Rainbow over Galileo Lane, Tucson

Friday, December 16, 2011

More from Aurora

12/15/11 Tucson
We had a wonderful 2 days of work in Aurora Colorado. Charlotte Butler has been doing some marvelous
staff development with her secondary English group.The secondary English program is reading-writing workshop built around retrospective miscue analysis.
It's not without its problems. This year the district has recreated reading intervention classes in the high schools. Students with low test scores are automatically programmed into it. That means no electives. We met with the lucky young man who is teaching four such classes.He knows how to work with low achievers. but...

On the other hand what a pleasure to meet peer coaches who work in one or more schools supporting teachers. They are knowledgeable about and clever in their use of miscue analysis and retrospective miscue analysis.

One coach working in  a k-8 school described how she was able to get a teacher to stop supplying words to the kids as they read. She helped her see the strengths their miscues showed.

Another teacher raised questions the teacher of high achievers had raised with her about the values of retrospective miscue analysis for students. We had a wonderful discussion of why even high achievers need to revalue themselves and the reading process. We talked about kids who get good grades but are  uptight about their reading and writing and read so cautiously that they are inefficient. They can profit from realizing that they don't need to  read everything in the same intense way. Understanding how reading works frees them to use the process flexibly.

Others  shared the case studies they've been doing. We encouraged them to put them together in a book.

We sat in with Charlottes's whole team as they discussed the data they are gathering for a study of the effectiveness of their program. They face the problems we all do of helping their colleagues to see the value of what they are doing, Simple test results always look more explicit even if they tell you much less than the more complex evidence we can offer.
You can check their website at http://instruction.aurorak12.org/instructional-resources/literacy/secondary/

Perhaps the most lasting effects of Charlotte's efforts will be in the growing number of teachers who teach differently because they have revalued reading.

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