This week in my weekly bulletin I asked teachers at my school to consider ELA reading anchor standard 9– Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
We have 5 habits of mind that we teach, reinforce, and assess at our school, and one of them is Analyze and Interpret. I try to give a little inspiration or focus around one of the five each month. So in my weekly bulletin to teachers I share some of my thoughts. Initially my thought about Anchor standard 9 was that we don’t really do much or enough of this at our school. It is not something I have observed minilessons about in reader’s workshop. I haven’t really heard teachers talking about it. And I think it’s important– beyond just because it’s in the standards. So in the middle of writing my bulletin, perhaps somewhat admonishing teachers that they must pay attention to this anchor standard, I remembered the most amazing moment that happened with my daughter, Wylie, at home last week.
Now before sharing the moment, I should give a little bit of background. Wylie is in first grade. And she goes to my school. The school where I am the principal. There is probably a whole other blog to write about this experience, and maybe this is where it starts. While I do still observe and evaluate the teachers who have been her teachers, I do also probably observe slightly less frequently in these classrooms as I do in others. Just being honest here. The teachers she has had so far have been great in so many ways. But the truth is that there is not a single classroom I would be unhappy to have her in at my school. And I know how lucky that makes me… both as a principal and as a mom. All of this is to say that I have NOT observed any lesson in this classroom that references this anchor standard number nine. I have not participated in any planning sessions with the first grade team where they have talked about anchor standard number nine.
A few days ago, Wylie selected one of her new books for bedtime reading– Brave Girl– Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909. As she picked it out of the book bin she said, “Ok, let’s read this one and let’s compare it to Si Se Puede. Yes We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A.” Of course huge credit goes to my wife who recently decided to buy a bunch of books about protests and standing up for rights. But I’m pretty sure there is some anchor standard 9 happening in that classroom of hers. She saw these two books. She knew they were worth comparing. And she was really excited to think about how two authors treat a similar topic.
So huge props to Ms. Maisha, making a difference in Wylie’s life every day!