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Demonstration Lessons

Literacy leaders are more than “bag ladies” (or bag men), toting a set of books and tricks into classrooms to present dazzling lessons. A successful demonstration lesson is as much about collaborative planning, discussion, and debriefing with teachers as it is about what is actually presented in the classroom. Here is where you’ll find tools and strategies for working with teachers to get the most out of demonstration lessons, using them as a catalyst for discussions about assessment, curriculum, and standards.

Coaching Minute: The Perils of Demonstration Lessons (VIDEO)

In this brief video, Cathy Mere talks about how classroom visits that include demonstration lessons can build rapport with teachers but can also serve as a trap for literacy coaches.

Peer Observations with a Purpose

Dana Murphy works with teachers to design a peer observation checklist to ensure everyone shares the same expectations and understanding.

Classroom Observation Etiquette

Cathy Mere remembers the many visitors to her classroom: most were inspiring, but a few made her want to shut the door on future observers. She shares how clear expectations for etiquette can build confidence and ease the concerns of the demonstration teacher.

Observing Colleagues: Leading Successful Classroom Visits

Cathy Mere finds that what comes before and after classroom observations may be more important than the actual visit. She details the coach's role in maximizing reflection and benefits from group observations.

Fourth-Grade Advanced Readers: Debrief (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost debriefs with a fourth-grade teacher after supporting advanced readers in a demonstration small group. This is the final video in a three-part series.

Fourth-Grade Advanced Readers: Demonstration Lesson (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost helps a fourth-grade teacher support advanced readers in a demonstration small group. This is the second video in a three-part series.

Fourth-Grade Advanced Readers: Planning (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost helps a fourth-grade teacher plan how to support advanced readers in a demonstration small group. This is the first video in a three-part series.

First-Grade Engagement: Planning the Lesson (VIDEO)

Heather Fisher meets with a young first-grade teacher to plan a demonstration lesson for a partner group on engagement. This is the first video in a three-part series.

First-Grade Engagement: Demonstration Lesson (VIDEO)

Heather Fisher and a young first-grade teacher lead a demonstration lesson for a partner group on engagement. This is the second video in a three-part series.

First-Grade Engagement: Debrief (VIDEO)

Heather Fisher and a young first-grade teacher debrief after a demonstration lesson for a partner group on engagement. This is the final video in a three-part series.

Demonstration Lesson: First-Grade Talk Prompts (VIDEO)

Heather Fisher presents a lesson with a first-grade teacher as part of a cycle focused on improving classroom talk. This is the second video in a two-part series.

Demonstration Lesson Planning: First-Grade Talk Prompts (VIDEO)

Heather Fisher plans a lesson with a first-grade teacher as part of a cycle focused on improving classroom talk. This is the first video in a two-part series.

Debrief of Third-Grade Demonstration Group on Citing Evidence (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost and a third-grade teacher debrief after a demonstration small group on citing evidence. This is the third video in a three-part series.

Third-Grade Demonstration Group on Citing Evidence (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost works with a third-grade teacher to lead a demonstration small group on citing evidence. This is the second video in a three-part series.

Planning for a Third-Grade Demonstration Group on Citing Evidence (VIDEO)

Kathy Provost works with a third-grade teacher to plan a demonstration small group on citing evidence. They begin with observations from the previous day's instruction to determine the group's needs. This is the first video in a three-part series.

Go-To Texts for Demonstration Lessons

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share some of their favorite mentor texts for demonstration lessons, and how to use them.

Story Play with The Grouchy Ladybug (VIDEO)

In this demonstration small group, Clare Landrigan leads kindergartners in a story play session featuring The Grouchy Ladybug. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the classroom teacher.

Beanstalk Play for Literacy (VIDEO)

Clare Landrigan works with a kindergarten group to foster literacy through play in this demonstration small group. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the teacher.

Demonstration Lesson: A First Grader Decodes and Makes Meaning (VIDEO)

In this demonstration lesson, Clare Landrigan confers with a first grader by building on his strengths of growing fluency and volume with strategies for decoding. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the teacher.

Confidence Through Poetry (VIDEO)

In this demonstration conference, Clare Landrigan works with Lexi, a student who is developing confidence as a writer through exploring poetry, and transferring that learning to other subject areas. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with Lexi's teacher.

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