Anatomy of a teaching point

I received this text from a colleague this morning:

teaching point - how

What is the “how” in this teaching point? She queried.

I read the part right under “Name your teaching point.”

I thought about it. I have not read this entire lesson.  But I do know this. Often times the HOW to a lesson by Lucy Caulkins and the folks over at Teachers College can be found in the part of the Reading Units of Study lesson right before the “Active Engagement” part.   It’s when they say something like this:

“Students, did you notice how I…” then they describe the exact steps they took to do the thing.

Kate and Dana over at Powerful Choices taught me this tip. They’re helping our staff to hone our instruction in reading and writing by creating crystal clear teaching points that kids can replicate.

I responded to the text like this:

The “how” (to support yourself as a reader when reading for main idea in non fiction text) is to (1) jot down the strategies you already know how to use,  (2) choose one, and (3) try it with the text you are using.

But another beauty of this work is that another reader or writer who teaches readers and writers may create the “how” differently.  It depends on you, your process, your students. There is room in the work to “outgrow your own best thinking, as Lucy Caulkins once said.  I appreciate the encouragement to continue to grow as a learner and a teacher and a person.

I love the Reading Units of Study. I love the Writing Units of Study. They are the result of so much careful work and research across years by some incredibly dedicated, well studied, in-classroom educators with many students. They are complex and rich and can be difficult to use straight out of the box. We need to be having conversations about how we are using them, but we do need to use them. We lift the level of our instruction every time we do.

 What would you say is the “HOW” of this teaching point? 

How do you read non-fiction?

How do you support yourself as a reader?





About Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be You

Principal at the School at the north end of Los Angeles Harbor where AWESOME happens. Working to make the world a little more wonder-full.
This entry was posted in Passion for teaching, reading, Students First, Teaching, Teaching Strategies, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Anatomy of a teaching point

  1. jarhartz says:

    Ah yes. The art of reading and teaching come together in the Units of Study. A confluence of teacher and student thinking, an orchestra, where all are playing and thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

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