Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kindergarten PLC, 2007

This is the second Kindergarten WOW day of this year, a day where the Resource teachers take the entire grade level of children so that the Kindergarten teachers can get away for a full day of Professional Development. The day began with a demonstration lesson by Haley Alvarado. Haley demonstrated our first Social Studies lesson! While we have had many demonstrations of Writers' Workshop, Readers' Workshop, Skills Block, Science and Math over the years, we have never concentrated on Social Studies.

Haley's lesson began with a review of the chart that the students had made the day before as they had studied "Families." After she reviewed and connected today's lesson with the work the class had been doing together, she explained to the students how to make a family "glyph." After demonstrating the project and checking for comprehension, the children were assigned partners. Each child had to interview his partner and draw a glyph of the partner's family. This twist on the activity provided for practice in speaking and listening.

1.Draw a window for each brother or sister that you have. If you do not have any brothers or sisters, do not draw any windows.
2.If you live with your mom and dad, draw a red door. If you live with just your mom, draw a blue door or just your dad, draw a green door.
3.If your whole family lives in Jacksonville, draw a tree right next to your house. If anyone in your family lives in another state, draw a tree far away from your house.
4.If your family speaks another language, write a 2 on the front door. If your family speaks English only, write a 1 on the front door.

Maria Mallon jumps right in and works with a small group.
As the children dispersed to work on their glyphs, Kindergarten teachers joined the children at their tables to discuss the project with them. As children finished, partners were invited to use the document camera to display and explain their work to the class. At this point Haley helped the class interpret the data of each partnership. "Now if John has the number 2 on his door, what does that mean?" "It means that his family speaks two languages." "That's right, because we know that John's family speaks English and Spanish."

Students explain their work to the group
After the lesson, children joined their Resource while teachers joined together in the Conference Room to debrief the lesson. Teachers discussed many of the things they noticed and liked about Haley's lessons ("warm" comments) and there were MANY things to rave about. Then they moved to "cool" comments where they asked questions, got clarifications and discussed wonderings. One of the many things that the teachers discussed was just how you find time in such a crowded day for Social Studies. The consensus was that you have to be intentional about the lessons that you teach and you slip the Social Studies content into Readers', Writers' and Math - sometimes substituting a Social Studies lesson and sometimes just wrapping the content into the Workshop standards.

After the lesson, Kindergarten teachers organized their Pow Wow notebooks with a conversation around professional behavior and responsibility.

The teacher did a "board walk." Each teacher reviewed a bulletin board of another teacher with a partner and brought their compliments and questions to the table. The consensus was that we appreciate the opportunity to take risks with our bulletin boards, because we believe that being valued as risk-takers has moved our work forward.

Finally teachers brought procedural student work to the table. Using the Instructions Rubric, they divided into partners to discuss and score the work.

All in all, it was a very productive day including lunch off the school grounds - a little time for fellowship! This is a talented, focused group of teachers who knows no limits!

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