Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Color Blue (1, 2, 12)

 February 13, 2014

I came in Ms. Bryce's class on Tuesday morning feeling the drag of the early morning start. I debated whether to come in twice this week or to make up the hours later in the semester. I walked into the classroom at the beginning of a Read Aloud. My mood quickly changed seeing the interactions between Ms. Bryce and her students. They were engaged in making predictions and looking at the book with not just an audience perspective but through an author's. 

The book was: 

A moment that stuck out clear as day was this page of city dog in the winter. Leading up to this page was a story of city dog and country frog becoming friends. Right before winter, country frog left and city dog had no idea where he was. 

Ms. Bryce asked, "Why did the author include this page? It has no words on it! What makes this page important?" 

The students kept replying that "City dog is sad! City dog is sad!"

"What makes you say that?" 

Student's pointed out that he was alone and it look like his head was down. There are two students I see that give insightful responses and they pointed out the colors of the scenery. Ms. Bryce and her students discussed how the picture with its colors and layout shows what City Dog was feeling.

"Classrooms That Work" say for the students to learn how to think while they are reading they need to be able to: 

1. To quickly identify almost all the words.
2. Have sufficient background knowledge that you can connect to the new information. 
3. Be familiar with the type of text and be able to see how the author has organized ideas.
4. Have a mindset that reading is thinking and know how        to apply your thinking in comprehension strategies. 

Following these steps for a First Grade classroom requires ample modeling and support from the teacher. A Read Aloud is a perfect time to model comprehension at a deeper level than what students can with reading at their individual reading levels. I am learning how to provoke and lead thoughtful discussion and to create independence in students. It was wonderful to witness that in a class room, as it is happening. 

I discussed the Read Aloud With Ms. Bryce's when the students were participating in centers. The conversation went from the Read Aloud, to some of the obstacle with creating a community in the classroom. Most of the students come from rough home lives, one recently has no home. 

The color blue can show sadness but also depth and even a deep sense of peace. Dr. Martin asked us to pick a color that we would use to describe the classroom we were observing. I picked blue-I feel like Ms. Bryce creates an atmosphere where students can come and feel safe. She helps them process and to find peace. It is evident that Ms. Bryce has respect for her students and they have respect for her. 

Instructional Conversation is the medium, the occasion, the instrument for rousing minds to life." 
Tharpe and Gallimore 

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