What went well:
Rick keeps his students very engaged in the reading by stopping after he reads each page and commenting on or asking students questions about what he has just read. I think this is a very important strategy that all teachers should use because it is very easy for students to sit and listen to a story without thinking critically about the text. Rick’s method of reading workshop guides students to do this and really helps them to pull apart all aspects of the story.
Rick also took time before completing the story to have students turn and talk to one another about what they thought the surprise in the story was. I thought this went well because all of the students were able to share their ideas with another student without taking too much time away from the lesson. I thought it was great that Rick went around and listened to what certain groups were discussing. This allowed him to ensure that the students were staying on track, but it also helped him to understand how each student was interpreting the events in the story thus far.
After the students shared their theories, Rick continued to read the story. It seemed to me like he purposely had the students discuss what they thought would happen right before the story took a turning point. I thought this was a great way to show students that their theories will often change as they read, but only if they stay absolutely present with the text.
1st Grade Mini Lesson
What Did Not Go Went Well:
The teacher asked students to turn to their neighbor and tell them how they could tell the difference between an informative text and a story, but she answered the question for them before they were able to discuss it with one another.
I felt like this particular teacher had a great lesson planned, but she did not allow the students to brainstorm about what she was teaching them. Instead, she just lectured for the majority of the lesson. I think this lesson would have been more beneficial for students if they were given an opportunity to think about the difference between informative texts and stories before their teacher told them what those differences were.
I also thought that she jumped around a little bit with the topic of the lesson. When she began the lesson I thought she was just going to focus on the different types of books that there are, but then she started discussing the themes of books. I think this would have been more effective if she taught the class about different types of books in one lesson and then themes in another. This way students will really be able to understand how to identify different types of books, as well as the themes of books without getting confused because too much information is being taught to them at once.
Poetry Mini-Lesson in Reader's Workshop at Walker Middle School
What Went Well:
This teacher used the same technique that Rich used which I really liked. She allowed students to think about questions that she asked with the help of each other before she gave them the answers. This is so important for teachers to do because it helps students stay engaged in the lesson.
I liked that this teacher gave her students a copy of the poem that she was reading so that they could all follow along. This went really well with her lesson because they were discussing alliteration. Giving the students an opportunity to see what alliteration looks like instead of just what it sounds like will help them to fully understand what that literary technique is and how it is used in poetry.
After the teacher read the poem allowed she had students work independently to identify sensory imagery and alliteration in the poem. I think this was much more beneficial than just identifying these things as a class because it forces all students to be involved instead of just a few students contributing all of the answers.
The ending of this teachers lesson referred back to everything that was covered. I think this is very beneficial for the students and the teacher because it allows the students to think back on the concepts that they went over, and it gives the teacher an opportunity to verify that she covered all of the topics that she intended to. This would be a great time to ask the students if they have questions about anything that they discussed.
Reader's Workshop, Rena Norwood
What Went Well:
I loved that this teacher began her lesson by creating an anchor chart with the class. She gave them the opportunity to brainstorm about reasons why it is important for people to reread books. I also liked that she modeled a reread before she had the students do it independently. Doing this is often helpful for students because it shows them what they need to do when they go off on their own. This also helps to make the lesson more effective.
What Did Not Go Well:
I thought that this lesson would have been more effective if the teacher had students reread a book specifically so that they could identify something that they did not realize the first time that they read it. One of the best aspects about rereading a story is that you notice intricate details that were looked over the first time you read it. The students then could have shared with each other what new information they learned.
Kindergarten Writer's Workshop mini-lesson A. Mueller.avi
What Did Not Go Well:
Once again this teacher modeled what she wanted the students to do independently, but she did not include the students in her model. I think it would have been more beneficial if she asked the students to help her figure out how to spell the words and which words had capital letters.
What Did Go Well:
The teacher thought out loud as she modeled the lesson to the students. This gave students the opportunity to see what their thought process should be when they work independently. She also gave students examples of words that they already knew that started with the same letter as words in her sentence. I thought this was a good strategy to use because it may help some students to remember how to spell certain words that may be difficult for them.
I also thought it was great that she reminded students what to do before they went off on their own. Kindergarteners do not have a long attention span so although she told them what they had to do at the beginning of the lesson, some may have forgotten by this point. Giving them a reminder is helpful to ensure that they all stay on task.