The past week was the final week of English Language Arts (ELA) content coaching. I am glad for the experience with performing shared reading because I have never attempted to teach this type of lesson by myself before. I hope to continue working with my collaborating teacher in ELA. Next week, I will begin the mathematics content coaching cycle. My first lesson will be about fluently adding numbers within 20. I cannot believe how quickly this semester has gone by! The following week, November 24-28th, is Thanksgiving Break and I will not be working in my internship at all due to the holiday and closing of schools.
For the shared reading lesson, I met the standard LAFS.1.FI.3.7: Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas, which allowed me to meet FEAP 1A: “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.” This lesson connected to my previous shared reading lesson in which the students used their senses to help them visualize the content of poems. I sequenced my lessons in this way in order to have my students continue to build upon the skill of visualization as well as fostering comprehension. This allowed me to meet FEAP 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” For this lesson, I used The Primary Comprehension Toolkit Book 4 – Infer and Visualize to help me design and plan my lesson. I really appreciated having this reference material, which was provided by Hillsborough county as part of the Journeys curriculum. The book that I used during this lesson was Antarctica by Helen Cowcher.
In the beginning of the lesson, I engaged the students by having them visualize being in Antarctica through a verbal description of the location: ““We’re going to take a long trip today! Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a very, very cold place. The wind is whistling and almost knocking you over. The snow is swirling around you, hitting your face, stinging it, and it’s difficult to see. You are standing on crunchy sow, and in the distance you can see giant icebergs floating in the ocean. Think about what it would be like to live in such a place!” Then I asked the students to describe what they visualized, and felt when they thought about standing on the ice and snow. I made sure to make explicit connections between the cold weather and the cold that they visualized in the story. I was surprised that some students immediately made a connection to Antarctica. I showed the students Antarctica on the globe to give them some perspective and help them understand a little bit about the continent. This engage activity allowed me to meet FEAP 3E “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences.”
Before I read the book, I introduced making inferences to the students. My students have already learning about making inferences in science so I simply had to re-familiarize them with the concept. I used an “equation” to help them remember how to make an inference and I referred back to it throughout the lesson. This inference equation is based on one found in The Primary Comprehension Toolkit Book 4 – Infer and Visualize.
As I read the book, the students and I made inferences on just about each page of the book. I wrote these inferences on an anchor chart that I made. This chart had two columns: “I Learned …” and “I Inferred.” I used this t-chart because I was able to explicitly show the students the text clues that I used to help me make an inference. I was very surprised during my lesson that the students were able to come up with many inferences, including when they worked independently. One weakness; however, that I noted was that many students did not refer back to the text to talk about what they learned. This was; however, the first day of the lesson so it is understandable that the students need more help. My formative assessment of having students write inferences about one page describing what they learned and inferred informed me that I needed to reteach picking out what I learned from the text that helped me make an inference. I believe that this formative assessment allowed me to meet FEAP 1D: “Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning” as well as FEAP 3C: “Identify gaps in students’ subject matter knowledge” and FEAP 4B: “Designs and aligns formative and summative assessments that match learning objectives and lead to mastery.” I was unable to teach the second day because I was in my college courses but I would have focused on this skill if I had the opportunity to do so. By reflecting on the lesson, I meet FEAP 3D and FEAP 3J by understanding how I would “modify instruction to respond to misconceptions” by “utilizing student feedback to monitor instructional needs and to adjust instruction.”
All in all, I am very grateful for the opportunity to teach multiple shared reading lessons. I hope to continue taking the lead in ELA so I can learn and grow as a future educator. Next week will begin the next three week content coaching cycle, which is for mathematics.