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Starting the Year with Writer’s Notebooks
How to kick off a year of engaged and purposeful writing (Years 3-6)!
Mini lesson outlines for your first Spotlight Study : Connect with Your Writer’s Notebook
Whether you are new to the rich and complex pedagogical approach of Writing Workshop (WW), or more experienced, this is for you!
If WW is new to you, my hope is this resource will give you a ‘leg up’ to begin creating a culture of thinking like writers.
If you are more experienced, perhaps there will be some fresh ideas for you to consider and integrate into your personal pedagogy.
Developing Phonological Awareness
A resource to support Early Childhood Educators to create intentional opportunities for young children to develop their phonological awareness (shown to be connected to later reading success*). It focusses on the areas of phonological awareness that are typical for children between the ages of two and six years of age.
It’s packed with ideas for developing sound discrimination, syllable awareness, rhythm & rhyme, alliteration and oral blending & segmenting – all through playful games, songs and rhymes. We feel strongly that the best way to support young children’s development is to harness the potential in their natural ways of learning – through joyful play and connection with others.
*National Reading Panel – Teaching Children to Read Report, U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000.
Reading Conference Kit
Reading Conferences are an essential part of a high-quality reading programme – a programme that you design for the unique group of readers you are working with. No commercial programme can meet the needs of every one of the children in your class – only you can do this with your professional knowledge of the children, learning, the reading process and effective pedagogy (that is, what makes a difference). Reading Conferences are where you really differentiate the learning opportunities for young readers.
The Reading Conference Kit has been designed to support children’s reading comprehension. After all, if we don’t read for meaning, we’re just ‘barking at the print’, saying the words out loud without understanding. In this multi-modal world, it is even more important that we teach children to think critically about texts and learn strategies to infer and synthesise for deeper understandings. We need to start by teaching how to think as we read and view.
Are You Listening?
Conversation is more than the exchange of words. For young children and their teachers, it is a natural learning tool that serves to deepen children’s knowledge. Knowing when to listen and how to respond will help you strengthen children’s social, cognitive, and language skills.
Are You Listening? is about creating a culture of conversation to help young children learn. These child-centered teaching methods will help you make conversation a part of your classroom’s daily routine and engage children in actively building their understandings of the world around them.
A Culture of Agency
By Lisa Burman
Give your program that special ‘buzz’ of learning
How do educators create a strong culture of learning for their students? Using her everyday research approach, in the tradition of the pedagogistas of Reggio Emilia, author Lisa Burman observed several exceptional programs and classrooms and identified some common threads: engagement, agency, identity, and belonging, which together combine to create a culture of agency. Her framework for supporting a culture of agency has five pillars:
- Rituals for belonging and identity
- Language of agency
- Learning Contexts
Using this framework will help you bring intentionality as you build your program culture to support children’s agency and learning. The term agency is widely used, but often misunderstood as “giving children choice.” Agency is far more than this, and the most powerful learning happens when personal agency is connected to community agency: we are only as strong as each other. These connections form the heart of a democratic education: one that values the rights of the child and empowers participation, shared power, respect for diversity, and self-efficacy.
“Conversation is a powerful tool; young children first learn to speak from listening to the conversations of their parents. “Are You Listening? Fostering Conversations That Help Young Children Learn” examines the art of conversation in the avenue of children’s education. Packed with information concerning how to listen to one’s children, how to converse about subjects that will interest one’s child, and other techniques to foster a children’s skills in both listening and speaking, “Are You Listening?” is a expertly crafted manual. A great resource especially recommended for parents and educators of small children.”
Midwest Book Review
“Conversations is a powerful tool; young children first learn to speak from listening to the conversations of their parents. “Are You Listening? Fostering Conversations That Help Young Children Learn” examines the art of conversation in the avenue of children’s education. Packed with information concerning how to listen to one’s children, how to converse about subjects that will interst one’s child, and other techniques to foster a children’s skills in both listening and speaking, “Are You Listening?” is an expertly crafted manual. A great resource especially recommended for parents and educators of small children.”
Review by: James Cox, August 2008 edition of Library and Internet Bookwatch – August 1, 2008
“Lisa Burman’s ARE YOU LISTENING? provides a fine series of dialogues between teachers and children and uses examples to illustrate how to listen more and talk less. From focusing conversations in a classroom to setting up a learning environment that encourages kids to communicate amongst each other more effectively, educators receive an outstanding guide.”
Review: The Midwest Book Review- The Bookwatch October 2009 – October 1, 2009
“In this invaluable teaching tool, Burman shows teachers how classroom dialogue can engage children’s minds, clarify their ideas, and expand their learning. Illustrating with stories and conversations between teachers and children in public school pre-K classrooms, she offers practival strategies for learning to listen beyond children’s words to their thinking. The text demonstrates how to collect, transcribe, and interpret conversations and use them to guide curriculum planning and encourage children to be more reflective and direct their own learning. “Taking Ownership” sections include suggestions to help teachers guide their thinking and plan pedagogical conversations with colleagues to make sense of children’s emerging theories and to make the author’s ideas relevant to the teachers’ contexts. The author shows how the children’s conversations are valuable in communicating with families and the community, and she offers techniquest for supporting children who have difficulty using language.”
Review by: Gail Perry, National Association for the Education of Young Children – September 1, 2008
“Lisa Burman’s ARE YOU LISTENING? FOSTERING CONVERSATIONS THAT HELP YOUNG CHILDREN LEARN comes from an experienced elementary school teachers and educational consultant and offers child-centered teaching methods based on making conersation a part of a child’s daily routine. Examples of dialogues between teachers and children offers focus and information for teachers on how to listen more, direct conversations with kids, and encourage children’s group and individual participation. Perfect for early education classroom directors who would promote an interactive classroom environment goal.”
Review: The Midwest Book Review- The Bookwatch January 2009 – January 1, 2009