On your first viewing, use the Observational Checklist (PDF) to note Ms. Kostandos's implementation of the Literacy Teaching Practices. Note, in particular, how she teaches explicitly by making the purpose of classroom activities clear, and how she adapts some of the Literacy Teaching Practices to differentiate instruction. Also look for how her classroom environment, including her management techniques, promotes independence in students.
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Review What You Saw
After watching the video, review the Observational Checklist and reflect on what you saw. How do the practices you just watched compare to your own? Think about your classroom and the needs of your students. How are they different from or similar to what you saw in the video?
Relate the Key Question to Valerie Kostandos's Classroom
How does the classroom environment encourage students to gain independence as readers and writers?
Review the elements of a classroom environment listed on the right. What did you notice or record about how Ms. Kostandos's management and instructional techniques help students see themselves as contributing members of the class? As readers and writers who know what they can do and when they need help? How are students encouraged to take responsibility, work together, and model for each other?