Chapter 3's focus on helping students remember had a lot of information that affirmed what I am doing in my classroom. As a teacher, it is always nice to read what the "experts" suggest and know that you are right on track. However, here are a few reflections that I had after the reading:
- I LOVED the idea of the demonstration notebook for Writer's Workshop. I feel very comfortable conferencing with students, but when it comes to small groups, I feel as though I need something to help SHOW the students, exactly what the teaching point means. I think this is a great way to do this. My goal for this year, is to begin to develop a demonstration notebook, that will be able to be used in small groups for re-teaching/modeling.
- Going Digital- I love the idea of putting charts or tools online. Third grade at our school is the year in which the students begin to use Google Drive. We mostly use this for Writer's Workshop. So, what a better idea than to actually have my students access these teaching tools digitally, through Google Drive. We also use Schoology. This will be a great way to have our teaching tools available to students at home and for parents to see what we are learning and how to help their child at home!
- The authors quote some of my favorites in the educational field. Kylene Beers is phenomenal. I completely agree with her stance on rigor. I saw her speak in Columbus this past spring, where she said the same quote that I read in this book. "Rigor without relevance is simply hard". Relevance is vital. Making our curriculum relevant to our students is essential to their understanding. But to present difficult curriculum to students, they have to have an intrinsic desire to master those concepts, which means it has to have some relevance to their lives.
- This past year, my team focused on intrinsic motivation and developing students who are engaged in their own learning. It was amazing how work that seemed "simply hard" became the rigorous tasks that we were actually hoping for. This year, our goal is to begin some of these engagement strategies earlier in the year.