Monday, February 25, 2008

Reflection - what does it all mean?

I began a unit on inferring with my class today. I also had the privilege of having our writing coach in my room today. Through talking with her, an idea was given to me that in order for me to grow, I need to write about what occurs in our class and reflect on it. Tonight's my first attempt.

***Quick note to add*** I should be doing so many other things. I actually have grades entered, but I have dishes to do and thank you cards galore to write and address...but what am I doing? Surfing the net and wondering if we will have all of the snow they are forecasting!

On to reflecting - In reading workshop, I read Officer Buckle and Gloria...later in the day, one of my students returned the chair she had borrowed and said, "Don't stand on a swivel chair. Rule #77." She remembered it from the book...another girl then also said the same comment (she hadn't heard the other girl)...I love that they notice so many things in the text and feel free to talk during our reading time. I had another teacher observing me and I'd love to hear what she thought about the students making comments while I was reading. I'm sure there's a time and place for students just to listen, but at the same time, if they aren't sharing their thoughts either on paper or out loud, how do I know what they are thinking?

I made sure to say...I'm inferring. I was blown away when a student that I conferenced with shared an inference she made. Then during our sharing time, two more students shared their inference and said, "I'm inferring". It was wonderful! My next step in inferring is to continue modeling and gradually bringing them in with sharing with partners as I read. I'd also like to talk a little about how my experiences from life (schema) helps me create my inference. I'll be introducing this as a Venn diagram. Just not sure exactly when I'll introduce the reproducible.

In writing workshop, one huge comment that I made that I'd like to start changing...We're studying Lynn Plourde and how to write like her. Today, I focused on her repeating lines. When I sent the kids off, I said, "What do you think I want you to try today?" What I could and should have said to give them the decision is "What do you want to do as a writer today to write like Lynn?" In my conferences, I need to ask them what they are doing to be like Lynn. As long as they are paying attention to a writer's craft and they are attempting to model their writing after a strong writer, I should push them in that direction. I know there are times and places to have writers do exactly what the focus lesson was, but I need to give my students ownership of their writing.

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