Creating Strategies for the Elementary Classroom

I have some exciting news! My latest article, Creating Strategies: Designing Lessons for the Elementary Classroom, was recently published in the Montana English Journal. This article discusses the creative literacy strategies that preservice teachers designed and implemented for the elementary classroom. Like many teachers, when preservice teachers enter my course, they want to know what skills and strategies need to be taught to elementary students. In order for preservice teachers to plan strategy lessons for their elementary child partner, they need to develop an understanding of the academic goals they are working towards addressing through individual lessons. Routman (2018) argues that in order to break a goal into smaller activities or lessons, teachers need knowledge of the skill they are working towards. Therefore, when working with an elementary child partner, the preservice teacher needs to have an idea of the larger goals that students are working towards learning. This broad understanding allows the preservice teacher to identify and implement incremental learning benchmarks. Some reading skills that students may need support working towards include activating prior knowledge, predicting, sequencing, inferring, and summarizing. Learning and practicing skills, such as those mentioned, can be accomplished through specific strategy lessons (Serravallo, 2015). The differences between skills and strategies helps preservice teachers understand the bigger concepts (skills) and the smaller lessons (strategies) that they will need to plan in order to address and support the development of the skill. Skills, are the actions, which are often automatic, that readers use to complete a task or develop an understanding (Afflerback, Pearson, & Paris, 2008). Once a student has command of a particular skill, little thought or awareness is needed in order for it to be implemented. A variety of strategies can be taught to support students as they work to become more comfortable and competent with a new skill. The preservice teachers in my course learn that they will need to make decisions and select strategies that will most effectively support the reader or writer. Therefore, they need to have an idea of what skill needs to be supported so that they can plan individual strategies. Click on the link to continue reading the full article. I hope you enjoy learning about the amazing strategy lessons that the preservice teachers created!