June 15, 2013See All Newsletters
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Hi Member,
It’s time to kick off our summer playlists and this week we’re offering you a series of videos that will help you to see what it actually looks like to teach nonfiction. For so many of us, wrapping our heads around this focus of the Common Core State Standards can feel enigmatic. But once you see it in action, I know you’ll gain confidence in how this can look in your classroom too.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working with a lot of teachers during professional learning times, with an emphasis on this very topic: making nonfiction more clear. From my own classroom and through this work, I’ve latched onto two big ideas.
  1. Context. When we teach nonfiction, it’s essential for students to have and learn how to create their own context. They need context of time, of speaker, of genre, of place, of culture. The more context they have, the more accessible the nonfiction becomes.
  2. Text-dependent questions. If you haven’t heard this phrase yet, you surely will in the near future. Text-dependent questions are those questions that help students to anchor their responses to what they read in the texts themselves.
In our first playlist series, you’ll see how Ms. Brewer blends careful questioning into a student-centered discussion. Then watch as she uses this questioning to extend the lesson.

Analyzing Texts: Overview of a Lesson Series

You can start with the overview video and then move on to the three separate lessons that provide a detailed look at Ms. Brewer’s approach.

Analyzing Texts: Brainstorming Before Writing

Analyzing Texts: Putting Thoughts on Paper

Analyzing Texts: Text Talk Time

Whether you’re an ELA teacher or using nonfiction in whatever discipline you teach, Ms. Duvoor’s video will make contextualization clear!

Reading Like a Historian: Contextualization

Here’s a link to the full, uncut lesson if you have a bit more time.

As you move through the playlists you may find you have questions. Please jump over to our Q&A page and ask us! We have Common Core teachers ready to help.
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
We'd like to know if you record video in your own classrooms for professional learning. And, if not, why not? Please share your thoughts in our new Tchers' Voice Survey. Appropriately, our giveaway this time is 50 flip cameras to randomly selected survey participants! Take the survey>>

Here is the winners list from our May survey.
How does your school or district support teacher professional development? Would your fellow teachers like to share instructional strategies accessible on demand?

This Thursday, my colleague Rob Bayuk is hosting a product demonstration of Teaching Channel teams.
You can sign up for this 30 minute webinar, or visit the Teams web page for more information.