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Hiawatha Elementary

1900 Jolly Road

Okemos, Michigan 48864

January 22, 2016

To Whom it May Concern:
Carly Lagerstrom is a Michigan State University intern in fourth grade at Hiawatha
Elementary School in Okemos, Michigan. The Michigan State University program requires a full
year classroom internship that allows Carly to participate in all annual teacher tasks from the
summer classroom set up, experience fall and spring parent teacher conferences, field trips, and
state assessments. She has been a vital and important member of our team.
I have observed Carly develop strong relationships with all of our fourth grade students.
The students enjoyed being with her, because she nurtured them, challenged them and got to
know each one as an individual. She knew their likes and dislikes and used this knowledge to
motivate them throughout the year. She could joke with them in a lighthearted way during
lessons, but students still respected her as a teacher and followed her directions.
Designing meaningful lessons was another one of Carlys strengths. She understands the
essential elements of a lesson and has the ability to deliver the lesson with integrity. She asks
questions that are open ended, so that she is able to understand the way students think about a
concept. The ability to ask questions using Blooms Taxonomy helps her to know when certain
students need more support and others need more challenge.
As a fourth grade, we team teach. Carly taught in all subject areas throughout her
internship. She was always well prepared, and appeared confident in her teaching ability. It was
obvious that she had the respect of the students, as well as them liking her.
Carly differentiated lessons to meet the needs of each individual child. For example, in
writing she would challenge high level writers to develop their thoughts more deeply and give
them additional writing opportunities. At the same time Carly would also accommodate writing
lessons for struggling students, giving them extra time and support.
Carly also contributed to the fourth grade leadership team in many ways. She participated
in our Girls on the Run program, donating her time after school to reach out and help them build
stronger self- esteem, and motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle. She helped with our annual
food drive in November, and our Helping Hands (gifts for needy families) program in December.
Carly was part of the school team that implemented Response to Intervention (RtI) daily.
Data from MAZE, RCBM, MCAP, and MCOMP scores were used to determine individual placement
in math and literacy small groups for Tier I, Tier II, Tier III interventions. She co-taught math and
reading during our intervention times. She also participated in all Professional Learning
Community (PLC) time which gave the fourth grade team time to review student data and
placements, her insights were appropriately professional and added meaningfully to the
curriculum decisions.
Carly met with parents during formal Parent-Teacher conferences. She also contacted
parents to problem solve when necessary, and helped plan more effective ways to help students
achieve academic and behavioral success in the classroom.

I have found Carly to be down to earth, approachable and very open to suggestions. She is
driven to achieve her goals for the benefit of children. I have no doubt that she will be a very
successful teacher. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 517 706-4535
Karen Casler