My name is Mary Heeringa and I am the teacher librarian at Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, Iowa.  This is my first year working as a teacher librarian and my first year at the high school.  I previously was a first grade teacher in Bettendorf, Iowa.  My portfolio reflects the past 3 years of my teacher.  Because of this, some of my artifacts come from my first grade classroom and some come from the high school library.


Standard 1

Standard 1- Demonstrates ability to enhance academic performance and support for implementation of the school district’s student achievement goals.

Criteria a.- Provides evidence of student learning to students, families and staff.

Below is a copy of a student report card.  It is provided to students and families four times throughout the year.

Report Card

Criteria b.- Implements strategies supporting student, building and district goals.

I support the building by serving on many committees.  One committee I serve on is currently working on moving our district toward standard based grading.  We currently use this method for grading math but would like to move to all subjects in the future.

Grading Email

Criteria c.- Uses student performance data as a guide for decision-making.

Our district uses running records as an assessment tool for guided reading.  I take running records every week to help determine if a student is ready to move up a reading level or needs to stay at the current level.

We also using the FAST testing system.  I use the data to help decide students who need a Tier 2 or possibly a Tier 3 intervention.

Running Record

Winter FAST 1

Winter FAST 2

Criteria d.- Accepts and demonstrates responsibility for creating a classroom culture that supports the learning of every student.

This year I had a student who struggled both behaviorally and academically.  I worked with our AEA representative to come up with a plan to support the student in improving academics and behavior.

Behavior and Academic Plan

Criteria e.- Creates an environment of mutual respect, rapport, and fairness.

I have five rules in my classroom to ensure all students are in a positive learning environment.  People sometimes ask about Rule #5- Keep your dear teacher happy!  I tell them that I am happiest when all students are learning.  If someone is doing something to keep us from learning then I am not a happy teacher and we don’t have a happy classroom.


Criteria f.- Participates in and contributes to a school culture that focuses on improved student learning.

Like I showed in Criteria d, I have worked with our AEA representative to create a plan to help a student improve in his learning.

Behavior and Academic Plan

Criteria g.- Communicates with students, families, colleagues, and communities effectively and accurately.  

I believe that communication with parents is essential to the classroom.  I do this by sending home an update every other week and more often if needed.

Classroom Update

Classroom Update

Standard 2

Standard 2- Demonstrates competence in content knowledge appropriate to the teaching position.


Criteria a.- Understands and uses key concepts, underlying themes, relationships, and different perspectives related to the content area.


Criteria b.- Uses knowledge of student development to make learning experiences in the content area meaningful and accessible for every student.


Criteria c.- Relates ideas and information within and across content areas.  


Criteria d.- Understands and uses instructional strategies that are appropriate to the content area.


I showed evidence of meeting these criteria with my formal observations.  I had two observations done by my building administrator throughout the year.  I also met with my teacher mentor during the year.  She also did observations and we would create plans to improve on my instruction.  Below are the final observations and forms.

Pre-Observation Form

Observation Reflection Form

Formal Observation Summary. Mary Heeringa

Project 1 Forms

Project 2 Forms

Project 3 Forms

Standard 3

Standard 3- Demonstrates competence in planning and preparing for instruction

Criteria a.- Utilizes student achievement data, local standards, and the district curriculum in planning for instruction.

I keep track of our math assessment data in a spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet helps me to know if students are meeting math standards.  I take the information from the spreadsheet and use it to reteach and retest as needed.

Math Report Card Spreadsheet

Criteria b.- Sets and communicates high expectations for social, behavioral, and academic success of all students.

I send report cards home quarterly.  The report cards show if students are meeting the classroom expectations for behavior and academics.  As we move through the quarter each student has a person goal to be working on.  The goal can be academic, behavioral or both.  The students track their progress with our Super Improvers Wall.  The students receive a sticker as they show improvement on their goal.

Report Card


Criteria c.- Uses students’ developmental needs, background and interests in planning for instruction.

On our class blog student are often able to choose the topic they wish to write on.  Some days I do assign a topic but I want students to have as much freedom as possible.  My goal with the blogs is to allow the students to write on topics that interest them.

Mrs. Heeringa’s Class Blog

Criteria d.- Selects strategies to engage all students in learning.

In our daily math instruction I use differentiated instruction and differentiated homework.  At the end of each lesson the students complete a quick check.  That, combined with the daily work, informs me on how to choose the homework for each student.  Students can receive a reteaching, practice or enrichment worksheet.

Math Reteaching

Math On Level

Math Enrichment

Criteria e.- Uses available resources, including technologies, in the development and sequencing of instruction.

Last year, I taught my students how to blog.  We started with the lesson that is below.  We then moved to using iPads to create our first blogs.  After students were comfortable with writing a publishing their blogs, they used the classroom desktop computers to continue the blog.

Blog Lesson

Mrs. Heeringa’s Class Blog

This year, I added in several apps to for my students to use on iPads to enhance their math skills.  I added apps for basic number sense, geometry, fact fluency and word problems.

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Standard 4

Standard 4- Uses strategies to deliver instruction that meet the multiple learning needs of students.

Criteria a.- Aligns classroom instruction with local standards and district curriculum. I meet with the first grade team on a weekly basis.  During our meetings we work together to align our instruction with the curriculum provided by the district.  We also work to supplement instruction if the curriculum does not cover all of the Iowa Core Standards.

Team Meeting Minutes

Team Meeting Minutes 2

Criteria b.- Uses research-based instructional strategies that address the full range of cognitive levels. One of my goals this year was to use higher order thinking questions in my guided reading groups.  I worked with my mentor to create and implement a plan to meet this goal.

Project 3 Forms

Criteria c.- Demonstrates flexibility and responsiveness in adjusting instruction to meet student needs.

Criteria d.- Engages students in varied experiences that meet diverse needs and promote social, emotional and academic growth.

For both of these criteria (c and d) I worked with our AEA representative to create a behavior and academic plan for a struggling student.  The plan required me to change my teaching habits in order to best help the student make behavioral and academic gains.

Behavior and Academic Plan

Criteria e.- Connects students’ prior knowledge, life experiences, and interests in the instructional process.

Criteria f.  Uses available resources including technologies, in the delivery of instruction.

For criteria e and f, I created a class blog for my students.  I used the blog to talk about different types of writing.  With the blog the students are able to write on a variety of topics and practice using technology.


Standard 5

Standard 5- Uses a variety of methods to monitor student learning.

Criteria a.- Aligns classroom assessment with instruction.

For our math curriculum there are 16 topics (chapters).  The students are assessed after each topic.  There is also a unit test given after every 4 topics.  The results for these assessments are put into a spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet calculates the results and shows were students are meeting or not meeting core standards.  I can then take this information to reteach and reassess as needed.  This spreadsheet is from partway through the third quarter and shows were some students have been retaught and retested to show mastery of a standard.

Math Report Card Spreadsheet

Criteria b.- Communicates assessment criteria and standards to all students and parents.

This is a copy of a first grade report card that is sent home 4 times a year.  There is also an attached sheet to each report card for math grading.  We are moving toward standard based grading.  Math is the first subject to switch to standard based grading.

Report Card

Math Report Card

Criteria c.- Understands and uses the results of multiple assessments to guide planning and instruction.

For our math curriculum there are 16 topics (chapters).  The students are assessed after each topic.  There is also a unit test given after every 4 topics.  The results for these assessments are put into a spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet calculates the results and shows were students are meeting or not meeting core standards.  I can then take this information to reteach and reassess as needed.  This spreadsheet is from partway through the third quarter and shows were some students have been retaught and retested to show mastery of a standard.

Math Report Card Spreadsheet

For our Language Arts curriculum we have several different assessments.  I use those assessments to guide my instruction.  For example, I use the FAST data to create intervention groups for my students.  I also used the data to create a focus in whole class instruction.  During the fall, the data showed my students needed whole class instruction in word segmenting.

Winter FAST 1

Winter FAST 2

Criteria d.- Guides students in goal setting and assessing their own learning.

I have a Super Improvers Wall posted in my classroom.  Each student has a sheet with a spot for 10 stickers.  Once the sheet is filled up the student moves up the wall.  Each student has something they can improve on.  It could be behavior, spelling, reading level, handwriting, math facts or anything else the student needs to be improving on.


Criteria e.- Provides substantive, timely, and constructive feedback to students and parents.

I meet with parents during conferences to provide feedback on students.  My goal is to have resources for each student in order to improve learning.

Conference Sign Up

Criteria f.- Works with other staff and building leadership in analysis of students progress.

I meet with the other first grade teachers for a team meeting every Friday.  We take this time to analyze student progress among other things.

Team Meeting Minutes

Team Meeting Minutes 2

Standard 6

Standard 6- Demonstrates competence in classroom management.

Criteria a.- Creates a learning community that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement and self-regulation for every students.

During our guided reading time I follow the Daily 5 model with some modifications.  Each student is assigned a group each day to complete two activities.  The students work at their own paces and work together on some activities.

Guided Reading Jobs


Criteria b.- Establishes, communicates, models and maintains standards of responsible student behavior.

This is a chart that was created by my students and myself.  It goes over what should be happening during Read to Self and Read to Someone during guided reading.


Criteria c.- Develops and implements classroom procedures and routines that support high expectations for learning.

My classroom has five rules the students are expected to follow.  The last rule is “Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy”.  A lot of people laugh when they see this rule but to me it is the most important.  I tell my students that I am happiest when we are learning.  If something is going on to keep us from learning then I am not happy and it is not acceptable.


Criteria d.- Uses instructional time effectively to maximize students achievement.

I worked with my mentor to create a plan to improve transitions in my classroom.  Our transitions were taking too long and taking away from instructional time.  I worked on different strategies to minimize transition time in order to use instructional time effectively.

Project 1 Forms

Criteria e.- Creates a safe and purposeful learning environment.

A few of my students need extra support to keep their behavior on a positive track.  I use a behavior sheet for these students to help us have a safe and purposeful learning environment.  The students are part of our school wide Check In/Check Out program.

Behavior Chart

Standard 7

Standard 7- Engages in professional growth.

Criteria a.- Demonstrates habits and skills of continuous inquiry and learning.

I was recently accepted into graduate school at the University of Northern Iowa.  In the fall of 2014, I will begin my work toward a master’s in library sciences.

Graduate School

In addition to my graduate school work, I am in the process of becoming a certified Google Educator.  I have taken and passed the basic exam which is the first step.

Google Educator

Criteria b.- Works collaboratively to improve professional practice and student learning.

Every week I meet with the other first grade teachers for our team meeting.  During our meetings we collaborate on the curriculum and how to best meet the needs of our students.

Team Meeting Minutes

Team Meeting Minutes 2

Criteria c.- Applies research, knowledge, and skills from professional development opportunities to improve practice.

In October of 2013 I attended a professional development class on Whole Brain Teaching.  I took what I learned in the class and used it to improve classroom behavior during transitions.  My mentor also did an observation of the classroom behaviors.

Project 1 Forms

In April of 2015 I attended the Iowa Association and School Libraries annual conference.  One session I attended focused on coding in the classroom.  Coding promotes problem solving and critical thinking skills.  I have since started coding with my students in class using the Scratch Jr. app.  This summer I will be attending a workshop put on by Code.org.

Criteria d.  Establishes and implements professional development plans based upon the teacher needs aligned to the Iowa Teaching Standards and district/building student achievement goals.

Formal Observation Summary

During the year I created a Professional Learning Plan to set and meet goals in math instruction involving integrated technology.


Standard 8

Standard 8- Fulfills professional responsibilities established by the school district.

Criteria a.- Adheres to board policies, district procedures and contractual obligations.

After being observed by my building administrator, she created a summary of my formal observation.

Formal Observation Summary


Criteria b.- Demonstrates professional and ethical conduct as defined by state law and individual district policy.

The state of Iowa requires many trainings to cover conduct in the classroom.  These are copies of the certificates of completion of some of the required trainings.

Bully Training Certificate

Pathogens Certificate

Ethics Certificate


Criteria c.- Contributes to efforts to achieve district and building goals.

This year we piloted a new math program.  Part of the district expectations is to track the assessment results in order to meet the goal of all students meeting all standards.  This spreadsheet is from part way through the third quarter.  It will show progress being made toward the district and building goal.

Math Report Card Spreadsheet

Criteria d.- Demonstrates an understanding of and respect for all learners and staff.

I worked with our AEA representative to come up with a behavior plan for one of my students.  This is a copy of our collaborative report and resulting behavior plan.

Behavior Plan

Criteria e.- Collaborates with students, families, colleagues and communities to enhance student learning.

Parent/Teacher conferences are held twice a year.  I used Sign Up Genius to make it easy for parents to sign up to meet with me.

Conference Sign Up