Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grade 3 Readers' Workshop Live Videostream

At The Creek, we embrace making instruction visible and accessible. To achieve this goal, our teachers continually collaborate with others, blog about their best practices, host national visitors, and graciously allow video coverage of their practice. We share the videos on blogs, nings, and wikis, but we also share live videostream lessons to the Schultz Center, our district's professional development site. On average, we stream about 30 live lessons a year to give others a window into our classrooms, and yesterday was our first live stream of the year.

The Grade 3 Readers' Workshop lesson focused on author's viewpoint and began with the four part mini-lesson using an authentic children's text, Tea with Milk, by Allen Say. The teacher, Jenny Nash, began by explaining to her young readers, "Author's viewpoints are not clearly stated in the book, rather you have to do some of your own thinking by the details the author provides to understand the author's viewpoint."

Mrs. Nash modeled using a short excerpt from this familiar text. She reread the excerpt, used a three column graphic organizer (labeled place, details, and author's feelings) to think aloud, and recorded the details to make her conclusion clear about the author's viewpoint.

Next, she gave students an active involvement time to practice this skill. She placed another excerpt from the story under the document camera, read the excerpt aloud, and had students turn to a shoulder partner to discuss. She listened in on student conversation, and after several minutes had the students share their ideas as she recorded their responses. When students shared a response that was not focused on author's viewpoint, she gently guided them deeper in their thinking through questioning, and required them to give a more focused response.

Masterfully, she linked the lesson to independent reading by explaining to students that the author doesn't explicitly tell you their viewpoint rather leaves clues throughout the text so the reader can determine the author's viewpoint. Sometimes this is done in the details the author writes and the use of their word choices.

Students began independent work time by quickly practicing with another excerpt from the story and then moved swiftly into independent reading time. The teacher circulated and then pulled a guided reading group. It was evident as she ran the guided reading group that her rituals and routines were securely in place, because all students were engaged in their independent reading task.

After the guided reading group, the teacher individually conferred with five students, selected individuals to share their work in closing session that would reiterate her teaching point from the mini-lesson, and students returned to the meeting area as a whole group to close the lesson. Select students shared their work, the teacher took their thinking deeper by asking questions, and the lesson closed. Mrs. Nash reminded students that good readers think about the author's viewpoint as they read to help them to better understand the story.

During the debrief the Schultz audience asked Mrs. Nash questions, and she gave them a virtual tour of her classroom to show which artifacts are in place to support the Readers' Workshop. I don't know about you, but in my opinion, you can't make your practice any more visible than that! Thanks, Jenny!


Jenny said...

Thank you, Suzanne, for coming to my "stream". I am so thankful for your retelling of my lesson and workshop. It's nice to hear that, from the outside looking in, both via photos and words, my classroom is looking and sounding like what I'm working towards achieving! :) Hip hip hooray!

Melissa Ross said...

Sounds like another great videostream! :)

dayle timmons said...

Jenny really is a "thinking" teacher. She doesn't just follow somebody's script, but has thought and reflected about every piece of her classroom to make sure that it is seamless and productive. We are so fortunate that she is willing to have us in her classroom and that is willing to share her thinking as she organizes, plans and then delivers. What a treat!

Teach to Learn said...

To say that you are a gifted teacher is not enough. I am always so impressed with your level of thought in all that you do and I value all of the knowledge that I have gained from you as a colleague and as a friend. Your students are truly blessed as we all are. Thanks for always sharing!

Mandy Laird said...

Hi Suzanne~
I was one of the "tour group" from Texas. I was curious if I can see this video. I would love to see a 3rd grade Reader's Workshop from start to finish. Thanks!!

Suzanne said...

I'd love to say yes, but this was a live stream and we did not videotape it. We do have videos that we've taped on the ning, As soon as you join, you'll have access to all the videos under the video tab at the top. I'm not sure if there is a 3rd grade Writers' Workshop lesson yet, but there should be soon. Hope this helps!