Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop
Creating Contexts for Learning Reflect on Your Learning | Creating Contexts for Learning
What Did You Learn?
Think about what you have learned about classroom organization and grouping routines from Professor Paratore’s comments and the classroom examples. Write a summary of what you have learned. Use the following questions to guide your thinking. When you have finished, save your written summary to submit as an assignment and, if you are taking this workshop for credit, include it in your Literacy Practices Portfolio.
- What did you learn about the influence of classroom environment on student learning and achievement?
- Which ideas in this session are most relevant to your teaching?
- What ideas or strategies do you plan to use?
- What support and/or resources will you need to implement these ideas?
Create a Literacy Practices Portfolio
If you are taking this workshop for credit, the final project begins here. As you complete each session, you will be putting together a portfolio of ideas and strategies to enhance your practice. When you have finished, save your written summary to submit as an assignment. Your portfolio for this workshop will include the following:
- current practices in place in your classroom
- changes you would like to make
- a description of one change you have implemented
- evidence of student learning
Use the questions below to guide your thinking as you document your current practices, as well as changes you would like to make.
1. Current practices
Include your written response from What Do You Do? Also, describe the current organization of your classroom.
- How inviting and attractive is your classroom?
- How are the desks organized?
- Do you have a clearly defined reading center?
- How is it organized?
- Describe your classroom library. How many books are in the library? How are they organized? Do they offer diversity for all students?
- How and when do children access books?
- What are your wall displays? How do they help children “get their work done”? Do children have ownership of the material? Are children accessing the information?
- Do you have a clearly defined writing center?
- How is it organized?
- How do children access materials?
- What is on the walls? How does it help children “get their work done”? Do children have ownership of the material? Are children accessing the information?
- What are the routines that are in place in your classroom?
- before-school work
- reading routines
- writing routines
- when a student needs help
- Describe the grouping practices that you use.
- How do you group students?
- What decisions do you make when grouping students?
2. Changes you would like to make
Include your written response from What Did You Learn? Then:
- List several changes to the organization of your classroom that would promote student learning.
- List several routines you would like to initiate or change and why.
- List several grouping practices that you are considering changing.
3. One change you have implemented
a. Make a change
Choose one instructional change from your list that you will implement now. What is your thinking behind making this change? Describe the change in detail and explain how it will be implemented (e.g., an instructional practice, a lesson plan, a plan for modeling a strategy, etc.). What are the expected outcomes for student learning?
b. Reflect on the change
Write a brief reflection about what worked when you implemented this change and what you will change the next time you teach this lesson. (If you are taking this workshop during the summer, describe the learning goals and expected outcomes of this change.)
4. Evidence of student learning
In this section of your portfolio, you will include samples of student work that reflect the changes you made. How did the students become better readers, writers, thinkers, and communicators as a result of the change you made? You may want to include some of the following pieces of evidence:
- a photograph
- student writing
- a student reflection
- a student response to reading
- notes from a teacher-student reading and/or writing conference
- evidence of a classroom context that “mimics the real world context”
- samples of chart or other wall displays co-constructed with students
1.2 Analyze the Video | Creating Contexts for Learning
Watch the video, "Creating Contexts for Learning," taking notes as you watch. After you watch, jot down your answers to the questions below. If you prefer to watch the video in segments, pause the video when you see the next chapter heading.
Supplementary: Grouping for Instruction in Literacy: What We've Learned About What Works and What Doesn't
Workshop 1 Creating Contexts for Learning
This session examines how classroom organization, routines, and grouping practices can enhance literacy skills in the middle grades. Literacy expert Jeanne Paratore discusses teaching strategies that foster reading and writing skills. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 2 Fluency and Word Study
This session focuses on how students in the middle grades develop vocabulary and reading fluency. Literacy expert Richard Allington discusses specific teaching strategies that help build fluency and vocabulary, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 3 Building Comprehension
Comprehending text is one of the main goals of reading. In this session, literacy expert Nell Duke discusses what good readers do and strategies teachers can use to help students build comprehension skills. Classroom footage provides examples of comprehension strategies.
Workshop 4 Writing
This workshop examines the relationship between reading and writing in the middle grades. Literacy expert Nadeen Ruiz discusses the connections, conventions, and inventions that provide a framework for teaching writing, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 5 New Literacies of the Internet
This workshop focuses on the evolving use of networked technology in education. Literacy expert Donald Leu discusses strategies that help students effectively read, write, and communicate on the Internet. Classroom examples illustrate strategies for using Internet resources in the classroom.
Workshop 6 Teaching English Language Learners
Changing classroom demographics call for a range or teaching strategies. In this session, literacy expert Robert Jim�nez discusses strategies teachers can use to create a successful learning environment for all students, while supporting English language learners. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 7 Teaching Diverse Learners
In this session, literacy expert Dorothy Strickland discusses how teachers can meet the diverse needs of readers and writers in their classrooms. Classroom examples and teaching strategies address different aspects of diversity, including culture, language, background, ability, and learning approaches.
Workshop 8 Assessment and Accountability
This session explores assessment, standards, and outcomes. Literacy expert Kathy Au discusses the strategies teachers can use to assess students' understanding in reading and writing. Classroom examples illustrate how students can participate in their own assessment.
Supplementary Workshop 6 - Teaching English Language Learners
Professional Development Workshop Guide