A World of Workshops
Presented by Barbara Heard, Debra Palmer-Gyebi, Gail Polak and Kiatonya Wormley: Leonora P. Miles Elementary School, Atlanta, GA
Miles Elementary School is an America’s Choice Model School in Atlanta, GA. Their focus was on using a thematic approach to teaching reading, writing, science and social studies. When forming a new unit they begin with the standards. Right now they are teaching a school wide unit called Freedom and Change. Martin L. King is the icon they use to connect the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, Social Studies and Science. We watched a clip of a mini-lesson in a 1st grade class. They were using a KWL chart on a book about Martin L. King. After listening to the story, the students went to their seats to respond to the story for the work period. During the closing the students shared their responses.
Next, a 4th grade class used a poem around the theme of Freedom and Change during Reader’s Workshop. Ms Gyebi uses a Poem of the Week to work on Echo Reading, Leader and Chorus reading, and small group reading. We watched a clip of a lesson. The students were doing a Choral Reading of a poem about Martin L. King. The lesson was on fluency.
Ms. Wormley used the Book of the Month to teach Writer’s Workshop in a 5th grade class. The students wrote connections to the story. The story was Feathers and Fools by Mem Fox. They choose this story because it is about war and peace, which fit into their unit of Freedom and Change.
At the end of each two week unit the teachers are required to display artifacts about the unit that are displayed in the hallway.