Today first grade teacher Randi Timmons used the technology of video streaming to present a live lesson to our professional development center. Teachers were being trained at the Schultz Center in Literacy 101. Randi's lesson included a mini-lesson on inferring.
Connection - Randi began by connecting the lesson to a string of lessons that the class has been doing on things good readers do when they come to words that they don't understand as demonstrated by the chart behind her.
Teach - Randi then read one of the Houghton Mifflin big books, stopping three times in the reading to activate her own schema. She explained that schema is like file folders in your mind and she opened her own file folder three different times to share with student photographs of events that helped her to understand the words in the text.
Active Involvement - Next Randi reread some of the selections from the book and stopped to let the students have time to turn and talk and activate their own schema. Next she brought the students back and let some of them share what they had decided that the words meant. One more practice and she knew that most of the students had understood the lesson.
Link - As Randi gave the class instructions on what to do as they went off to independent reading, she reinforced the teaching point once again reminding students that as they came to sections of their text that they didn't understand that they should stop and activate their schema to help them try to understand what the words were saying.
After the mini-lesson Randi taught a flawless guided reading lesson to a small group of students reading instructionally at Level F while the other children read independently or with partners.
And then the class at the Schultz Center was shown on the television and they began to ask questions of Randi about the lesson. Now THIS is professional development!