Recently, Wood Dale District #7 Instructional Coaches were requested by the 4th grade team to model teaching online reading strategies. In thinking ahead to the future with more technology integration into their teaching responsibilities and state assessments being online, the fourth grade team wanted to make sure they were preparing their students for 21st Century learning. Our Instructional Coaches team prepared a two day lesson where students of the whole 4th grade team reflected on similarities and differences between online and written text reading. The 4th grade students got to see responses of their classmates in real time through using Google docs. Some of the students’ responses included: Similarities between online and written text are that both help in gaining information, both use illustrations to communicate information, both have authors, both can be written in different languages. As for differences, students noted that within online text students can zoom in and out of words, can connect to other sites, can interact more with the text. However, students communicated some of the challenges with online resources included readability levels, authenticity of resources, and decision making process of veering off to another site. As a follow up lesson, the coaches modeled skimming and scanning as a reading strategy when using online resources. Students previewed an online resource that had information about types of rocks, a unit students were exploring. Based on their notes, students wrote a summary about rocks. Thanks to the fourth grade team for advocating for their students becoming 21st Century learners.
Recently, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released by a collaboration of professional science and research organizations. We supported the Junior High Science team as they became familiar with the new standards. After returning from a one day DuPage ROE workshop on the NGSS, our Instructional Coaches’ and Science team felt prepared to begin unpacking the NGSS. Our goal during our PD with the Junior High Science team was to look closely at the engineering component of the NGSSS and discuss how engineering was currently being taught in our Industrial Technology courses and Science courses. Second, the team reflected on each performance expectation and discussed how assessments might look in the future . Lastly, the team discussed the process of developing Understanding by Design units in preparation for curriculum writing next school year. We are looking forward to our next PD day with our JH Science team.
This week out first graders learned about opinion writing. We read a very clever book called Duck! Rabbit! and encouraged the students to form opinions about the animal in the story as it was not clear whether the animal was a duck or a rabbit. We had many lively discussions about why both opinions were plausible and students were encouraged to use details from the text to support their opinions. We used sentence starters such as "I know this because", " I think this because" and " I feel this because" followed by text based reasons to help students craft complete sentences to support their opinions. The students did a fabulous job writing opinion pieces about the book. They used excellent details from the story and put forth very convincing arguments! Keep up the great work first graders!
We are instructional coaches working in District 7, Wood Dale, Illinois. We work with teachers in grades PreK-8 to help teachers build their own capacity for curriculum development and instruction.