Wisconsin educators are facing some changes in the future. That should come as no surprise. Education isn’t static but is always developing and changing. According to the Wisconsin DPI, 50% of our teacher evaluations will be based on student achievement and 50% will be based on educator effectiveness. This might be intimidating to many teachers. The purpose is for all students to succeed. I understand that and I will do my best to make this happen. Some teachers might be tempted to work in isolation to ensure that they succeed at their job. I am grateful to work with a wonderful team of teachers who is committed to working together and helping each other learn and grow. We enjoy bringing our students together on many Friday mornings to celebrate reading and to present different anchor lessons to our children putting the different comprehension strategies into practice. We put aside our nerves and we get really fired up about reading which in turn causes our students’ excitement about reading to grow. Last Friday we focused on metacognition and made the analogy between metacognition and a tool kit. We labeled different tools with the metacognition thinking stems we have been teaching our students to use and put them in an actual tool box. I then read the humorous story “Dog Breath” by Dav Pilkey and purposefully got confused throughout. My fellow first grade teachers modeled how good readers can “fix up” their thinking when things don’t make sense and start to get confusing. The lesson would have been okay if I did it alone, but it was much more interesting and meaningful when we did it together. An added bonus was that we even recorded the lesson using our iPad in case a new student moves in without prior knowledge about metacognition or if a student is developing in their understanding about it and would benefit from experiencing the lesson again.

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