Submitted by Debbie Jamieson, Principal of Pembroke Elementary and Darlene Bassett, Literacy Coach and Maine DOE, School Turnaround.
On February 6, 2019, Linda Fuller, Ed.D., Associate Director of Educational Studies at the College of the Atlantic, made a long awaited visit to Pembroke Elementary School in Pembroke, Maine. Linda had contacted the school last year in response to a post on the Commissioner’s blog highlighting the student success with Richardson’s Guided Reading Model. She coordinated the visit with Chelsey Fortin-Tremble, Maine DOE Director of the ESEA Federal Programs and the School Turnaround Team, and Deborah Jamieson, Principal of the Pembroke Elementary School. Plans were made for her students – teachers in training – to visit two teachers, Rosie Griffith – Grades 7/8 ELA Teacher and Beckery Renaud – Grades 5/6 ELA Teacher and Lead Teacher for Pembroke. Both teachers have combined grade levels in their classrooms.
The visit began with a debriefing between the teachers and their visitors. Beckery and Rosie shared the profiles of their groups (anonymously) based on assessments and teacher observations. Then they provided a framework for the instruction the guests were about to observe. This session was interactive, allowing the visitors to pose questions and share opinions.
Visitors then observed Beckery Renaud in the 5/6 ELA Lesson teaching using Reading Street’s readers. As always, Beckery’s focus was comprehension.
She prompted students to make connections between themselves and the texts, reviewed the nonfiction format, and supported them while they learned strategies on how to access information using this text structure. Meanwhile, the rest of the class worked independently on their own learning for the day.
Next, the guests observed in Rosie Griffith’s room. Rosie’s classroom was organized in the same manner. Students were focused and engaged at their desks, working on individual learning, while Rosie introduced a new book, A Day No Pigs Would Die. Rosie scaffolded students as they made predictions after previewing the book. She put a heavy emphasis on each student’s metacognitive process and we observed as students made links and explained their thinking.
After the observations were completed, we re-grouped for the final debriefing.
Deb Jamieson was able to join us. We discussed many issues drawing on the insights of both teachers and administrators alike. The student visitors were well informed and eager to learn and teach! Everyone had a delightful day and learned a great deal from one another.
We would like to thank Linda Fuller and her team for taking the time to visit Pembroke. Great things are happening in Maine Schools. Many, like this implementation, require a huge commitment of time and energy to the students we serve. Young educators need to know they have the opportunity to join a dedicated cadre of teachers and administrators in the field who are looking forward to growing with you and making Maine kids’ lives as good as they can be. We welcome you on board.
Here are some pictures from the day: