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

Becky Pursley's First-Grade Class

Looking Closer


Students Making Choices

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 Becky Pursley's classroom to deepen your understanding of specific literacy strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to start viewing.


Reading Workshop: Video Segment

Ms. Pursley's students.

Find this segment 5 minutes and 47 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 3 minutes and 34 seconds.

Ms. Pursley's reading workshops give students opportunities to make choices and apply their skills and knowledge to the text they are reading.

  • What does Ms. Pursley mean by the "just-right book" for a student? How does she determine it? How does she help students find their own "just-right book"?
  • Ms. Pursley limits the amount of teacher talk during the reading workshop by carrying out short, focused mini-lessons. What is her focus in the lesson using onsets and rimes with a more emergent reader? How does she help the student understand how to apply the skill to her current reading book?

Shared Reading: Video Segment

Find this segment 1 minute and 12 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 3 minutes and 42 seconds.

Ms. Pursley reading to her students.

Ms. Pursley's shared-reading lesson with the entire class is different from other shared-reading lessons in the Teaching Reading library. She uses a different medium -- the newspaper -- and mines "teachable moments" that arise during the lesson to discuss skills and concepts.

  • How does Ms. Pursley integrate work on vocabulary and comprehension into her lesson? What new terms does she introduce to students?
  • Ms. Pursley comments, "If children know why they are learning something and value it, they will be better able to learn it." What does Ms. Pursley do in this lesson that demonstrates this view?
  • How does Ms. Pursley take advantage of a "teachable moment" that arises in this segment? How does Ms. Pursley segue into a lesson for the entire group?

Readers' Theater: Video Segment

Students working together.

Find this segment 9 minutes and 36 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 3 minutes and 42 seconds.

Ms. Pursley believes that Readers' Theater promotes oral reading skills like fluency and intonation and enhances social skills and decision-making abilities.

  • How do students prepare for reading Arthur's New Puppy to the class? Why does Ms. Pursley think having an audience is important?
  • Research suggests that re-readings build fluency. How does Readers' Theater develop fluency? What other skills does it develop?
  • What does this segment suggest about mixed-ability groupings? Why does Ms. Pursley think the lower-leveled reader improved significantly?
  • Where else does Ms. Pursley use heterogeneous groupings? How do these heterogeneous groupings benefit learners?

Writing Workshop: Video Segment

Find this segment 17 minutes and 25 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for 4 minutes and 11 seconds.

A student working with other students.

Ms. Pursley's writing workshop -- with its routines and emphasis on choice and response -- is a key component of her first-grade classroom.

  • What are the stages of writing Ms. Pursley considers appropriate for first-grade writers?
  • What role does presenting written work to the class have at the revision stage? How is it different at the publication stage?
  • What guides Ms. Pursley's timing in presenting the writing checklist to students? What does she think is an appropriate emphasis in editing at the first-grade level?

Next > Summing Up

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