Resources from the K-12 websites
The elementary literacy teacher education sites on Inside Teaching enable others to learn from the pedagogies and practices of experienced teacher educators who have used K-12 web sites to help prepare new teachers. The teacher educators' sites include a range of assignments and classroom routines that can be analyzed and adapted to new classrooms. The K-12 web sites on Inside Teaching provide additional materials and examples of practices from elementary and secondary classrooms that teacher educators might find useful in developing new ways of teaching their methods classes.
Knowing students as literacy learners from the K-12 perspective
Teachers get to know their students, in part, through the work that students do in the literacy classroom. Teacher educators can make a powerful point about the possibilities of teaching by giving student teachers the opportunity to see practice that is based on a deep knowledge of students' reading and writing. The elementary literacy sites on Inside Teaching provide a rich array of student work in a variety of genres, including identification of author’s purpose, choral reading of a class book, persuasive writing, and personal narratives. Gillian Maimon’s first grade site conveys the complex manner by which teachers come to know students through their work. The site captures Maimon’s ongoing conferences with students about their written work. In addition, it includes examples of her first grade students' writing, which serve as data that can be mined to help novices understanding how teachers learn about their students. Visitors to Mattie Davis' site can view a video sequence that begins with a conference with a first grader about a piece of non-fiction writing and concludes with a clip of that student reading the piece aloud to his peers. Teacher educators interested in using examples of student work in their classes will find work samples on the sites of Jennifer Myers, Mattie Davis, Gillian Maimon and Amelia Coleman.
Observing and investigating high leverage practices from the K-12 perspective
The elementary literacy websites on Inside Teaching allow teacher educators to bring examples of high leverage literacy practice into the teacher education classroom. The examples of K-12 literacy practice here include elements of writing workshop, such as mini lessons about figurative language, point of view, and persuasive writing; students writing in different genres; students turning "noticings" into notebook entries; teacher and students engaged in word study or practice of high frequency words; and students sharing work in the Author's Chair.
Adapting and enacting K-12 practices
Teachers adopt practices gleaned from a myriad of sources, including books, colleagues, and teacher education courses. Often, literacy teachers need to adapt their teaching practices to the mandates or expectations of their local school or district. The K-12 sites provide examples of practices that can be adapted to specific contexts as part of teacher education coursework, during the first years of teaching, and beyond. By incorporating the K-12 web sites, teacher educators have the opportunity to introduce promising literacy practices that might not be evident in the classrooms where student teachers are learning to teach. For example, teacher educators often want to introduce practices such as reading and writing workshop, literacy centers, read alouds, listening to books on tape, and partner reading. Students, however, may not have opportunities to observe these practices in their classrooms. Further, if students do not see such practices in their classrooms, they may not believe they are possible in their urban, public school settings. The K-12 web sites provide a common text for learning about these strategies and illustrate their use across a wide array of settings. The elementary literacy teachers’ sites include an array of Reading and Writing Workshop images, such as students and teachers reading aloud, partner reading, and making tape recordings of reading. In addition to these activities, the strategy of making connections (e.g., text-to-text and text-to-self) is explored from both student and teacher perspectives. Teachers offer insight into their teaching decisions and describe how they choose literature that connects to students’ lives and to their units of study.