Response to Week 2

Everyone seems to be on the same boat here. If we did not have peers to collaborate with, it would be a hard job to do. We should rely on others to help us, and allow us to help them, and those that are just too good to do so, should not be in this profession. I have seen the teachers that think they are the mavericks of the grade level, it is sad to see them working alone. If we didn’t have someone to bounce ideas off, to cry on a shoulder, to say why doesn’t this work for me, then it would be a wasted job, and we would have kids that would not benefit from the thoughts of others. In the end, we do this for our students, it is them who benefit from us thinking outside the box, and it is them who benefit from our peer groups working together.

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How do I want to improve teaching and learning in my classroom? How can collaborating with others support my teaching and learning goals?

In my classroom I want to improve fluency in reading and at the same time improve Galileo and AIMS scores for the school. Our third grade unit has an average reading level of first grade. They are not able to read third grade texts fluently, or comprehend what they are reading. I think implementing the Six-Minute Fluency program would help improve reading in the grade level and improve test scores from the Fall to Spring benchmarks. According to Gail Adams and Sheron Brown “The Six-Minute Solution is based on the premise that six minutes worth of concentrated practice on targeted literacy skills such as phonetic elements, automatic word recognition, and passage reading, can increase reading achievement” (Adams & Brown, 2007). I believe my students and the students of my peers deserve any angle we can use to help them improve their reading ability.

Collaboration with my peers is one of the most useful tools I have in my arsenal. We all discussed this problem and brainstormed several ideas. We feel this is worth implementing at the beginning of Daily 5 before we do read to someone, or listening to reading. Emily Lai states “Collaborative or cooperative learning structures are argued to trigger strong critical thinking skills and dispositions” (Lai, 2011). This is what makes collaboration a useful tool in the classroom as well as the professional learning group. All teachers should want the best for their children, and a strong reinforcing group allows them to just that, and in my case, four brains are better than one! Collaborating with my peers allows me to make mistakes without being judged. It allows me to test ideas and theories before jumping blindly into something that could waste time and learning. Collaboration allows me to become a better teacher by allowing me to learn and be part of something bigger than my own classroom.

Adams, Gail N. & Brown, Sheron M. (2007). The Six-Minute Solution: A Reading Fluency Program (Primary Level). Longmont, Colorado: Sopris West educational Services

Lai, Emily R. (2011). Collaboration: A Literature Review. Research Report. Retrieved from http://images.pearsonassessments.com/images/tmrs/Collaboration-Review.pdf

Followup to original post from Friday

Kari made a great point about classroom research, she made the statement “When teachers question their practice and gather and analyze data using tools easily incorporated into everyday teaching, and improvement in practice is a logical outcome.” Rust and Meyers (2006) p. 73. I stand with my post that research can improve our craft by testing new things and finding new ways to improve learning. We should always be testing a new hypothesis, and seeking new ways to improve learning. #seaccr

What is classroom research and how can it improve teaching and learning in my classroom?

Classroom research is simply an educator’s opportunity to improve their craft by trying new and tried and true methods to improve student learning. We have a question, and we search for a solution in past and present experiences, or we create our own through test and evaluation.

I believe that classroom research can improve our classroom teaching because we are always trying to find new ways for our students to learn. Research is more than experiments; it is looking for other ways of doing something, to see if the outcome will benefit our students.

By using research we as educators are trying something new, collecting data to prove or disprove its validity, and learning at the same time. #seaccr