It’s only 48 here! On April 29th!
It’s also raining. A perfect day to stay indoors.
Unless you have a fire drill 🙁
It was a random fire drill chosen by the fire department and not the school. I don’t envy our administration this evening…I can only imagine the phone calls they will receive.
This year I’ve had the extreme pleasure of being a part of the Teacher Development Leader program at our school. There are several teachers that attend weekly training (rigorous!) and then we support a caseload of new(er) teachers. We have weekly check-ins (30 minutes) and/or pop-in observations once per week. We go over lesson planning and support with anything else (often differentiation or classroom management). The training and check-ins focus on our school priorities that are communicated throughout summer school and revisited often in our professional development.
We have been focusing all year on higher order thinking skills and at this point the majority of teachers are feeling comfortable with developing and including HOTS questioning in their lesson planning. Right now we are diving a bit deeper to focus on scaffolding down (or up) the HOTS in order to allow an access point for students who need support with higher order thinking.
I’m working with a teacher who really does a fantastic job with HOTS and his teacher-student talk ratio is terrific. The only snag is that there’s a small group of students who are having an easier time reaching for those evaluate questions and at times may dominate the conversation. Does that familiar?
At our last check-in, we talked about incorporating accountable talk strategies to help other students join in the discussion. I imagine some students are feeling left out or insecure and other students simply do not know (yet!) how to appropriately participate. We also discussed grouping to offer smaller groups more support and an even smaller group explicit directions (i.e.: sentence starters) to help them find their voice.
I quickly whipped up this handout for our check-in this week:
Right when I finished the two-page handout, I found this AMAZING resource!
I realize this didn’t sound as very “first grade friendly” as my usual posts, and indeed this teacher I support is in 4th grade. I definitely model and provide opportunities for my students to practice accountable talk. This summer I plan on designing a few practice tools and visuals so every grade level can feel successful!
I also wanted to leave you something a little bit off topic. A few days ago I shared about some fashion fun I’ve been planning…I’m almost ready to kick start it officially and ask for you to join in!
Here’s another sneak peek before the reveal:
How are you feeling about maxi skirts this year? Last year I kept mine all in the closet. This year I’m finally trying them out…sooo comfortable! Except today – my legs are freezing!
Have a wonderful week!
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