Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Follow The Annenberg Learner on LinkedIn Follow The Annenberg Learner on Facebook Follow Annenberg Learner on Twitter
Link: Teaching Reading: K-2

Martha Duran-Contreras's Second-Grade Class

Video Summary


Staying on Topic

Video Summary

The Teacher and the Class

Analyzing the Video

Making Connections

Selected Resources

In her second-grade classroom, Martha Duran-Contreras creates a community of learners -- including herself -- by establishing predictable routines, mutual respect, and clear expectations. In writing tasks and guided-reading groups, students are encouraged to solve problems together and share understandings, to stay on task and contribute at all times, and to articulate and celebrate their achievements. Ms. Duran-Contreras comfortably uses both English and Spanish to support individual students and to provide explicit instruction. The Author's Chair, a time when students read written work aloud, appropriately ends a day of shared learning and individual accomplishment.

Ms. Duran-Contreras's literacy lessons demonstrate the following:

Literacy Teaching Practices


Guided Reading


Independent Reading


Independent Writing

  • Culturally sensitive teaching that addresses students' personal experiences and feelings
  • Explicit instruction that helps students understand why they are learning, and builds metacognitive awareness
  • Strategic use of dual language response and instruction
  • Established routines and clear expectations that create a safe environment for risk-taking
  • Spoken and unspoken belief that every child can learn and has something to contribute
  • A community in which the teacher and students work and learn together in meaningful ways

"Children benefit from the use of both languages in a classroom and being able to validate many of the words and experiences that they bring from their homes -- whether it's English language experiences or Spanish language experiences. My using either Spanish or English makes them feel comfortable. Giving a language status is very important. I'm not going to take their language away. I'm going to use it when it's best for them."
Martha Duran-Contreras

Next > The Teacher and the Class

© 2002 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.

© Annenberg Foundation 2016. All rights reserved. Legal Policy