Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Slice of Life Tuesday: Thanks, David

A colleague of mine took the time to share some very simple, but profound thinking today about scaffolding conversations for our students. After watching a video from the Lucy Calkin's Reading Workshop Curriculum, he and I agree it is much easier to implement a new idea in the classroom when we have seen it in action with real kids.  The idea focused on helping children use certain vocabulary as they are talking about their reading.

Using the turn and talk approach while teaching is a discussion, processing strategy I have been working on for a couple of years now.  But the combination of watching some fourth graders talk about their reading in Lucy's video and hearing about how David is doing it with his first graders made it more concrete in my mind.  We tell our students they have to hear something, see something, feel something to learn it.  But, as adults we still think we should master a new concept after one exposure.  So I let myself sit on David's floor and look at his charts. I listened to him explain how he is using some talking points to help his students use those complete sentences and direct their reading learning and talk in specific directions.  And now I'm writing about it - letting it sink in just a little bit more.  Using the turn and talk strategy with useful prompts for speaking is a wonderful way to give kids the meaningful language they need.

Here are some of his charts.  I hope you don't mind, David.  You knew what you were getting into when I brought my camera back didn't you?  Thanks for letting me reflect with you about helping children build good conversations!
Talking starters and frames for complete sentences
David's fabulous posters
Comparison notes across a series by David and his  students


2 comments:

elsie said...

You are so right, when you can watch someone and then talk about it with someone, your learning is much deeper. Love these charts! This helps make learning concrete.

Wendi said...

I love how you parked yourself on the floor of your friend's classroom to soak up some new stuff! Great slice about how we as teachers never stop learning! I also love David's posters. Thanks for sharing!