- Author: Joanne Hindley
- Year: 1998
- Grade Range: K-4
- Media: 105 minutes, 2 discs + viewing guide
- ISBN: 978-157110-485-4
- Item No.: WEB-0485
In her book In the Company of Children,
Joanne Hindley invites you inside her third-grade New York City classroom to "have a look" as she describes her reading and writing workshops.
Joanne extends the invitation once again through a series of four video programs that give you a close-up look at mini-lessons and conferences during those workshops.
In the two programs on reading mini-lessons and writing mini-lessons, she explores and rethinks the resources, teaching strategies, and challenges surrounding the lead-in to a workshop. She sorts this whole-class instruction into three categories:
- 1. workshop management: practical matters of how books are organized in the room, how the room runs, and how to keep reading logs;
- 2. literary elements: how an awareness of the qualities of good writing, differences between genres, or the attraction of series books affects how children choose books;
- 3. strategies: understanding and developing the skills necessary to become successful readers and writers.
The two programs on conferences also explore resources, this time regarding the one-to-one conversations on reading and writing that Joanne has with her students. "Conferring is a topic that will always be of great interest to all of us," she explains. "We all relate to that uneasy feeling of not knowing what to say, fearing that we don't always know enough to push our students further, and our uncertainty in general with just how much to push in the first place. I doubt that any of us will ever get to the point where we think, 'Oh, conferring - I'm great at that'." Joanne explains what resources she relies on to help her feel more confident in her conferring, including:
- keeping records on conferences with each child;
- using children's literature;
- sharing the teacher's own history as a reader and writer;
- using other students'; writing as models.
In a crowded classroom setting, this practical series of videos shows how one teacher deals with the diversity of students as readers and writers, and how the students in that classroom serve as the most important curriculum informants.