Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Learning Moves

The Slice of Life Story Challenge runs every day in March.
Thanks to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Dana, Stacey, 
and Tara at Two Writing Teachers 
for hosting!

"Mrs. Spillane, I have to do the slice of life today and I'm not sure how to post."
"Come up to my laptop and I'll show you during reading time."

The bell rings, students settle into tables, pull out their independent novels and start reading. Analiese comes to my teaching station for a quick Wordpress lesson. I don't usually like to usurp a student's reading time, but this is the time we have. Her need is immediate.

My students are taking turns posting their slices at 31 students.
I have her log into Wordpress and I show her around the dashboard. I guide her through creating a draft of the post she will finish after school. She nods and follows my lead controlling the mouse on the screen. The five minute lesson ends and before she goes back to her seat, she spontaneously retells me what she needs to do.

"Okay, so I go to dashboard."
"Yep," I nod more than say.
"Then I go to all posts."
I nod again, "uh hu."
"Okay, then I click edit."
"Okay. Okay. I think I got it."
"And you can text me if you get stuck," I tell her.
"Do I have your number?" she asks.
"Well, it's on your syllabus," I reply.
"Mmm hmm," I nod.
"Oh, okay."
"And if you don't have it, it's posted on the wall by your table right next to the clock."
"Oh, okay."

And she's off. She feels ready to be our classroom slicer for the day. Her perception of her ability is as important as her ability. She did the verbal rehearsal, the self-check retelling all on her own.   I'm please with her learning moves. That's what we do when we're learning. We retell. We summarize. We recap. We trace our steps. She's learning! I can't wait to see what she writes.


  1. "Her perception of her ability is as important as her ability."
    Brilliant! You led her towards these learning tools in a way that was empowering, Lee Ann.

  2. I like hearing about "your" perception, too Lee Ann. And will look for her tonight.

  3. Wow! Learning--and teaching--at it's finest.

  4. I just finished reading a post which talked a bit about being present in the moment, and how many thoughts we have in a day (I know, it would be great if I could link to it here), and you were definitely present in this moment. I love that you are not only paying attention to her words and her needs, but also at the same time, reflecting on her learning process.