you are a classroom or preservice teacher, teacher educator,
content leader, department chair, or administrator, the materials
below can assist you in implementing the practices presented
in the video clip.
Assessment and Evaluation: Some Useful Principles
The terms assessment and evaluation are often
used as synonyms. Distinguishing between them can be helpful
as you plan instruction. Assessment means looking at what
students can do in order to determine what they need to learn
to do next. That is, assessment, whether of individual students
or an entire group, is done in order to inform instruction.
Typically assessment is holistic, often recorded simply as
"credit" or "no credit."
occurs after a concept or skill has been taught and practiced
and is typically scaled, indicating the level of achievement
or degree of competence a student has attained.
Mini-Lesson Teacher Planning Tips
mini-lesson can be short or might take up 15 to 20 minutes
of class time.
mini-lessons are singular topics of whole-class instruction,
meant to give students a brief overview of a concept, explore
the author's craft, ponder a question, or hone a skill.
Often the mini-lesson provides a segue into the application
of new learning.
can also be student-directed, in which students are given
a guide, following the teacher's predetermined path of learning.
Here, students are asked to define concepts and synthesize
the information. Then students apply the information in
a meaningful way.
should be given many opportunities to apply the new learning
beyond their initial introduction.
providing a mini-lesson in which students construct their
own understanding of a concept, instead of directly defining
terms for students. For instance, when teaching the concept
of mood, provide several sample passages with distinct moods.
Ask students to describe the difference in the passages
and how the authors crafted their meaning. They may arrive
at the term "mood" on their own or you may suggest
the term to them after they have identified the concept
in their own terms.
suggested mini-lesson topics, see Suggested
Mini-Lessons for Reading Workshop.
Reading Workshop Binder
In preparation for a reading workshop, teachers need to plan
careful management strategies that will enable them to keep
track of the goals set by each student and the daily progress
toward meeting those goals. Keeping a loose-leaf binder just
for reading workshop ensures that all records will be easily
filed and located in one place. If you choose to follow the
suggestions offered by Nanci Atwell in both editions of In
the Middle, your binder will include the following forms:
A Reading Survey for each student, a Student Reading Record,
and a Status-of-the-Class sheet to record each student's daily
reading progress. The Reading Survey is given at the beginning
of the year to give the teacher an overview of the students'
experiences as readers; the Student Reading Record provides
a list of all the books begun and abandoned by a particular
student during the year. The Status-of-the-Class, annotated
daily, charts student names next to dates and allows space
to note the title of the current reading and the page number.
The second edition (1998) of In the Middle includes
clear samples of these record sheets.
As you begin to plan literature experiences for your students,
consider offering text pairings, so that students have a rich
palette of text background and reading experiences to draw
upon in their literary conversations. When students have discovered
a book they particularly enjoy, offer them other titles by
the same author. Alternately, help them find titles in a similar
genre (adventure, fantasy, science fiction) or that deal with
a similar topic (WWII, animals, dealing with siblings). Thematic
connections (coming of age, death, fitting in) can also enrich