Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Close Reading in Kindergarten

Today we were treated to a demonstration lesson by Duval County's K-2 Reading Director, Katie Moeller.  How fortunate we are to have a Director of Reading that is willing to come into a classroom and actually demonstrate with children (and kindergartners at that!) as she teaches teachers.  Today's essential question was around a subject that our kindergarten teachers have been working with since the beginning of school, "What does close reading look like in kindergarten?" 

Today's lesson came from an exemplar K-2 lesson from the website Achieve the Core around a poem, "The Wind" by James Reeves.  The poem was written out for the kindergartners without the title (which gives away the main idea of the poem).  This "unit" of lessons would be presented over many days as the students look at small portions of the text each day.  However, today we were shown several different ways to use the text and then left with a lesson plan full of additional ideas. 

There were so many examples of just good teaching such as calling on students randomly, using "turn and talk" with a partner, asking for text evidence, using thumbs up for a quick assessment, teaching vocabulary, etc., not to mention the depth of the questioning that moves us toward the Core. 

Chets Creek kinder teachers have committed to teaching this lesson and some of its extensions so that they can come together again and discuss successes and challenges.  This is the idea of lesson study.  What a great way to spend a morning - learning with some of my favorite colleagues!

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