Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Video streaming: Readers' Workshop

Duval County is very fortunate to have a professional development site called the Schultz Center in Jacksonville. All of the county's professional development runs through this state-of-the- art facility. One of the most popular Schultz courses is Literacy 101 which gives teachers a background in Readers' and Writers' Workshop. For three year Chets Creek has had an agreement with the Schultz Center to provide live demonstration lessons through video streaming. Literacy 101 drops into Chets Creek classes and watches a specific lesson. After teachers at the Schultz Center watch, the teachers teaching the lesson debrief from Chets Creek. This is real time observation and sharing.

Today Literacy 101 dropped into Haley Alvarado and Meredy Mackiewicz' co-taught kindergarten Readers' Workshop.

The lesson began with a musical introduction to the Readers' Workshop using Jack Hartman's Ready to Read.

The mini-lesson was the perfect 4-parts (from Lucy Calkins The Art of Teaching Reading) lasting about 12 minutes:

1. Connection - The teachers began by connecting today's lesson with yesterday's lesson. Yesterday the children looked at a familiar fiction book (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) and compared it with a non-fiction book. The class began a chart of non-fiction features that the teachers quickly reviewed today.

2. Teach - The teaching focus for today's lesson was to add to the non-fiction list, so the teachers showed the students some features that were in a non-fiction text that they would not see in their familiar fiction books.

3. Active Involvement - For the active involvement the teachers had the kindergartners turn and talk ( Can you believe it? Kindergartners turning and talking after 7 weeks of school?!) about the non-fiction features that they had noticed. After a few minutes of talking with partners, the kindergartners returned to the group and "shared out" what they noticed. The teachers added to the list.
4. Link - To link the lesson to the independent reading which followed the mini-lesson, the teachers put a sticky note at each child's place so that they could put the sticky note on any page where they noticed a non-fiction text feature.

As the children transitioned to the independent work period the teachers stopped to debrief their lesson with the Schultz teachers. Some of the debrief was around the lesson but much of the conversation was centered around the positive discipline that Haley and Meredy use in their classroom and that the teachers had seen demonstrated during the viewing.  

After the camera was moved out of the room, the children continued reading until Haley and Meredy were ready to close. At Closing the children shared their sticky notes of the non-fiction text features that they had noticed in their independent reading. 

Video streaming is an excellent tool for teachers in a professional development class because they have the opportunity to see real teaching as it happens with a chance to ask questions of the teachers. It's also good for our teachers because it gives them a chance to share their learning - to make a difference. It's a win-win for us all!


Anonymous said...

Aloha Dayle,
First of all, thank you for your most inspiring speech at the closing session. All of America should have heard your message. Our group returned back home to Hawaii with many fond memories, especially your keynote address. We will share your school's exemplary website with our teachers. Mahalo for your passion.
P. Sano

Krys said...

I am a staff developer searching for a video of a kindergarten mini-lesson. Is it possible to access this in video stream? Not simply print? I send my teacher to this site frequently!