Monday, December 3, 2007

What did I learn?

A teacher, in passing today, declared, "I read your blog on 5x5's. I saw in the slides some of the things that you saw on your walk. But, what I really want to know is-- What did you learn from this walk?" I can take a hint--I realize now that I never synthesized the information, so here goes.

What did I learn?

1. All teachers on the top floor have a fully implemented Workshop Model.

2. Math teachers have embraced our new supplemental program, Everyday Counts, and their classrooms show evidence that they teach it every day.

3. Students are receiving embedded test taking strategy lessons in Reading on Wednesdays due to the extended instructional time with no resources.

4. Teachers are actively using their newly acquired Elmos and Projectors for a majority of their lessons.

5. Students in Readers' Workshop are reading on their appropriate reading levels.

6. Teachers are conferring with students in Reading, Writing, Math, and Science during the students' work period time.

7. All teachers are following the grade level's pacing guides.

What do I see as a next step?

4th grade math teachers have developed an Everyday Counts recording tool which holds every student accountable for the learning that has taken place in the lesson. They need to share this recording tool with teachers in third and fifth grade.

We need to have a data bank of all the test taking strategies for access by all teachers. I know we've had lists in the past but I'm seeing some new strategies that could be added.

I observed Elmo and Projector use in both opening session and closing sessions. In one classroom, I observed a teacher collect two student samples and place them under the Elmo for share chair. Each student could then see the student piece. We need to train all teachers to capture an image on the Elmo and create a folder in the shared file under each writing genre so we can archive student work. Think about how powerful it would be for a teacher to be able to pull a writing sample from Response to Literature before they taught that standard. It would be particularly important for a teacher new to the grade level or teachers could use it to show students before they began their own writing in that genre. In addition, grade level teachers could use each other's writing to benchmark their own instruction.

I'd like to capture some of the conferring on video and post on a blog site for other teachers to access. Many of our teachers ask probing questions that others would love to add to their repertoire. Conferring really is an art!

So, to the teacher that probed me to dig deeper--thank you! Making my thinking visible will hopefully help others in their journey at improving our craft. Kudos to you.

1 comment:

dayle said...

Being able to synthesize is one of your strengths, so thanks for adding that to your blog! 5X5s can be powerful! dayle