When Students Do The Modeling

Feb 6, 2017 | by Janice Smith

This week’s clip comes to you from Colleen Henry’s classroom at KIPP Austin Arts & Letters.  First of all, Ms. Henry’s classroom is one of those rooms you want to sit in all day, because there are so many great takeaways.  It’s clear she’s been doing this for awhile, most notably by the way her room runs like a well-oiled machine, allowing her to focus almost all her energy and attention on rigorous instruction.  While you should definitely watch this clip we’ve selected, you may also want to head to the Library to watch some of her other clips.

In this clip we see a portion of her math lesson where they are working through a word problem together.  The parts of the lesson that involve introducing new material, teacher modeling and guided practice can often be teacher heavy; but in this clip we see how Ms. Henry continually makes small choices (some obvious, some not as much) that push her students to do the work, all the while continuing to model how to tackle a word problem.  I started by listing out the timestamps for each moment she resists doing the work, and instead passes it off to a student, but the list got too long.  So instead, while watching, make your own list.

  • How many times is she pushing the work to students?
  • When does she do this and how?
  • How does she navigate the tricky balance of addressing misconceptions as soon as she discovers them while still not doing the work for them?
  • What small changes could you implement in your classroom tomorrow that pushes your students to do more of the work during periods that are typically teacher-heavy?
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