Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This year UVEI is participating in the New Hampshire IHE Teacher Common Assessment of Performance (TCAP) program, a pilot program to design a state-wide teacher assessment.  I believe other states are doing similar things, all with the hope, I think, that it will go nationwide in the near future.

I like the idea of a common assessment so teachers are assessed using the same standards across the board, much like students with the Common Core State Standards.  I'm not saying they have to teach the same things or the same way, but it makes sense to me that there would be common factors in the assessments, much like the standards that exist for other professions.

This TCAP pilot program is not a requirement for UVEI, but they gave us the option and encouraged anyone to try.  I decided it would be a good way to challenge myself, pushing my learning at UVEI further.  It has given me the opportunity to think deeply about my lesson process, from the initial examination of the class through to the assessments and lesson reflections.  The whole process is considered.

For my lesson series I started with the Bridges in Mathematics program, which we use at my current school.  We were approaching a series of lessons around story problems, so I decided to do my TCAP project with that.  I created a four-part lesson series based on the Bridges program and tailored to my particular class.  I did case studies of several students and considered how to address their needs, and those of the class as a whole, in my lesson plans.

A student created story problem.

I then taught, recorded, and reflected on my lessons.  The lessons included acting out story problems, using sea creature plastic figures to create story problems with manipulatives, drawing our own story problems, and then solving the problems the students created.  The four-part series ended up being five lessons in total because the class thoroughly enjoyed the final lesson, solving story problems their peers had created, and wanted to continue past our available time.  For the fifth lesson we reviewed the first four, reviewed story problem solving strategies, and then tackled some of the more challenging problems the students had created. 

Using strategies to solve a story problem.

While teaching the lessons I made observational assessments on a formative assessment checklist I maintained throughout the lesson series.  I also collected the story problems the students created and I had them each solve one story problem on paper so I could collect that as well.  I scored those two work samples against a rubric I created for this project. 

I'm now in the final writing stages of the TCAP project, making sure I've addressed all of the questions answered, thoroughly analyzed my video clips, checked and double-checked my writing, and then checked it all over again.  Then I will submit it to UVEI and see where it goes from there.

Then, on to the next writing piece!  No shortage of planning, reflecting, and writing in a teacher's busy day!

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