Today was one of those days where you just sit back and say: "Yes, this is why I do what I do!" It was such a wonderful day of coaching teachers. I was booked solid and almost forgot to eat lunch. I did say ALMOST!
I had two collaborations with teacher groups, one with fourth and one with first. That is always interesting because I can talk to more people that way and we all end up sharing and learning from each other. The fourth grade group talked about response to literature. One of the teachers has had great success with some of her lessons. We started them last week and she has been still working with her kiddos to make them even better. I couldn't believe the long pieces that had from just short text by Cynthia Rylant.
I worked with one second grade today. That teacher had gone to the Debbie Miller workshop and we decided to try something that we heard from Debbie. We tried out the Big Idea in reading. I read the book The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson. After reading a few pages I would stop and have them turn and talk. They were to talk about what they thought the big idea was for that section. After a group discussion we would add something to the chart called Big Ideas. It was so exciting to see these kids actually get it. The teacher was amazed. I told her, "Do you see what they are doing? They are synthesizing!" She said, "But I haven't taught them that word yet." "Too bad," I said, "Because they are doing it anyway!" How cool.
I did poetry with first grade and also with third. In third grade several other teachers popped in to watch the lesson. The kids were delightful. They told the teachers were poetry hides for them. One boy wrote about poetry hiding in the halls of the school. He went on to write about the noise and the teachers yelling at the kids. I think the teachers all learned more than just about poetry today.
Even though I had to about slide all the way home from all the ice and sleet, it was a wonderful day. It is so exciting to see kids get excited about their work and teachers light up when their cherubs turn out such fantastic work!