No Series: The Wraparound Learning Experience


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature K-5
  • 2:  2nd Grade
  • 2:  Recount stories, including fables and folktales
    from diverse cultures, and determine their central
    message, lesson, or moral.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature K-5
  • 2:  2nd Grade
  • 3:  Describe how characters in a story respond to
    major events and challenges.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature K-5
  • 2:  2nd Grade
  • 7:  Use information gained from the illustrations and
    words in a print or digital text to demonstrate
    understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

The Wraparound Learning Experience

Lesson Objective: Students are immersed in experiences that bring a tall tale to life
Grade 2 / ELA / Jim Knight
ELA.RL.2.2 | ELA.RL.2.3 | ELA.RL.2.7


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. To what does Ms. Silbernagel attribute the effective use of routines?
  2. Notice how Ms. S. models reading strategies and develops a shared vocabulary. How do the classroom environment and varied activities (like "Jot Thoughts") affect learning outcomes?


  • Private message to Penny Kidd
Great modeling of expectations. Students were really engaged with learning about cajun tall tales. It was great to watch the children doing the multiple activities during the lesson of sharing with a partner, jot thoughts, and knee partners. The students were able to make connections with this story to help in their understanding of the text. I like how at the Mrs. S. brought it all together by asking the students to share the author's purpose. In my classroom I work on keeping students engaged, but like how during one lesson all learning types were touched. I especially liked how Mrs. S. showed the video of the swamp for background knowledge. I would like to incorporate this more in my reading lessons to do integrated reading lessons.
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  • Private message to Cheryl Brodie
What a fun classroom! What student wouldn't want to learn in this positive environment? I was intrigued by the title of this video to learn what a Wraparound Learning experience looks like. Using an all out sensory approach to engage her students in learning the text, was quite powerful. The use of gestures to help aid in remembering vocabulary words will be something that I will be adding to my own tool box. Sandra seemed very purposeful in the delivery and the Common Core standards that she was teaching. I especially was mindful of the use of the illustration to help gain insight into the story. As I was watching the clip, I was wondering if Sandra read the story through before she added all the support videos and pictures. Did she read it more than once?
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  • Private message to Debbie Betts
Wow! What a great lesson. The lesson focused on a understanding and retelling a tall tale (ELA RL.2.2), but the teacher's strategies and gestures are what made the difference in this lesson. I am excited to implement many of the activities that were used throughout the video. I already do knee partners, but I love the mix-share-pair she used. This avoids students always sharing with the same people. The' jot a thought' was a new strategy to me. The students sat in a circle and jotted down their thoughts and threw them into the center. The teacher chose a few ideas and read them aloud. I like that each student got a chance to participate even though only a few were shared. The teacher also used the scavenger hunt activity. I have used this before but it reminded me of how effective it can be. At the end of the lesson, the teacher had the students participate in an engagement meter. This allowed the students to reflect on how engaging the lesson was. This helps the teacher plan lessons that are more appealing to the students. Reading the Common Core standards is a way of learning what needs to be taught to each grade level. However, this video and teacher showed me how to implement some of these strands into the classroom effectively and with enthusiasm.
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  • Private message to Randi Wright
In the video you said that you let the students choose what they wanted to learn and on Monday you started teaching this wonderful lesson. How did you put it all together? Last year I was doing all my planning on Sundays and by the end of the year I was so burnt out from working 6 days a week. That's why I'm working this summer, so I can go back to having a life outside of teaching. Help!
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  • Private message to Natalie Alexander
I loved your enthusiasm! I have taken away some great ideas for my Reading Intervention groups from this!
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External Resource Materials


  • Transcript for The Wraparound Learning Experience with Sandi Silbernagel Interviewer/Silbernagel

    Moderator: [00:00:21] Sandy Silbernagel is a second grade school teacher at

    Transcript for The Wraparound Learning Experience with Sandi Silbernagel Interviewer/Silbernagel

    Moderator: [00:00:21] Sandy Silbernagel is a second grade school teacher at Bonne Ecole Elementary in Slidell, Louisiana. [00:00:26]

    Silbernagel: [00:00:26] Okay friends. Are you all ready? [00:00:28]

    Child: [00:00:28] Yeah. [00:00:28]

    Silbernagel: [00:00:28] Yeah? Are you ready to look at some tall tales? [00:00:32]

    Child: [00:00:32] Yeah. [00:00:33]

    Silbernagel: [00:00:33] Not only tall tales, but are you ready to look at some Cajun tall tales? [00:00:38]

    Child: [00:00:38] Yeah. [00:00:38]

    Moderator: [00:00:40] Jim Knight is going to observe her as she leads a guided reading lesson. [00:00:43]

    Silbernagel: [00:00:43] How did you all know I was going to say Cajun tall tales? [00:00:45]

    Child: [00:00:46] Because. [00:00:46]

    Silbernagel: [00:00:47] Oh yeah. Ya’ll are so bright. [00:00:49]

    [00:00:50] I think any time you truly love what you’re doing, that creativity is going to come out. You want it to be the very best, and that’s what I try to do in the classroom. [00:00:59]

    [00:01:00] Okay so what I’d like you to do my friends is I would like you to face your closest knee partner and discuss—listen to my words—I want you to discuss—first of all eyes on me. What is a tall tale? What is a Cajun tall tale? You have 15 seconds. [00:01:22]

    Child: [00:01:22] [Discussing] They came up with tall tales so they can amuse themselves. To help other people. All right. It’s not true and it’s made up. [00:01:33]

    Silbernagel: [00:01:34] So we have these Cajuns right? Where did these Cajuns come from? Did they just—did they just grow out of the swamp? [00:01:42]

    Child: [00:01:42] No. [00:01:42]

    Silbernagel: [00:01:43] No way. This is from the book we’re that reading today. It says, “What exactly is a Cajun?” Well Cajun people are natives of Southern Louisiana. Like any people who live primarily off the land, Cajuns use all parts of the animal they hunt. For example, they use alligator. They can use the skin of the alligator; the tail is what has all the meat in an alligator. Yum yum, who’s ever had alligator before? Who’s ever tasted alligator? [00:02:11]

    Knight: [00:02:11] How did you plan today’s lesson? [00:02:12]

    Silbernagel: [00:02:13] We were working on the thinking strategies; using the thinking strategies in our reading, and I asked my students, “What would you like our stories to be like—[00:02:23]

    Knight: [00:02:23] Right. [00:02:23]

    Silbernagel: [00:02:23] – next week?” We did a silent voting. They had to write it on a new card what they wanted to do. And tall tales and Louisiana stories were tied. What if we did Cajun tall tales, Louisiana tall tales? It was perfect, but it’s involving them to come up with the lesson. [00:02:40]

    Knight: [00:02:40] So they picked it and you came up with this wonderful solution that we’ll do—well we’ll do Louisiana tall tales. [00:02:44]

    Silbernagel: [00:02:44] Yes and a lot of my lessons, it’s a lot of research. Like I incorporated all the Louisiana, the history of the Cajuns and why they came here, and everything from the perog 02:55 to the what part of the alligator do you eat, and—[00:02:58]

    [00:02:59] So they use the crawfish, the catfish, frog legs. They blend them altogether to make hot spicy sauces. Yeah. Bites. [00:03:09]

    [00:03:09] Is it part of their heritage. Absolutely. There are so many of our families here that have those Cajun, those French roots, and I think that sometimes a heritage that kind of gets forgotten. [00:03:21]

    Knight: [00:03:21] Right. [00:03:22]

    Silbernagel: [00:03:22] So why not incorporate that into books, not only just social studies’ lessons, but incorporate it into your reading and bring all those things about their state. So I just think that’s so amazing how we can take these things in each subject and build their scheme on, their knowledge of their state and the cultures. [00:03:40]

    [00:03:41] Okay friends, here’s the book. It is called Feliciana Feydra Le Roux. Say that with me. Feliciana Feydra Le Roux. Hm pretty interesting huh? [00:03:55]

    [00:03:55] When I was looking at this book, I said, “Well this is a really interesting name. I wonder where the author got that name.” That was an I wonder that I had. [00:04:03]

    [00:04:04] So what do you think I could do to find out more about this book? What could I do? Everybody? It’s an R word. [00:04:12]

    Child: [00:04:13] Read it. [00:04:14]

    Silbernagel: [00:04:14] Hmm I think I heard it. [00:04:15]

    Child: [00:04:16] Read the text. [00:04:16]

    Silbernagel: [00:04:17] I can—now I can research. Why did she choose this name? What are some ways I could research? What do you think Cameron? [00:04:24]

    Child: [00:04:25] Look it up on the computer. [00:04:26]

    Silbernagel: [00:04:26] I could go on Internet and look it up? What’s another way to research? Could look in a book, very good. You know what I found? [00:04:31]

    Child: [00:04:32] What? [00:04:32]

    Silbernagel: [00:04:33] Feliciana is a name of a parish. A what? A parish. Do you know how many parishes we have in Louisiana? [00:04:41]

    Child: [00:04:42] Tell ‘em five. [00:04:43]

    Silbernagel: [00:04:42] Guess. We have more than 50. [00:04:45]

    Child: [00:04:46] Sixty. [00:04:46]

    Silbernagel: [00:04:46] More than 60. [00:04:47]

    Child: [00:04:46] Seventy. [Children guessing] A hundred. [00:04:49]

    Silbernagel: [00:04:50] Sixty-four. [00:04:50]

    Child: [00:04:51] Wow. [00:04:51]

    Silbernagel: [00:04:52] We have 64 parishes. Other states, every other state in the United States calls parishes counties. They call them counties, and Louisiana we call them parishes. All right friends, we are going to start our story. Our story starts at Feliciana’s house. This house is pretty unique. Deep in the depths of Cajun Country, in a shack on stilts by the bayou, lived a little girl known by the name of Feliciana Feydra Le Roux. Now, I want you to look at this house here friends. Does it look like any houses that we live in? [00:05:29]

    Child: [00:05:30] No. [00:05:30]

    Silbernagel: [00:05:30] No it doesn’t. Okay I would like you to stand please. Morgan’s going to start the music, and listen we’re going to do a mixed pair share, and I want you to tell your partner what you think might happen in this story by just looking at this picture, and you may mix. Find a partner. [00:05:53]

    Child: [00:05:54] That she catch the alligator and she’s the strongest to pull it out of the water. [00:06:00]

    Child: [00:06:00] I think they might catch alligators, catch them and throw them back. [00:06:07]

    Knight: [00:06:09] So how do you build in the activities though? [00:06:12]

    Silbernagel: [00:06:12] I do plan those in, but then there’s times that I realize like they need to get up and move. So I’ll say, “Okay everybody up. Or turn to your knee partner. [00:06:21]

    [00:06:21] Okay, Miss Feliciana, you think she’s just going to sit at home? [00:06:25]

    Child: [00:06:26] No. [00:06:26]

    Silbernagel: [00:06:26] You think she’s just going to let all those boys go? [00:06:29]

    Child: [00:06:29] No. [00:06:29]

    Silbernagel: [00:06:30] No siree. [00:06:31]

    [00:06:31] Today we did jot thoughts. Just getting in the circle, writing down their thought and throwing it in the middle of the circle, that’s just kind of brings it more to life than just okay, what do you all think? [00:06:41]

    [00:06:42] I’m just going to read a few. Will she be able to go and how will she be able to go? She will hide on the back of the truck. Good one. Yes she is going to beg to death. Whoa that’s a lot of begging. [00:06:59]

    Knight: [00:07:00] They were totally in. [00:07:01]

    Silbernagel: [00:07:01] Right. [00:07:01]

    Knight: [00:07:01] I mean when you were doing that and you were reading the things out, of course, you read it with great animation, but when you were doing that, the kids were up. [00:07:09]

    Silbernagel: [00:07:09] Yes. [00:07:09]

    Knight: [00:07:09] Looking and have—and it was quite remarkable actually. [00:07:13]

    Silbernagel: [00:07:13] Yeah and something that simple can make such a difference. [00:07:15]

    Knight: [00:07:15] Right. How important do you think the physical gestures are of like the—show me the search and share. [00:07:21]

    Silbernagel: [00:07:22] We have the think and search. [00:07:25]

    Knight: [00:07:24] Right. [00:07:24]

    Silbernagel: [00:07:24] And then the right there clue. [00:07:27]

    [00:07:27] Guys you’re making some amazing inferences from what kind of clues are you using here? [00:07:30]

    Child: [00:07:30] Right there clue. [00:07:32]

    Silbernagel: [00:07:33] You’re using those right there clues. [00:07:34]

    [00:07:35] I think those are very important. They just—they give the children a way to remember the gesture and the connection to what it stands for. [00:07:42]

    Knight: [00:07:43] right, but you’ve laid out exactly, this is the expectation. This is what you’re going to do. [00:07:47]

    Silbernagel: [00:07:47] Yes. [00:07:47]

    Knight: [00:07:47] And you’ve got your three, two, one and the kids would be quiet. You said, “Let’s hear the response,” and then you go rippp [sound effect] and they stop. [00:07:52]

    Silbernagel: [00:07:53] Right. Very good Jacob. Give it up for Jacob. Ready. And shh. So—[00:07:57]

    Knight: [00:07:57] So how did you teach all of those expectations to all those activities? What goes into teaching them? [00:08:01]

    Silbernagel: [00:08:02] Model, model, model. I mean a lot of modeling, but like again, setting my expectations. When I hold my hands up, this is exactly what I want you to do. Okay I want you to talk, all right let’s practice and hands up. Because if you establish all that at the beginning of the year—it takes a while—by this point in the year, they’re doing it pretty well. Of course, they need those reminders. [00:08:24]

    Knight: [00:08:25] You have to keep going back to it. I think it doesn’t matter if they’re—whoever they are. You’re going to have to keep revisiting the routines to make sure they get it. [00:08:31]

    Silbernagel: [00:08:31] Absolutely. [00:08:31]

    [00:08:32] Every week for our vocabulary, we come up with some kind of gesture for the word, whatever the word means. Sometime I mean they make up the most hilarious gestures and—last week one of the words was devour, and they were like, you know act like they were devouring a cake or something but they remembered it. It’s little things like that I think, as a teacher, just paying attention to what works with my students; and what are some things that—it might look silly, and there’s times I think oh my goodness. I’d hate to see myself sometimes, like how I act in here, but you have to be silly and make it fun and it comes—those gestures and music and dance. They’re very important. [00:09:12]

    Knight: [00:09:12] Well they don’t think you’re being silly. [00:09:14]

    Silbernagel: [00:09:14] Right, oh yeah. [00:09:15]

    Knight: [00:09:15] I mean they’re just loving it. [00:09:15]

    Silbernagel: [00:09:15] Right that’s what I like about second grade, right. [00:09:18]

    Knight: [00:09:18] I mean they’re just eating it up. Devour was a good word for them. [00:09:21]

    Silbernagel: [00:09:20] Right. Right. [00:09:21]

    [00:09:23] Main character has a problem to solve. Kiss your brain. You thought of that. [00:09:26]

    Knight: [00:09:29] You’re very sensitive to when the kids aren’t with you and so you keep trying to do stuff until you get them hooked. [00:09:35]

    Silbernagel: [00:09:35] Yeah. [00:09:36]

    Knight: [00:09:36] And so you just keep—what’s it going to take? What’s the next thing I can do? What else can I do to get—well maybe I’ll use a video on the promethean board, you know. [00:09:42]

    Silbernagel: [00:09:43] It is about that. It is about just making these lessons so enjoyable that they don’t want to turn away. [00:09:51]

    Knight: [00:09:51] Right. [00:09:51]

    Silbernagel: [00:09:53] Would you feel more comfortable in your desk today? [00:09:55]

    Child: [00:09:54] Yes. [00:09:55]

    Silbernagel: [00:09:55] Okay I’m just going to move this chair so we don’t have a lot—[00:09:57]

    Knight: [00:09:57] I had some thoughts about how that one student was doing when he did the activities. I wonder what motivates him. [00:10:03]

    Silbernagel: [00:10:04] Mike would you like to come join our circle please, because we’re going to be passing out crawfish, and he can’t make it all the way over there. [00:10:08]

    Knight: [00:10:09] Because he was clearly motivated when I get to touch the crawfish. [00:10:12]

    Silbernagel: [00:10:12] Right. [00:10:12]

    Knight: [00:10:12] And I could see him wanting to be a part, you know. [00:10:17]

    Silbernagel: [00:10:17] I want him to know that I am aware of his feelings. [00:10:19]

    Knight: [00:10:19] Right. [00:10:19]

    Silbernagel: [00:10:20] And I care about his feelings, and I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable but at the same time, I need him to participate too. [00:10:26]

    Knight: [00:10:26] I wonder if you could say to him today when you do the activity, I’m going to be your first person. Then you say to him today when I do the activity, I’m going to be your second person. I’m going to watch you do the first person, and I can be your second one. Maybe you could say while they do the activity sometime, let’s practice what it looks like when we do this. How do we do this? Show me how you hold your hand. [00:10:48]

    Silbernagel: [00:10:48] Absolutely. [00:10:48]

    Knight: [00:10:48] So the first couple of times, you’re just preparing him to get comfortable with interacting somehow. [00:10:53]

    Silbernagel: [00:10:53] Right I think that’s a great idea, because I know he wants to be with me. [00:10:57]

    Knight: [00:10:56] Yes. [00:10:57]

    Silbernagel: [00:10:58] That if he knows, okay I need to go to one or two people before her, then you know he’ll probably do it, absolutely. [00:11:05]

    Knight: [00:11:05] Right. [00:11:06]

    Silbernagel: [00:11:06] Well why would she grab a flashlight to go alligator hunting? Blake do you think you know why? Why would she do that Blake? [00:11:12]

    Child: [00:11:12] Because she really wants to go and—[00:11:14]

    Silbernagel: [00:11:14] Okay but why grab a flashlight? [00:11:15]

    Child: [00:11:16] Oh, oh. Because it’s dark outside. [00:11:18]

    Silbernagel: [00:11:18] It’s dark outside. Absolutely. [00:11:20]

    [00:11:21] Now we’re going to pass the crawfish. I want you tell me one I notice you have in that picture. It can be an I notice about the trees, the house, things around the house. Nick. [00:11:34]

    Child: [00:11:35] It looks like it’s 50 years old. [00:11:36]

    Silbernagel: [00:11:37] Yeah so we did say it looks really old doesn’t it. What happens to wood when it’s been there for a long time? Did anybody ever notice like a deck—[00:11:44]

    Child: [00:11:44] It gets rusty out. [00:11:44]

    Silbernagel: [00:11:44] It kind of starts to split, little holes, gets real splintery. Have you ever noticed that? [00:11:50]

    Child: [00:11:50] It [inaudible 11:50]

    Silbernagel: [00:11:51] My time management is not always on key. I do take a lot longer to go through a story or a lesson, but I feel that by the end of that, they are truly engaged and to me that’s what’s important. Yeah might not get to some subjects some days, but I think of like the bulk of what they learned in the one—in the subjects that I did get to. [00:12:13]

    Knight: [00:12:14] Yeah I would say I want maximum learning per second, but that’s doesn’t mean it’s maximum information per second. It could take a long time to learn something. [00:12:20]

    Silbernagel: [00:12:20] Right. We can’t just look at our lesson plans like it’s set in stone and say nope this is exactly what I’m doing. I’m going to go through. I don’t care who’s listening. You get it, or you don’t. [00:12:29]

    Knight: [00:12:29] Right. [00:12:29]

    Silbernagel: [00:12:30] That’s—I don’t think that’s the right way to look at it. I think okay if they’re not getting it, I need to change. There’s something I need to do differently. [00:12:36]

    [00:12:37] Cajuns were known for having very large families. Why do you think they would have large families? Do you think they live in little neighborhoods? [00:12:45]

    Child: [00:12:45] No. [00:12:45]

    Silbernagel: [00:12:45] Where do you think they lived? On big—[00:12:48]

    Child: [00:12:48] Land. [00:12:48]

    Silbernagel: [00:12:48] They lived on a lot of land, and what do you think they did to make money? [00:12:51]

    Child: [00:12:51] Fish. [00:12:52]

    Silbernagel: [00:12:52] Fish? What else? Tell me some more. [00:12:54]

    Child: [00:12:54] Or crabbing. [00:12:55]

    Silbernagel: [00:12:55] Crabbing, tell me more. [00:12:57]

    Child: [00:12:57] Worked. [00:12:57]

    Silbernagel: [00:12:57] Worked. I know from my scheme that Louisiana is very big on sugar cane, corn—[00:13:04]

    Child: [00:13:05] Farms [00:13:06]

    Silbernagel: [00:13:07] They probably had farms. So guess what? Guess what those kids would do? [00:13:12]

    Child: [00:13:12] Help their dads and moms in the farming. [00:13:14]

    Silbernagel: [00:13:14] Oh they were big helpers. [00:13:17]

    Knight: [00:13:17] One of the things that struck me about your engagement is how often you give the kids a chance to respond because I kept track of it once for just a one-minute section, and there were like eight—seven or eight opportunities to respond in that short period of time. Little questions. Turn to your neighbor. I want you to do it this way. Come up and do this on a board. [00:13:33]

    Silbernagel: [00:13:34] Did they get that alligator? [00:13:34]

    Child: [00:13:35] Yeah. [00:13:36]

    Silbernagel: [00:13:36] Oh yeah. Is it going to go to waste? [00:13:38]

    Child: [00:13:38] No. [00:13:39]

    Silbernagel: [00:13:39] What are they going to with that alligator do you think? [00:13:41]

    Child: [00:13:41] Eat it. [00:13:40]

    Silbernagel: [00:13:41] Oh! [00:13:42]

    Knight: [00:13:42] And I think that’s a big thing about what keeps them engaged is those frequent opportunities to respond. They were doing a lot of thinking today. [00:13:48]

    Silbernagel: [00:13:48] Another answer now, Lexie. [00:13:49]

    Child: [00:13:50] Clean. [00:13:50]

    Silbernagel: [00:13:50] Clean. Another answer now, Reg. [00:13:53]

    Knight: [00:13:53] What do you look for when you’re watching the students? Like just like try to think of things you would see that would suggest it’s time to mix things up a bit? [00:14:01]

    Silbernagel: [00:14:01] I think just like knowing your students to me is the number one thing. Just taking that time at the beginning of the year, and of course throughout the year, to learn who they are, to know what each of my students look like when they’re engaged and not look like, and what truly engages them. We do that through our engage-a-meter. The engage-a-meter I use at the end of a lesson, or if we discuss what a lesson is going to be like they’ll go to the engage-a-meter. There’s like I said, there’s three things that they can vote on; authentically engaged which means they are totally in the lesson. They’re going to retain it. They really enjoyed it. Strategic compliant; they kind of did it because I asked them to. They weren’t really crazy about it but I’m the teacher, and it’s kind of one of those you said so. Then retreatism; I say you were out to lunch. [00:14:51]

    Knight: [00:14:51] right. [00:14:51]

    Silbernagel: [00:14:51] You weren’t into it at all. So after a lesson they’ll go and they will put their sticks anonymously into one of the cups, and each of the cups has the symbol, the picture symbol for the engage-a-meter, and they’ll put their stick in their cup. Then I’ll go over and say, Okay. If not everybody was authentically engaged, there were some retreatism. I never ask who was it, but I will say, “I want this to be better for you. I want you to be engaged. I want you to remember the things that we’re doing here, that life-long learning so what can I do differently?” I tell them they can write it on a piece of paper if there’s something that I can change. They’ll write it down, and they’ll put it on my desk, but most of the time they’ll just come up to me and say, “Oh it was me.” I’d really rather do it this way. Or can we have partners next time? Their ideas are amazing. [00:15:41]

    Knight: [00:15:41] One of the things I thought about as I was watching your class is what you’re creating here is kind of a learning-friendly culture. That is that you’re watching all the time to make sure that the feel of the room is the same and that everybody is supporting each other in a positive way. [00:15:56]

    Silbernagel: [00:15:56] Absolutely. [00:15:57]

    Knight: [00:15:57] And they intervene in all these different ways to create a certain kind of culture. [00:16:01]

    Silbernagel: [00:16:01] That is my number one goal here is make this safe to where they feel comfortable when they come in. They don’t feel threatened. They don’t feel judged. They’re here to learn. They can say anything they want. Its’ okay to make mistakes, and I tell them all the time, I say, “If you don’t make mistakes or if you knew everything, I would have a job.” [00:16:17]

    Knight: [00:16:17] Right. [00:16:17]

    Silbernagel: [00:16:18] So I’m glad you don’t everything. And just teaching respect to one another. [00:16:21]

    [00:16:22] Why do you think the author may have put Feliciana as her first name? [00:16:28]

    Child: [00:16:28] Because it’s a—[00:16:29]

    Silbernagel: [00:16:29] Uh wait, I’m looking for friends that are being very respectful to others that are sitting on their bottoms with their legs crossed. AJ? [00:16:36]

    Knight: [00:16:37] And so then they’re going to feel safe and more open to learning, and they’re not going to be worried what someone else is thinking because they know that when I go there, I get built up a little bit. It’s a safe place for me. [00:16:45]

    Silbernagel: [00:16:45] Yeah today we had a time when a little girl responded, and another one looked at her with just kind of a negative face, you know. That was a time I stopped and I address it. [00:16:57]

    [00:16:57] Elianna 16:57, I need you to sit on your bottom. That face that you just made to Morgan was not respectful at all, so what I need you to do is look at Morgan, and I need you to give her an apology of action please. [00:17:08]

    Child: [00:17:09] I’m sorry [inaudible 17:09]

    Silbernagel: [00:17:11] Thank you. [00:17:11]

    [00:17:12] And it’s not done in a mean way or yelling, no loud voice. It’s just that was not right. You hurt someone’s feelings. You weren’t being respectful. I need you to turn to them and do an apology of action. It doesn’t have to be done through yelling or moving cards or all the little color coded—I think it’s about being responsible for who you are. [00:17:34]

    Knight: [00:17:33] But you’re very clear on what you’re going to call and what you’re not going call. It looked like you were consistently calling the same things all the time. [00:17:39]

    Silbernagel: [00:17:39] Right. [00:17:39]

    Knight: [00:17:40] The things you mentioned; safety, not being respectful and so forth. Yeah. [00:17:43]

    Silbernagel: [00:17:43] When you discipline children or in the classroom when I discipline children, I think it’s very important to be specific. This is why I am correcting you [00:17:51]

    [00:17:51] Okay I need to wait until everybody is listening and not singing. Okay? Let’s try that again. [00:17:56]

    [00:17:57] And our story ends with ya’ll pass a good time tonight too, ya hear? Was it a happy ending? [00:18:04]

    Child: [00:18:04] Yeah. [00:18:05]

    Silbernagel: [00:18:05] It was a happy ending. Was there a main character? [00:18:07]

    Child: [00:18:08] Yeah. [00:18:08]

    Silbernagel: [00:18:09] Did she defeat a problem? [00:18:10]

    Child: [00:18:10] Yeah. [00:18:10]

    Silbernagel: [00:18:11] Absolutely. Now, what you are going to do is you are going to go on a tall tale scavenger hunt. You will see papers all around the classroom with words on them. So all you have to do is what? AJ can you explain what we’re going to do here? [00:18:27]

    Child: [00:18:27] Fill in the blanks. [00:18:28]

    Silbernagel: [00:18:29] Fill in the blanks. But I’m going to give you five minutes to go around the room on your scavenger hunt. [00:18:35]

    Knight: [00:18:38] From the moment the kids walk through the door, they’re having a learning experience. Everything is designed right down to every little detail. Tell me a bit about what you think about that. [00:18:46]

    Silbernagel: [00:18:47] Well absolutely. I think that, when the students walk in the beginning of the week, they should know by their surroundings what is our lesson going to be about. [00:18:54]

    Knight: [00:18:54] Right. Tell me a bit about just sort of the creative process of making a room look like this. [00:19:00]

    Silbernagel: [00:19:00] I really thought of as a seven year old, what would I want my classroom to look like, and what came to mind was just comfortable. Make it just so comfortable. So we have the carpets, the sofa, all of our books are organized, so the students, they know exactly where things go. They respect the classroom library. We don’t put on any bright lights. We have our Christmas lights on, and lamps and I just feel like it’s a comfortable environment. The students let me know what things they want to add. They brought in stuffed animals and put them by the library, so this is for them. This is their classroom. [00:19:36]

    [00:19:37] I saw some really cool, imaginative tall tales; some very creative thinking, solutions to the problem. Remember it doesn’t have to be real; something that could really happen in real life. [00:19:49]

    Child: [00:19:50] No. [00:19:50]

    Silbernagel: [00:19:50] No that’s what making writing tall tales so fun. It can be silly and imaginative and quirky. It doesn’t matter, as long as it comes from you and it’s creative. I need clip boards—[00:20:04]

    Knight: [00:20:04] It’s almost like you’re designing a whole wrap around experience with the kids. There’s going to be the way the room looks, but then we’re going to have music. [00:20:12]

    Silbernagel: [00:20:12] Absolutely. [00:20:13]

    Knight: [00:20:13] And there’s going to be things to look at. Then there are going to be a variety of activities, and then there are actual objects. You pull up the little—the little boat—[00:20:20]

    Silbernagel: [00:20:20] Yes yacht yes. [00:20:21]

    Knight: [00:20:21] - to show them what the boat looks like. I mean it’s just that they’re sort of bombarded by all this stimuli, and if they’re visual, they’re going to see it. If they’re auditory they’re going to hear it. They want to move around, they’re going to be able to move around. I mean it’s just really impressive to see all that going on. [00:20:37]

    Silbernagel: [00:20:37] Yeah and I think that’s important. It’s how can we expect children to make those real world connections if we’re not bringing it in. Let me show you what a real pearog 20:45. Let me show you a video of what the swamp looks like as you go through. I don’t think students truly can understand a story until they have that schema and be able to make connections to their life. Because we know—we enjoy movies or books because we can relate to it. We know what that character is feeling or what it’s like. So that’s why whenever I read my students a story, I want them to feel what the character is feeling. I want them to related like—in the story Feliciana—relate—I wanted them to relate to how she felt about her grandfather. I just want them to see like what are some common things that are going on with these stories, and how can I relate my own life to them. [00:21:25]

    Knight: [00:21:25] So you want them to have this connection so it will stick with them. [00:21:29]

    Silbernagel: [00:21:29] Absolutely.

    Knight: [00:21:30] Right, and then you model that too don’t you. With your own life 21:32.

    Silbernagel: [00:21:32] Absolutely, yes. [00:21:33]

    Knight: [00:21:33] So tell me about how you do that. [00:21:34]

    Silbernagel: [00:21:34] Yes, well today I used pictures from my father’s family, so his great-grandmother. That was amazing for me—you know I showed the students a picture of the house in the story, well then I showed them a real life photograph. Like this is my great-grandmother. This was her house so look how accurate this is. [00:21:54]

    [00:21:54] This your friends is my great-great-grandmother, and I asked my dad, I said, “Well what was her name?” He said, “I don’t know. I just called her Ma m?re, which Ma m?re is a French word for grandmother, and you’re going to hear that in our story. [00:22:10]

    [00:22:11] This little boy right here is my dad. [00:22:14]

    Child: [00:22:14] Ooh. What? [00:22:15]

    Silbernagel: [00:22:16] Yes this is my dad. This is his parents and these are two of his siblings. Now remember—[00:22:21]

    [00:22:21] Student love hearing about their teacher, that their teacher is a real person and has a real family. I just think any time you can bring in photographs or stories about your family, it’s so important because it makes it real to them. [00:22:33]

    Knight: [00:22:34] Now you show them your connections, and when they hear your connections, they go oh well I can make those kinds of connections too. [00:22:38]

    Silbernagel: [00:22:39] Absolutely. Well I feel like my student, they idolize their teacher at this age, and they just want to know so much. I think the more you share with them, the more they want to share with you. So if you are modeling your connections, your real-world connections in your text to self, and people that you’re close with in your family like Feliciana was close with her grandpa. They’re going to see that. This is a non-threatening time, and we’re altogether and I’m going to share with you too. So it opens that door of communication with them. [00:23:11]

    [00:23:11] Feliciana jumped off the truck and said, “Look what we caught Ma mere.” “Feliciana Feydra Le Roux, you get your hard-headed fanny in dis house. You and I are gonna get tangled now. Oh mon cur,” screamed Ma mere, clasping her heart, “what do I see?” [00:23:29]

    Knight: [00:23:30] How much of what you do would you say is like being an actor or an actress? [00:23:34]

    Silbernagel: [00:23:35] I would say at least 95 percent of the day. [Laugh] Big time. [00:23:39]

    [00:23:39] A big alligator tail plops out and there straddled over its back like a cow girl was Feliciana Feydra Le Roux grinning from ear to ear. [00:23:51]

    [00:23:51] Using a different voice when I read, or reading loud or shouting things out and—[00:23:56]

    Knight: [00:23:57] And you were singing today. [00:23:57]

    Silbernagel: [00:23:58] Yes singing and doing the artwork with them and just making it fun and being myself just coming to life for them. [00:24:06]

    Knight: [00:24:07] Well you bring a lot energy and passion to it. There’s no path or part to it, you’re like okay we’re on—like you’re on the whole time. [00:24:13]

    Silbernagel: [00:24:12] Right. [00:24:12]

    [00:24:13] Please, please let me go alligator huntin’ would you grandpa baby? [00:24:19]

    [00:24:20] I need to keep all these kids attention, to where we can get this lesson done and retain all this information. I got to make it good. [00:24:27]

    Knight: [00:24:28] Right. So how did you learn to do that? Did it—were you like that the very first day? Or did it evolve over time? [00:24:33]

    Silbernagel: [00:24:33] No yeah it evolved over time. I think once I realized like I don’t have to be a type A traditional teacher. It’s okay. It’s okay if my classroom there’s music and walking around and it’s loud. It’s okay. They’re still learning. I think once I got that through my head, once I gave up that control, the rest just came. It was like let’s just—this should be fun. [00:24:59]

    [00:25:00] I want to know your opinion Reginald, why are tall tales so important? [00:25:04]

    Child: [00:25:05] Because it teaches you a lesson about like working together or helping somebody if they need help. [00:25:12]

    Silbernagel: [00:25:12] Okay. Very important lessons. What do you think the lesson was today? What do you think the lesson was in our story? Was it to fight an alligator? [00:25:23]

    Child: [00:25:23] No. [00:25:24]

    Silbernagel: [00:25:25] To bring your baby doll any time you go to jump in a swamp? [00:25:28]

    Child: [00:25:29] No. Oh I know. [00:25:30]

    Silbernagel: [00:25:30] No? It’s got to be a bigger lesson than that. Something that we can all learning something from. Ben? [00:25:34]

    Child: [00:25:35] Uh always listen to your parents. [00:25:38]

    Silbernagel: [00:25:38] Hmm, that’s my friend is a very good lesson. So the lesson in the story that the Cajuns wanted all the little kids to know is to listen to your—[00:25:50]

    Child: [00:25:50] Parents. [00:25:50]

    Silbernagel: [00:25:51] Teacher oop I mean parents, yes. And the teacher too. [00:25:54]

    Knight: [00:25:56] Well it just was so fun to watch those kids engaged every step along the way, and the effort you put into it, the creative effort you put into it. It really is manifested in a great learning experience. I mean it’s around them; they hear it, they feel it, they do it. I mean they’re learning every second. [00:26:11]

    Silbernagel: [00:26:11] Thank you. Thank you that’s my goal. [00:26:13]

    Knight: [00:26:13] Good. [00:26:14]

    Silbernagel: [00:26:14] Thank you very much. [00:26:14]

    Knight: [00:26:14] Good. [00:26:15]

    Silbernagel: [00:26:15] All right guys, I think ya’ll did a wonderful job today. I’m very proud of you. I want to give you a hip, hip hooray. Ready? Hip, hip hooray. One more time. Hip, hip hooray. One more because it’s Monday. Hip, hip hooray. Very good. [00:26:30]

School Details

Bonne Ecole Elementary School
900 Rue Verand
Slidell LA 70458
Population: 767

Data Provided By:



Sandra Silbernagel
English Language Arts Math Science Social Studies / 2 / Teacher
Jim Knight


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