Working in small groups, students investigate Gillian Maimon's website, looking for evidence to answer their focal questions. Each group makes a short presentation, sharing the fruits of their inquiry. This opens up a larger discussion about the meaning of structure and the place of choice in learning.
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To reinforce the value of learning with and from colleagues, we watch Gillian Maimon present a descriptive review of a child at a meeting of the Philadelphia Teachers’ Learning Cooperative. This helps my students understand the spirit of child study. As they listen to Gillian present a rounded portrait of D, a first grader in her class, they write down evidence for each dimension of the descriptive review framework, using a chart which I distributed. This exercise concretized their understanding of what it means to support interpretations with evidence. It also gave them a vivid image of child study as a meaningful, collaborative teaching practice.