One Sunflower

in tandem

on February 21, 2012

Tandem:
any arrangement of two things in which one is placed behind the other

“in tandem together” or in conjunction

When the primary teachers gathered at a meeting a few weeks ago, it was a nice surprise to find out that the kindergarten teacher and I were working on the same goal: creating and using a rubric to support students learning to identify the narrative elements in journal writing.

In preschool that rubric looks like a long sentence strip with icons used to cue my students to include people and setting details in their pictures as well as prompts to talk about what their characters might have been feeling or saying to each other.  Together we talk and walk through the story that goes with their picture. Even though it is set up as a checklist it is mostly me who is doing the checking as I think outloud in our conferencing.

The kindergarten rubric is a one pager the teacher created to use when she does writing demonstrations. She has individual copies for the students to use when they write.

Soon, I will be going in to the kindergarten room to observe the teacher lead a lesson.  In turn, I will videotape myself doing a lesson for us to watch together. I love it when colleagues can work in tandem like this!

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6 responses to “in tandem

  1. Linda Baie says:

    This sounds like fun, and part of what teachers find so little time to do, being in each other’s classrooms and watching each other and working together to help each other. I like your use of the word tandem, exactly right!

  2. Juliann says:

    I love this idea. I am going to borrow it and have my teachers observe one another to get their conversations going.

  3. Wendi says:

    Yes, TANDEM! That is such a great word for this thing we all do for our children. I love how your teachers all work together toward that goal.

  4. jwgmom says:

    The fact that what was essentially part of the First Grade curriculum has now pushed down into Kindergarten and then into preschool is a prime example of what has gone wrong in the field of Early Childhood Education. I’d be more impressed if you spent time in meeting reminding people about how young children really learn and it has little to do with sentence strips.

    • onesunflower says:

      And I do – I am a fierce advocate for early childhood classrooms being about play and socialization. I’ve sent an email response to you which clarifies my feelings and position. I work very hard to be balanced on the side of pre- school not “pre-K” with a capital K. Read back into my blog, I hope you will see the balance I strike. This “sentence strip” I reference in my blog entry is just a strip of paper with pictures on it – not something that I write on or expect my students to read. It is just a piece of paper I use in a 5 minute chat with a student. They are personal, developmentally appropriate and I think I’m right where I need to be in this process of learning about expressing themselves in pictures.

      • Matt says:

        I think it’s unfortunate that jwgmom has jumped to some inaccurate and generalized conclusions about the goals you set for your children’s learning and the purposeful and developmentally-appropriate ways that you enact those goals. A sincere suggestion is to read and synthesize the entries in this blog to determine, as I have, that the entries and practices described and pondered here exemplify the best in education for young children. It is my opinion the blog serves as a model for informed and transparent inquiry that elevates the practice of teaching to a profession (in the best sense).

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