Friday, January 21, 2011

Proposition 2

Proposition 2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students.
• NBCTs have mastery over the subject(s) they teach. They have a deep understanding of the history, structure and real-world applications of the subject.
• They have skill and experience in teaching it, and they are very familiar with the skills gaps and preconceptions students may bring to the subject.
• They are able to use diverse instructional strategies to teach for understanding.

1. Classroom Setup

Description:Classroom setup

Process:I started my action research at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. I wanted to create an environment that reflected the Reader’s Workshop philosophy and supported the students in becoming lifelong readers. I researched and read the following books written by the experts in this field.

Around the Reading Workshop in 180 Days: A Month-by-Month Guide to Effective Instruction By: Frank Serafini

The Reading Workshop: Creating Space for Readers By: Frank Serafini

Teaching with Intention By: Debbie Miller

After reading these professional texts, I started to reorganize and arrange my room over the summer. I created a project on titled Da Vinci’s tables that advocated students to use tables versus desks. My project was fully funded during the summer and I received enough money to replace all the desks in my classroom with tables.In addition to this, I leveled all of my books in the classroom along a gradient from Level A (easiest) to Level Z (hardest) directly reflecting the Fountas and Pinnell reading program. I also organized the books so the children could find what they were looking for quicker.


Comfortable spots to read

Areas of interest

Area for magazines

Labeled bins of books

Books organized by topic

Reflection:The setup of my classroom has really allowed me, as the teacher, to carryout focused and engaged mini lessons, read alouds, and literacy discussions. The meeting area was well respected by the students and was used to gather up and reflectively discuss our daily lessons. I utilized the entire classroom and provided a variety of reading areas for the students. I some areas had pillows, comfy chairs, and there were areas with rugs for the students to gather and read. I blocked off certain areas for students who enjoyed reading alone, an area where students who were in book club could carry out conversations, and areas where I could meet with small groups. The classroom setup was flexible and always changing to meet the needs of all the students.
The classroom library was a main focal point for me as I wanted to provide an engaging environment that was accessible and that had a wide variety of levels of literacy. The books were leveled following the Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessment program. The letters were on the cover of the books so the student could easily identify if the book they had was at their appropriate reading level. Students had their book slot to keep at least 2 books in , and also had the opportunity to check a classroom book out and take him home.
The walls were covered in teacher/student created posters that would highlight and reinforce the reading skills we they working on. On a daily basis students would refer back to these posters during Reader’s Workshop time and the I could also use it as a tool to remind the children of the strategies.

2. Tool Box

Description:Well developed tool box of behavior strategies.

Process:When a child has teacher observes behavior concern or is repeating a pattern of inappropriate behavior I first do a couple of check ins and maybe some observations. This gives me an opportunity to build a surface relationship with the student and get a “fly on the wall” perspective of what is going on. I then connect with the teacher, and discuss my observations and try to collect any additional information ( behavior history, at home concerns, and in class concerns) that may help with the intervention . Following this conversation, I will then call for meeting with the teacher, administration, aides, and parents to discuss the child and the concerns. As a group we then collaborate ideas and strategies that we could put in place for the student.


I offer strategies and techniques from the following workshops:

1.Steps to Respect: Presented by, Phyllis Lardinois and Kelly Ohm

2.Nonviolent Crisis Intervention : Presented by Eva Shaw and Karen Peterson

3.Love and Logic: Presented by David Funk

Reading the following professional text:

1.Love & Logic Solutions for Kids with Special Needs by David Funk

2.Teaching with Love & Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom by David Funk

3.Pyramid Response to Intervention: RTI, Professional Learning Communities, and How to

4.Respond When Kids Don't Learn by Austin Buffum, Mike Mattos, and Chris Weber

5.The Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems by Mark Baynton & Christine Boynton

Reflection:Every child is different and has a wide range of needs. Rather it be an academic need or behavior, I keep reminding myself of this as I create an intervention or behavior plan for a student. Not every behavior chart or strategy works for all children. The ability to differentiate is key and identifying the specific behaviors each child has. These books and presentations have offered so many different options and formats to meet the diverse needs of these students. Some students need visual reminders, so chart that they and or a teacher has to check off each day works well. Some students need external motivation so a point and reward system would be assigned, where as other students thrive on internal rewards so praise Some students don’t know how to act appropriate in situations ad need some guidance/ modeling in small social groups. Providing students with these tools help them to reflect on their behavior and learn how to be part of a safe learning environment.

3. Class Wiki
Description:Have all students use technology to reflect on their journey to becoming a community of readers.

Artifacts:Class Wiki Space

Reflection:During reader’s workshop, we spent a couple of weeks on discussing the importance of reflecting while reading. The students started reflecting in their reading journals first, and I provided them with a more formatted worksheet that they would fill out daily. During the middle of the process, I introduced to them the Wiki Space page for our class. We discussed the rules, procedures, and process of how to utilize a Wiki for academic purposes. I would safely say that at least 40% of my class was familiar with this program, so it helped speed the process along! After we spent about 3 or 4 hours in the lab over the time span of about 2 weeks, we started to take our reader’s workshop reflections to the lab. The students recorded the reflections they have worked on during reader’s workshop. Now, the students know the routine of recording written reflections Monday – Thursday during the school week, and are prepared by Friday to log onto their Wiki Space page and document their reflections electronically. It is quite exciting!!

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