Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Link: Teaching Reading: K-2

Valerie Kostandos's First-Grade Class

Looking Closer


Promoting Readers As Leaders

Video Summary

The Teacher and the Class

Analyzing the Video
  Before Viewing
  First Impressions
  Looking Closer
  Summing Up

Making Connections

Selected Resources

Take a second look at Ms. Kostandos's classroom to deepen your understanding of specific literacy strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.


Shared Reading: Video Segment

Ms. Kostandos standing in front of a bulletin board.

Find this segment 4 minutes after the beginning of the video. Watch for 6 minutes and 42 seconds.

In this shared reading activity, Ms. Kostandos introduces a story from the Basal Reading anthology, prompting students to recall another story by the same author. Following this text-to-text connection, she leads the class through a series of steps -- a focused picture walk, making predictions, discussing how illustrations convey mood -- to prepare them for reading independently or in a small group with her.

  • How does Ms. Kostandos guide her students to interact with the text and with each other?
  • Note how Ms. Kostandos combines explicit modeling, guided practice, questioning, and scaffolding as students get ready to read. How does she encourage them to be responsible for determining how they will read the text?
  • Ms. Kostandos demonstrates how shared reading -- often thought to be a practice directed to the whole class -- can also be used with a small group. How does she use small-group shared reading to reinforce lessons introduced earlier to the whole group? How does she re-integrate the two groups and help individual students demonstrate their learning and teach each other?

Guided Reading: Video Segment

Find this segment 19 minutes and 3 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 4 minutes and 7 seconds.

Ms. Kostandos talking with students.

In this video segment, Ms. Kostandos conducts two guided-reading groups at different levels. The first group reads The Carrot Seed, a book carefully selected because of the students' work in science. After listening to a brief introduction, the second guided-reading group begins reading another book in quiet voices, clearly familiar with the routine, as Ms. Kostandos listens to individual students, occasionally providing a strategic prompt.

  • As you watch these two guided-reading lessons, use your Observational Checklist (PDF) to note how Ms. Kostandos addresses different Essential Components of Literacy. What kinds of questions and prompts does she use to elicit students' comprehension and to build their vocabulary and awareness of their own reading strategies? How does she assess each student's reading process using a partial running record?

Student Self-direction: Video Segment

Ms. Kostandos.

Find the first segment 23 minutes and 21 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 1 minute. Find the second segment 54 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 1 minute and 28 seconds.

In these video segments, students are responsible for running their classroom, managing their learning, and reflecting on their behavior.

  • What do you notice about Ms. Kostandos's language, her instruction, and the organization of classroom routines that encourage self-directed behavior?

Next > Summing Up

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