This year, I’m supporting teachers across several districts as they work to implement the new Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Text created by Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. In each district, it’s been important to bring teachers together regularly to unpack each unit and plan for future instruction.
Debriefing has been just as important. The chart below is one that I used at the start of yesterday’s session with intermediate teachers. While these teachers are implementing the Units of Study as they are designed this year, they know that ultimately, they may use what they’ve learned from this experience to craft their own units. This chart provides a snapshot of the essential components and space for teachers to post up questions, concerns, needs, or ideas relative to each. I distributed sticky notes to each teacher and asked them to reflect on their needs prior to posting them on the chart. This gave me a quick read of the room and enabled me to adjust the day’s agenda accordingly. I could also see trends in their thinking very quickly.
It reminds me of an anticipation guide, only it ensures that all participants have a voice in shaping the agenda.