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Teachers — Training of
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Literature — Study and Teaching (Elementary)
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1.

Signposts [electronic resource]

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Dr. Judith Langer explains the characteristics that are most effective in building classrooms where students are active learners, building and sharing their individual understandings of works of literature. These characteristics are shown in action through introductory visits to the classrooms of the eight teachers who appear in this video library.
Online
2003
2.

Voices in the Conversation [electronic resource]

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A visit to Katherine Bomer's fifth-grade class showcases techniques for involving all students in a classroom read-aloud and the ensuing discussion that follows. Ms. Bomer respectfully models, supports, and encourages conversations among students on the text "The Color of My Words" by Lynn Joseph.
Online
2003
3.

Starting Out [electronic resource]

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Visits Jonathan Holden's fourth-grade class as they begin an exploration of poetry. He carefully guides them as they create and explore individual and rich envisionments of the text through discussion and writing. The class explores poems from "Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash" by Donald H. Graves and "Hey You! C'Mere: A Poetry Slam" by Elizabeth Swados.
Online
2003
4.

Responding to Literature [electronic resource]

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Rich Thompson works with a small student group as they explore the text "Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo. Mr. Thompson becomes an active participant in their discussion, modeling ways in which students can take more active roles in classroom discussion through preparation, turn-taking, receptiveness to alternate views, posing (and trying to answer) authentic questions, and a willingness to accept ambiguity.
Online
2003
5.

Building Community [electronic resource]

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A combined class of fourth and fifth graders works in small groups to explore historical fiction. Latosha Rowley models an engaged role for the teacher as she circulates among the groups, asking questions to help take their discussions to another level. Texts include "I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr." by Margaret Davidson, "Walking the Road to Freedom: A Story About Sojourner Truth" by Jeri Ferris, "Which Way Freedom" by Joyce Hansen, "A Family Apart" by Joan Lowery Nixon, and "Riding Freedom" by Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Online
2003
6.

Book Buddies [electronic resource]

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Tim O'Keefe and his third graders meet with their Book Buddies, fifth graders in Julie Waugh's class. The two classes have chosen to talk together about Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco. Over two days, the Book Buddies read and discuss the assigned section of the book, then meet as a group to discuss their reading and their responses. Mr. O'Keefe and Ms. Waugh explain the process as it unfolds, and clearly demonstrate their roles in supporting the ongoing discussion.
Online
2003
7.

Finding Common Ground [electronic resource]

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Bileni Teklu works one-on-one with her fifth graders, encouraging them to interact with literature through careful conversation. She encourages her students to think about what they enjoyed about their reading experience, and ways in which what they read has some resonance in their own lives. Texts include "Martin Luther King" by Ed Clayton, "Out of the Dust" by Karen Hesse, "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens, "The Green Mile" by Stephen King, and "The Last Battle" by C. S. Lewis.
Online
2003
8.

Discussion Strategies [electronic resource]

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Barry Hoonan and his fifth- and sixth-grade cluster explore ways in which individual readers can help themselves enter the story world of a text. The group explores two different methods which lead its members directly into "Stuck in Neutral" by Terry Trueman.
Online
2003
9.

Foundations [electronic resource]

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Introduces the eight teachers featured in the series. They talk about the literary experiences that have had the most meaning for them and explain how they have brought a love of literature to their students. Observes the teachers in their classrooms, revealing how this love of literature directly informs their work. In a think-aloud, the teachers demonstrate the habits and processes that successful readers employ.
Online
2003
10.

Looking at Literature [electronic resource]

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Teachers talk about ways in which stories affects their lives and the lives of their students. They move on to talk about selecting texts, considering age- and interest-appropriateness, text availability, and other issues. Classroom visits punctuate the discussion, showing practical ways to implement the suggestions the teachers discuss.
Online
2003
11.

Starting Classroom Conversations [electronic resource]

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Concentrates on the basics of good discussions: defining "good" questions, identifying those who should have an opportunity to ask questions, and explaining the goals for this technique. Shows how teachers can make everyone feel comfortable contributing to a literary discussion and strategies for involving reluctant participants.
Online
2003
12.

Classroom Dialogues [electronic resource]

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Examines the various roles the teacher plays in class discussions and explains how to maintain a careful balance among leading, being a part of, and observing discussions. Identifies topics that are better discussed with the whole class and topics that are better for small groups. Offers suggestions for folding traditional elements of the language arts curriculum, such as identifying literary elements, into the ongoing class discussion.
Online
2003
13.

Using Art and Other Disciplines to Enrich Classroom Conversations [electronic resource]

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Reveals how the arts and other disciplines can enhance individual literary experiences for each student. Uses classroom footage and group discussion to show how drama, drawing, and music add depth and dimension to literature, and offer students alternative ways of expressing their understandings of the text. Also discusses various ways to encourage students as writers.
Online
2003
14.

Beginning the Year [electronic resource]

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Teachers share their thoughts on specific ways to set the tone for the school year, setting goals as they begin, communicating these goals with their students, and tailoring literary experiences to meet students' needs. Classroom visits on the first few days of school show some of their suggestions in action.
Online
2003
15.

Many Students, Many Voices and Abilities [electronic resource]

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Suggests ways to celebrate each student's uniqueness and provide an atmosphere in the classroom in which each student plays a respected and respectful role in conversations surrounding literature. Explains how background, reading levels, language acquisition levels, and other personal characteristics allow for the formulation of multiple perspectives that add significantly to a group's interaction with literature.
Online
2003
16.

Reacting to Students' Work [electronic resource]

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Discusses various ways to evaluate students, use that information to influence strategies, and communicate expectations to students and families. Also addresses high-stakes assessments, deciding when to assess and when to evaluate, and suggestions for helping students assess their own work and the work of their peers.
Online
2003
17.

The Professional Teacher [electronic resource]

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Teachers talk about the ways in which they nurture themselves as professionals, their mentors and heroes, their activities, and the ways they reach out to their peers as they all grow in their careers. Showcases the myriad ways in which they maintain their professional edge, learning from their students as well as other professionals.
Online
2003
18.

Sharing the Text [electronic resource]

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BJ Namba's third-grade class works in book groups to connect with characters and perspectives offered by texts that portray unfamiliar situations. Ms. Namba interacts with the groups, demonstrating when to step in to the conversation and when to stand back and observe the group's work. Texts include "The Pinballs" by Betsy Byars, "Just Juice" by Karen Hesse, "The Great Gilly Hopkins" by Katherine Paterson, "War With Grandpa" by Robert Kimmel Smith, and "Maniac Magee" by Jerry Spinelli.
Online
2003