“We’re done for the week!” announced Natalie Louis.
And I knew I had the first line of my blog post!
(To think I thought it was going to be, “I don’t need a roller coaster, I teach kids!”)
The questions Natalie had just addressed were:
How do I get better at the Mini-Lesson so it’s a super-duper imprint on the brain?
Like a tattoo instead of a sleep mark?
And the answer was,
Demonstrate LIVE how to get ready for a mini-lesson from the UoS
What will this look like? What are the steps?
- Read the teaching point out loud.
- Ask what it means? Bumble around
- Practice delivering the teaching point.
(Warning: It may take more “practice” before you are ready to say the teaching point out loud to your class.)
4. Go back and Read the connection (Tip: Read the bolds out loud)
5. Teaching – Read the bolds out loud (Ask questions as you think of them out loud)
6. Active Engagement – Read the bolds out loud
7. Link – Read bold out loud (Do you need any materials?)
How do you practice Mini-Lessons?
How do you check your time frames?
You can and should practice collaboratively. The “out loud Think Alouds” are critical because delivery of a quality Mini-lesson that sticks with the students takes more effort and thinking than merely reading from the spiral-bound page. That’s a good beginning! However, the point is to provide a short, focused intimate lesson. You don’t get that by reading the lesson word for word. You also don’t get that from whipping up power point / google slides. The whole group lessons are designed for delivery straight to students’ eyes, ears and mouths from your own eyes, ears and mouth!
Quality practice can involve rehearsing without students and actual instruction with a room full of students. You could video tape your mini-lesson and view it with a trusted colleague. This would require leaving out the “But . . .” commentary and just discovering some of the data that is easily observable:
- Were all 4 components observed?
- Was the entire lesson less than 10 minutes?
- How many times did you hear the teaching point?
- Was there a bit of engagement during the connection?
- Did you hear the teaching point in all four parts?
- Was the goal approximation or master?
- What key phrases did you hear for each of the parts?
- What were the last three words?
Audio-recording on your phone could be one step prior to the 21st century skill of video-recording your lesson and/or feedback.
How have you worked on improving your mini- lessons?
What are the parts of a Mini-Lesson at TC?
The architecture of a Mini-Lesson at TC looks like this:
Source of Session Information:
Bolstering Your Nonfiction Units of Study with Mini-Lessons,
Shared Reading and Read Alouds
This was just one small part of my August #TCRWP Reading Institute Workshop learning!
It was an 11 minute demo that was packed with both learning and laughter that will ever linger in my brain! A demo from a staff developer who was at TC when the architecture of Mini-lessons was developed. Tips. Gems to be treasured. Powerful learning!
Monday arrives with rain and yet the fire in my brain flames on . . .
Lucy Calkins keynote . . .
Laughter with Natalie Louis . . .
Learning with Kelly Boland Hohne
Illumination with Cornelius Minor
Such was the Monday in my life!
Today’s post is a recap of information from Cornelius Minor from his closing session: “Using Digital Tools to Offer Access to Students with IEPs”
Access for all Kids – Why is Access Important? (AKA “Research to Weaponize”)
- UdL – more inclusive
- On heels of Civil Rights
- Architects – ADA compliant – door width, door knob (designed from inception)
- Knowledge of the three networks that access the brain:
- Recognition (input – see, hear, perceive);
- Strategic (executive functioning); and
- Attitude (and feelings about teacher and learning)
Here is a chart I developed to organize some of the information shared by Cornelius.
|What is the main thing?|
Alfred Tatum – Teaching Reading to Adolescent Black Boys (Chicago) (EL)
Build on strengths!
|Synonyms: Ponder, saunter, exclaim – derivatives of most common words.
Camera saunter A , B photographer
Video ponder B, A videographer
Develop criteria together.
Make pic for word wall – Use students in the class
Social – Doing and Talking
The sound of my voice when I am reading text I care about. (have to like my audience as well as my text)
Teen ink is a source
“The day I met you was a bad hair day”
Need texts that are worthy of practice.
|“Going to play Simon says. You are going to read the poem like I do!”
3 different emotions:
Annotate text for emotion
|Specific Chrome Tools
||Have 3 or 4 that are extremely effective.
More is NOT better.
Can also change readability
Transfer – Use contexts that are familiar – Audio / Video – Students use daily!
|Do what the leader does! SELL it!
Effort lives in our methodology.
What was something tried and true?
What was new?
What will you do next?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Rev Up Your Teaching Muscles to Make Your Whole Group Instruction as Potent as Possible (Mini-lessons, Shared Reading, Read Aloud) (K-2)
Practice, practice, practice was the focus of our small group work. Sometimes it was the role of the teacher. Other times it was the role of students. Our workshop model provided multiple opportunities for practice in our groups with quick tips from Amanda. We always referred back to these criteria.
“Powerful Whole Class Instruction for K-2 Students
- Clarity and Concise Language
- Engaging and Engaged
- Assess and Give Feedback
- Links and Skills (Strategies) to Independent and Partner/Club Work
- Opportunities for Oral Language Development “
- “If Reading Workshop was the Olympics, I would have a gold medal in Read Alouds.” AH
- “As you are reading aloud make sure that you have transferable skills for the unit that will TRANSFER to any book. REPLICABLE!” AH
- “Try out a whole class conversation at the mid-point of the Read Aloud book. You do not have to wait for the end of the book!” AH
- I think “Think Alouds” are weird because lean and meaningful is hard! Getting students to think with you as well as help them know how and where to think is just not easy!!!
- Reading Workshop will follow the lead of the teacher. There is room for engaging, fun, joyful, active, learning side by side with students!
Beyond Guided Reading: Expanding Your Repertoire of Small Group Work in Nonfiction (3-8)
Today we looked at more tools and saw a simple goal sheet for a first grader that listed 3 goals for Fiction and 3 goals for Informational texts. Six goals for a first grader. Six goals chosen by a first grader. Six goals written by a first grader. Six goals. Attainable goals. Clear goals. Skills a first grader DOES need to work on.
Students at other grade levels CAN set their own goals. Teacher expectations are critical. Goals based on self-assessment of the progressions or some work with tools that lift the level of student writing is the right work. The work could go more than one way. Choices for students. Choices for teachers. Choices!
- Magic is coming back together – planned, taught, revised so it goes better – Now ready to go when need it again!
- Who is doing the work? It needs to be the students!
- The job of the tool is to provide reminders so the student can do the work without an adult.
- A lean, clear Teaching Point makes the small group most effective.
- Have realistic expectations, consistent practice, and work towards multiple goals to maximize small group work.
The staff developers with a standing ovation
All the support staff
Special thanks to Tim and the tech support staff
Shanna, Brooke and Audra for their lead work
Kathleen Tolan for the oversight of all institutes
and then – the finale
A speech with one-liners, audience participation, singing, pictures . . . and all that jazz!
On Getting Good at Goodbye
(a found poem from Natalie Louis’s speech)
It all begins with a Hello
There is so much advice about how to begin
Goodbye is another thing.
Everything is a process
Meaning-making, problem-solving and in that order
Do note that I got to the title – That’s a craft move
Everything begins with a goodbye . . . real powerful change
Need someone to “git-er” done and hold your heart
A partner can be the difference between crying alone in the corner or beginning that small group
When something is big and truly new, it is okay to approximate!
A moment of goodbye
Ready, Fire, Aim
Doing new teaching is the learning!
It takes a lot of slow to grow – I know!
We all come from places of the heart!
Getting good at goodbye . …
What are you getting good at?
What life progressions have you studied?
Any errors in reporting from #TCRWP are mine –
This blog represents what I thought I heard . . .
It’s only one view of the learning
Filtered through my eyes and ears,
A fun-filled week of writing and a week of reading!
Did you know there is a Twitter Festival this week and next?
Ten glorious days of twitter chata about the Reading Units of Study (#RUoS) from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (#TCRWP) meet Slice of Life 15 (#SOL15) amid a hashtag pileup!
The first two chats about kindergarten units are complete and I’ve learned a lot.
DISCLAIMER: I have the first grade units and am just beginning my study of those. I did have both the pleasure and privilege of beginning my first grade unit study with Liz Dunford Franco during the July TCRWP Reading Institute. I’ve been reading in the units during the last month but I’m still a novice!
What have I learned?
“I used to think . . . but now I . . .”
I used to think that kindergarten teachers had to deal with management and teach the routines FIRST, but now I know that students engaged in powerful and interesting information texts and story books are capable of self-management and the students CAN actually learn more during workshop when the materials connect to their passions.
I used to think that sending home guided reading “D” books (Kindergarten end of year targets) was the best way of sharing goals with parents, but now I know that parents must first be grounded in “great stories” so they understand that reading is meaning-making and not “racing through the levels”.
I used to think that the same topic/genre for reading workshop and writing workshop simultaneously would be too great a cognitive load for students, but now I now that I can check for transfer from one time of day to another when students are working in the same genre and also build deeper connections with multiple teaching points across the day.
I used to think that formal assessments coupled with teacher observation data were a great balance, but now I know that the way we frame the “assessment task” contributes to either the fixed or growth mindset of the students and is actually more critical than the type of assessment used.
I used to think that focusing on the end of the year target kept us grounded in our goals, but now I know that the learning target is an important factor that must not be allowed to cause an “OVER” focus on the end goals to the extent that we forget / miss what is happening in front of our eyes.
I used to think that there were some basic things that students really needed to learn before literacy instruction began, but now I know that a growth mindset will have a greater impact on perseverance and stamina than any skills work!
Specific tweets that I want to remember from our chat!
Can you match the tweets to my “learning” above?
What is your understanding of the “Reading Units of Study” (RUoS)?
Which twitter festival nights match your grade level interests?
How are you growing and learning?
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.