The Purpose of Communication

As I reflected on last year, I felt like we had lots of successes as a class. Students made great progress with their reading and writing skills.

Accelerating Student Learning Using the Language Readers

How can teachers accelerate student learning? One way is to determine what is impeding movement and addressing those needs.  That is exactly what one teacher did to get her students who were stuck at a reading level to make rapid progress.

Begin with the end in mind...

How are you feeling about what is going on in education? By now, everyone who needs to implement the Common Core State Standards has begun the transition from using current standards to the national standards. While feelings are often not considered “data”, it is worth considering when everything we do is influenced by how we feel, which influences how we think, and what we think influences the actions we take.

Week 38: Things to Think About for Next Year

For my last blog entry this school year, I thought it might be helpful if I highlight lessons learned to think about and remember for the next school year. While summer is suppose to be a time for teachers to relax and slow down, I know we can’t help but reflect and think about things to consider for the coming year.  I hope this short list will be helpful:

1.Begin with the end in mind.

Week 37: Product

Products are evidence of learning.  And more importantly, products show that students know and can apply the process.  Once students learn the process to produce one type of product, can they apply the same process to produce a different product?  Inquiring minds want to know… I certainly did!

Week 36: Process

Eventually, students will need to produce a product to demonstrate their understanding and application of knowledge.  However, I found to get there, I need to really take a close look at the process to get to that point.  Like any journey, you have the destination in mind. You have a map and maybe even a step-by-step direction outlined to get there.

Week 35: Roles


Week 34: Assessing


Every builder knows how important it is to have a strong foundation and to assess the structures before removing the scaffolds and adding on another layer.  Adding on to the structures prematurely could have negative consequences.  In classrooms, we call it behavior problems. 

Week 33: Collaboration


What are the steps to address the two topics Comprehension and Collaboration and Presentation of Knowledge under the Speaking and Listening Strand in the CCSS?  

Week 32: Small Group Academic Conversations


The goal is independence! Can first graders conduct small group discussions without the teacher?  This week, I gradually released my first grade students to have small group academic conversations independently to find out.