Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Kindergarten co-teach duo, Michelle Ellis and Debbie Cothern, have done it again and produced a one of a kind standards-based bulletin board. In 2001, as part of the America's Choice School Design, we were taught to compare student work against standards, and make our students' work visible. At first, we simply stuck to the template they gave us, but gradually the CCE teachers embraced the boards and began to push themselves each month to think outside the box. The boards, especially Debbie and Michelle's, morphed into not only posting student work, standards, and teacher commentary, but began to transform and capture the true essence of what was occurring inside the classroom. Also, early in the design, we learned to post student work over time. Generally, the last board of the year showcases a student's academic progress throughout one school year.
So, how was this particular board born? Earlier this month, Debbie was reading Eric Carle's, Where Are You Going? To See My Friend!, to her students when one of her young learners, A., politely corrected her pronunciation of a Japanese word. The correction began a conversation between the teachers, A., and A.'s mom. They discovered not only was A. eagerly learning how to read and write in English during the school day, but in the evening she was learning to read and write in Japanese! Debbie and Michelle asked to see A.'s work over time, and the idea for their one of a kind, over the top, April standards board was born!
Listen to A. Read in English and in Japanese
End of the Year Sample
April 16, 2009
Making Connections Between Japanese and English Stories
Monday, April 20, 2009
Creative teachers never cease to amaze me. Just when I think the dynamic duo, Debby Cothern and Michelle Ellis, couldn't possibly come up with another unique standards-based bulletin board, a new idea magically appears. This Kindergarten co-teach team offers an endless supply of fresh ideas when it comes to boards, and each time a new one is due, I wait in anticipation. It's not only in their superb content, but in their unique presentation that inevitably captures my attention. I read their students' work, revel at their imaginations, and eagerly show all visitors that walk into our building the work of our youngest learners.
I fell in love with their board last month, a Response to Literature on The Wolf's Chicken Stew. The black felt background and felt characters are props used by their students in the classroom to story board and orally retell the story, A Wolf's Chicken Stew. On the board, they include photographs of the children working on their story boards in the classroom. They highlight four student's responses in an easy to read color-coded format. The standards, task, and next step are displayed across the top of the board. The one of a kind presentation certainly made it a favorite of mine. And, just wait until you see what they put up this month--It is OVER THE TOP!
Amy's Response to LiteratureOnce upon a time a wolf was eating meals. The wolf liked always rising eating meals. He began to think for the next. He wanted a chicken stew so he searched for a chicken. He spotted one.
And the wolf had 100 kisses and that night he didn't have chicken stew. But Ms. Chicken fixed a good dinner and said I will made 100 cookies.