Teacher Spotlight: Caitlin Rugaber
Setting High GO Expectations
The elementary has adopted a new literacy curriculum this year, and there are different texts that correspond with the standard that students are learning. I walked in just as students were gathering on the carpet and pairing with their "making meaning" partner. Making Meaning is one part of the Collaborative Classroom curriculum that focuses on students collaborating and communicating with each other to understand the text they are reading. The students just finished reading two different functional text; one book was about creating paper airplanes, and the other was about creating origami.
The first question that Mrs. Rugaber presented to her class was, "What is a functional text and how would you describe it to someone?" She gave them a moment to share with their partners. Then she asked for students to share with the group. All hands in the room shot up and students were eager to share and confident that what they discussed with their partner was a good answer.
Mrs. Rugaber called on the first student and he shared. She pointed out how one of the students turned his whole body to face his classmate when he spoke and she explained how that is a really good communication skill, which is one of our 7 Global Outcomes. When she called on the next student to participate, all of the students turned their bodies to face that student, immediately implementing what Mrs. Rugaber had just said.
This was my favorite moment. It is a great example of providing success criteria, having high expectations, and explicitly teaching students what this looks like, and then giving them a chance to show it.