Capturing the Moments
My involvement in LDC began in the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. My school was just joining the LDC world and so was I. I was very intrigued by the many resources that were opened to me as well as the coaching support that was at my fingertips!
Our school began working with our LDC Coach, Christine Del Negro, who supported our LDC team in looking at work vertically in our school. In the beginning of the school year, we (our vertical/LDC team) decided to use LDC to look vertically at student work. This meant that as a school community we chose one writing standard to focus on for every writing unit.
We worked together to develop modules that met the target skills and standards that our school was focusing on. After all the grades finished a writing unit, as well as a particular standard, we came together and analyzed our student work. We developed a chart that broke down the standard and then noted glows and grows of our scholar’s work. We then noticed trends across the building and had conversations about what we implemented that went well or not so well. This helped us support each other as grade team leaders and develop next steps to better deepen our instruction.
We continued this process for three areas of writing including expository, narrative, and opinion/persuasive writing. Each time we came together as grade team leaders, we were able to better support each other’s work. For example, if we noticed that grade four met the target skill of writing introductions, we gathered ideas and strategies that that teacher used in grade four and modified them for our own grades. This work also led us to utilize a writing progression chart which moved our work even deeper into the standards and the specific skills needed per grade.
Kicking off the format of LDC instruction in my classroom was a bit difficult for me when I began. It was a new routine for me to get into as an educator and it was a new format of learning for my scholars. I started with the one article a week teaching. This format starts off with naming the task and identifying the parts of the rubric. Then instruction shifts into building background knowledge, gathering information through close reading, and finally writing to prove or share information. When I first started this format for instruction I felt confident and I was quickly challenged to capture the learning through an instructional video. This prompted my LDC instructional video where I really took ownership of the curriculum and style of teaching.
In December of 2016, I was recorded teaching a one-article-a-week module about life long ago compared to today. This video was a challenge for me. It was nothing I had ever done before and I was not sure how to create this video to truly demonstrate my use of LDC in my classroom. With the support of a school photographer, I was able to capture each day of instruction through video footage, photographs, and a voice-over where I truly considered how I wanted to explain my purpose for teaching and implementation of LDC.
Although this was an uncomfortable process, I now look back and realize that this process and video is a tool that not only other teachers can use to help develop a visual understanding of LDC, but it was an opportunity where I was challenged to articulate my thinking, reasoning, and methods of teaching. I now use this video as a reflective tool for myself and a tool to help other teachers see how LDC looks in my classroom with ELL learners.
As I continue to learn more about LDC, I look forward to developing more videos or visual tools that help me reflect on my teaching. I also want to help teachers in my school community to feel a bit more comfortable, with a bit more understanding, of how LDC can look and why it is a highly supportive curriculum for scholars.
Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BVk7Eulk0U