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

Cindy Wilson's Kindergarten Class

The Teacher and the Class


Building Oral Language

Video Summary

The Teacher and the Class

Analyzing the Video

Making Connections

Selected Resources

Ms. Wilson working with her students.

Cindy Wilson teaches full-day kindergarten at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in the heart of Boston's Chinatown. Josiah Quincy's diverse student body is predominantly Chinese-American and many are English language learners.

Day at a Glance*


Morning Responsibilities/ Independent Reading


Morning Meeting/Shared Reading






Student Storytelling


Center Time/Guided Reading


Storyteller of the Day




Read Aloud


Writing Stations/ Conferences


Students Share Writing


Interactive Writing

* In the video you see excerpts from Ms. Wilson's class on February 6 and 8. On a typical day, math and science lessons are also part of the schedule.

A former special education teacher, Ms. Wilson designs her instruction around the particular needs of her students. With her eye on the English language learners in the class, Ms. Wilson makes oral language development her primary literacy focus. Influenced by the thinking of Mary Ellen Giacobbe, she believes that telling stories is the first step toward reading and writing stories. She aims to make even her quietest students verbal.

Ms. Wilson plans class activities that are thematic and hands-on to reinforce the literature students read in class. "What some people view as play creates a meaningful experience with print." In Ms. Wilson's opinion, students may have the skills to decode language, but not the familiarity with concepts and vocabulary to understand the content. She believes that experiencing new things -- dances, food, cultural traditions -- is the best way to improve comprehension. "I could show them pictures, and I could talk about it, but actually feeling it, seeing it, is the most powerful way for them to understand."

Ms. Wilson works closely with Ms. Li, her full-time bilingual aide, to connect home and school. "Ms. Li brings an understanding of the Chinese culture to me which impacts my instruction. She also communicates with children and parents who speak Chinese so they are able to fully participate. She really is that link that helps me keep the channel open between families and school."

Next > Analyzing the Video: Before Viewing

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