Bitsy Parks

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Bitsy Parks is a first-grade teacher in Beaverton, Oregon and an adjunct instructor at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

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Slowing Down

Bitsy Parks comforts a crying child after lunch, and realizes how essential it is to continually slow down the fast pace of learning in her classroom.

Stretching Writing in First Grade with Details

Bitsy Parks makes the home-school connection with first grader Grace early in the year as she writes about her birthday party.

Crafting the Basics: First-Grade Writing Conference

Bitsy Parks confers with Aubrey early in the year, using books from whole-class lessons as a scaffold for understanding key text elements like title, author, and illustrations.

Clapping Syllables Routine in First Grade

Bitsy Parks works with her first graders early in the year to teach them the basics of how words are constructed, by clapping through syllable counts.

Moving Beyond Pokemon: Conferring with Clover

Bitsy Parks works with a first grader stuck on writing about Pokemon characters. She uses other writing from Clover to nudge her to try something new.

Building Routines

Bitsy Parks teaches the foundations of first-grade classroom life through minilessons early in the year.

What Does It Mean to Read?

“I read 35 pages!” An elated student deflates Bitsy Parks in her first-grade classroom. By mid-fall she is alarmed at the responses of students to their reading in the whole-group share — they are all about quantity, with no thinking or reflection. She uses modeling and careful questioning to foster more thoughtful reader response.

Levels and What’s Appropriate

“How do you know what level they have selected?” a visitor asks Bitsy Parks as she observes during a first-grade independent reading period. “I don’t,” Bitsy responds, and explains why it is a beautiful thing.


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