Teaching Empathy: Using Read Aloud and Text Sets to Think and Talk about Social Justice K-5

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille 

In the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch teaches his children, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings, plight, or situation of another. It is recognizing and valuing perspectives that are different from one’s own. It is the basis for relationships and, some would even argue, is vital to survival.

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PLC Series: Independent Writing Time

Welcome to a new year of content and conversation in our PLC Series. This month we focus on the craft of teaching writers—not the writing.


One of the most overwhelming pieces for teachers in a reading and writing workshop model is managing all of the moving parts. If writing workshop is new for you, it is likely that fears swirl into questions in your mind: Can they write on their own? How do I release control? How do coach my writers as individuals when there are so many of them?

Teacher and blogger Betsy Hubbard (@Betsy_Writes) shares her wisdom in this article, available for download below, from the Heinemann Digital Library.  She describes the roles of monitoring and conferring with writers, as well explains how these practices support each other. Reflecting on the notes that emerge from monitoring and conferring provide valuable information that inform both you as the teacher and the students as they work to build independence.

Making the Most of Independent Writing Time_Hubbard.pdf

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Looking for more PD on this topic?

Online: This article is one of many available to you with a Digital Library Subscription. Find out more here!

Off-Site: Which authors are coming to your area for one day workshops? Click here to browse the list by region, author, or state.

On-Site: Take a look at school-based seminars, and consulting authors and speakers available to you by clicking here.

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  Betsy Hubbard (@BetsyWrites) Betsy Hubbard is a  kindergarten and first grade teacher. She is a co-author at  the blog Two Writing Teachers and also blogs at I Think in   Poems, Teaching Young Writers, and I’m Living My Words. 

 

The Heinemann Podcast: Choice Time

ChoiceTime_MG5D9012How do you define play and choice time in early childhood classrooms? According to Renée Dinnerstein, play is an engine that drives learning. She writes, "during choice time, children choose to play in a variety of centers that have been carefully designed and equipped to scaffold children’s natural instinct for play.” In her book Choice Time, Renée gives us everything we need to set up choice-time centers that promote inquiry-based, guided play in a classroom. Renée also summarizes the research, describing the different kinds of play and why they are important. She says by giving your students choice time, and allowing them to engage in joyful, important, playful, age-appropriate work will empower them to become lifelong learners. 

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Play

Supporting Development of the Cardinal Principle

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Adapted from Young Children's Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction in Early Childhood Education

By: Thomas P. Carpenter, Megan L. Franke, Nicholas C. Johnson, Angela Chan Turrou, and Anita A. Wager


Capturing a child’s understanding of the cardinal principle while they are counting can be challenging, as children don't necessarily end the process of counting by explicitly stating the total amount that they have in their collection. A child may know that counting objects involves reciting a sequence of numbers, but not that the outcome of this process is a number that represents the total quantity. A child may say “1,2,3,4” as they count a collection of four, but this does not necessarily mean that the child understands that there is a quantity of four objects. Applying the cardinal principle requires that children name the set according to the last number used in their count. In this case, that last number used was four, so there are four objects in the collection. Because the process of counting and what the count tells you are not necessarily the same thing, figuring out what a child knows about the cardinal principle often requires waiting for a child to complete their count and then asking a question like, “So, how many do you have in your collection?” Other ways to get at the cardinal principle could include saying to the child: “Here are some blocks. How many are there?” Or “Do you have enough to give me 4?” Asking children to make a group of counters of a given size rather than counting a given collection also can focus them on the cardinal principle. 

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Refreshing Your Kids’ Reading and Writing Lives in the New Year

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Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille

The start of a new calendar year brings a sense of renewal, possibility, and novelty.  It is a time for reflection, and certainly, as the number of people who make New Year’s resolutions shows, for goal-setting. 

Hopefully, your students (and you!) have returned from the break rested, recharged, and ready to reinvest. This is the perfect time to channel your students to reflect on their reading and writing lives and to make plans for the year ahead. 

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PLC Series: Uncovering Student Writers

Welcome to a new year of content and conversation in Heinemann's PLC Series. This month we focus on the craft of teaching writers—not the writing.


Take a moment to look around your classroom. You might see pencils on the floor, journals sticking out of desks, and baskets full of notebooks or papers. Now look more closely. Chances are writing is hiding there, words and ideas tucked into the inconspicuous corners of the room.

When you nurture a classroom of writers within a workshop model, you have the opportunity to uncover this hidden writing – writing that students would like to bring to life and can, with a little time and a gentle nudge.

In this clip from a Heinemann PD webinar, educator and author Lisa Eickholdt shares an example of this kind of writing. After you watch the clip, think about this discovery from the young writer in her classroom and consider: What conditions were in place for this student to put the pencil to the page in this way?
 

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Looking for more PD on this topic?

Online: Click here to find out about the webinars planned for 2017 with Lindsey Moses, Lisa Eickholdt & Patty Vitale-Reilly, and more!

Off-Site: Which authors are coming to your area for one day workshops? Click here to browse the list by region, author, or state.

On-Site: Take a look at school-based seminars, and consulting authors and speakers available to you by clicking here.

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Lisa Eickholdt (@LisaEickholdt) has 23 years of experience in the classroom as a primary grades teacher, a Title I teacher, a Reading Recovery teacher, an interventionist, and a literacy coach. Currently, Lisa is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at Georgia Gwinnett College and works as a literacy consultant in classrooms nationwide. Her recent book, Learning from Classmates: Using Students' Writing as Mentor Texts, celebrates student writing and promotes student engagement.