Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shared Reading

Last week, I hosted our second Vertical Content Conversation from 10-2, and our topic was shared reading. A group of ten teachers signed up to participate and our principal hired substitutes to cover their classes. Our day consisted of three demonstrations lessons, debriefs, conversation over lunch, and a text study from a chapter in Fountas and Pinnell's text, Comprehending and Fluency.

The day was very productive and teachers appreciated watching Shared Reading lessons in Kindergarten, First Grade, and Fourth Grade. (To read more about the lessons, please visit Timmons Times) They discovered many similarities and discussed the differences across grade levels, they pilfered implementation ideas, and grappled with how best to implement shared reading more often in their classrooms. They talked about shared reading ideas for Skills Block and Readers' Workshop, and in other content areas. They laughed together, questioned, and perhaps most importantly, bottom floor and top floor colleagues built relationships with one another-not an easy task with such a large faculty.

While teachers observed the lessons, they jotted notes on a recording template which asked them to think about what shared reading is, what shared reading is not, artifacts to support shared reading, and implementation ideas I have for my own classroom. We debriefed their observations and their conversation confirmed that these types of vertical learning experiences are valued by our staff.

To make the text study meaningful and connected, as stated earlier, I selected a chapter from Comprehending and Fluency. I grappled with whether to have teachers read this chapter in advance, or to integrate the reading into our day. I ended up deciding they should see shared reading first and then they would get more out of their reading. I knew we wouldn't have enough time or patience to sit and read the whole chapter, so I took ten questions from the chapter, color coded via highlighter each question, and assigned each participant with a question. I gave the participants the colored highlighter that went with their question, asked them to highlight the answer, and be prepared to share. The conversation was focused, shared from many speakers, and the momentum seemed appropriate. I also like the fact that these teachers can walk away with a resource usable for reflection and lesson building in the future.

I enjoy these days, because of the observation, dialogue, and reflection. And, the fact that it is a captive audience. The invitation is extended to all teachers advertising the topic so each learning leader in attendance has a desire to learn more, essential to the day's success. I look forward to more days filled with Vertical Content Conversation.

(On a side note, if you are going to watch the shared reading lessons, I encourage you to watch them all. Each of the teachers had great ideas that can be implemented regardless of the grade level you teach.)

Kindergarten Shared Reading

K - Shared Reading - Mallon Dillard 10-09 from Melanie Holtsman on Vimeo.

First Grade Shared Reading

1st Shared Reading McLeod 10-09 from Melanie Holtsman on Vimeo.

Fourth Grade Shared Reading

4th Shared Reading - Nash 11-09 from Melanie Holtsman on Vimeo.


dayle timmons said...

This was such a great day. I am so happy that we have the videos but the videos cannot capture all of the interesting conversation. You really had to be there!

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