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Santa Barbara County Teacher Induction Program

Individualized Learning Plan (ILP)

Year 2: Essential Practices in View of Standards and Assessments
Teacher Name

Melanie Lieu

Mentor Teacher

Kristin Wright

School Site
General Ed. or
Ed. Specialist

Part 1: Re-Engaging the Inquiry Cycle Initial Points of Data

Brandon Elementary
General Ed.


CSTP/CTP Initial

Mentor Observation(s)

Self-Selected Data Point 1:

Strategic Plan

Heres What...

So What...?

What key ideas did you gather

from the data?

How does this impact your professional and instructional


Reflection through different types of professional

lenses, I learned where my strengths and
stretches are as an educator at this time. I
noticed that there were areas I was forgetting
but also areas where I do pretty well in right now
and am proud of my growth in.

This helps me plan for improving on my stretches.

For example, when reflecting on my current
feedback to students, Ill make special effort to
make time in those areas. It makes the different
areas of growth more tangible. Instead of thinking
I need to get better, I can be more specific and
say I need to improve _______ and can do so by
x, y, z. Then, I can be a better advocate for my
own needs.

It was really helpful to get another set of eyes in

the room during group-heavy student interactions.
When students rely on each other for learning, its
difficult to know everything thats going on in the
room. I learned that the areas that I was making
conscious effort in was making a difference
such as using fair sticks.

Ill keep doing the things that work, but also plan
on including more stuff thats important to our
districts strategic plan, but I didnt even touch
upon. For example, our district has a clear plan for
technology use and I would like to experiment
more with it in the classroom so that my students
have the same opportunities with it as the other
classes. During our planning times, I can touch
base with the other teachers and get their
feedback on the most effective ways to incorporate
technology so I have a solid way to start.

I learned what the priorities of learning for our district


This helps me shape the language I use for the

expectations I have in my classroom. For
example, I know that I should use more
technology, and emphasize collaborative learning
and problem solving. This also grounds my
questioning during our planning meetings because
I know the goals of the district.

Giving clear directions and communicating clear

expectations is somewhat inconsistent. If I were
a student in my class, I would like to have clearer
expectations, timelines, and directions. I noticed
that my students did not seem to get to work
right awayeven after getting multiple directions.

I want to try several different ways of

communicating expectations and directions in the
classroom. I will work harder on prepping what to
write on the board so that its very clear what
students should be doing and at what time. I will
also try and manage time so that there is always
time for some sort of closure at the end of the day.
Closure activities can also function as good
formative assessments for students, so I can know
how students are doing in their groups.

I noticed that there are several students who are

English language learners. I have several
students who are at least 2 grades below grade
level in their fluency.

This means a lot in terms of how I can expect to

build my communication of expectations. Im also
worried because in math, there is a heavy reliance
on group work and reading directions to gain
understanding. Im worried that if students can not
read and understand the concepts in the question
prompts, that it will cause students to feel
unsuccessful at math. In my planning, I will need
to make sure I am planning several different kinds
of activities so that my students can access

Self-Selected Data Point 2:

Video Self-Analysis

Self-Selected Data Point 3:

Demographic Data Analysis

Use the frame: Given my analysis of the above information, I wonder _________.
What questions are raised? What concerns do you have? What problems/gaps do I notice? What assumptions can I test?

Given my analysis of the above information, I wonder how I can better support my students with expectations and task
management while in my class. I wonder how student on-task behavior and conversation connects with assessments. I am
concerned that I can not motivate my students to be engaged in the material if they are struggling with the method of communication
(reading) when they might be better at acquiring information in other ways. My biggest assumption is that on-task behavior in the
classroom affects their assessments.

Part 2: Identifying Your Inquiry Question

Your Inquiry Question Must Meet the Following Criteria

You dont already know the answer

Open to research
The question must be reasonable

Having the right answer should matter to you

The question must not have an immediate,
obvious answer

(How do I...?, How will I...?, What does...?)
How will focusing on SMART goals concerning participation in groups and task completion in math
affect formative and summative assessments?

To which CSTP subelement does your

focus area most align
and why? (Write it out

4.2 Establishing and articulating goals for student learning.

Part 3: Research Plan

In what ways might you research and explore your wonderings from Parts 1and 2? What more would
you like to investigate, study, and/or discuss? In the table below, record the areas of professional
learning you anticipate needing in order to answer your Inquiry Question.


Examples include course textbooks, professional

publications and web-resources, PD workshops,
as well as colleagues and other personnel

What information relates to your initial questions and how?

Discussion with colleagues about

SMART goals

Id like to implement some of the SMART goal strategies that my co-workers

have had success with into my own teaching practice. SMART goals are
student-led goals that I believe can increase their motivation in the
classroombecause students are more likely to be thinking about their own
thinking and their own timelines for their specific goals.

Course Textbook: Never Work

Harder Than Your Students

I want to know how to organize my support for my students better. I think

itll be helpful to communicate what I know about my students, what I
expect, and how to give quality feedback about their growth. Ideally, I
would like to connect my feedback with their own SMART goals. Since Ive
noticed that students can be uncomfortable with their math texts, its
important that I am mindful and aware of their needs as I am planning my

PD Workshops: Independent study

on Universal Design for Learning

Im curious about Universal Design for Learning and how it can help those
students who are specifically struggling with written text. Group work is
difficult when it relies so heavily on one manner of content dissemination. I
want to explore other options.

Part 4: Fulfilling Your Inquiry Cycle - Research Action and Analysis

May be taken from Part 3 and/or
include additional types of




What specific elements were learned

from this research item?

How was this

knowledge implemented?

What data sources were used to

measure the impact on student

How do these elements help

address your inquiry question?

What did you do differently?

How were students impacted?

Research Item 1:
Discussion with
colleagues about SMART

I learned that SMART goals

were a goal-setting
technique that allowed
students to reflect on their
skills and learning and
make their own good-fit
goals that were Specific,
Measurable, Achievable,
Realistic, and Time-bound.
Since my inquiry question
is specifically about
generating more student
engagement during
lessons, I feel that getting
to know more about
SMART goals from the
other teachers at my site
can help. This is especially
necessary because not all
students have experience
with goal-setting and
experiencing ownership in
their education.

The first implementation of

SMART goals was fairly
straightforward. I
prepared a 10-minute
mini-lesson about SMART
goals, with examples to
help students see what the
difference between a
SMART goal and a lofty
get better goal was.
After 5 minutes of
describing what a SMART
goal was, I had volunteers
come up with a group
SMART. Then, I
distributed the papers for
SMART goals. After
students had written their
goals, we continued with
the next lesson according
to the curriculum
Upon reflection, I think that
this first try at SMART
goals was important, but
not as useful to my
research topic as when I
integrated more research
of how SMART goals
work. The class reacted
well to SMART goals, but
since their goals did not
necessarily clearly align
with my overall goal of
improving their
assessments, I needed to
revisit this several times.

What was the measurable impact

on student learning as a result of
your application(s)?

Data Source(s): I had two

separate trials with SMART
goals. The first time, it was just
to have goals. We talked about
what a SMART goal was and
then students got a sheet of
paper to write down their
SMART goals.
The second implementation of
the SMART goals was 2 weeks
later, after I had had some time
to reflect more on teacher and
student work in the classroom
from the book Never Work
Harder Than Your Students. We
spoke more specifically about
our expectations in class and I
had students write new goals
that specifically addressed at
least 1 of the expectations on
the list.

Measured Impact: Both of the

incorporation of SMART goals
was successful.
After the first set of SMART
goals, students seemed to be
more on taskshouting out less
and finishing more work. I
noticed that students paid more
attention during the direct and
guided instruction. Also, their
first quiz was markedly better
than their previous onethey
wrote more, showed more work,
and had an increase in test
scores by about 20% on
average. (Students getting 3/5
instead of 2/5).
Upon the the second iteration of
goals, students seemed to be
better at starting on their own
and maintaining focus. I did not
have to repeat questions I asked
that day, even though in
previous days, I would have to
repeat a question 2 or 3 times.

Research Item 2: Course

Textbook Never Work
Harder Than Your

After reading chapter 7 and

reflecting on a neardisastrous video
experience, I took to heart
the idea that there needs to
be a good balance between
student work and
teachers work. I looked
through their SMART goals
and made a note of what
was teachers work and
what was students work.
Then, I decided to revisit
the SMART goals with
more well-developed plans.
I knew that if student
SMART goals could focus
more on work that students
could be held accountable
for, it would benefit them

I made copies of a list of

teachers work and
students work that I
found in Chapter 7 of the
book and shared them
with the students after I
had given them feedback
and allowed reflection on
their current SMART
goals. Then, we tried
updating one of their
original SMART goals
together. Then, as pairs,
they worked on a revision
of their SMART goals to
specifically include more
student work.
Additionally, in the class, I
made a conscious effort to
encourage students to do
their job for example,
listening to questions the
first time and giving
appropriate responses to

Data Source(s): I revisited

student SMART goals a
second time after explaining
my expectationschanging
my vocabulary to include
more student-centered
responsibility in classroom
learning. I had printed out
the sheet on pg. 179 (fig 7.1)
and we had a lengthy
Less measurable and more
experimentally, I waited for
students a lot longer after
asking questions just 1 time
to reinforce that students
had responsibilities and I
wouldnt do the work for
For this lesson, students had
to record their answers for
the chapter on a 8.5x11
piece of printer paper. Before
starting, they had to
articulate goals for
themselves in terms of how
much work they would need
to do and what to expect out
of each other.

Measured Impact: Most

students were able to work
the entire time and stay
engaged and on-task. There
were only 4 students who
still had minor difficulties or
appeared lost during the
time of the exit card and I
was able to pull them back
for a reteach lesson later
that day.

Research Item 3:
Online Independent Study
course on Universal
Design for Learning

I learned that there were three

different parts of designing a
lesson that worked together to
make learning opportunities
that were more meaningful to
the students in my class:
multiple means of
representation, action and
expression, and engagement.
I looked through the student
SMART goals, and noticed
that many of their individual
goals could be better helped
by allowing them to engage
with the materials in different
ways. This was an important
element for me to consider
because if students are
working with their SMART
goals in mind, then its
important for me to offer
relevant opportunities in the
classroom for these students.

Part 5: Post-Inquiry Reflection

One of the features of the

SMART goals in the class was
that many of the SMART goals
included individual goals as well
as group goals. However, after
reflecting on my current class
set-up, I realized that I was
emphasizing group work,
perhaps to the detriment of
students who appreciate working
alone every once in a while. This
knowledge was implemented in
me trying out multiple means of
engagement. Given the same
ways to represent and express
their learning, I was very curious
to see how students reacted to
the ability to choose how to
interact with the material and with
their peers. Up until this point, I
had always assigned groups and
no one could work alone.
However, this time, I gave them
the choice: you can work in small
groups or alone. If you work
alone, you need to be sure to ask
questions. If you get asked a
question, I expect that you will
take time and explain what you
know as best you can and try and
work through it. This took some
of the pressure off of the students
who were anxious about group
work. This also gave students
who wanted to work together an
opportunity to collaborate. My
biggest worry was that no one
would get work done or would get
lost and confused. However, I
was pleased that everyone had a
better experience learning than

Data Source(s): Students had

to complete a poster to record
their work for the different parts
of the problems in chapter 7.1.1
of our CPM textbook. They
used a single sheet of 8.5x11
printer paper as their miniposter. Students were expected
to use different color markers if
they chose to work in groups.
Some students chose to work
alone. I checked to see which
students were able to complete
all or most of the core problems
of the day.

Measured Impact: On average,

the mini posters were done or
nearly done. This was much
better than a month agowhen
students had only, on average,
completed 2 problems from the
set. This indicated to me that
students had a higher
engagement with the material if
they were allowed to choose
groupswith very clear
understanding of what the task
was. Most interesting was the
student who I needed to check
in withshe had had some
social issues earlier that day. I
knew to check in because her
poster had only one problem
attempted. My next step as an
educator will be to figure out
how to encourage students such
as her to reach out and get help
instead of floundering for 30

Summarize the overall

impact of the research
you conducted and the
measured results of
your applications?

In summary, there were specific, measurable impacts of

applications of my research. I noted that there was a problem
with the completion of work (formative assessments) and with
the completion of tests (summative). Then, I assessed the
context of my classroom through the video self-observation.
Then, I implemented conscious changes in my expectations of
myself and of my kids through SMART goalswhich helped my
students reflect on their own work. At the end of this process,
there was noticeable improvements in their work and tests.

Think back to your

original Inquiry
Question and the
relating CSTP ~

The ILP process supported many opportunities to acquire and

refine effective teaching practices in my classroom. To begin
with, the ILP process helped me refine one part of the classroom
turning a very complex machine into something more
manageable. After finding one part of my classroom to focus on,
How did the ILP
it was much easier to find information from different sources
process support
such as colleagues, professional development meetings, and
opportunities to acquire/
refine effective teaching books.
What is the correlation
to student

As students responded to the different additions to the

classroom, I was better able to figure out how to support their

What were some key

ideas you learned from
the professional
experiences associated
with this inquiry?

There were several key ideas that I learned from the professional
development experiences associated with this inquiry. First of all, I learned
that students are more engaged with their achievement when they reflect on
their learningin this case, I saw this clearly with SMART goals. I also
learned that sometimes, I need to be very clear with my expectations in the
classroom of what are teacher jobs and what are student jobs. This
reinforces that student work in the classroom leads to student achievement. I
learned that as a teacher, I need to support students English language
development in order to see improvements in other subjectssuch as math.
I think that the biggest impact to my teaching was when I started breaking
down the parts of a lesson after looking at it through UDL principles. It
helped me reflect on the best ways that I learn and engage with material and
helped me offer a variety of ways to my students.

Of the questions that

arose at the beginning
of your inquiry cycle,
whats been resolved
and what will continue?

At the beginning of this inquiry cycle, I was very interested in student achievement.
Mostly, I was concerned about what I was doing as a teacher to support students. I
think that as Ive gone through this inquiry process, several
There are many parts of this inquiry that will continue. For example, I am still unsure
of the long-term affects of learning and achievement based on the SMART goals in
the class. For example, I do not know how much of the subject matter knowledge or
skill is retained over a long period of time (after summative assessments are taken).
I would be curious as to what this group of students remembers about their learning
process in 6 months or a years time.
As I near the end of this inquiry cycle, there are several questions that I have. The
first is that I wonder how SMART goals affect different aged groups of kids. For
example, in my sixth grade class, SMART goals worked really well because we were
able to talk about expectations and rationale. I wonder how introducing SMART goals
would be the same or different in a first grade or a high school classroom.