Your Donations in the Classroom - Literacy at Roosevelt Elementary
Your donations to the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation go to support amazing programs, like the model professional development program from Teachers College (TC) at Columbia University at Roosevelt Elementary.
TC is the home of the world-renown Reading and Writing Project, which supports teachers in establishing reading and writing workshops in their classrooms. In the workshop model, teachers act as mentors and coaches to their students. TC Project staff and Roosevelt teachers become co-researchers, observing what children do in writing and reading, and planning instruction to help them learn.
Roosevelt is extremely fortunate to have been selected as a Project School, which means that TC faculty members regularly visit the campus, meet with teachers, model lessons, and provide feedback. TC staff also train Roosevelt’s teacher leaders in how to model, coach and collaborate with their colleagues. One of those teacher leaders is kindergarten teacher Ann Carey. “This model of professional development is the very best there is. We have an expert coming to Roosevelt, working alongside us in our classrooms. We get to learn a new strategy, try it out in our classroom, reflect on how it went, and come back to discuss it with colleagues and our expert.”
On a recent visit to Roosevelt, Ms. Carey was guest teaching a reading workshop lesson in Marissa Jauregui’s kindergarten classroom. After leading students in the “Super Reader” song, Ms. Carey reminded students about a super power they already have – pointing power! “So readers, today I’m going to teach you that every single word gets one tap with your pointer, even these long words that have lots of parts to them.” Mastering this one-to-one correspondence while reading text is a critical skill for early literacy development. After the group mini-lesson, students worked in partners to practice their pointing power while Ms. Carey worked with a small group to reinforce the skill.
One kindergartener picked up her book and began using her pointer finger right away while her partner looked on. Around the room other partners selected their “just right” books and used their pointing power to read. Ms. Carey then listened in to individual students and engaged them in conversations about what they were reading. This element of the workshop, called conferring, is another important instructional strategy that helps even the youngest learners to deepen reading comprehension and develop a love of reading.