The Literacy Lowe-Down

A Newsletter for Watkins Teachers

February 2016

Intentional Teaching

Our last team meeting was all about Intentional Teaching. Here are some of the words and phrases that stood out to us based on our new learning:

  • Deliberate
  • Scaffolding
  • Adjusting support
  • Specific learning goal
  • Continually assess
  • Transfer
  • Independence
  • Change over time

I encourage you to keep these ideas in mind as you plan and teach! We have such a limited amount of time with our students. We have to make sure we make the most of it by being purposeful, deliberate, and intentional with our teaching!

Intentional Language in Teaching

As teachers, our language is perhaps the most powerful tool we have! During literacy activities, teachers use language as a tool for communicating specific knowledge, skills, and strategies to children. In order for learning to occur, children must be able to understand the intent of the teacher's language for communicating a specific message, and perform successfully the action for which they are being prompted.

Teachers can monitor their language by asking some simple and important questions:

  • Is my language meaningful to the child?
  • Is my language relevant to the task at hand?
  • Is my language clear and concise?
  • Am I saying only what is necessary for the child to learn the task at hand (so as not to muddy the learning for the students)?

From Apprenticeship in Literacy, p. 19-20

Video: Intentional Language

This video features the very talented Amy Bolinger conducting a first grade writing conference. As you watch the video, look for evidence of intentional language:

  • Is the teacher's language meaningful to the child?
  • Is the teacher's language relevant to the task at hand?
  • Is the teacher's language clear and concise?
  • Does the teacher say only what is necessary for the child to learn the task at hand?

For More Info about Intentional Teaching and Language...

First Grade Writing Conference

Feedback Opportunity

I am taking a page from Janine's book and providing an opportunity for you to give feedback each month! This is completely optional, but I would love to hear from you!

Guided Reading Fidelity Checks

Janine and I will be doing Guided Reading Fidelity Checks next week. Here is the schedule:

Watch your email for the reflection form, and a schedule of your time to meet with us! Looking forward to seeing some great lessons!