Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Engaging With Literature: A Video Library, Grades 3-5
Engaging With Literature

About This Video Library

Lesson Builder

Hints for Site Leaders
Video Titles:

1. Signposts

2. Voices in the Conversation

3. Starting Out

4. Responding
to Literature

5. Sharing the Text

6. Building Community
About This Video Clip »
Featured Texts »
Classroom Snapshot
Classroom Lesson Plan »
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7. Book Buddies

8. Finding
Common Ground

9. Discussion

Site Map

6. Building Community

Classroom Snapshot

School: Indianapolis Public Schools Center for Inquiry
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
No. of Students in School: 260
Teacher: Latosha Rowley
No. of Years Teaching: 2
Grade: 4th and 5th Grades
Subject: Language Arts
No. of Students in the Classroom: 22

The Center for Inquiry is a magnet option school open to all families in the Indianapolis Public School district. As a result, many of its 260 students come from all areas of Indianapolis and many travel to class on public school buses. There are no entrance criteria or exams; students wishing to attend complete an application, entering CFI if their name is among those chosen by lottery. Siblings on the waiting list are given priority status for admission. The population is ethnically diverse, with 68% of the student body African American and Other (which includes a small percentage of Native American and Hispanic) and 32% Caucasian; 66.4% of the students qualify for free textbooks and free or reduced-price meals.

The Center for Inquiry is a K-8 multiage school with a literature-based curriculum. The class configuration is K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-8. (Kindergarten is full-day to accommodate this grouping.) The small setting CFI offers is beneficial to students with special learning needs, and the CFI classrooms are full inclusion, housing students from all educational backgrounds, including Gifted and Talented as well as students who were in separate special education classrooms in other schools. Ten percent of the student body has Individual Educational Plans and are serviced by Special Education Resource teachers.

Teacher collaboration is central to the success of CFI. In order to better serve their students, teachers are provided with time and funding to write integrative, literature-based curricular units. The strong focus on reading and expressive writing helps students develop questioning techniques and find ways to pursue personal interests in a particular framework.

To read more about the decisions that Ms. Rowley and her peers make in fostering the spirit of the school, read an article she co-wrote with her fellow teachers. The article is reprinted here courtesy of the National Council of Teachers of English.


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