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Shanon Sikkema

705 East University


Des Moines, IA 50316
Phone: (515) 242-8418
shanon.sikkema@dmschools.org

March 16, 2015


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in regards to Ana-Cara Van Dyck, for application for a teaching position. Mrs. Van Dyck ha
student teacher of English Language Learners, from January 26 to March 12, 2015, here at Carver Ele
have been her mentor teacher during her time at Carver. I highly recommend Mrs. Van Dyck for any te
position she is seeking.

While at Carver Mrs. Van Dyck was responsible for teaching five different grade levels of reading group
from first to fifth grade. The group sizes varied from a group of two to groups of nine. During her seve
Carver, Mrs. Van Dyck has shown her advanced ability to develop lessons that reach multiple proficien
She includes different scaffolding techniques such as, sentence frames for oral and written language, p
support, kinesthetic learning strategies, and many others to reach all learners. She has high expectatio
students and uses multiple formative assessments to continuously check for understanding.

During her time at Carver, she was trained to administer the I-ELDA Assessment. This is the yearly
assessment for EL students to determine their English Proficiency and level of service for the following
Mrs. Van Dyck helped administer the test to 270 EL students at Carver. I-ELDA testing is a big respons
requiring organization, data collection, and integrity. It was a great opportunity for her to have experien
administering this test, she will now be more prepared to handle the responsibilities of this important pa
an EL teacher. Mrs. Van Dyck has also participated in all professional development opportunities we h
Carver. She has attended school-based trainings and ELL Professional Learning Communities.

Mrs. Van Dyck is a fluent Spanish speaker. She has used this strength as an asset to her teaching and
ability. She was able to create deep connections with students by sharing a similar language with them
example, we had a fifth grade student recently move to Carver from Puerto Rico, who was non-verbal.
Dyck used multiple strategies plus her Spanish to reach this student in a meaningful way. It was amaz
this student grow in her confidence and academics in the past few weeks because of Mrs. Van Dycks
Mrs. Van Dyck also devoted her time during conferences to help our school by translating for parents.

such a great help at conferences and has a true understanding of the importance of communicating wi
about their students progress.

Mrs. Van Dyck has multiple strengths as a teacher and leader. She develops a great rapport with stude
reflective in her teaching and will problem solve with co-teachers. She will continue to modify her lesso
to better meet each students needs. She worked well with all staff and made it a point to meet all teac
building and showed her appreciation at the end of her placement. She is a team player, personable, e
and passionate about teaching students and advocating for ELLs. Throughout her student teaching I h
her as both determined and dedicated. I have sincerely enjoyed teaching with her during her time at C

I believe Mrs. Van Dyck would be a true asset to Des Moines Public Schools and I strongly recommend
future teaching position.
Sincerely,

Shanon Sikkema
ELL Teacher
Carver Elementary