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 Snapshots

Classroom Lesson Plan

Professional Reflection

Teacher Tools
Additional Resources

Teacher Tools

Whether you are a classroom or preservice teacher, teacher educator, content leader, department chair, or administrator, the materials below can assist you in implementing the practices presented in the video clip.

Assessment and Evaluation: Some Useful Principles
The terms assessment and evaluation are often used as synonyms. Distinguishing between them can be helpful as you plan instruction. Assessment means looking at what students can do in order to determine what they need to learn to do next. That is, assessment, whether of individual students or an entire group, is done in order to inform instruction. Typically assessment is holistic, often recorded simply as "credit" or "no credit."

Evaluation occurs after a concept or skill has been taught and practiced and is typically scaled, indicating the level of achievement or degree of competence a student has attained.

Developing Envisionments With Students
This brief article offers suggestions for supporting students' developing envisionments of literary texts.

Using Personal Writing To Extend Literary Envisionments
This brief discussion outlines several ways students can use personal writing to develop their understandings of a literary text.

Using a Writer's Notebook To Enhance Literary Envisionment
Teachers often find it useful to have students keep an ongoing record of their responses to literature over a period of time. These records can form the basis for a discussion about a text, or about a student's processes of making meaning. They enable students, teachers, parents, and administrators to observe a student's developing powers as a literary reader. Because they offer teachers a window into student processes, they suggest opportunities for supportive intervention as appropriate. Some teachers ask students to provide special notebooks for such records. However, individual sheets of notebook paper stapled together at regular intervals and filed in the classroom for safekeeping work just as well and are less cumbersome to manage.

Developing Envisionments With Students
As you begin to plan literature experiences for your students, consider offering text pairings, so that students have a rich palette of text background and reading experiences to draw upon in their literary conversations. Each of the following programs offers suggestions for additional texts that complement those around which the lessons are centered.

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