Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Meaning in Literature Grades 6-8
Conversations in Literature — Workshop

About Making Meaning in Literature: A Video Library, Grades 6-8

Individual Clip Descriptions

1. Introducing the Envisionment-Building Classroom
2. Building a Literary Community
3. Asking Questions
4. Facilitating Discussion
5. Seminar Discussion
6. Dramatic Tableaux
7. Readers as Individuals
8. The Teacher’s Role in a Literary Community
9. Whole Group Discussions

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About This Video Clip

Featured Texts

Classroom Snapshot

Classroom Lesson Plan

Professional Reflection

Teacher Tools
Additional Resources

Classroom Snapshot

School: Howard A. Doolin Middle School
Location: Miami, Florida
No. of Students in School: 1,980
Teacher: Ana Hernandez
No. of Years Teaching: 4 Years
Grade: 7th
Subject: Language arts
No. of Students in the Classroom: 30

Named after a Dade County music teacher, Howard Doolin Middle School in Miami, Florida, is a fine arts school with an emphasis on character education. The school building was constructed in 1997 and has a spacious, open feel. It serves the rapidly growing, racially and economically mixed neighborhood of West Kendall. Most children walk to school or take a bus paid for by their families; the district does not arrange transportation if students live within two miles of school. The student population is approximately 82 percent Hispanic (many from South America) with a smaller percentage of African Americans, Caucasians, and Asian Americans. Although many students are bilingual, classes are conducted in English. Students take the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT), an essay and short-answer exam, at the end of each year. The school receives a grade based on student results.

students in the classroomDoolin boasts a Gifted and Talented (GT) program into which students are admitted based on an IQ test or teacher recommendation. Class periods last nearly two hours, in an ABC schedule, allowing adequate time for a wide range of activities within a single period. Because GT classes are looped in the sixth and seventh grade, teachers like Ana Hernandez have the additional luxury of working with the same students for two full years before passing them to their eighth-grade instructors. As a department, the language arts teachers establish a scope and sequence that prescribes what standards and objectives teachers should address but allows for teacher discretion in how to meet these goals.

Ms. Hernandez strives to incorporate connections from literature into what students are studying in other subjects and into their own lives and choices. She employs a mix of both formal exams and project-based assessments in her classroom to monitor student progress.

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