SAMPLE  Monthly Induction Candidate Journal

First Journal Entry Date:


ILP Goal(s) addressed:

ILP 1: My goal is to improve my ability to prompt students to ask critical questions and consider diverse perspectives about subject matter.

2. I will develop a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of student behavior, including development of individual needs, and utilize that knowledge in support of positive classroom conduct.

  • Just in Time reflections



We discussed how to use time wisely. I have been putting a ton of hours into this new job. I often don’t leave school until 6 and even then I bring homework home to be graded. We discussed several strategies and grading short cuts that has allowed me to get caught up on school work. I am now leaving school most days at 5pm and rarely take home more work to be done. My mentor also suggested that I not volunteer for more duties. I struggle with this because I want to be useful to my site. She explained that my job performance was not related to how many extra duties I accomplished but how well I was doing in the classroom.

We also discussed the upcoming evaluation scheduled for the 20th. She explained the steps involved and we agreed to plan the lesson together.


We discussed the upcoming holiday season starting with Halloween. I didn’t know our site has a no costume policy. I was going to wear my Batman costume. We also discussed how to include students who do not celebrate the traditional holidays. I am going to work on researching the Jewish and Islamic holidays and see if there is a way to explore them within the context of our literature.


I was caught off guard when three students were suspended and the front office asked for school work. My mentor and I discussed the procedure for students who are suspended or sent to SRC. I am creating a folder for students who are in this situation. I am also going to use it for absent students.

I attended my first SST meeting. We discussed how to accommodate Jake utilizing the new information I learned at his SST. We are going to seat him at the edge of the classroom to minimize distractions.  I am also going to develop non-verbal cues to help him refocus. He also struggles with reading comprehension. My mentor suggested whole class reading strategies that would help Jake, but also help the EL’s in my class. She showed me how she pre-teaches academic vocabulary prior to reading the text. I am anxious to see how this will work with my students.


I used the pre-vocabulary posters we made prior to reading “The Most Dangerous Game.” We also had a “snowball fight.” Snowball fight is a game where students write the word on one side of the paper and the meaning of the word on the other. Then the crumple up the paper and we have a “Snowball fight.” When I say stop we count the “Snowballs” and then the side with the most must pick 6 and correctly answer the meaning of the vocabulary word. We will have a quiz next week on the words.

  • Long Term Analysis of ILP Goal Progress


  • I observed Johnny Appleseed on 10/10. I specifically focused on his transitions between activities. It is included in this month’s evidence.
  • We also reviewed the pre-assessment on Critical Thinking. I asked my students to explain both sides of the argument presented in the writing prompt. I then used my rubric to grade them. The average grade was a 1.3 for all three classes. Many students could agree or disagree with the writing prompt but could not see both side of the argument. I am going to start using the graphic organizers I collected from Mrs. Smith last month. The graphic organizers require students to record multiple points of view with supporting facts. We will start with just two points of view and work our way towards three or more later in the year.
  • Evidence from this week (minimum 14, maximum 21 per year)
  1. See Below
  2. Picked three focus students to determine if the new strategies are working.
  1. Davey Lopes (ELL CELDT Level 3) Scored a 1
  2. Steve Sax (Special Student ADHD, OCD) Scored a 1
  3. Clayton Kershaw (Gifted and Advanced) Scored a 2

     3.   Observed Johnny Appleseed on 10/17/16.

1. Describe the evidence.  

  • Rubric.  This rubric grades Critical Thinking essays. I am going to use this throughout the year to grade all Critical Thinking Essays.
  • Picked three focus students. Davey and Steve struggled with this assessment. In working with Davey I discovered that he, like Jake, struggles with comprehension. Davey was unable to read the essay and identify the main points of view. I learned that I need to ensure Davey and Jake understand the text, including the academic content words. Since I am not assessing reading skill, it may also be prudent to read the text to the entire class, explaining difficult words along the way. Clayton was able to articulate two different points of view but neglected to include evidence. He and I talked about the assessment afterwards. He was disappointed in his score. We both came to the conclusion he rushed through this because he thought it was easy. I am going to help him and the class annotate the directions so he sees all that is being asked in the writing prompt.
  • Observation of Mr. Appleseed. I was able to see how he transitioned his students through the use of routines. Instead of talking loud or raising his voice, he told the students they had two minutes to move from rows to pre-arranged groups and get out their Cornell note book. Any extra time was added to what he called Bonus PAT. Students were eager to move quickly and quietly.

2. How is the evidence related to your ILP Goal? How did the evidence inform your teaching?

  • We will work all year on developing diverse perspectives when reading our text. When writing, I will assess my students using this rubric. The Pre-assessment showed that my students understand how to express their opinion but lack the ability to see another person’s point of view. This knowledge will direct our lesson plans going forward.
  • For Davey and Jake, reading strategies, building up vocabulary, and note taking skills will need to be added to my lesson plans. Students cannot identify various points of view if they cannot even read the text.
  • Clayton helped me realize that students are in a rush to get the assignment done and tend to miss read the directions. I want to see how students are able to critically think about different subjects but I need to make sure I am assessing critical thinking and not reading ability or test taking ability.
  • My transitions are a mess. Mostly I raise my voice and try to get the students to move quickly. It takes way too long and is chaotic. I know have a better understanding as to why transitions are so difficult for me. I am going to use the Preferred Activity Time and Bonus minutes to better incentivise my students to use time wisely.


4 - Exemplary

If applicable, consistently does all or almost all of the following

3 - Satisfactory

If applicable, consistently does most or many of the following

2- Below Satisfactory

If applicable, consistently does most or many of the following

1 - Unsatisfactory

If applicable, consistently does all or almost all of the following



--Demonstrates a clear understanding of the assignment’s purpose


--Demonstrates an understanding of the assignment’s purpose

--Is not completely clear about the purpose of the assignment

--Does not clearly understand the purpose of the assignment

Key Question, Problem,  or Issue


--Clearly defines the issue or problem; accurately identifies the core issues

--Appreciates depth and breadth of problem

--Demonstrates fair-mindedness toward problem  

--Defines the issue; identifies the core issues, but may not fully explore their depth and breadth

--Demonstrates fair-mindedness

--Defines the issue, but poorly (superficially, narrowly); may overlook some core issues

--Has trouble maintaining a fair-minded approach toward the problem

--Fails to clearly define the issue or problem; does not recognize the core issues

--Fails to maintain a fair-minded approach toward the problem

Point of View

--Identifies and evaluates relevant significant points of view

--Is empathetic, fair in examining all relevant points of view

--Identifies and evaluates relevant points of view

--Is fair in examining those views

--May identify other points of view but struggles with maintaining fair mindedness; may focus on irrelevant or insignificant points of view

--Ignores or superficially evaluates alternate points of view

--Cannot separate own vested interests and feelings when evaluating other points of view



--Gathers sufficient, credible, relevant information: observations, statements, logic, data, facts, questions, graphs, themes, assertions, descriptions, etc.

--Includes information that opposes as well as supports the argued position

--Distinguishes between information and inferences drawn from that information

--Gathers sufficient, credible, and relevant information

--Includes some information from opposing views

--Distinguishes between information and inferences drawn from it

--Gathers some credible information, but not enough; some information may be irrelevant

--Omits significant information, including some strong counter-arguments

--Sometimes confuses information and the inferences drawn from it

--Relies on insufficient, irrelevant, or unreliable information

--Fails to identify or hastily dismisses strong, relevant counter-arguments

--Confuses information and inferences drawn from that information


--Identifies and accurately explains/uses the relevant key concepts


--Identifies and accurately explains and uses the key concepts, but not with the depth and precision of a “4”

--Identifies some (not all) key concepts, but use of concepts is superficial and inaccurate at times

--Misunderstands key concepts or ignores relevant key concepts altogether



--Accurately identifies assumptions (things taken for granted)

--Makes assumptions that are consistent, reasonable, valid

--Identifies assumptions

--Makes valid assumptions


--Fails to identify assumptions, or fails to explain them, or the assumptions identified are irrelevant, not clearly stated, and/or invalid

--Fails to identify assumptions

--Makes invalid assumptions


Interpretations, Inferences

--Follows where evidence and reason lead in order to obtain defensible, thoughtful, logical conclusions or solutions

--Makes deep rather than superficial inferences

--Makes inferences that are consistent with one another

--Follows where evidence and reason lead to obtain justifiable, logical conclusions

--Makes valid inferences, but not with the same depth and as a “4”

--Does follow some evidence to conclusions, but inferences are more often than not unclear, illogical, inconsistent, and/or superficial

--Uses superficial, simplistic, or irrelevant reasons and unjustifiable claims

--Makes illogical, inconsistent inferences

--Exhibits closed-mindedness or hostility to reason; regardless of the evidence, maintains or defends views based on self-interest

Implications, Consequences

--Identifies the most significant implications and consequences of the reasoning (whether positive and/or negative)

--Distinguishes probable from improbable implications

--Identifies significant implications and consequences and distinguishes probable from improbable implications, but not with the same insight and precision as a “4”

--Has trouble identifying significant implications and consequences; identifies improbable implications

--Ignores significant implications and consequences of reasoning