Classroom Observation – Updated

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Recently, colleagues and I in Egypt tested a curriculum designed to improve letter-sound correspondence knowledge among first-grade students in four Egyptian community schools in an after-school program.  The curriculum, called Iqra, intended that students would engage in whole-class, teacher-directed learning. We recorded the class sessions, but we needed to analyze interactions. We chose the time-honored Stallings (1977) instrument. However, to adjust for difference in the cultural context and modern data analysis tools, I created a modified Stallings Snapshot Observation System in Excel. Since there were two teachers in each classroom, the form was modified to accommodate that fact. Since the lessons varied in length, we also divided the video segments into 10 minute sequential chunks. This differs from the original but fit our needs.

I am sharing the Excel template because it may be helpful to others conducting classroom observations, but please share your thoughts and experiences in comments. In the meantime, as the research team completes analysis, I will provide additional observations here.

Stallings in Excel

Bibliography

Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki, Finland: Orienta-Konsultit.

Scales, R. Q., Wolsey, T. D., Lenski, S., Smetana, L., Yoder, K. K., Dobler, E…Young J. R. (2018). Are we preparing or training teachers? Developing professional judgment in and beyond teacher preparation programs. Journal of Teacher Education, first published date: April-10-2017 doi: 10.1177/0022487117702584

Scales, R. Q., Wolsey, T. D., Young, J., Smetana, L., Grisham, D. L., Lenski, S., Dobler, E. Yoder, K. K., & Chambers, S. A. (2017). Mediating factors in literacy instruction: How novice elementary teachers navigate new teaching contexts. Reading Psychology, 38(6), 604-651. doi: 10.1080/02702711.2.17.1323056

Stallings, J. (1977). Learning to Look: A Handbook on Classroom Observation and Teaching Models. Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Global Ed Leadership Blog

This week, I am a featured guest on the Global Ed Leadership, Activating school leadership to help eradicate poverty blog hosted by Paula Cordeiro.

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

My work examines the potential interactions and opportunities to bring together traditional and digital literacies. Digital literacies are the skills needed to navigate digital tools (computer, smartphone, Kindle etc.) to evaluate, interact with, and create content. The way we engage with information from traditional literacies, such as books, is different from how we consume and create information found online. My work looks primarily at how we can help students to understand the information they are obtaining in digital spaces, analyze it critically, consider what is credible or not credible, and synthesize everything. Read the rest of the post here.

2020 Event Logo

Beyond the App: How to Leverage Technology

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Nance Wilson and I talked with Mike Kranitz of EventSquid about #beyondtheapp #bta Beyond the App: Cause and Conference, which strives to support teachers’ professional development and coach literacy experts in one of the most creative ways possible in response to COVID, and their model may just change the game.

E8: Beyond the App: How to Leverage Technology to Give a Face to Face Experience — Eventsquid

Beyond the App Podcast

“We wanted them to know that they weren’t alone in the things that were causing them to struggle and we wanted them to know that people whose books they read… are also people they can talk and work together with.” – Dr. Thomas Wolsey


“It’s about leveraging the technology that’s out there to think about, ‘Well, what could this do for me that would be better and or different and would allow me to have similar quality practices that I had in the face to face?’” – Dr. Nance Wilson

#technology #EdTech #auc_gse

Shift and Share

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Recently, the Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) at The American University in Cairo sponsored a virtual symposium themed, Inspiration and Innovation: Conversations Around Emerging Pedagogy in Our Next Normal. The symposium featured faculty presentations called “Shift and Share.” Faculty presented the same presentation three times to ensure that participants were in small enough groups to interact. My presentation (March 10, 2021) was titled “Navigating the River: Teaching and Metacognition for Challenging Times” which you can view below.

A number of really good workshops, plenary sessions, and shift and share session recordings and resources are linked here. Check out the ideas!

Beyond the App Launches Today!

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

It’s here: Beyond the App launches today for middle-grade educators. You can still join us and stretch your teaching muscles this weekend. We begin at noon Eastern Standard Time / 7 PM Cairo Time. Register here https://lnkd.in/gQjiYVP 

and for Egypt here: https://lnkd.in/dBa6ZF4 

#BeyondTheApp #literacyforall #auc_gse

Beyond the App Begins in One Week!

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Ready to Zoom Beyond the App? 

There is just one week left before we engage teachers and teacher educators from Egypt to New York and Mauritius to San Diego. Are you with us? 

Beyond the App
Co-planning with the Experts
Beyond the App invites teachers to interact with experts in online and traditional literacies.
Tim Rasinski

Meet the President of AUC, President of SUNY Cortland, and the Minister of Education in Egypt. 

You will have a chance to interact and ask questions. 

President Erik Bitterbaum
Doug Fisher & Nancy Frey

Register now to save your place. 

Egyptian & Africa teachers, click bit.ly/BeyondTheAppEgypt 

US and Canada, register here bit.ly/beyondtheapp

#BeyondTheApp @TDWolsey Graphic design by Abd-Elrhman Elsadany

I’m Going Beyond the App in my virtual classroom. Find out how.

Register Now for Beyond the App

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey & Nance Wilson

Registration for Beyond the App is open now!

Beyond the App is an interactive online conference for middle grades teachers, teacher educators, parents, and educational leaders. For just $10 you get to work with experts in the field to improve your online teaching of literacy.

You can read more about it in this press release: http://www2.cortland.edu/news/detail.dot?id=a01e318d-2666-4ecd-818c-3f7a144744dc

Visit our website and register (Your registration helps us fund the conference in the future): https://bit.ly/beyondtheapp

If you are registering from Africa, please send a note for special instructions to BeyondTheApp@Cortland.edu

In addition, participants can choose to donate to our EgyptReads! Initiative to put books in school libraries.

Some of our speakers:

Jack C Berckemeyer
Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
Maha Bali
Vicky Mac Arthur Cardullo
Zoi Philippakos
Troy Hicks
Emily Smothers Howell
Ian O’Byrne
Danny Brassell
Keisha Rembert
Jill Castek
Timothy Rasinski
Julie Coiro
Richard Beach
AND MORE!

Go Beyond the App

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Beyond the App Promo & Logo
Are you ready to go beyond the app?

Beyond the App invites teachers to interact with experts in online and traditional literacies. In contrast to many professional development activities, Beyond the App participants will co-construct approaches to teaching upper elementary and middle school students with colleagues around the globe.  The event is a joint project with the Literacy Department at the State University of New York at Cortland and Graduate School of Education at The American University in Cairo.

Participants will have the opportunity to choose strands or themes such as building fluency, motivation for learning online, assessment practices, and more. You are likely familiar with the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model represented by the phrases, “I [the teacher] do, We do, and You do.” Our focus is on the difficult challenge of providing appropriate literacy practices within the we do [it together] phase when teachers are working online, and students are learning. But, how do you do that when you are teaching online?

Join us to go Beyond the App.

Sign up for details via email on our LeadPages site.

Becoming a Metacognitive Teacher

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey with Roya Q. Scales and Seth A. Parsons (Guest Bloggers)

We are really excited to announce the release of our book, Becoming a Metacognitive Teacher: A Guide for Early and Preservice Teachers. In our years as teachers and professors, we have found that the best teachers were the ones who knew how to reflect on their practice and to think of teaching as a journey. Every day as a teacher offers something new to learn, to discover, and to explore.

Cover

Here is what our colleagues have said about our book.

“This book emphasizes that teaching is a deadly serious, demanding, thoughtful, pragmatic art. It pulls no punches about how difficult it is to create a productive learning environment for the 20–30 divergent students under your care in the harried environment of classrooms, and that to succeed you need a proactive, focused mental stance, a reflective, thoughtful approach, and the energy to orchestrate multiple pedagogical variables in response to constantly varying conditions.”
Gerald G. Duffy, professor emeritus, Michigan State University

“To foster metacognitive thinking among our students, teachers must have sophisticated metacognitive skills themselves. This unique and well-grounded text demonstrates the critical role of metacognition in developing the craft of effective teaching for preservice and novice teachers.”
William Brozo, professor of literacy, School of Education, George Mason University

“Comprehensive and practical, this text provides an artful and thoughtful blend of strategies for prospective teachers’ personal and professional development. The goal of developing thinking teachers who keep their students at the forefront is supported with the author’s discussion of their and others’ personal and research histories, rich vignettes, and access to multiple digital resources (e.g., TED talks, blogs, instructional videos). A text for both teacher educators and prospective teachers.”
Victoria J. Risko, professor emerita, Vanderbilt University

You can buy your copy on Amazon or Teachers College Press.

*I may earn a small commission for Amazon Affiliate links to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support our work in bringing you Literacy Beat.

Learning Theories at Work

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

My graduate students in the Human Development and Learning Theories course took on the challenge of showing how various learning theories look at home and at school. They created scenarios and explainers using a variety of video tools.

Theories are nice, but the real test of a theory for parents and teachers is how a theory can be useful. Parents are grappling with the challenges of working from home and helping their children through the current COVID-19 pandemic. These videos are designed to provide quick and useful ideas to ease the burden.

In this video by Rasha , Farah , and Farah, social learning theories are demonstrated for both children and adolescents. Learn more about social learning on their blog, Who Am I?

Do you face challenges with your kids staying at home? These two videos present a synopsis on how to work with kids during COVID-19 pandemic especially how to teach emotional discipline. Parenting tips that you will love! Nesma, Lamiaa, and Dina’s blog Emotional Development can be found here.

Hana, Sara, and Mona tackled experiential learning. Watch while Hana shows us how NOT to make brownies. View their blog on experiential learning: Do Think Conclude Adapt for more information.

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