Series Collaborating Across Disciplines: Lesson Reflection: Planning the Next Step

Lesson Reflection: Planning the Next Step

Lesson Objective: Reflect on a team taught lesson
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Social Studies


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How do Ms. Gilrein and Ms. Wolfe reflect on the lesson they taught?
  2. How do these reflections inform the next steps that the teachers plan?
  3. How do the teachers reflect on the work of individual students and make plans to include all students in discussions?


Private message to Raven Groom
I loved how the teachers collaboration helped things being taught carry over. It's a great method to used to ensure that the student's are understanding. Transferring the skills helps the comprehension of things being taught.
Recommended (0)
Private message to Jennifer McCarthy
1) How do the teachers use collaboration to reflect on their own practice? The teachers are able to reflect on their practices when they have common prep time, which is so valuable as long as you use it effectively. When the teachers discussed the lesson, they reflected on the lesson, but also their practices. They clearly have a level of comfort with one another and are able to not only compliment but offer feedback and suggestions to improve future lessons. It takes a positive and mutually respectful relationship to be able to offer critiques. 2) When collaborating, what do the teachers decide to do collectively, in order for students to "transfer the skills they know they have"? When the teachers reflected on the lessons, they recognized that their rubric was overwhelming and could cause confusion. They decided they wanted to modify it so in the future it would be more clear. They discussed the vocabulary and what they could do in order to change it so that feedback would be more clear. They also evaluated the student responses in order to be able to give students more meaningful feedback on their ability to respond and question well. They also had an exit ticket so that they could receive feedback/reflection from all students.
Recommended (1)
Private message to Sara Walther
-How do the teachers use collaboration to reflect on their own practice? -When collaborating, what do the teachers decide to do collectively, in order for students to "transfer the skills they know they have"? The teachers worked together to discuss all of the students individually, as well as self reflecting on the lesson. I loved the way they decided to simplify their rubric, end class early to get the quieter students involved, they also decided to use common vocabulary in order to help the students. The exit ticket was a great idea, especially for the students who don't participate, its a quick way for the teachers to assess them.
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Private message to Stephen DiVisconti
The teachers use collaberation to reflect their own practices by creation the teacher to use the same language tworksheet and exercises that cross curriculum. I thought that it is a good practice for or vocabulary to trigger the students thoughts: a common core connection.
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Private message to Ray Melograne
-How do the teachers use collaboration to reflect on their own practice? These teachers use their common prep time to engage in collaborative conversation. The take a class that they taught together and discuss various aspects of the lesson in a reflective/constructive fashion. -When collaborating, what do the teachers decide to do collectively, in order for students to "transfer the skills they know they have"? The teachers decided to incorporate two different kinds of texts into a future activity in order to emphasize student transfer of skills.
Recommended (0)


  • Lesson Reflection: Planning the Next Step Transcript

    Jennifer Wolfe: This is my partner and friend, Erin Gilrein. She's been teaching English

    Lesson Reflection: Planning the Next Step Transcript

    Jennifer Wolfe: This is my partner and friend, Erin Gilrein. She's been teaching English here at Oceanside High School for about 12 years.

    Erin Gilrein: This is my teaching partner and friend, Jennifer Wolfe. She is a Social Studies teacher at Oceanside High School and together, we collaborate on the 9th Grade integrated program. In our prep periods, there is a period designed where Jenn and I are off together so we have collaboration time built in to our schedule. This time, for this lesson we are talking about the Socratic Seminar that we are teaching during our conference class.

    Jennifer Wolfe: I really liked that a lot of the kids refer to a lot of different documents that we'd given them. That made me feel really good that they had understood those documents and they knew how to use them.

    Erin Gilrein: In our conference class, we team teach a section and this lesson we are doing a Socratic Seminar where the two of us are in the room and we are addressing a broader essential question about the role of religion in the lives of followers. The texts that we use here are Herman Hesse's Siddhartha and all of the documents that are part of the document based question that the students just wrote in their social studies class.


    Erin Gilrein (in class): The point of this is to find any sort of extra material that might help you to refine your DBQ or refine your English essay. All right?

    Erin Gilrein: It seems to me like the sighting from the documents is a little inconsistent. I know they had it in front of them cause they had the planner -

    Jennifer Wolfe: Right.

    Erin Gilrein: - But in the future, we need to find ways to get them to refer back to the texts regularly. Maybe emphasizing that as a rubric point or perhaps just practicing more often in class.

    Jennifer Wolfe: Or, you and I should spend more time in conference doing more of these types of seminars using two different kinds of texts because, you know how they are. They don't - transfer skills from one discipline to another. I saw them doing a great job in Social Studies but - there was a lot of great stuff happening in the Siddhartha book that reflected beautifully the question and the documents. And some of them weren't able to get there. I think it's because they're just not transferring those skills.


    Erin Gilrein: So then our challenge becomes, "how do we get them to transfer the skills that we know that they have?"

    Jennifer Wolfe: I think you and I need to use better vocabulary -

    Erin Gilrein: What do you mean?

    Jennifer Wolfe: - not really better vocabulary - but we need to use the same - vocabulary.

    Erin Gilrein: For prompting them to speak to one another? Is that what you're talking about?

    Jennifer Wolfe: Well, I think for getting them to think about the text in the same ways. So, for example - if we're talking about the question stem and we're saying, "do you agree that the big ideas seem to be..." I would not use the word, "big ideas," for example.

    Erin Gilrein: What would you use?

    Jennifer Wolfe: I would say, "what do you see as the themes?"

    Erin Gilrein: Or we could call it central idea and make it more Common Core.

    Jennifer Wolfe: Ok. Great. So we can call it Central Idea.

    Erin Gilrein: Similarly, in the same vein, I was thinking with the rubric, we have all of the, "I can" statements out of the Common Core and...


    Jennifer Wolfe: When we created our grading rubric, we called it, instead, "learning targets." Where, we pulled out the key Common Core qualities for preparation, listening, speaking and text analysis so the kids could see what they can do as observable behaviors and a Socratic Seminar.

    Erin Gilrein: There's four different subject areas - perhaps, we only give them two - you know, just speaking and just listening and take some of the pieces out so that they're not overwhelmed with everything they need to do.

    Jennifer Wolfe: Even for me, when I was attempting to keep track of what they were saying and how often and where in the rubric they had satisfied the task - it was hard to keep track. It was really difficult to read each of the observable behaviors and then make comments as I was listening. Because, I also want to respond to them in a thoughtful way and I wasn't sure I was able to do that every time cause I was doing this.

    Erin Gilrein: They're working on phrasing questions to ask each other in order to stimulate the conversation and I enjoyed that Rihanna jumped and was posing questions.

    S: On 113, in the book, it says how Kamal is dying. I know that she was looking for the Buddha right before she died. Do you think that if she had sought him out, do you think that she would have made her life a little bit more better - like, going on from meeting the Buddha if she hadn't died?


    Erin Gilrein: When she finally got the question out, it wasn't a question that could be rooted in evidence from the text. It was more of an opinion question. So, in the future, maybe I want to find a way to practice opinion questions versus questions that are rooted in the text and how we can get the kids to see the difference.

    Jennifer Wolfe: But her question, thought based in opinion, she showed an understanding of the text that some of the other kids did not show. So she was definitely... It was fascinating, really, to see her grapple with the text. To think about what she learned in my class in terms of the values and beliefs of Buddhism and then to think about the literature - kind of combine them into this nice wonder.

    Erin Gilrein: I liked how a lot of them were talking about the different caste systems in regard to religion and how it was odd for Siddhartha as a Brahman in a higher caste to be on a quest.

    Jennifer Wolfe: That would never happen and that's precisely because of what Rachel was saying before - that those Eastern religions tend to be a culture of the "we" and not of the "me."

    Erin Gilrein: That was the big, central idea that I didn't necessarily even know. They brought some global - the world history perspective that I really wasn't entirely aware of - and when they were saying those things - like, wow, this is big global history moment. Did we speak about Maggie? I like how Maggie started - how she jumped immediately at the very beginning for someone who doesn't always say a whole lot, she made some very direct points. She went right to the documents and didn't hesitate to - didn't hesitate at all. She was the first hand up.


    S: In document five, they would say there's kingdom of heaven or in document six, that after living your life you will enter Nirvana - document six.

    Jennifer Wolfe: I think she'd been planning what she was gonna say - it was obvious that there was text in there and that she was using - I thought that was great.

    Erin Gilrein: And it shows a lot of growth on her part to know that it's okay to jump in and participate.

    Jennifer Wolfe: She's always so quiet - it was so great to see her say something first. We need to deliberately stop at five minutes before the end of the bell to give the kids who haven't spoken a little nudge and if they still don't feel comfortable speaking, I don't want to badger them - then we'll hand out the yellow "Ticket Out the Door." That way, we can at least get a summary from them and hopefully -

    Erin Gilrein: I'm wondering if tonight, when they have time to think about it, if the points will be a little more pointed than what they are if they rush it.

    Jennifer Wolfe: I thought that they stayed on message today. I thought that they seemed to be responding to each other which is great. It wasn't a sixteen disjointed responses - so that was really nice. It wasn't a laundry list of, "here's what I know." So that was really great

    Erin Gilrein: Collaboration is most powerful when it's seamless. Through collaboration, I know when Jenn needs time with Social Studies and she knows when I need time with English and we honor each other's boundaries and if I need more time with the kids or she does, we make it happen.



School Details

School 7 Oceanside Senior High School
3160 Skillman Avenue
Oceanside NY 11572
Population: 1741

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Erin Gilrein
Jennifer Wolfe

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