During the final class of the semester, I asked the student teachers to plan their first day of school and to pay particular attention to the classroom rituals and routines they would introduce on this initial day of school. These gave me a sense of which ideas were most salient to them for organizing how they would teach literacy in their own elementary classrooms.
A second activity we did together on that final day of class was a carousel activity where they were asked to reflect on several aspects of the course noting what they learned and what questions remained. The video illustrates a segment of this conversation about how the students understood the importance of classroom rituals and routines for organizing their literacy teaching and learning. A transcript and the text from the chart they created is linked below.
Three video clips illustrate one student teacher's use of classroom rituals and routines. The first two show two different literacy rituals and routines: gathering the class together through song and reading aloud while students sign a group letter. Andrea learned these rituals and routines from a variety of sources including her mentor teacher, the Quest websites and our discussions together. The third clip is from a lesson that she carefully planned and analyzed for a course assignment. For this assignment, she chose to focus on teaching memoir, which is a topic we discussed in class through viewing a lesson on Gill Maimon's website. Her final lesson analysis shows her analysis of this lesson and how she might adapt and change these practices in the future.
A sample of evaluations from the end of the year illustrate some of the ideas that student teachers learned from their close study of the Quest websites throughout the year. I have plans to video tape a few of the teachers in their first year of teaching to determine how they translate these ideas into their classroom practice.