I'm sorry I didn't get your email for so long.
First of all, congrats on working towards your Nat. Cert. You will not regret it.
I do know that it is hard at times getting started. Entry 1 and 4 can be a little hard to brainstorm on, but once you get going it becomes easier.
Here are some ideas:
General Ideas- Save everything, just pile it up in a box to sort through as you go. If it is a student work sample, just make copies of a couple of students work. If you feel that a work sample shows a flaw in your teaching, still keep it. It will give you material to later discuss.
Entry 1- Teaching Reasoning Through Writing
This entry was really challenging for me. I knew that it would be, so I tried to be very organized about it. I selected 4 students to collect work
samples from. I kept them in their own folders. I tried to collect a variety of samples. For example, I collected a couple of essays, an extended response answer or two, and several journal entries. I included in my documents the rubrics that I was using to grade them, the copy of the assignment instructions. The more documents that I had to work with, the easier it became. Then, when it came down to evaluating my teaching reasoning through writing, I went back to the guidlines from the Nat. Bd. directions. This review helped me with the vocabulary necessary for the writing. I didn't see a direction in my writing until the very end. I noticed that my teaching through reasoning was OK...but definately needed work. And to write about your weaknesses is fine, just come up with some ways to improve while you are at it.
Entry 4-Documented Accomplishments
This is one of the entries
that you may not see all the great things that you are doing right away, but once you get rolling you will see how the smallest things that you do in your room contribute to your students' learning. In any case, I would again suggest saving...save every newsletter that you send home, any positive notes that go home, any invitations to conference, any document (written/picture) that shows you involved in your students, parents, community. I kept a journal (on the computer) of each contact that I made with parents, community members, and positive student contacts. After about a month of entering in each contact, I noticed a pattern. I started to gather the documents to support my findings. These documents were copies of emails, good notes, pictures, newsletters...anything. I asked colleagues and parents to help me with documentation as well.
I think my best advice is...to gather data about yourself and your teaching,
give yourself time to reflect and find the patterns, and the writing will become easier as you go.
Please let me know if you want me to read anything for you. I would be happy to help. I am mentoring a person right now in special education, but my certification is in social studies/history.