Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

12.19.13Meg Reuler’s Handouts

Yesterday I blogged about how well Meg Reuler used intentional observation to help her Check for Understanding.  I noted:

Meg has ensured that every student is working off the same packet and the packet is designed to allow her to collect data quickly and efficiently. Students all write their definition and not the word charge in the same predictable place in the packet. In the case of the word charge they circle one of three answers. Meg can circulate through the room as they work and determine at a glance how her students think about the word- what they ‘get’ and what they don’t.  She gathers data efficiently- no wasting time (or disrupting students) while she scans or flips to find what she wants in their materials.  As a result she is, amazingly, able to get a good idea of what sorts of errors are occurring in the entire room in just over ten seconds!
On the TLAC facebook page, John Atlas Beck asked if we could show Meg’s handouts so readers could see how they were designed.  Meg agreed to pass them along so you can see the page she’s teaching from here:  Disposition.
Some thoughts: you’ll note the box in the upper right hand corner that she uses to track students’ perceptions of word charge and then the different spaces where she can track their thinking about “disposition” was their guess plausible? Did the true definition correct? the part of speech?  It’s easy for her to find and distinguish each of these pieces of information as she circulates.
I also thought Meg’s notes to herself, which you can’t see but which were visible on the word document, were interesting.  They capture the degree to which her intentional observation is intentional and planned into the lesson. Meg know what she’s going to look for when.  To herself she wrote:

“Write second sentence on own.  Circulate with a pen and put checks on all papers where the vocab word is used.  Choose 2 to put up on doc cam and ask the class to evaluate which is better.  (one should not clearly show meaning.  Have examples prepared in case there are not good comparisons in class.”

A case study in how preparation leads to success.

By the way, this is also, in my mind, a great vocabulary lesson as well.

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