Friday, July 7, 2017

Classrooms Are Complex: #CyberPD Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading

During the month of July, I will be participating in  #CyberPD as we read In Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading Shifting to a Problem-Based Approach by Vicky Vinton.  
Vicky sums up my puzzlement, my yes and, and my yes but, thinking with the following words. 

So when I read, and I found myself shaking my head like yeah or furrowing my brow in befuddlement I knew I was on the right track because classrooms are complex and teaching is most definitely complex!

My first head nod came early when I read the suggestions for tackling complexity, looking at the big picture of a complicated situation rather than the smaller pieces.  I found confidence in this idea because I am a big picture thinker, I work best when looking at the whole and then working backward to figure out the thinking behind the idea.  As I read on and learned the term "elementitis" and I found myself perplexed.  I agree reading is about the author's message, the readers interpretation of the message, and how we take this learning and apply it to our daily lives, big picture thinking, yeah.  Taking our thinking to this level requires background knowledge, inferring skills, questioning, and flexible thinking.  I found myself pondering, can students successfully achieve this deeper thinking if they've not learned and practiced these critical thinking skills in minilessons and guided practice? 

I found myself again nodding my head like yeah, with this quote from Barack Obama,

"When I think about how I understand my role as a citizen, setting aside being the president, the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen, the most important stuff I've learned I think I've learned from novels.  It has to do with empathy.  It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there's still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that.  And the notion that it's possible to connect with someone else even though they're very different from you."

Thinking of readers as citizens who are learning from their reading how to be citizens and to have empathy for others I want them to bring their lives into the pages of a book just like I want them to take the lessons from the author into their lives.  
Chapter Four..." if learning is the ultimate goal, we need to be sure that our teaching methods support how students learn." 

Below are other ideas that stuck with me, I am pondering, and otherwise not yet fleshed out. I am sorry we are heading to the beach, and I want to get this up! #Cyberpd is friendly like this! 

  • Students need to know the goal of their learning and learning happens over time- we know it's not a one and done
  • Pleasurable learning experiences best achieve student learning. Pleasurable learning= choice, opportunity to explore and discover following their own curiosities. 
  • There is no teaching without learning and learning stems from the activities of learners. Our role becomes "one of creating and facilitating opportunities for them to learn through exploration, problem-solving, and discovery." pg 51
  • Feedback- from the students perspective- it should feel, as John Hattie puts it "just in time, just for me, just for where I am in the learning, process, and just what I need to help me move forward." 
  • The Power of Language- "creates realities and invents identities pg 52
Interested in joining the conversation? Find out more here, #cyberPD Google Community to connect and receive updates 


Lisa Corbett said...

I've been thinking about what kids are meant to get out of books too. I pick my read aloud a carefully to help with friend problems, bullying, understanding life from another point of view...but I don't always do this with the levelled readers I pick for my students to use. I am careful to give them a range of just-right books for reading groups, & I try to match them to their interests. But I'm not sure I'm pushing them toward the deeper thinking in their own reading. They are grade 2 & grade 3, but I shouldn't sell them short.

Enjoy the beach!

Fran said...

Great post, Deb. I thoroughly enjoyed nodding my head in agreement with your points! I can't wait until we talk in the coming weeks about HOW to do this. It's so exciting to know that so many of us are on this learning journey together!

How will we all have MORE student work at the forefront?
Stay tuned!

Stephanie said...

You brought up a great point here about balance. Yes, we want students to find and create their own meaning, but we do need to teach strategies explicitly to help them know how to get there. By shifting and repurposing our balanced literacy framework, we can still do this, but give more independence to the student as we do so. I found that section of Vicki's book very helpful in thinking about what the balance might look like. Enjoy the beach!


Lisa Maucione said...

I definitely agree - we want our students to bring their lives into the pages of a book. I would add that we also want them to take the words, ideas, messages of a book into their lives. Thanks for sharing and have a great time at the beach!

TFredde said...

I like the point Vicki makes saying that not every kid needs the explicit modeling and showing, and that you can always jump in when they need it, but by doing all the thinking for them from the beginning will set them up to always expect it and rely on it. I think and Vicki says also there is a place for modeling and scaffolding, but it should not always be the predominant method.

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