On Monday, we used our new meeting format at Jay Middle School. As I mentioned earlier, we had decided to try a different format for my time spent teaming with the teachers. Each teacher met with me as we reviewed their lesson plans regarding organization.
Following are the highlights of the conversations we had. We are sharing them with you in hopes that they will help you tweak your teaching:)
- Lynn O. is working with her students on a 5 paragraph essay. She has had them write about personal topics and is now moving them into writing based on research. Lynn began instruction with sorts - requiring students sort the facts based on what made sense to them. She followed this with modeling how she would put her facts together into cohesive paragraphs. We decided to focus on cohesive paragraphs - a little longer - by having her model thinking/logic when organizing the the paragraph as well as providing students with opportunities to "talk through" their paragraphs with peers.
- Diane M. met with me to discuss organizers for posters her students were making. She had provided students with paragraph starters along with the topic that was to be covered in that section. Added to this organizer were boxes for students to list verbs and descriptors. This had been a project for a while and Diane wanted to continue using it. It came out of the book, A Year Full of Writing for Middle School, by Teacher Created Materials, Inc. Many teachers have excellent writing projects that can be used with 6 + 1 - by adding a slight shift in focus.
- Colleen S. wanted to discuss a social studies project. She had used a similar approach to Diane's. This works well since they share the same students. We looked at how to assist students when they respond to text in the content area and settled on