TWS Information



The TWS (Teacher Work Sample) is something that I had to do in college. If has many different components. After I student taught I would make a TWS in my subject area I taught. It basically let me look at things I had done either right or wrong and how my students had did from me teaching my lesson. Here are a few parts from my TWS.


Contextual Factors


Community, School, and Classroom Factors:

            Scott County Central High School is located in Scott County in Sikeston, Missouri. Sikeston is located just above the bootheel in southeast Missouri and is approximately twenty-five miles south of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Sikeston has a total population of 21,652 people. Sikeston is a mostly Caucasian community with 17,268 or 79.8% being Caucasian, 18% or 3,894 of the people living in the community are African American, and 56 or 0.3% are American Indiana. The average household income for Sikeston in 1999 was $38,018 with 916 families living below the poverty line. 38.9% of the people living in Sikeston gradated from high school or got their GED, 67.3 % did not attend college, 8 % got a bachelors degree, 3% have a masters, and 1.3% have a PhD. While Sikeston is an average size town Scott County Central is a very small school. Scott County Central is a rather small school because there are two public schools in Scott County, Scott County Central and Sikeston Public School.

            Scott County Central’s total enrollment is 371 students, consisting of  73.6% Caucasian, and 26.4% being African American. There are 16 students per classroom teacher and 186 students per administrator. The average teacher at Scott County Central has approximately 12.3 years of experience, 23.4% of the teachers have advanced degrees. The average teacher salary is $34,659 and the average administrator salary is $67,375. The drop out rate for Scott County Central in 2010 was 5.8% and the graduation rate for Scott County Central in 2010 was 86.1%.

            Scott County Central high school is connected to their elementary school. The building is rather old but seems to be in very good shape. Each student in the high school has their individual locker and a playground outside is available for the elementary students to use. The math classroom, which I’m assigned in is rather indistinguishable. The walls are painted white and there are few posters or pictures along walls. The classroom is equipped with a whiteboard, a projector with a pull down screen, a computer, and printer for the teacher.

            The students are allowed to pick their own seats in the classroom unless they get rowdy and then the teacher may move them. The students are to come into the classroom and be in their seats when the bell rings. They should then get quite and start working on their bell ringers for the day. There are ten rules the students are to follow but the number one rule is no talking unless the teacher gives you permission to do so.

Student Characteristics:

            I am assigned to an honors math class. The class is composed of  8th graders who went straight to algebra instead of taking 8th grade math. There are 11 students in the class. Ten of the students are Caucasian and only one student is African American. All of the students in the class speak English as their first language. The students are very well behaved and work hanr on the work they are assigned. Class participation is mandatory and the teacher follows a school wide homework policy. Most of the students in the class are involved in extracurricular activities, with many being members of the school basketball team.

Approaches to Learning:

            According to the 2010 Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) scores 5.5% of the students scored below basic, 44.3% scored basic, 38.1% scored proficient, and 21.1% were advanced. These scores tell that us almost half of the students scored basic on the math part of the MAP test. To assist in getting these scores higher students should come into class everyday and do a bell ringer while roll is being taken. We would then grade the bell ringer together so the students can see what they missed and be able fix their answers. The problems should be reviewed and answers provided to students. One alternative to assist in keeping the student interested is to take them outside and have them find the height of a tree using formulas we learning in class. We would also do projects over mathematical theorems and formulas, and utilize real life situations to keep them interested in math and explain why they need to know and understand math. I would also try and help all the students’ different learning styles by using the VARK (visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic) concepts in the classroom. Students should be rewarded for good grades, answering questions in class, and for improving their grades by giving them candy and hanging their work on a bulletin board. These techniques will assist in motivating the students to do better in school.

Students’ Skills and Prior Learning:

            The 8th grade students were hand picked to be in this algebra class. These students are intelligent and understand math very well. They pick up on new material easy and don’t have problems following directions. These students had 7th grade math last year. The student’s 7th grade math teacher quit in April of the previous school year and therefore the students only got to chapter 3 the whole year. While the students are very intelligent and pick on the new material rather quickly some students have some difficulty due to the limited material covered the year before. The teacher always reviews information with the students and ask them if they have any questions. This has helped the students get on track.

Instructional Implications:

            When planning a unit it cannot be assume that all students have access to computers except for the ones located at school. It can also not be assume that there will be someone at home to help them, or if they need materials such as a calculator that they have one at home. If I was planning on doing a unit and it required an assignment where computers needed to be used I would need to make sure that I gave the students some in class time to work on the assignment so they could go to the library and use the computers if needed. Students should be given time to work on assignments during class because life at home may not be conducive to assist in completing their work,

            Students seem to learn better when you can relate what you are teaching them to everyday life and things they will use in life. Find out what the students are interested in and try to relate some of the math problems to the students. Students also like for teachers to use their names in math problems so this would also be a good way to keep students interested and having fun.

Source used:



Learning Goals

Learning Goals: 8th grade mathematics: Solving Linear Equations Unit

Learning Goals:

Learning Goal 1: Students will prove (DOK 4) one-step equations and they will also predict (DOK 2) the answer to one-step equations.

Learning Goal 2: Students will compare (DOK 2) one-step and two-step equations, construct (DOK 3) two-step equations, and be able to prove (DOK 4) two-step equations.

Learning Goal 3: Students will construct (DOK 3) a foldable with vocabulary words and definitions on it and they will be able to match (DOK 1) vocabulary words with their definitions.

Significance, challenge, and variety:

            The learning goals that I have chosen reflect several different types of levels of learning and are significant and challenging for the students. These goals are challenging for the students and require the students to think. The learning goals are aligned with the state, local, and national standards, which I will discuss in the topic alignment with national, state, or local standards.

            The goals that I have developed for this unit address all of DESE’s Depth of Knowledge Levels (DOKs). The first learning goal I have developed ask students to prove and predict one-step equations. This learning goal addressed levels 2 and 4 of the DOKs. The second learning goal asked students to compare, contrast, and prove two-step equations. This learning goal address levels 2, 3, and 4 of the DOKs. The last learning goal, learning goal 3, ask students to construct a foldable and match vocabulary words and their definitions. Learning goal 3 addresses DOK levels 1 and 3. To accomplish these three learning goals the students will have to build on previous acquired information.  Some of the learning goals utilize lower level DOKs. The lower level learning goals should be quite easy for most 8th graders, but some of the goals utilized are upper level DOKs. The upper level DOKs will make the students really think and use their brains to accomplish them. Since there are a variety of different DOK levels in my learning goals the students should be challenged. The learning goals are significant and challenging because they are aligned with DESE’s State standards.


            The learning goals have been clearly stated as learning outcomes. I will be able to clearly observe how the students are doing through the lesson and at the end of the lesson I will be able to clearly observe how much progress the students have made and how much they have learned. In learning goal 2 is says that students should compare two-step equations and then prove two-step equations. This learning goal is showing that the students clearly understand what they have learned. The expectations of the students have been clearly stated.

Appropriateness For Students:

Students will have to build upon previous knowledge that they have developed in previous grades. All students should have covered what an equation, how to multiply, divide, add, and subtract.  The Missouri Grade Level Expectations show that all students in the 8th grade have covered some information on equations by this time in their lives. Students who are at a lower learning level will not be at a disadvantage. The students who lack necessary skills will be accommodated by many classroom decisions, examples of what they are supposed to be accomplishing, and any help that they need.

Alignment with National, State, or Local Standards:

Learning goal one is aligned with the following strand:

  • Missouri Course Level Expectations: Strand: Algebraic Relationships 2. Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols. Concept A: Utilize equivalent forms. Learning goal: use and solve equivalent forms of equations (linear, absolute value, and quadratic)

Learning goal two and three is aligned with the following strand:

  • Missouri Course Level Expectations: Strand: Algebraic Relationships 2. Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols. Concept B: Utilize systems. Learning goal: use and solve systems of linear equations or inequalities with 2 variables.