Dr. Mary Howard’s book Good to Great Teaching has been a very important professional text for us. She focuses our lens towards intentional instructional choices. Through her work we find there are small instructional shifts that pack a big payoff. We are not re-inventing we are refining, we are not throwing out, we are revising… This holds a lot of appeal for a teacher. In our last post about Hamburger writing we repurposed a tool that has value because kids “get it” but made it more meaningful through the writing process. This is how it works:
- ZOOM: Organization during writing process
- OBSERVE: Children were able to use a friendly structure that created context of writing while allowing choice and inner control (they knew where they needed to go)
- EVALUATE: Great
- ANALYZE: Students were engaged, their writing showed voice and they were able to better organize their work whereas before that wasn’t happening.
- ADJUST: It’s hard to say what we would change because the lesson was very successful
- SHIFT: Broaden the scope from one paragraph to multiple paragraphs
Do you think that having disciplined reflection is important? Reflection is the key to professional growth. While we were always reflective we didn’t break it down into specific categories . So her work is helping us to refine and hone our practice trying always to go from good to great.