Reflection: Grappling with Complexity What can I Teach through Sequence and Order? - Section 2: Setting a Purpose


Over the summer, I attended Teachers College Reading and Writing institutes. My first week was the writing portion led by Lucy Calkins herself. Of course I could go on and on about all that I learned during that week. But, there were a few comments that really stuck with me. One was, “Never underestimate the power of eavesdropping.” She said it in the context of conducting reading conferences and explained that what students pick up and learn from listening in on others’ conversations can be powerful. In the same way, sometimes students can serve as examples or mentors without being asked or called in front of the class. 


I was reminded of this conversation while walking the room, listening to students “teach” each other. I had two students who were “stuck” and lacked anything to say.  I sat down beside them and whispered, “Let’s listen in on John and Robin’s conversation. See if we can learn anything from what they’re doing.” John and Robin happened to be proficient writers and readers who understood the task well. We sat for a minute listening to John teach Robin how to tackle someone in football without getting hurt - hand motions and all. When he had finished, I checked in with my students who had been stuck on what to say and asked if they could tell me why John might have chosen his teaching topic. One student, who was John’s friend, said that John plays football and that’s the skill he was learning in practice that week. So I asked the pair if either of them had hobbies or could tell me something they were learning about that week. Neither had real hobbies, but both mentioned that in math class they were learning multiplication and were incredibly excited about it. We then worked together to create one “lesson” on a multiplication. 


  "The Power of Eavesdropping"
  Grappling with Complexity: "The Power of Eavesdropping"
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What can I Teach through Sequence and Order?

Unit 6: Non-Fiction: Structures and Features
Lesson 7 of 15

Objective: SWBAT write their own informational piece following the sequence and order organizational structure.

Big Idea: In the previous lesson, students learned how to identify if a text were written using the sequence and order structure. Today, students write their own passage using this structure and incorporate important key words.

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