.  Helping them to feel supported and helping them feel they are being prepared will help. 



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