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Cottonwood High School 4 2am ae Cy, Utah 64121 ns ieee | Granite Ms. Mary Alsop MEd NBCT English ELL Teacher March 17, 2015 To Whom It May Concem: Samantha Kolesky is a student teacher at Cottonwood High School currently working under the direction of Mr. Greg Coleman. On March 10, 2015 Thad the opportunity to observe Samantha teaching in an ELL 10* grade ‘World History classroom as part of the Language Academy for mostly South Salt Lake refugee students. Ms. Kolesky began class with a Bell Ringer designed for ELL learners, She provided scaffolding with written sentence starters as a resource for the various ELL levels in the class. Samantha then began a vocabulary review with a Bingo game, Clues were displayed via a power point consisting of synonyms. Students used their textbooks so all students could access the answer equitably. If students knew the answer, one was chosen to write the answer on the board for students who did not know the answer or did not have the word on their Bingo cards. She consistently followed up with questions to check for understanding and correct any misconceptions of which there were a few. The Bingo activity was repeated three times to deepen understanding, Ms. Kolesky began the core of the lesson plan by presenting the steps to make a History Notebook. The steps ‘were written sequentially on a power point so students had a visual to reinforce her oral instructions. Samantha provided an example, modeled, or made connections with each step. For example, one step was “make connections with vocabulary” and she referred to the Bingo game vocabulary that had just been reviewed. ‘When students voiced feeling overwhelmed, she clarified the task by asking just for the cover page, again pointing to the example, demonstrating an understanding of her students’ knowledge level and capabilities. ‘These teaching strategies exhibit Ms. Kolesky’s knowledge of the importance of involving reading, writing, speaking, and listening on a daily basis in an ELL class. The class was engaged due to the game-playing nature of the Bingo leaning activity and I observed leaming taking place with mostly all students, even those of the lowest level. Ms. Kolesky is also cognizant of the importance of fairness and equity regarding access to answers as demonstrated by her scaffolding. No students is left without a way to find an answer which is encouraging in ‘a new world often filled with discouragement. From my observation, Ms. Kolesky is a capable teacher who would be a welcome addition to any schoo! Sincerely, Mane SQrep ‘Ms, Mary Alsop MEd NBCT English ELL Teacher Granite School District + 2500 South State Street + Salt Lake City, Utah 84115-3110 385-646-5000 + www.graniteschools.org Cottonwood High School “4 Sn eec Winaee) "x leeccese | Granite To Whom It May Concern: It is a pleasure to write a letter of recommendation for Samantha Kolesky as a history teacher. ‘As a mentor teacher at Cottonwood High schoo! | had the opportunity to observe Samantha teaching for rine weeks. She taught two full classes of U.S. History for me, and two full classes of ELL World Givilization for a colleague of mine. When first meeting Samantha | was impressed with her content knowledge and lesson plan ideas. Samantha has demonstrated an ability to reflect on her teaching after each class, and make changes where needed. She has effectively altered the pace for classes and students while maneuvering through the many interruptions that happen in high school. Her lessons have included small and large group activities, varied assessments, and differentiated instruction. | believe these demonstrations put her on the same level as a tenured teacher. ‘Samantha has improved a great deal as a teacher daily. She is always striving to find new ways to improve lesson plans, assessments, classroom management, etc. Her willingness to grow and develop asa teacher, will be a great benefit to the school district and school she ends up teaching at. It has been a pleasure to work with Samantha and | know she will be a successful teacher. She has great enthusiasm for the subject material, and is excited to share her knowledge of history with her future students. She is a qualified teacher and | expect great things from her. tyes Janae Hirschi Sincerely, Granite School District + 2500 South State Street + Salt Lake City, Utah 84115-3110 385-646-5000 - www.graniteschools.org oe Cottonwood High School © 5715 South 1300 East Office 385-846-5264 nite Moray Utah 84121 1023 one sescreszes) Granite, "re sng sine ‘Alan Parrish, Principal Geoff Murdock, Assistant Principal Ben Anderson, Assistant Principal March 20, 2015 To Whom It May Concern: itis with pleasure that | write a letter of recommendation for Samantha Kolesky. Samantha is a student teacher at Cottonwood High School. She is currently teaching a section of ESL World Civilizations. | have visited her classroom and observed her teaching the ESL/Refugee students. Samantha has done a great job Working with the ESL students. She has insights into programs and how to improve student engagment for ESL students and refugees at Cottonwood High. {1am the counselor currently assigned to work specifically with the refugees and ESL students. It is a challenge to teach or work with these students due to barriers such as language, cultural issues, lack of education in their native countries, and other concerns. However, Samantha has clearly thought about ways to help the students. In our conversation she shared ideas to help these students with their academics, social sills, and their college and career readiness. ‘Samantha has seen the needs of these ESI/Refugee students and her intention is to improve their opportunities and educational experience. | am grateful for her fresh ideas and insights. Sincerely, a Kami. Sage Counselor Cottonwood High Schoo! Granite School District ¢ 2500 South State Street « Salt Lake City, Utah 84115-3110 385-646-5000 # www. graniteschools.org