kitchen table math, the sequel: Lucy Calkins, Lucy Calkins

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lucy Calkins, Lucy Calkins

Teachers talking about Lucy Calkins' writer's workshop model.

This passage brought home to me, for the first time, the possibility that "different styles of learning" actually means "different levels of ability" and/or "different levels in the curriculum."

This teacher obviously has students at all levels of ability and achievement, but she attributes their differences to "learning style":

In my classroom, it takes me on average between 20-25 minutes to do my mini lesson, sometimes more. Why? My kids don’t all process information the same way. For some of them, spending more time "trying it out" helps them to really understand what I taught them during the mini lesson. For others, I have to be there at their table, showing them how to do it step by step. Still others don’t process it at all and I have to show them how to do it during reading or writing workshop.

Various teacher comments here, too.

Workshop Model ("group work is essential"!) Group work and self motivation!

Group work is, as one can argue, the heart of the lesson. It is here that teachers observe their students carrying out what they have learned during the mini lesson. Student participation during this time is crucial. If a peer starts to analyze a certain topic, and the other adds to his/her statement and then a third or fourth or possibly fifth, etc., what we have here is a large variation of ideas being exposed to each individual. If there were a situation where a lack of participation surfaced, neither the teacher nor the students would have the certainty that what was taught in the mini lesson was actually understood. Make sure you take full advantage of the time alloted for group work.

Another key element in student success would be self motivation. Self- driven students tend to do better because their vision for the future is clear and their priorities are set. Taking the initiative to participate during class and ask questions or help peers is a great pathway towards reaching one's academic goal, to learn and help others learn as much as possible. Giving every student equal opportunities will most definitely have positive results under the Workshop Model program. You have to do your best to determine where you can improve and where you can help others, and act upon that information.

One thing I see happening in constructivist ELA classrooms is a huge amount of very small group or even one-to-one instruction.

The rest of the class is on its own. In every realm and in every way, constructivism moves the responsibility for teaching from the teacher to the student.


These students seem to agree. (click on "results of 34 votes")

They're not huge fans of the workshop model, either, it appears.


I was thinking the edwize post sounded familiar.

Then I found this Comment from "redhog":

Lucy Calkins is an educational war criminal.


Read it before.

Who could forget educational war criminal?

Becky does Cargo Cult Lucy

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