I watched the video: “Staying on Topic” which is video #10 from this site:


The following questions were asked in our Literacy Course.

How do teachers differentiate instruction for ELLs? How are the teachers inclusive of ELLs?

One way the teacher helped the children in class was sharing the rubric with the child before the activity is started (reading) so that way they know what the teacher is looking for and know where to go next.

Another way she assists students is that she gives them specific feedback and ideas for the next steps for how they can improve and work up to the next step.

She also intermixes her discussions of Spanish and English in discussion when she sees it important for student understanding and growth. Therefore, she doesn’t exclude them or push them out in this aspect, but brings their level of learning into play.

She tries to make them feel confident and happy with their reading out loud in Spanish.

She also asks questions for individuals based on their level. For example, she asks students “Do you know what you are going to write about” and then has conversations with students who need assistance writing about where they might see that object (for the example of writing on a specific topic based on the object given to them). For ELL learners she has them get ideas from other students as well, especially if they are still unsure about their topic that they are writing about.

How do teachers use assessment and knowledge gained from Kid watching to inform instruction? How do these teachers’ classroom practices connect to ideas in our readings?

She uses her formal assessment from walking around and “kid watching” to know when she needs to review something individually with students, and when it is time for students as a group to watch something.

She said that she does these formal assessments year-round, and daily. This is important so you can be always adjusting and seeing how to work to fit the needs of your students. This connects with what the Strategies that Work book discusses about assessing comprehension. As teachers, we need to “redesign our lessons keeping in mind what we have learned from our kids and letting that information guide our instruction” what we teach to them later (Harvey & Goudvis, 2007, 39). Therefore, we will change what we do based on their needs.

What were you surprised to see?

I was surprised to see the popsicle stick idea used in the classroom. She used the same positives about popsicle sticks that we discussed in Classroom Discussions in Math, as popsicle sticks make students realize that anyone could be picked (Chapin, 2013, 77). In this teacher’s case, she even puts the stick back in the cup so that way students know that they need to be listening even though they were already picked once because they could be called on again. However, I am not so sure I would want to implement popsicle sticks in my classroom all the time, especially when the questions are high level thinking.

What might you like to incorporate into your own classroom?

DEAR – Drop Everything and Read. I think I’d want to incorporate this into my class because it would allow them to have time to explore books and reading themselves. I like how the teacher mentioned how she wanted to model for them how to read, so she read her own book as well as reading a book from their level. She walks around the room during part of the time to monitor the students and make sure that they are picking books that are at their reading level (not always too hard or always too easy).

Author’s Chair – This is where students are reading for their peers. This is important because they realize that writing and reading is not just for the teacher to correct but for an audience – their peers! The Art of Teaching Writing connects with these ideas of reading and writing for pleasure and not just for teacher’s grading.

Chapin, S.H., O’Connor, C., & Anderson, N.C. (2013).  Classroom discussions in math 3rd Edition.  Sausalito, CA:  Math Solutions

Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A. (2007). Strategies that work: Teaching comprehension for understanding and engagement. Portland, Me: Stenhouse Publishers.