On Tuesday, our fifth and sixth grade teachers took part in meaningful, job-embedded professional development. Our district has been working with Tammy Mulligan from Teachers for Teachers for the last three years to improve our literacy program. Your child may have come home reporting that Mrs. Mulligan taught their reading class while many teachers watched. This is indeed true! Mrs. Mulligan taught several model lessons in reading classes. Teachers also worked with Mrs. Mulligan to analyze student learning goals and instructional practices.
In one lesson, Mrs. Mulligan used the picture book, Gleam and Glow by Eve Bunting to model how to use evidence from the text to write a response. For example, students may write: I am thinking_______. One reason I think that is because in the text it says ____________. Students worked hard and were able to explain their thinking using evidence.
In another classroom, students finished reading the last chapter of Stone Fox. This is a powerful book with an emotional ending. The room was silent as the last page was read. Then, students grappled with characterization and how the main characters in the book changed over the course of the story. Students were given the opportunity to “talk out their responses”, with one great idea leading to another.
We will continue to work with Mrs. Mulligan to improve upon the Reader’s Workshop Model.