Sunday, September 18, 2016

Common Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA)

Happy Sunday ya'll! Only 3 more days until we are officially in the fall season, although we all know the minute Sept. 1st hits it is considered fall and the Pumpkin Spice Everything hits the shelf. I am a total sucker for anything pumpkin spice. In Oklahoma we have been in school for over a month now and we are digging into the curriculum and getting our procedures down. Our district just adopted CKLA and we are all grappling for any tips or tricks to make this work. As an instructional coach and teacher I am always amazed how quickly teachers seem to take what is given and adapt it to their personality and their teaching style. I had the pleasure to observe a teacher (Ms. Chenoweth) in our district who has taken the scripted product and has made it her own. She didn't omit or water down any parts. She presented the challenges and her students rose to the challenge. She teaches in a high poverty, high English as a second language population. (Ms. Chenoweth I hope I represent all this correctly,seeing you in action is amazing.)

The students had all materials labeled and ready. They started their whole group lessons at their seats. Mrs. Chenoweth opened their Skill Strand by giving the students their objectives of the day and doing a small review from the day before. 

The Hook Ms. Chenoweth and the students chanted with hand movements "CKLA everyday...WHAT...CKLA everyday" to open the activities.

She reminded the students of the "power-bars" on the spelling cards and what the bars mean on the cards.

 As the students reviewed each card they would say the sound and Ms. Chenoweth had a movement with it. If the power-bar/sound is a strong sound the students would hold up their arms to make muscles. 

If the power-bar/sound was not strong the students held their arms down and said "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy". Do you remember that old Hefty trash bag jingle? If you don't remember you definitely need to YouTube it to get the idea. Hefty Trash bag Commercial
The students were engaged, moving and having fun!

 The students coded their charts and moved on to their student workbook. Some students could move on independently and some needed to continue doing the page whole group. After everyone was finished Ms. Chenoweth came back as a group and wrote the answer or had student volunteers write the answers on a paper that was presented on the Promethean Board. If there were any questions, the students would raise their hands and tell what they needed further explanation on.

(This is my favorite part)

Mrs. Chenoweth has a chart that she reviews what she has done with the class and WHY they did parts 1, 2 and 3. She talked about how they all come together and help the students learn read.

The students have precise directions to push in their chairs and come quietly to the carpet and sit beside their "scholar" and pick up a reader. Scholar means reading partner in this case. Students walk quietly but get a little wiggling out before they begin the Skills strand story. As a group they do a quick review and Mrs. Chenoweth reads the story and does a quesiton/discussion piece.
When the group is finished students go with their scholar to a reading place around the room. Again, the students are getting a few wiggles out and then quickly getting to work reading the story with their scholar. The time was set for a brief time, enough for partners to read but not enough time for the partners to begin talking or getting out of control. She walked around listening to students read. When time is up the students came back as a group do a small discussion about the story and Mrs. Chenoweth closed the Skills Session. 

It was time to switch gears to the Listening and Learning Strand but before that, a brain break time was given. The students picked videos from Go Noodle (If you're not part of this you need to be! Also you need to check out the video Baby High-five, my very talented baby has her very own cameo in this video!) 

Students reviewed a map and different pictures to connect the story they are reading to their world. There was a discussion and activating previous knowledge piece. Students were connecting and recalling what they know and what they were curious about.

The vocabulary cards were presented/reviewed in a whole group with careful detail of the definition and looking at the illustrations. The cards were put a pocket chart so students could look at them during the day.

Here is the sad part folks. I had a meeting and could not catch the closing BUT I am pretty sure it rocked and I will be back at some point to catch the closing. Mrs. Chenoweth worked with what she was given and made it her own. She had the students moving quickly from seats to carpet to their own reading space and built in time for a brain break. These brief movements helped students readjust their brains to help them refocus. 

The CKLA journey will continue, I can't wait to explore and learn more from more teachers in our district...stay tuned!

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