The practicum experience provides multiple and consistent opportunities for host classroom students to receive instructional support through a targeted learning intervention. Residents plan for and deliver small group differentiated instruction. They select, administer, and interpret formative assessments for small, inclusive groups of 3-5 students across at least one entire semester (approximately 12 weeks), 4-5 days a week, for 30-45 minutes per day. The small group instructional experience prepares residents for intervention instruction to students who need additional academic support(s). Residents are expected to implement the appropriate constructs and models for teaching and learning that they have acquired throughout coursework. (Note: the Texas Education Agency refers to this practicum experience as “Small Group Instruction.”)
During the practicum, residents:
- Work with students in one identified content area – math or literacy.
- Select, administer, and interpret formative assessments for small groups of students.
- Use a diagnostic, clinical teaching model that uses ongoing data to inform planning and instruction.
- Videotape lessons to analyze for content and process.
- Formulate reports that delineate student proficiencies and challenges and offer recommendations for students, parents, and school personnel.
Residents in the Elementary Education Program of Study participate in two (2) practicum experiences during each semester of their residency year. One practicum experience is focused on literacy content using Tier II reading intervention strategies and the other is focused on mathematics content using Tier II mathematics intervention strategies.
Residents in the Secondary English Language Arts Program of Study participate in one practicum experience during the Fall semester, and Residents in the Secondary Mathematics Program of Study participate in one practicum experience during the Spring semester.
Urban Teachers residents complete approximately nine (9) weeks of student teaching as a part of the clinical field experiences during the first year in the program. Residents are expected to implement the content and skills developed through their coursework and clinical experiences in a comprehensive manner within the host classrooms. (Note: the Texas Education Agency refers to this experience as “Practice Solo Teaching.”)
1st Semester (2 weeks)
- August/September – 2 days in host classroom
- October – 3 days in host classroom
- November/December – 1 week (5 days) in host classroom
2nd Semester (7 weeks)
- January – 2 weeks (10 days) in host classroom
- March through June – 5 weeks (25 days) in host classroom - at least 3 weeks (15 days) must be consecutive
- Classroom observations – Residents will be observed at least four (4) times over the course of the fall semester at the residency site, including:
- Two (2) comprehensive coaching cycle visits, and
- Two (2) focused observations.
- The student teaching segments can occur at any time in the windows indicated above.
- The host teacher is expected to support the resident in the planning process and will be observing regularly so that the host teacher and resident can debrief together daily around the following areas:
- lesson implementation
- student engagement
- classroom management
- planning next steps
- The Urban Teachers Site Team must be informed of the weeks scheduled for student teaching so that observations can be planned.
- Regularly scheduled coursework must be attended as usual throughout all student teaching experiences. Residents will not be excused from coursework during student teaching.