Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Monday, November 12, 2012
Perhaps, teachers could animate the Daily Five framework with goals and proficiency standards from the common core. I think any of the activities could be stretched or shaped to somehow address the core standards. And, yet, I wonder if it’s worth the extra time this represents. What does it add?
Saturday, December 20, 2008
It is important that principals know what to watch for in a reading lesson. What makes it effective? It is important for coaches to, if they are to give teachers any kind of supportive guidance. And, let's face it, good teachers are likely to do much more self evaluation than being observed by others.
One thing that complicates reading instruction is there are lots of different kinds of lessons, and each of these lesson types has its own requirements. Basically, reading is both a skilled activity that requires a lot of precision performance without much conscious awareness (like recognizing high frequency words or common spelling patterns). But, it also requires actions that are synonymous with thinking and these require a lot of reflection and depth of thought. That means that a comprehension lesson ought to look pretty different from a phonics lesson; not just in content, but in the kinds of cognitive action the lesson leads kids to engage.
So, if you need to do observations -- including self observations -- you might find the following document to be useful. It tells the kinds of things I would watch for in various reading lessons.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
One thing I learned when I was director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools was that teachers’ appetites for resources, support, and professional development in reading were insatiable. No matter how much we tried to provide for them, they always seemed to want more. That is not criticism of teachers, but praise. The men and women who were teaching in Chicago wanted to do a good job, so their eyes were always open for new resources.
Since then, I’ve tried to keep my eyes out for stuff that would help them and their counterparts elsewhere. Especially free stuff. I’ve come across two helpful sites that I wanted folks to know about; you might find some helpful materials, activities, and information at these sites.
The first one is the Thinkfinity site supported by the Verizon Foundation in collaboration with the International Reading Association and other professional groups. This is the single most helpful place to go if you are looking for lesson plans or cool activities. This even provides on-line professional development resources for teachers, as well as neat things parents can do with their kids (or that kids can do on their own). You definitely want to add this to your favorites lists.
Recently, a friend put me onto another site. This one publishes books for children and adolescents on-line. These are older books (classics) that are no longer under copyright. The site provides complete texts and it is well indexed. You certainly won’t find the hottest thing in children’s literature at this site, but you may find copies of books that you would want to make available to kids. One of my favorites (The Velveteen Rabbit) is there and there are novels, stories, and books about lots of topics. There are some other useful resources, too, but the books are the thing here (not lists of books, but the books themselves). For teachers who like to make up there own instructional materials or who need multiple copies of a text for an instructional group, here is a resource that can meet your needs and keep you from violating copyright law.
Neither of these are commercial sites; both are the work of educational foundations who are trying to do good for teachers and kids… Check ’em out; I think you’ll like them.