As I prepare myself and move towards preparing my students for the common core standards, I think about how to "up my game" as a teacher. Really, this is no different than any other new school year right? Don't most of us as teachers just naturally try to "up our game" each year? I know I am always striving to be better and trying to tweak how I do things to better my methods for my students. So Common Core just adds to what comes naturally to us!
One of my goals this year is to increase my students' accountable talk. My students, mostly struggling readers, find it difficult a lot of times having a deep discussion. This comes from several reasons: they sometimes lack confidence in their ideas and that they are "right", they are sometimes shy, they have not been held accountable to do it in their classroom so they haven't practiced it, they have fallen into learned helplessness- if I don't answer someone else will, etc...
The Reading Writing Project will help me with this goal. Have you ever visited this site? You need to visit there and take a look around! It has a wealth of information for you. I am only going to talk about one part today- videos. I don't know about you, but I LOVE good professional development. But schools don't have a lot in their budgets for that, so that is where The Reading Writing Project comes in. They have a number of different videos for you to choose from to watch for FREE! And they are short, because teachers don't have a lot of time!
The Ensuing Accountable Talk Discussion of Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! (K-2) from TC Reading and Writing Project on Vimeo.
This video shows a teacher in the middle of teaching her young students to be accountable in their discussion about a book, Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! She reminds them to not just give an opinion or connection to self, but to dig deeper- using more details and better explanations using examples from the text.
I used this teacher's small chart to create a bigger anchor chart for Deeper Discussions.
I am hoping using (not just displaying) this chart will help my students as they grow as conversationalists and deeper thinkers about the texts we read! I am determined not to hear so much blank air space as we discuss our texts this year!