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Over

the past eight months of my internship, I have been able to plan a number of units, both alone and
with my mentor, Craig Huhn. Along with the units on quadratic functions and polynomial functions I planned and
submitted for class, I also worked with Craig to completely revamp at least two other units (parametric functions
and probability) for our second-year Algebra course. Seeing the difference between how a unit that is well
established is planned from year to year and how a unit that is being reworked is planned and thought through
was very beneficial to me this year.

For the quadratic and polynomial units that planned, I was fortunate enough to have material that had
been used in previous years to teach the units, and I was able to base my plan off of them. For the first unit, I was
given all the assignments that the students would complete in order, and I had to determine how the goals and
learning targets of the assignment fit together with the goals, learning targets, and standards of the unit. When I
planned the polynomials unit, I was given the assignments once again, but not in order, and I was then able to
determine a logical progression for the assignments, as well as develop and edit assignments to make sure that all
of the standards would be satisfactorily covered in class. I also decided to use the unit tests from the previous
year, because I felt that they appropriately assessed students on the learning targets and standards that I felt
were most important from the unit.

In the parametric and probability units that I co-designed with my mentor, we knew the learning targets
that we wanted to cover and had a general idea of the progression of how we would teach them. However, we
did not use any assignments from previous years, so we built them day-by-day as we went through the unit. We
did this to allow us to react to what we saw and heard students doing and saying in class, so we could make sure
that the progression of the ideas made sense not only to us, but also to our students. For the unit tests for these
units, we determined which learning targets and standards were the most important to assess, and then designed
questions to accurately assess those learning targets and standards.

In my quadratic and polynomial units, which were planned before the parametric and probability units, I
was able to write learning goals that were clear to teachers, but ended up being as clear to students. Part of this
problem was that I wrote very broad goals that may have made sense and been achievable at the end of the units,
but as I taught the units, they ended up being very hard to achieve and assess until the end of the unit. This could
have been remedied by breaking down the broad goals into much more specific and achievable goals.

In these units, my primary forms of assessing the learning goals were the final unit test and the in-class
discussions we had as a class. Through the in-class discussions, I was able to get a sense of what many of my
students knew, but I did not get solid data about what each of my students knew, since some students found
ways to not participate in the class discussions, and by the time I gave the unit test, it was too late to do anything
for the students who were struggling to acheive the learning goals.

As I co-planned the parametric and probability units with Craig, he made the suggestion to make sure that
my learning goals are as specific as can be, even though it will result in having more of them. This allows students
to be able to achieve the goals more easily and more quickly, meaning that the students will feel like they are
making more progress, even if it does not make a difference at all. Heeding this advice allowed us to be very
specific and clear with the goals that we developed for the parametric and probability units.

In these units, I used the same forms of assessment as in the other units, but I also used other formative
assessment tools like learning checks, exit slips, meaningful warm-ups designed to confront common
misconceptions, and more. When teaching these units, I found that I knew much more about what more of my
students knew and were able to do because of building these forms of assessment into the unit, and I could then
modify future instruction to account for both the strengths and weaknesses of my students. For instance, in the
parametric unit, I gave a learning check where I learned that students still struggled with the concepts of domain
and range with relation to parametric functions. With this data, I was able to build these learning targets into
future assignments so my students could have more chances to reach them.


Through the four big units that I had at least a hand in planning, I was able to develop my skill of
coherently sequencing lessons. As stated before, for the first unit I planned, the quadratic functions unit, I was
given all of the assignments that had been used in previous years, in the order that they were used. This allowed
me to get practice examining assignments for their learning targets, as well as track the progression of the
learning targets through the unit. For the second unit I planned, the polynomial functions unit, I was once again
given all the material for the unit, but this time not in order. This allowed me to continue to practice examining
assignments for their learning targets, as well as sequence them in a coherent progression. I was also able to
develop my own assignments to help students achieve the learning targets and Math Practice Standards form the
Common Core State Standards, such as an assignment that had students find errors in given work for simplifying
expressions of degree three or higher.

In the final two big units that I co-planned with Craig, we developed a logical progression of learning
targets before we started the unit, and then built the assignments to achieve those learning targets as the unit
progressed. I played an equal role in both the planning of the progression of targets and the formation of the
assignments for these two units, allowing me to develop my skills of coherently sequencing lessons, as well as
forming engaging and relevant assignments for my students.

Through planning units in my internship this year, I was able to develop my long-term planning skills. The
experiences I got through planning both tried and tested units as well as completely revamped units prepared me
for planning both ways in my future as a teacher, knowing that I will likely use both sets of skills very quickly in my
career.