Classroom Close Up: E.L.A. Throughout the Day
Your Unique Class Culture with Madeline Noonan
Madeline: My name is Madeline Noonan, and I am a fifth grade teacher here at Think College Now Elementary in Oakland.
"We're gonna do number one on..."
This is my fourth year teaching. New teachers need a combination of passion and zeal, and humor.
"If I could have a scholar who doesn't mind hopping up and hitting the lights. That's an idiom; please don't hit them for real. Thank you, Carmen, for taking initiative. I appreciate you for that."
The best thing that you can do as a teacher is to be yourself.
"When I say the word of the day, it's quixotic. I say, you say, quixotic."
Madeline: I'm loud. I'm verbose, and that comes across in my teaching. I talk fast. I move fast. You see that in my classroom.
"In three, and two, quixotic."
The key to an effective classroom is knowing who you are, and knowing how to setup systems and structures that are mutually beneficial for you and your kids.
"Good morning, good morning."
Narrator: Our Classroom Close-Up cameras joined Madeline's class for one school day. This first video segment provides an overview of Madeline's teaching, and a few of the day's ELA activities. In the other segments, we zoom in, to take a closer look at specific activities and classroom management strategies.
Madeline: "How do you feel about that class?"
Narrator: Let's begin.
Madeline: The morning meeting is a really great space for them to practice language.
Madeline: Our feelings and emotions can't be captured with really simple words like happy or sad.
Madeline: Sometimes we're really happy; sometimes we're sort of happy. And, what words capture that?
All: "Fired Up."
Madeline: They use a sentence frame, I am feeling blank because blank.
Student: "Today I'm feeling eager 'cause tomorrow we're having a volleyball game, and..."
Madeline: It's great practice for them to learn how to communicate how they're feeling in a constructive and safe way."
Student: "Today I am feeling perky."
Madeline: So, we're using it to do social, emotional, and academic at the same time.
"What is this, though, New Jersey?"
After that, we go into Word Study, when we focus on more discrete English Language Arts skills.
"When we have a proper noun that is more than one word, we're gonna actually capitalize both. Capiche?"
Madeline: Today we were focusing on capitalizing proper nouns.
"Who feels like they can really take on this tricky one? All right! Christopher you feel ready? I love that you took this risk. Come on down! Give Christopher a snap, crackle, pop. Nice job. You got it. Agree or disagree? Nice job."
Madeline: "Students will..."
All: "Students will...
Madeline: "Be able to..."
All: "Be able to..."
Madeline: "Proper Nouns."
All: "Proper Nouns."
Madeline: SWBAT stands for "Students will be able to" and it states what our objective or our learning goal for a particular lesson.
"We're gonna do number one."
It just signals to students' brains, "OK, this is our goal for the next 15, 30, 45 minutes."
"What do..what do I capitalize...teacher, or do I capitalize Miss Noonan?"
Student: "Miss Noonan"
Madeline: "Why do I capitalize Miss Noonan, and not teacher?"
Student: "Beause teacher is not as specific."
Madeline: "Yeah, and what type of noun is that, when it's general?"
Student: "It's a common noun."
Madeline: "It's a common noun, OK."
Next, we have writing. At this point, students have writeen a rough draft of a fictional narrative. They have edited with a peer, both for content and grammar, and they've edited on their own for those same criteria. They're ready for their final step before publishing, which is the, the edit with Miss Noonan.
"I like that you named this crazy city Bob's Hot Dogs. It sounds like a plice I might want to live. I'm wondering if this seems sort, 'cause we're talking about Timmy, we're talking about..."
It's very difficult, especially with large classes to ensure that you meet with every student.
"Could we, maybe, move this to a different place, so it, it flows a little bit better?"
However, I think when you do that, and when they have a chance to have a peer and an adult edit, they do a better job of retaining critique. They do a better job of using it consistently, going forward.
"Timmy is clever, and short as a tiny ant. I like that detail. It's a great similie."
So I do believe it's time that's really well spent.
"And that's a nice hook too. It's a vivid description."
"We're going to go to science, I really hope that we meet our homework goal of, maybe even nudging over 90%. I know we can do it."
I really believe in my students, and I believe that their education should be a silve bullet - something that helps you transcend any other thing around you that might hold you back. It's what keeps me going, that desire to ensure that students, no matter where they go, can be successful.