Tag Archives: Lesson Segments

Characteristics of High-Scoring edTPA Lessons

The exemplary lessons1 shown below earned fours and fives on Task 1 rubrics. Some characteristics shared between lessons helpful for earning points include

1) Clear labeling and description, such as lesson title, learning targets, and activities
2) Thorough description of teacher and student behavior
3) Use of preassessment for understanding student background knowledge
4) Two or more opportunities for informal assessment in each lesson
5) Multiple practice or support activities in each lesson
6) Prewritten questions for eliciting student understanding
7) Use of postassessment for analyzing learning at the conclusion of the sequence

The outlines for general and special education include these characteristics and are useful for planning lessons for Task 1.

Elementary Literacy Elementary Mathematics English as Second Language
English Language Arts Family Consumer Science Health Education
History Social Studies Mathematics for Secondary Performing Arts
Physical Education Science for Secondary Special Education
Visual Arts World Languages

1. The lessons shown above have been shared with permission of the authors.

Lesson Elements

The authors of edTPA have designed Task 1 with five questions in mind. There are different ways to answer these questions. However, some approaches are more efficient than others.

The first question is, What do your students know, what can they do, and what are they learning to do? One of the best ways to answer this question is to use information from a preassessment, or previous assessment data.

The second question is, What do you want your students to learn? What are the important understandings and core concepts you want students to develop within the learning segment? One way to answer this question is with the Central Focus and Learning Targets of the lesson sequence.

Third, What instructional strategies, learning tasks, and assessments will you design to support student learning and language use? The answer to question three depends on many factors, such as grade and subject. However, general instructional strategies such as preview, review, practice, inquiry, formative assessment, preassessment and the like are useful for framing answers.

Fourth, How is the teaching you propose supported by research and theory about how students learn? One efficient way to answer this question is to rely on sources from coursework such as textbooks and articles.

Fifth, How is the teaching you propose informed by your knowledge of students? Again, we should rely on data gathered from a preassessment, or perhaps previous assessment data, and also from the Context for Learning write-up.

Here’s a helpful Sample Lesson for edTPA with comments to help you plan.