Instruction commentary across disciplines have a few things in common, such as asking about classroom environment, engagement, prior knowledge, analysis of teaching, and future changes. Most of the answers to commentary questions require citation of video clip evidence. A few general considerations for writing quality instruction commentary include
1) Addressing all parts of the question
2) Referencing video evidence, i.e. including clip number and time stamps
3) Elaborating on evidence shown in video clips
4) Maximizing page count
The exemplary commentary responses1 shown below earned high scores on instruction rubrics.
1. The commentaries shown above have been shared with permission of the authors.
Some general requirements of recordings include the following. A video clip must be continuous and unedited. For example, do not remove the middle 30 seconds of a 10 minute clip because a student is off-task for that part of the video. Check the video and sound quality to ensure that the students and candidate are seen and heard on the video. Practicing with the equipment beforehand helps reduce technical problems. Do not include the name of the state, school, or district in your video. Use first names for students, and void using last names. Mentor teachers should be present during edTPA teaching and video recording. Mentors do not need to leave, and in fact mentors are responsible for supervising candidates throughout internship.
The number of minutes and clips of video recording vary by discipline. The best source of information about minutes and clips is the description for Task 2 in the handbook. Nevertheless, all areas are permitted either 15 or 20 minutes of video instruction. Elementary literacy, elementary mathematics, and secondary mathematics may submit one clip up to 15 minutes, or two clips totaling up to 15 minutes. Alternatively, English language arts, performing arts, and secondary science submit two clips, totaling up to 20 minutes. And again, health education and visual arts may submit one clip up to 20 minutes or two clips totaling up to 20 minutes. All of the disciplines shown here include two optional clips. Candidates may include a three minute clip showing student voice and a five minute clip showing academic language. Optional clips do not contribute to the totals associated with instruction clips. For example, a portfolio in visual arts may include one 20 minute clip showing instruction, another three minute clip of student voice, and another five minute clip of academic language, for a total of 28 minutes.