Apr 26, 10
Read in April, 2010
At the end of second grade, I always get insecure knowing that I can once again teach first grade. Debbie Miller's book, Teaching with Intention, helped me take my "background knowledge" or "schema" about the reading comprehension strategies Stephanie Harvey recommends to use and synthesize how to use her same language and appropriate strategies for first graders. Since Debbie Miller and Stephanie Harvey think pretty much alike, this synthesizing was easy. As I read the book, I jotted down some notes which I know, but like to read again right before school starts.
So what do good teachers do? They ask thoughtful questions and expect thoughtful answers. They listen more and talk less. They are present for their students. Teachers model the reading comprehension strategies and help to move children to independently read and think aloud. Formative assessments, to both Debbie Miller and myself, is a more authentic way of assessing what children know and don't know. These formative assessments guide teachers in their instruction. Teachers should create collaborative classroom communities where everyone's ideas are valued and respected.
In writing my own book about teaching, I will explicitly explain how my "set of beliefs" have guided my work the past 32 years. This is the advice Debbie Miller gives to all new teachers. If I were a principal, I would have each teacher write a "set of beliefs" and throughout the year, help teachers match those beliefs to their own work across the curriculum.
This is a very helpful book to read for new and not so new teachers. I feel as if I can go into first grade again, feeling equipped and excited to teach those little tykes!