Productive Struggle (Primary)

May 16, 2016 | by Janice Smith

Sasha Mills, KIPP STRIVE Primary


Sasha Mills classroom is impressive for many reasons (her pacing, her instruction, her constant checking for understanding, the way she immediately responds to misconceptions she identifies, her positivity and constant reinforcement of student choices, and the list goes on…), but today’s clip focuses on how she addresses student misconceptions in the moment and allows (and encourages) struggle.

Things We Love…

  • :05- ‘Christian pop-up!’  Ms. Mills using ‘popping up’ throughout her phonics lesson and practice, and while a small detail it makes the act of cold-calling routine, and a little more joyful 🙂
  • :15- She’s listening to Christian’s answer, has him repeat it, and identifies where he’s making the mistake. Once she identifies it, rather than immediately address it, she gives him some wait time (and love) and a chance to figure it out on his own.
  • :30-He isn’t able to immediately correct on his own, so she provides just enough support to help him work through the right part of the word.
  • :49- Once he gets it, they immediately positively recognize his work with a short cheer.
  • :52-This is perhaps my favorite part.  While she stuck with him until he got it correct, once he did she immediately pushes him one step further.  Again we see the ways in which she supports him when he struggles to identify the vowel.


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