Monday, February 17, 2014

An Afternoon w/Kathleen Tolan #tcrwp

I'll be with Kathleen Tolan the next three days and the first hour of our afternoon together is full of Tweetable moments, some thoughts below. 

Social Studies curriculum is usually two years ahead of the grade level where it's being taught. Wow, that's a bold statement, how will we achieve this.

- must give kids a forum to practice towards mastery 
- social studies text need to be readable 
- work towards moving away from social studies text books
- see it, hear it, use it….academic vocabulary 
- echo reading with kids, read a paragraph and re-read behind teacher or stronger reader
- text complexity is covered in many of the ideas above
- give kids an area in the room to read and discuss, must have more text evidence in the talk.
- shared reading - put something on document camera and read together.
- mini-lecture - be clear and to the point
- debate (My idea, record or podcast these to share with parents!)
- you can't get deep in a center when the buzzer goes off, we want kids to return to the center/work, must be deep and not just surface
- have kids name the strategy they're using - close reading and close looking - do this at center time!
- teach kids to have a plan
- have task cards for students to use, this makes the teacher available to support 

To summarize in my own words - 

Mini-lessons are the KEY to this work, we must give kids these tools so they can go to their 'tool-box' and use the appropriate strategy when needed. Guide the students in the work and call on them while guiding when it's time for independent work. 

Coaching is also so KEY, wearing my Principal hat and thinking about transferring my work here with my teachers back in California. Our staff meeting time or having a Workshop Wednesday time where I can teach ideas/concepts that will transfer to class and mini-lessons. 

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