On your first viewing, use the Observational Checklist to note how Ms. Duran-Contreras implements the Literacy Teaching Practices. In particular, consider how she supports native English speakers and English language learners and how she helps them become independent readers and writers. When does she use English and Spanish to "scaffold" learning for all students?
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Review What You Saw
Review the Observational Checklist and reflect on what you saw. How do the practices you just watched compare to your own? What do you think about the ways these practices apply to the students you teach?
Relate the Key Questions to Martha Duran-Contreras's Classroom
How are the diverse needs of learners (language in particular) met in this classroom?
Consider Ms. Duran-Contreras's comment: "It's important for children to think about the reasons why we are doing what we are doing in order to understand something in depth. I purposely tell children what they just did and why they're doing it -- I'm very explicit because I don't want them to be confused." What examples did you see in the video of specific explanations, questions, and scaffolding that Ms. Duran-Contreras provides for different students?
How does the classroom environment encourage students to gain independence as readers and writers?
While Ms. Duran-Contreras's teaching includes explicit instruction and modeling for students, she also believes strongly in students' capacity to learn independently. "Every child is capable of learning and every child should be respected," says Ms. Duran-Contreras. "As teachers, one of the things that we're here for is to guide them on this little journey. And not always as the sage on the stage, but really as their guide on the side." How does Ms. Duran-Contreras act as a "guide on the side" to foster independence in her students? How would you describe her manner in addressing students?