Paying Close Attention to Teaching with Intent Part 3

Math ClassThe last two literacy blog posts explored the topic: Paying Close Attention to Teaching with Intent. The first post explained how teachers shaped their literacy understandings by exploring the definition of teaching with intent and its purpose.  The second post layered teachers’ thinking and assisted with developing new insights around what to be more intentional about when teaching.  As a continuation, this post focuses on how teachers continuously shape their understandings around teaching with intent in order to answer the question “How do we intentionally teach to empower students to control their own learning?”

During Reading Recovery’s last professional development session, literacy teachers immersed themselves in dialogue about how to teach intentionally for self-regulation and transfer so that teaching enables students to take internal control of their own literacy learning.  Clay (2006) stated, “the reader who problem solves independently has continual access to new learning.”  Self-regulated learner functions using his knowledge to monitor, plan, and extend his own learning.  “Self-regulation is essential in facilitating learning and transfer [which simply means students] not only [know] what to do but when to do it (Dorn & Soffos, 2012).”

So how do literacy teachers set instructional learning opportunities to reach the ultimate goal of self-regulation and transfer?  It is through teachers’ use of prompts that teaching and learning self-regulation and transfer is bridged.  When teaching intentionally for self-regulation and transfer, teacher’s language prompts activate students’ minds to connect processes for constructing new knowledge.  “Teachers who teach with intent provide highly-tailored support, precision teaching, and expert scaffolding when working with a student (Dorn & Soffos, 2012).”

To further fine-tune teachers’ understandings, we used transcripts of interactions between teacher and student and identified effective characteristics that promote self- regulation and transfer.  Collectively, we concluded that effective teacher-student interactions when promoting self-regulation and transfer consist of the following:

  1. Build on the child’s knowledge
  2. Use explicit and supportive just-right language prompts
  3. Promote the child to think
  4. Make the child take action for his own learning
  5. Hold the child accountable for his learning
  6. Assist the child to take ownership of their own learning

This concludes another session exploring the depth and breadth of Teaching with Intent. Teachers understand their role in empowering students to control their own learning. Teachers recognized that paying closer attention to their interactions with students plays a critical role in shaping students’ literacy minds.

Consider using Figure 1.3 (Dorn & Soffos, 2012) to reflect in how you assist the learner to reach the ultimate goal of self-regulation and transfer.


Also, pasted into this blog post, are a few examples of teacher-student interactions. Which scenario do you think present the most effective use of language in promoting self-regulation and transfer?



Frances Malave

Clay, M. (2006). Literacy lessons designed for individuals: Part one-why? when? and how?. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Dorn, L., & Soffos, C. (2012). Shaping literate minds developing self-regulated learners. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s