Planning Good Change - Page 14 - Next Page

First Things First

As part of the change process, the planning team is seeking books, articles, videos and other materials that will help them to sell the learning strategies. Because they know it is a long and trying journey from theory into practice, they prefer theories and models that are firmly rooted in practical realities. They look for work that "sells itself" because it is communicated in plain but compelling terms that will appeal to classroom teachers.

The planners understand that the test of a good model involves more than good intentions. It should be appetizing, reassuring, reliable and user friendly. With some exceptions, teachers caught in the "daily press" have little patience with models that require heroics and offer months of turbulence and trial.

"Give me something that will work on Monday morning without me sacrificing my weekend getting it all ready."

The planning group settles on the following works as a basis for addressing the three outcome statements:

1. Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Comprehension in a Reader's Workshop. Keene and Zimmerman (1997) offer a set of reading strategies to empower young students to read with far more understanding.

2. Non-Fiction Matters: Reading, Writing and Research in Grades 3-8. Harvey (1998) shows how to engage students in the exploration of serious questions with passion, resonance and coherence.

3. Strategies that Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding. Harvey and Goudvis (2000) propose a strategic approach to reading and thinking that involves questioning, visualizing, and synthesizing among others.

4. The Art of Teaching Writing. Calkins (1994) has little to say about technology but a great deal to say about teaching writing as process. She brings the conferencing process to life with great detail and thoroughness based on decades of working with students and teachers.

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Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
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