American Lakes Elementary, Classroom Support

One classroom that is being highlighted in this module is a Fourth Grade classroom taught by Tiffany Lau. Ms. Lau is guiding her students through a non-fiction piece of academic text. Students are in groups reading the text and then having collaborative conversations about what was read before they report out to the whole class.

Let’s watch and see how Ms. Lau reminds her students of appropriate ways to respond during classroom conversations.

While students are discussing their reading in small groups, Ms.Lau circulates to each group and guides their conversations. She makes notes after listening to each group so that she knows where students are struggling and can provide support as needed.

Lastly, students report out to the whole class about their collaborative discussions during small group time. Ms. Lau takes notes on the chart, posted at the front of the room, while students report out their findings.

In Brittany Averill’s First Grade classroom at American Lakes Elementary, students are already starting conversations around non-fiction text and conducting research. Here is a short clip that demonstrates how Ms. Averill supports her first grade students during these conversations so that by the time they reach fourth grade they are prepared for this complex work.

STOP and THINK: How does your school foster collaborative conversations in classrooms? What structures are in place that allow for all students to have a voice and engage in conversations around rigorous non-fiction text?