I have written about my concerns about how there has been a shift in the focus for instruction in reading. I am not going down that path again, so I am going to take you on my journey on how I am trying to shift my thinking.
Whenever I am confused, disgruntled, or just searching I typically find my answers on twitter or blogs. For me the digital world is an amazing learning ground because there are so many different perspectives. I love that about connecting with others. I read blogs and think how can I apply that? I read a tweet and bookmark it for a future unit. I participate in #5thchat on Tuesdays (the BEST) chat in my opinion and walk away after an hour feeling like I have been to a conference. Back to my shift.....
Learning With Joy What's Important? An Annotation Intervention
Either 1. a whole lotta nothing underlined or 2. a whole lotta everything underlined. When I mentioned my observation, I asked how people know what to underline or highlight in a text: "You underline what's important, Mrs. Taylor." I was reminded the importance of slowing down and helping students remember what to highlight. In our class we call it (HH = highlighter happy).
A Year of Reading Visuals in Non-Fiction Here are pictures of our hallway display and some of the students' work. They had a lot of fun with this. As you see, they could use their life and their interests. I'm hoping that when we do more nonfiction writing, they remember that they don't need to do research to write nonfiction! I was reminded the importance of allowing students to create their own display to show understanding and most of all allow time for fun.
A Teaching Life Slice of Life: Thanksgiving Togetherness As we move from one period to the next, his mood does not lift. Concerned, because he is usually a rambunctious sort of kid, I catch him on his way out the door to lunch. Normally, he is the first bounding out of the door, but today he moves reluctantly.John, I ask, is everything alright? He pauses, thinks, and, just as I prepare to hear of some terrible news, he says, I guess I just miss the Thanksgiving togetherness. I was reminded the importance of taking time to read my students faces, notice when they are not so rambunctious and most of all ask, is everything alright?
Thinking Stems OLW: Listening When Planning Small Group Instruction Over and over again, you see "Behaviors to NOTICE, TEACH, AND SUPPORT" written on almost every page. It took me to January of this year to make the connection to my recording tool. It is simple. I write NOTICE, TEACH, SUPPORT at the top. Then, six boxes to record student information. I do not plan out the week. I plan out the day. This form encourages me at the end of each reading group to reflect and reminds me that what I notice is important. I was reminded to slow down and not plan the week ahead. To take time to notice my students, plan (teach) appropriate lessons and then support their learning.
A Year of Reading Classroom Charts love the story our classroom charts tell at this time of year. I looked around the room today and loved looking at the evidence of the conversations and learning that have started our year. I was reminded even when the schedule gets too full and I need to save time don't lose the time to develop anchor charts. The conversations and the time spent is crucial to introduce the new focus but also to learn about where my students are as learners.
There seems to be a pattern in the blogs that I look back and reflect on. Remembering to slow down, observe my students as readers, and remember they are 10 years old.