Norris Faculty and Staff Bulletin
Get in the know!
March 24, 2016
Feedback from thinking...used with permission...
One “think” that I have had is to separate my class into two groups for number talks. I shared this with Natalie the other day. I actually put it into effect. The kids love it! There is some “tweeking” I need to do, but I think it’s going to be very beneficial for the students.
Kady and I were looking ahead at Cluster 7 and we saw that we were getting into poetry in reading. What we decided to do was the switch the order of writing genres so that instead of doing imagination writing, we would also do poetry in the writing block so that the two subjects went hand in hand! We thought we would get a deeper impact of the content connecting them together!
A “think” I’ve had this week is: potentially more than any genre, research is one of the most important writing topics we can teach, i.e., college readiness! It begins in kindergarten. Here in first grade, with our research unit coming up, I was wondering:
how can we get all kids involved in the teach/model part so that when we do gradual release, they will ALL have been actively engaged in the past and will ALL be ready to participate with their group? (Rather than having those kids who let everyone else speak for them.)
We concluded that we love the RAN (Reading/Analyzing Nonfiction) chart and it will be such a valuable resource for the beginning phases of research. We want all kids activating their prior knowledge on our class topic – bears. All kids will be in charge of submitting sticky notes to the chart to show their learning. For whatever reason, sticky notes make learning fun for all! This will translate into better student dialogue and understanding after week one so that week two all students will hit the ground running with their group research.
In collaborative planning this week, Susan mentioned an idea for using the SeeSaw app for an activity we will be doing on telling time. I didn't know much about SeeSaw and spoke to Susan this morning to learn more. She gave me a quick lesson on it and I'm so excited to try out this app in our grade level. I shared the idea with others on my team and set up a time for Susan to come teach us how to use it next week. After talking to Susan, I think we could use it as a great way to connect parents to their child in the classroom. We could use it for students to explain their thinking in math stations, to share anchor charts on new concepts, to record share time during writing, and to assign homework activities! We are going to start using it to build online portfolios for our kids and have all of the information ready for parents to try out the app at open house.
News from Natalie
Recently we have been having conversations about planning and determining what is most essential to discuss and learn about during those weekly times. There is value in planning out small group instruction, since it is the majority of our workshop.
Kinder and 1st grade have had district PDs recently where they have learned how to write small group math coaching table lesson plans. Instead of the “teacher table” being the traditional “teacher table”, we have had conversations about turning it into a “coaching table”, where the students are doing the thinking, and you, the coach, is facilitating and questioning.
Below is a link to a Math Coaching Table Template for you to look at. Think about how this could be used to drive planning conversations. Kinder decided yesterday that as a team they would like to write 2 coaching table lessons per week. So cool - completely doable and super important. This lines up with our guided reading template as well. What do you notice about the structure? Please shoot me an email if you and your team choose to try a coaching table out! I have examples of videos if you are interested. Also…go see a kinder teacher…it is fresh on their minds and they have good thoughts about it!