As we went through the week we wanted to follow the inquiry framework similar to what we do and use in our classrooms each day with students. As we moved through the week we also follow that gradual release of responsibility model in the same vain as balanced literacy. I do, we do and you do……
Wednesday Sorting it Out
Teachers had received information, discussed the intentional teacher moves and also seen modelled for them an effective read aloud and a shared reading lesson. The focus of Wednesday was team planning. Teachers were given 80 minutes to work with the coaches to plan a 5 day shared reading plan as well as a read aloud. Our goal was to choose text that naturally integrated into the current or next Unit of Inquiry. We wanted teachers to see explicitly how they could use literacy to support their UOI and use time in their UOI to support literacy. The connection is natural. This planning was differentiated. Each team needed something just a little bit different……more clarity about the difference between read loads or shared reading, development of good questions, differentiation for EAL learners. Each slightly different than the rest.
During this planning time our literacy coach also had the opportunity to work one on one with Mary. During this time the sat, observed and focused on the intentional moves the coaches were making during planning with teachers. What knowledge did they need to lead the group? How did they differentiate the planning for each group? What questions did they ask? What resources did they use? How did they lead the group? How did they meet them where they were at? All of these questions were observed and discussed so that Kate would have a deeper knowledge of how she could facilitate the groups moving forward?
Again Anne worked with Bonnie our Teacher Librarian as I asked her to “Unleash the Beast” so that Bonnie could be our literacy ambassador and growth the love for reading within our community. Anne shared her best practices and ideas for leading in her role as teacher librarian.
Throughout the day the individuals around the table changed. I did my best to be at as many sessions as possible, our PYP coordinators and VP were also there. We found that by engaging in these conversations with teachers we were able to ask questions, push thinking and also engage as co learners with teachers.
The ladies had been working so hard and were in much need of some retail therapy so we sent them on their way to the Pearl Market with Kate and Kelsey our skilled barterers. The ladies were not disappointed and when they met us for burgers and beers had many packages in tow.
Thursday Going Further
The planning phase of our work with the coaches allowed teachers to build trust and develop relationships with the coaches. Without this opportunity for them to share their context and to work to develop differentiated plans that supported their students. Now it was time to put it into action……..
Our coaches went into classes and modelled the lesson for teachers with their students!
This was the TIPPING POINT! Teachers saw first hand with their students the POWER of the read aloud and shared reading! They were able to see the emotions in students, hear them share their background knowledge, see the playing field levelled for their EAL learners, give all students have an entry point into the lesson and manage students in subtle ways that increased their engagement! This was POWERFUL! There were ahas, tears, joy, excitement and amazement! Teachers saw students eating out of the palm of the hands of strangers. If they could do it as strangers then our teachers who really knew their students could surely do it! They saw that what we were trying to teach them and show them worked with their students! THIS WAS THE TIPPING POINT! Buy in! We could hardly wait to unpack the lesson with groups of teachers the next day! We saw the powerful shift and so did they!
We all left school with a high that day. We were beginning to see the pay off in the PD! Teachers were able to see that changing their practice would in fact impact student learning.
Time for fun……DIM SUM!
Stay tuned…. I will fill you in on the power of our reflection and the road that lies ahead for us!