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Lisa

Drew
1004 Troon
Highland, Michigan 48357
(248) 762-7916

January 17, 2015

To Whom It May Concern:

Kaitlyn Diller has been a Michigan State University intern in my third grade
classroom at Pine Knob Elementary during this 2014-2015 school year. Kaitlyn
teaches 24 students of diverse learning abilities and from various socio-economic
backgrounds. The socio-economic backgrounds range, with many students
receiving free or reduced lunch and Blessings in a Backpack to sustain their need
for nutritious food over the weekend. As educators, we understand all too well how
teaching encompasses so much more that the title suggests, and Kaitlyn goes above
and beyond this year to challenge and meet the varying needs of each student.

Kaitlyn is planning and teaching many of the subjects in my classroom and I
am able to see her develop a curriculum plan in reading, writing, word study, math,
and currently social studies. She competently prepares lessons in a logical sequence,
with clear objectives that take into consideration students different learning styles.
Her lessons are always completed prior to the week she teaches them. She is
efficient and organized.

During reading workshop, Kaitlyn administered Developmental Reading
Assessments to students and was able to identify their reading level as well as
strengths and areas that needed improvement. During our various reading units,
she follows the workshop model and format and effectively focuses on the teaching
point of the day. She confers individually with students to reinforce the concept
they are focusing on and uses this knowledge to understand which students need
re-teaching or reinforcement. Kaitlyn encourages students to internalize the lessons
and themes of the books we are reading and how they apply to our real world as
well as our own personal lives. She actively charts the strategies, as well as students
discoveries, to promote visible thinking. Kaitlyn successfully completed her first
unit in reading that focused on building character traits and how characters change.
At the end of the unit, she challenged each child by engaging students in a
technology assessment by utilizing Voki.com, a program where students were able
to bring their character to life by presenting a speech from their perspective. They
presented their project and were excited by this alternative form of assessment.
Kaitlyn is currently running varying-leveled book clubs during reading workshop
and students are excited, motivated to read, and eager to meet with their book club
members.

Kaitlyn is currently planning and teaching writing workshop. Again, she
follows the workshop model, and gives clear and concise teaching points while
demonstrating her expectations. During workshop, she confers individually with
students to help them become better writers. During the publishing phase, students
worked on Chrome Books and learned how to send her their work on Google Docs.
Kaitlyn helped them with their editing and the technology process.

Kaitlyn modeled and promoted inquiry during our math units. She is
transitioning with the staff in our implementation of math workshop. She is
motivated to attend workshops and professional development on the procedures
and expectations for the workshop model. Kaitlyn has worked hard to develop
launching questions to help challenge the students. She continually assesses the
students to help guide her future lessons. She creates homework that aligns with
the common core and reinforces the concepts students discover and learn about in
class. She circulates the room and provides continual feedback to the students. She
also provides challenges for students who quickly grasp concepts. Kaitlyns strength
is her ability to differentiate a lesson to meet the needs of many different learners.

Kaitlyn quickly built a strong rapport with the students. She was there
setting up the classroom with me in August and was present at Meet and Greet to
welcome parents and students. It soon became the norm that the students had two
teachers instead of one. The students trust her and feel comfortable coming to her
to ask questions and to share personal things about themselves. Kaitlyn effectively
communicates with our families by writing and sending out e-blasts on a weekly
basis. If there were a concern or problem, she contacts the parents and makes them
aware of the situation. Parents respect her and view her as a professional. Kaitlyn
had the opportunity to observe and participate in fall conferences, and I feel
confident in her ability to take the lead in our spring conferences. She is eager to
hear feedback from me and is reflective about her teaching. She genuinely wants to
be the best teacher she can be.

Kaitlyns classroom management is seamless and embedded in everything
she does in the classroom. Her expectations are clear and she addresses student
inattention and misbehavior thoughtfully and consistently. She utilizes a classroom
behavior management system and integrates the 7 Habits of Leader in Me. Kaitlyn
has organized a seating chart for most of the school year, taking into consideration
the behavioral challenges of students and where they should sit for a more
productive learning environment. She draws on the unique gifts and talent of
students to be mentors and role models for others. She uses proximity to deter
distraction and misbehavior in students. Mostly, her relationships with the students
and them knowing she cares for them ultimately makes them want to behave and do
well.

Kaitlyn is a professional in the true sense of the word. She is on time and
present for every meeting. She has built a positive rapport with the staff, students,
and parents of the Pine Knob Elementary community. She has built a relationship of
trust and respect with the students, where they feel safe to take risks and
participate in class. Kaitlyn has become part of our school community by
volunteering to be a celebrity waitress to help raise money for PTA, and helping
out at our beginning of the year Ice Cream Social, being a committee member for our
schools Academic Service Learning Project, and by attending all of our Cultures of
Thinking meetings and Professional Development.

Kaitlyn is clearly committed to elementary education and being part of a
school community. She has a great deal to offer a school and her new classroom. I
am confident Kaitlyn is highly qualified for an elementary teaching position.

Sincerely,
Lisa Drew
Third Grade Teacher
Pine Knob Elementary
Clarkston Community Schools