Listen and Look — Plan and Teach

“Look at this! It’s so good! So good! She did so good.” One teacher shows me a reading assessment done with one of her kindergarteners. I listen and look as she points out all that this young reader can do independently.

“Look at this. It’s not so good.” A teacher says to me in the hallway, holding an assessment capturing where another developing kindergarten reader is at. I listen and look as she points out what this reader did do and what she needs more instruction on.

“He started the year with 4 letter names and 1 sound.” Another teacher says to me at our planning meeting. “Look at what he knows now!”

There has been rich teaching and learning going on across these kindergarten classrooms. The classroom teachers have been working since September to not only welcome their new students, but to know each of them individually as readers and writers. I’ve been lucky to be part of the journey with these teachers, with these children. I’ve been lucky to share in their excitement, their wonderings as well as their planning.

Throughout the year, we stop to reflect together on where children started and we gain insight into their progress, their strengths, their goals. Stopping to reflect on the work allows us together, as a team of teachers, to make decisions on how best to continue to plan for, teach, and support not only each developing reader, but each other.

4 thoughts on “Listen and Look — Plan and Teach”

  1. Supporting each other is the magical thing about this work. Noticing what kids can do is also magic…it’s the thing that makes them grow more. You’re doing good work alongside those kids and teachers. Better together for sure!


  2. Celebrating what kids DID and CAN do is huge – for all too often, teachers and teams focus on deficits.There may be a lot of ground to cover but here you give the vital reminder: “We stop to reflect together.” It cannot be emphasized too much! It’s this collaboration – I call it “the collaborative spirit” (will write around it at some point) – that makes all the difference for our learners. And for our own selves – we must celebrate each other and our collective strength, as you all are doing! Many thanks for this uplifting post.


  3. I love the boost it gives educators as they see their persistent teaching pay off. It seems magical how it begins to come together for kinders but we know it’s a series of week crafted teaching, observation, adjustment and encouragement.


  4. Dmsheriff,
    I like the reminder to focus on the steps and not mourn how far along the journey we think students should be. It reminds me of traveling in a car on a deadline. So much of the enjoyment is missed along the way when we are in too big a hurry to stop and notice the beauty of moments.


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