Ashley Kennedy Nov. 30, 2016 Cracking the Code

On Nov, 30th, I attended a fantastic PD called “Cracking the Code” that was put on by the SPDU. It was one part of a series all of Literacy PD. It focused on boning up a lot of the skills that teachers use every day, and helping us learn how to really ‘crack’ what is happening with early readers when there are problems. We looked at strategies for teaching code words (and strategies for teaching them to older but struggling readers too!) and we learned about some basic reading instruction. I particularly found use the next day in my classroom when I learned about the new addition to the old “I do, we do, You do” theory of instruction, when they demonstrated the importance of the SOCIAL layer of learning; They demonstrated how people learn in groups, through talking, watching others, listening, and picking up hints from other groups doing the same thing. Since I learned that, and saw firsthand it’s use, I immediately changed to the new strategy of “I do” (teacher model), “We do” (teacher model with student input/direction), then “You do Together” (Having students pair share on a question, or do one question together while I circulate and help), and only THEN moving to “You do Independently” (And assign practice work). I found a huge difference in my ability to assess student’s understanding while seeing this layer, because I’ve seen students able to correct themselves or their peers, or to learn from their peers- And that just boosts their confidence! All in all, this was a fantastic PD and I would recommend it to all other teachers from elementary to early middle years.