Reading Part 1

Course Overview and Reflection

Introduction

This course has offered me a rich learning experience as I learned many practical strategies to enhance my teaching practice.

Some of the key highlights of this course...

Community Building Activities:

a) Just Like Me Activity – An interesting "Getting to know "each other activity where the teacher provides the sentence starters and the students stand up if their card states something similar to them.


b) Diversegories - An ice breaking activity for building classroom community.


c) ABC Activity - This is an excellent activity for community building as well as teaching skills like word-families or creating word walls on a specific topic.


d) Inside-Outside circle - A fun strategy to promote collaborative learning . This activity provides opportunities for students to engage in prompt, on-topic discussions with their peers in a random order.


e) Rhythm Circle - A wonderful activity for community building where the students form a circle and agree upon a rhythm. Each student then says his/her name and one other peer's name while maintaing the rhythm.

Article Study

This course offered several articles that are very imformative and would be instrumental in guiding my instruction in the future. Following is the list of my favourites:


1. Professional Learning 2.0
- This is a very informative article as it discusses the important role of technology in today's education.


2. Articles for Professional Learning Communities (PLC's) - These professional articles addressed some key literacy topics such as fluency development, careful planning of the learning blocks , use of comprehension strategies, content literacy and independent reading.


3. Talk in Action - A very useful handout that provides a list of various teaching strategies to promote collaborative learning in a classroom.

A Comprehensive Literacy program that highlights the importance of:

1. Four roles of a Literate Learner:

a) Meaning Maker

b) Code User

c) Text User

d) Text Analyzer

2.The Gradual Release of Responsibility Model: Empowers students to achieve greater independence in their learning. This model features the following 4 stages:

a) Read Aloud

b) Shared Reading

c) Guided Reading

d) Independent Reading

3. Co-creating Success Criteria: The importance of constructing the success criteria with the students to ensure a clear understanding of the expectations for specific tasks.
4. Accountable Talk: A clear understanding of the difference between the "talk" and the "accountable talk", and its significance in the overall achievement of language acquisition.
5. Literature Circles: A further clarification of how to implement literature circles successfully during the literacy block. The reference to Harvey Daniel's website was very useful as this website offers a wide range of ideas and printable resources for the teachers.

Link: http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/literaturecircles/

6. Three Part Lesson Design: I have been using the Three Part lesson format for my math lessons and now would be using the same for my language lessons as well!

Amazing Learning Tools

1. Websites- Several professional websites were shared by the instructor as well as the peers!
2. Children’s literature- What a great selection of children’s books and a variety of lesson ideas we all came across! Thanks for sharing!
3. Professional Development Resources: I am looking forward to explore the teacher resource books mentioned in our course study to further my professional development.
4. Sharing Ideas and Experiences: This has been the most valuable experience so far in this course. Listening to the ideas of my peers about their knowledge and experiences would help me enrich my program.


Technology Integration

Twitter: I found Twitter to be an amazing online application for my professional development. Following authors, educators, and other experts would enable me to explore the ideas and teaching resources shared by them.


Google Docs: This was another new learning opportunity for me as I became familiar with online tools for spreadsheet creation and its applications in education.

Guest Speakers

We had the pleasure to listen to the following two amazing guest speakers:


1. Kaylene Brar: Strategies for effective implementation of Running Records.

2. Melanie Mulcaster: Introduction to some of the very useful apps that can be incorporated in everyday teaching to promote interactive learning.

Field Trips

1. Experience at the Professional Library - It was a nice experience exploring the collection of resources for independent study at the professional library.

2. Another Story Bookstore - Looking forward to yet another wonderful experience amidst a treasure of books!