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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

First-Grade Demonstration Group: Why Read? (VIDEO)

A first-grade teacher shares a guilty secret: she isn't sure some of her students have an innate sense of the value of reading. Clare Landrigan leads a demonstration group to examine the issue and brainstorm solutions.

First-Grade Partner Reading (VIDEO)

Clare Landrigan leads a demonstration lesson to show first-grade reading partners how to work together. The demonstration includes a prebrief and debrief with the teacher.

Collections to Spark Writing (VIDEO)

Clare Landrigan uses collections as a tool to spark writing among first graders during an upcoming vacation. This demonstration small-group lesson includes prebrief and debrief sessions with the children's teacher.

Demonstration Lesson: From Play to Literacy in First Grade (VIDEO)

Young children need a place and props for play in their classroom. But how can we transfer this learning from play to literacy instruction? Clare Landrigan works with a first-grade teacher and a small group of students to think through this dilemma in this demonstration lesson.

After the Demonstration: Modeling Healthy, Sustainable Reflection

Gretchen Taylor considers the role of reflection in learning after demonstration lessons, with specific examples from her work with a teacher.

Building Background Knowledge with QR Codes (VIDEO)

In this demonstration small group, Tammy Mulligan works with sixth graders to show them how to build background knowledge with QR codes. The video includes prebrief and debrief sessions with their teacher.

Using Padlet to Support a Boys' Book Group (VIDEO)

In this fifth-grade demonstration lesson, Tammy Mulligan shows a group of boys how their book group can use Padlet to share ideas. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the teacher.

Video for Reflection in a Book Club (VIDEO)

In this demonstration small group, Tammy Mulligan uses video to help sixth graders self-assess their performance in a book club. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the classroom teacher.

Reflecting and Planning for Summer Reading (VIDEO)

Tammy Mulligan helps Katie, a sixth grader who lacks confidence in her reading abilities, reflect on her strengths and make plans for summer reading. This demonstration conference includes a prebrief and debrief with Katie's teacher.

Assessing Reading in Sixth Grade (VIDEO)

Tammy Mulligan confers with sixth grader Jordyn, assessing her reading before summer break. The conference includes a prebrief and debrief with Jordyn's teacher.

Coaching Tool: Voice-Overs

Brian Sepe uses "voice-overs" (reflecting aloud during demonstration lessons) to help display his thinking to teachers who are observing the instruction.

Interview on Lesson Plans (VIDEO)

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