Tag Archives: Shared Reading

Reading Content Coaching – Second Observation Reflection

It has been a few weeks since I have posted. The week of March 2nd through the 6th was the USF Spring Break; however, I still came to internship on Monday and I was a substitute on Thursday and Friday, all of which were great experiences. The following week was the Hillsborough County Spring Break, and the past week I had my second and final reading content coaching observation.

I was really excited going into my shared reading lesson because I wanted to focus on what I discussed in the previous post-conference, which was making sure to use intonation and emphasis by reading the story with emotion. I had my observation on Tuesday, March 17th. We read the story “Little Rabbit’s Tale” from the Journeys text, which has the same storyline as Chicken Little. The rabbit is outside and when the wind blows, an apple hits his head and he thinks the sky is falling so he warns all of his friends and they tell his mother but she shows him the truth and he apologizes for making his friends miss out on different activities. The focus of my lesson was to analyze the author’s purpose for writing the story to determine what lesson thee author wanted to teach us.

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One thing that I used to struggle with is my presence in front of any group of people. I remember shaking when I gave a book report in the 6th grade even though I had a poster board and was reading off of an index card because I just got so nervous speaking in front of people. Throughout the years, I have taken many steps to remedy this by making myself raise my hand and share my thoughts and present in front of others. I even went so far as to take a Public Speaking course at USF to give myself more practice. During my internship experience, I have had few problems, if any, speaking to students because I am truly passionate about helping them be successful so I focus on them instead of my own worries.

Part of this former fear; however, still lingered when I read texts because I did not read with enough emotion, so this time I made sure that really got into the text. I simply took everything out of my mind except for teaching and giving my students the best experience possible with the book.

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For example, when the apple hits Little Rabbit, the text reads “Thump!” in large, red letters so each time I read that word, I leaned in next to a student and shouted while hitting the desk. The reaction from my students was immediately obvious—they laughed and became instantly engaged, which was great because I drew their attention in on the very first page. I kept reading the story like this, acting it out as well by skipping through the room like the characters as they “dashed” in the story. I also cheered “Hooray!” and jumped up like the characters.

I discussed this experience with both my collaborating teacher and the reading content coach. I was, and of course still am, very excited and I thought that I did a good job and I was pleased to discover that both my CT and the reading coach felt the same way. The reading content coach praised me for working on the skill that we had discussed and making such immediate and apparent improvement with the skill.

This current week is testing for students so I will be unable to teach reading since the testing takes up the entire morning; however, my goal is to take the lead on teaching and planning reading. For the entire last week, I took the lead on teaching the literacy block based on lesson plans that my collaborating teacher and I made together. During this week, I took the lead on planning all of the literacy block (phonics, shared reading, and writing) and I will be taking the lead on teaching it as well. My collaborating teacher will still provide support when necessary but we both agree that by taking the lead, I am gaining valuable experiences that will help me so much in the future when I am a teacher.

During this past week I also took the lead on teaching mathematics and science. The science unit that we have been learning is about living and nonliving things and we will be transitioning into plants and animals next week. In mathematics, my students learned how to tell time on both digital and analog clocks to the hour and half-hour. Although I did not plan these lesson, I taught all of the lessons on time and then gave the assessment on Friday. I am very proud to announce that out of 17 students (1 student was absent) all of my students passed with a 71% or higher on the exam. I then recorded all of this data on an excel spreadsheet that organizes it to show the scores of the students, what percentage of students got the question correct, and how many students missed each question, which allowed me to meet FEAP 4F: “Applies technology to organize and integrate assessment information.” Looking at the results, I noticed that some students still have misconceptions that I will be addressing with them during this week in the time after testing but I am so proud of my students and I am really happy to see the clear results of my teaching.

I will be taking the lead on planning mathematics for the upcoming week and I will be taking the lead on teaching it as well. I will have my mathematics content coaching observation on Wednesday. According to the district calendar, the next unit is 3D shapes but during a Professional Learning Communities (PLC) meeting with all of the first grade teachers at my school, we decided it would be more developmentally appropriate to do 2D shapes next and then 3D shapes.

I was so excited to finally have an opportunity to take the lead on teaching all subject areas. For the remainder of my internship, I hope to take the lead on both planning and teaching all subject areas (with some assistance from my collaborating teacher) to help me improve my teaching skills. I am so thankful for the support from my collaborating teacher, my instructors, and the content coaches for helping me achieve this.

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Reading Content Coaching Week 3 – Observation and Reflection

This past week, I was observed for a shared reading lesson of the text The Garden which is a Frog and Toad story. The lesson involved analyzing the text in order to compare and contrast the experiences of the two characters using key details from the text. When I performed this lesson, it was the second day of a three day mini-unit and it was based on the Journeys teacher’s edition. My collaborating teacher and I; however, modified the lesson to fit the needs of our students. For example, I chose to replace some questions from the teacher’s edition with my own because I believe they matched the objective and would guide the students during the lesson.

The essential question for my lesson was “How are the experiences of Frog and Toad similar and different in the text The Garden?” I stated the essential question early in the lesson and made a connection between my question and the note-taking guide that we used. The students and I completed this shared chart as we read by documenting the experiences of each of the characters. I defined experience as “what the characters know and what they do,” which the reading content coach really liked. I tried to make a connection between this definition and my students by talking about how they already know kindergarten math, so they have experience with it, but that they do not have experience with college math because they do not know it and have not done it yet; this connection helped me meet FEAP 3E: “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences.” By making this connection for the students, I met FEAP 3D (“Modify instruction to respond to preconceptions or misconceptions) because I anticipated that my students would not understand the word and so I gave them the definition in the very beginning to guide the lesson. The reading coach suggested that I spend a bit more time in this area of the lesson to make sure that my students really understood my definition so they could complete the objective and answer the essential question at the end as a formative assessment. This helped me to meet FEAP 1D: “Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning.”

Then I read the text, pausing to ask key questions on most of the pages. I decided to read the text in this way because we already read it on the previous day so this re-read was used to refresh the memories of my students and help them analyze the text with a new lens (experiences of the characters). This aligns with FEAP 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” One aspect of the lesson that both myself and the reading content coach agreed that would have helped my lesson and my students was for me to explicitly model by performing a think aloud. In the very first line, the reader learns that Frog has a garden, which reveals that he has experience with garden. I think that using a think aloud to analyze this line would have helped my students be more successful during the lesson. In the future, I will work on using more think alouds. I believe that I stray away from think alouds because I do not want to think for the students too much; however, I simply need to find a balance between my voice as a teacher and the ideas and thoughts of my students. This will simply come with practice which is why I have begun to take more of the lead when co-teaching the literacy block with my collaborating teacher.

One compliment that I received from the reading content coach is that the areas that I should focus on to improve my teaching are very similar to those of a veteran teacher. He praised me for stating my objective early, using the note-taking chart throughout the lesson (mostly with responses directly from the students) and having a coherent plan for my lesson. He would like me to work on using various types of intonation and voice changes as I read the text and teach in order to engage the students. The reading coach and I agree that my collaborating teacher does a fantastic job with this. At one point Toad kneels on the ground and shouts at his seeds to grow; I leaned next to a student and slightly raised my voice during this part but my collaborating teacher actually got down on the ground and shouted at the floor. My students were laughing and then they were able to go back to the text and focus on the lesson. I have been working on this aspect of my teaching for a long time because, in the past, I was extremely nervous to be in the front of any class and sometimes I actually shook when I spoke to a crowd. Now, speaking in front of my students occurs so much each day that I am never nervous and instead very comfortable. The reading coach assured me that this aspect of my teaching will continue to grow and improve as I continue teaching, which is yet another reason why I am trying to get as much practice with taking the lead as possible.

I have scheduled a second observation for the week after spring break. This week is the USF Spring Break so technically speaking I do not have to come to my internship, but I went today (Monday) and will be subbing on Thursday and Friday. The following week is the district spring break so I will not teach my next lesson until March 17th. The week after that is the standardized testing for my grade level and my responsibilities during that time have not been announced. I am excited to continue helping out in my classroom even though I am technically on vacation and I cannot wait to return after the breaks!

Reading Content Coaching – Week 2

This is the second week of reading content coaching. My collaborating teacher and I have been co-planning and co-teaching the literacy block and she has granted me the opportunity to take the lead on planning and some teaching. We plan out a phonics block, a read aloud, shared reading, high-frequency words, writing, and guided reading for each day. I am excited for all of the progress that I have made so far and what I will accomplish in the upcoming weeks. I will be observed on Tuesday for a shared reading lesson that I helped plan and I should be taking the lead on teaching the other days of this lesson as well. Currently, we co-teach for the majority of literacy and I hope to take the lead on literacy in the upcoming months.

I currently have two guided reading groups, the high reading group and the below level reading group. My high group will begin a chapter book next week. I want to begin this type of book because all of these students have started reading chapter books. I want to help them better understand the books so they will be successful and continue to grow as readers. For my low group, we practice sight words as well as the phonics strategies of the week. For example, last week we worked on the “ai” “ay” sounds and my students practiced sounding out and spelling words using magnetic letters. Next week, this group will focus on “ar,” “or” and “-ore” for phonics and both groups will focus on determining the main idea of a text or chapter.

I write about the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPs) in all of my blog posts because these are the principles that I need to meet as an educator. Last week, I met with my PRT supervisor and my collaborating teacher to determine what areas I have accomplished and what areas I should focus on in order to continually improve my teaching, which allowed me to meet FEAP 1D: “Engages in targeted professional growth opportunities and reflection both independently and in collaboration with colleagues.”

One area that I will work on is my communication with parents and students. I have already worked on meeting this goal by actively participating in all Conference Nights at my school and writing home notes to parents. I will continue to work on this goal for the remainder of the semester. One way that I worked on this professional goal is by writing a note home to parents informing them about the award that our class won for our STEM Fair project. I typed up and sent home the note to invite parents to the event, which was fantastic. We had a few students come and they were able to explain all of their hard work to their parents and show them their STEM Logs that contain all of their work, which was another opportunity for me to work with parents.

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I was also happy because one parent wrote back in the agenda to congratulate our class for their work.

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I have also been working on communicating with parents about both positive and negative behaviors. I have never called a parent before but I have written in agendas many times in all of my internship classrooms. I attempted to call a parent last week but unfortunately the parent did not respond. One aspect of communication that I want to emphasize is positive notes and phone calls because parents always appreciate hearing about the hard work that a student has done and sometimes they simply hear the “bad news” instead of the great things their child has accomplished. When I interact with parents in person or through notes, I always make sure to focus on the positives and what can be done to help the student improve in the future.

With communication, I have also been focusing on providing immediate and specific feedback to students, which is related to FEAPs 3I and 4A. One way that I have been meeting these FEAPs is by teaching my students test-taking skills and going over test practice that we do as morning work to prepare for the upcoming standardized tests. In the morning, students complete the work by themselves which consists of either multiple choice questions, math word problems, or questions about a text. We then figure out the answers together as a group and use test taking strategies such as referring back to the text, checking all responses, and crossing out incorrect responses. After we finish, the students write “Checked Together” on their papers or we stamp their pages. By taking a small amount of time to do this, the students receive immediate feedback about their work and they are able to learn from their mistakes and see how to prevent them in the future.

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            I am excited and slightly nervous about my observation next week but I have been working hard and taking the lead in shared reading before so I think I will do well. I am excited to receive feedback from the reading content coach so I can continue to improve my teaching. The following week, March 2nd through 6th is the USF Spring Break so the residents are not required to come to internship. I will be a substitute for two days that week and I would like to come in and work in my classroom. The following week, March 9th through 13th is the Hillsborough County Spring Break and therefore I will be unable to attend my internship. I am always sad to be away from my students, which is why I will make sure to come in and visit them. I will also make sure that I am still able to plan with my collaborating teacher so I understand what will be happening in the classroom when I am not there and what we will be doing after Spring Break. I planned a STEM lesson that is science heavy a few months ago in my Teaching Elementary Science class, which is about the needs of living organisms (butterflies) and how to meet those needs with their habitats and I hope to teach that lesson after Spring Break.

Reading Lesson Plan – Shared Reading – Visualization and Inferences

Reading Content Coaching – Week 3 – Shared Reading – Visualization and Inferences

 

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.

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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.

Reading Lesson Plan – Shared Reading – Poetry

Reading – Week 2 – Lesson Plan – Shared Reading – Poems

Reading – Week 2 – Poems

For this week, I co-planned a shared reading lesson with the reading content coach to meet the standard LAFS.1.RL.2.4 – Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses. By doing this, I met FEAP 1A: “aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.” I really appreciated the insight of the reading content coach. He gave me ideas of differentiation for the lesson to meet the needs of all of my students. In the end, we decided on a guided release process that reflected “I do, we do, you do.” In the beginning of the lesson, the class and I read through a poem called “Happiness” to explicitly explain and show the students how the author helps us visualize the poem through the senses.

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I really liked this poem because it explicitly mentions the senses, which really helps the students picture the poem. We read the poem line by line and pictured each part. Then the students came up with their own titles for the poem such as “Happiness” or “Having Fun.”

After this discussion, we read “Quack! Quack!” by Dr. Seuss which connected with the other lessons of the week because we were studying Dr. Seuss. The students had their own copies of the poem in their Journey’s books and, in groups, they picked out the words that helped them visualize the poem and chose the senses that they used when they pictured the poem in their minds. This allowed me to meet FEAP 1D: “Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning” as well as FEAP 4B: “Designs and aligns formative and summative assessments that match learning objectives and lead to mastery.” My collaborating teacher, the reading content coach, and I all walked around the room to listen in on the conversations and provide the students with support.

Based on what I heard, I determined that the students were ready for more practice and split them into groups based on their reading levels using their guided reading groups as a guide. By doing this, I met FEAP 4A: “Analyzes and applies data from multiple assessments and measures to diagnose students’ learning needs, informs instruction based on those needs, and drives the learning process.” I used the data of running records and Developmental Reading Assessments (DRAs) as well as anecdotal notes and observations to inform my choice for the makeup of each group. I then decided that I would pull a small group of students to because I felt they needed the most support in the skill.

I chose poems that I believed the students of each group could read and then analyze using the skill. This allowed me to meet FEAP 2H: “Adapts the learning environment to accommodate the differing needs and diversity of students” as well as FEAP 3H: “Differentiate instruction based on an assessment of student learning needs and recognition of individual differences in students.” Instead of using one poem that met the needs of the core students, the reading content coach and I decided to split the class into groups. I chose the makeup of each group and the poems for these groups. I worked alongside one of the groups by reading the poem out loud to these students so the vocabulary would not limit them as they analyzed the poem. I was very surprised to see that after a few read alouds, the students were able to pick out specific words that allowed them to visualize the poem. It was slightly difficult for them to articulate their thoughts but I think this further proved that my support was necessary to help these students be successful when using this skill.

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(The poem above was taken from http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems.html)

 

I used the poem above when working with my small group. They were able to quickly tell me that the words “sizzle” and “pop” helped them hear the popcorn cooking. The students had some difficulty making the connection between sight and pouring the oil in the pot and putting in the popcorn; however, they were able to visualize this idea and pick out these words.

At the end of the lesson, we had a debrief where each group came up and shared their poem. I noticed that the students had some difficulty articulating their thoughts but I could tell based on the writing on their papers that they understood the concept. For example, on group circled the phrase “hot air” in the poem below but the group members needed some help to determine which sense they used [touch] to visualize it. The group also circled phrases like “light and tasty” as well as “swirling.”

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Another group read the following poem and circled all of the color words because they could see all of the colors.

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They also explained that they could taste the carrot and cherry pie as well as the other foods.

 

I believe that my students were able to pick up on the skill during my lesson. I hope that they will continue to use it in the future in order to help their comprehension of poetry as well as stories. Next week, I will be teaching a lesson that helps students pick out words that relate to feelings, which is the other part of that standard. By teaching this lesson, I will meet FEAP 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” For content coaching next week, I will again teach shared reading. I will help my students again use the skill of visualization; however, for this lesson students will learn to use visualization to help draw inferences based on details in the text as well as illustrations. I believe that this poetry lesson helped give my students the necessary background knowledge for my shared reading lesson for next week.