A peek at the week in review …

It’s important to be grateful…

You may remember Randy Pausch as the man who became famous for celebrating life in the process of death. Even with a dismal outcome, he was someone to be admired, I can’t help but share this quote as our school focuses on gratitude this month.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to work in classrooms day in and day out at our school, focusing on student achievement with our amazing teachers. As I end one set of coaching cycles and begin the next round, a big thank you goes to the brave teachers who share their time and kids with me.

To finish out my time in Kindergarten, we used an idea from the book Conferring with Young Writers by Kristin Ackerman & Jennifer McDonough. You can see on the above anchor chart, we used this powerfully resourceful strategy to help students generate ideas for small moments. It was an amazing day, I saw a student who had only ever written about Mario and Luigi (fully convinced they are true and a part of his small moments) write about playing with his dog in the backyard. Small win for these writing teachers!  This anchor chart will be powerful and students will connect to it. I was totally in awe as I taught that day, watching 22 little kindergarten brains open up at the idea that they have so many stories to tell.

In third grade, I continue to be empowered by the idea: if students can speak it, they can write it.  I have enjoyed watching the transformation of these readers, who are writers responding to their reading in Wonders, to share opinions using powerful pieces of text evidence. They collected evidence on sticky notes centered around the essential question, placed it appropriately on the discussion web, then used their reading partner to talk through their opinion, all based on text evidence. I modeled my thinking for students and then they were off to write. I am so looking forward to their post data collection to see how far they’ve come in written responses using text evidence. There are so many routines in place to support these readers in achieving our content standards, it is wonderful.

This kindergarten student used the How to Generate Ideas chart to write a small moment about her dog. She is carefully spacing words for better sentences.

Partners use their collaborative conversation rubrics as a guide for discussion to verbally rehearse their opinions before writing in response to reading.