Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

04.10.19One More Clip for ‘Show Call Week’

The moment when Sarah takes Lavonte’s paper. It’s a good thing!

Ok, it’s not really ‘Show Call Week,’ but this is the third post I’ve shared this week involving an example of the technique, which is one of my favorites. Maybe it’s a sign.

Anyway this one is from Sarah Wright’s classroom again. I posted another example of her Show Call earlier this week.

This one is a little different: simple and elegant. A celebration.

Watch it and then I’ll share a bit about what I love, though no doubt you’ll have seen it without my help.

Sarah Wright.Show Call to Stamp.Vivid from TLAC Blog on Vimeo.

The Show Call comes as students are doing active practice with their vocabulary. Students are asked to write a sentence applying the word ‘conspicuous’: “Describe something you’d wear if you had to meet someone and wanted to be conspicuous.” As an aside this idea–using active practice for vocabulary–is something I’ve written about before and fittingly this example comes from a lesson where Sarah is piloting our middle school ELA curriculum.

Anyway, as Sarah circulates to observe her students’ sentences, she notices a student who used another vocabulary word–‘vivid’–in his sentence. And that, she decides, is a thing worth celebrating. But instead of just shouting Lavonte out, she takes his work and shows it off. I just love this move because it makes Lavonte’s work a little bit more of a big deal while still building a culture of accountability for what students write. The message is, when you write, I notice when you produce work of quality or put words to paper that are special. I am going to show that off.

A last note: Every further Show Call in Sarah’s class–whether focus on ‘glows’ or ‘grows’ or both benefits from this moment when she makes it a good thing to have your work projected.

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