A full day of seniors- my favorite. Spent the day modeling close reading strategies and preparing students for their socratic seminar on whether the federal minimum wage should be raised. The mistake I made, was choosing an article to close read and chunk that had 17 "paragraphs" or chunks. Now this should not be too long for my students (should being key word there) but it is definitely too long to model, think aloud, chunk, number- put in the margins what the author is saying, etc. I did it, and we made it through in each class, but it was tiring and took a long time. I have to be honest, by 6th period I tried to take a short cut and modeled the first two paragraphs, then asked them if they would rather continue on their own in pairs or have me read this article to them. Most had no opinion, but some of my more interested students wanted me to read it and model- so I did. I asked if they regretting me reading it to them afterwards and their response was "no"- they feel like they understand better when I read to them. SO, now that they have these new comprehension, close reading skills, maybe that will change. I was surprised that in a senior class, only 3 of my students had ever been taught to chunk the writing and number the paragraphs. This takes time, but they need more practice doing this and building confidence in their comprehension skills. But all of this was to get them collecting evidence and creating varied levels (AVID-Costas & Blooms) of questions for our socratic seminar. Common core, thank you for allowing me to spend time on this.
We have been gathering information from a great classroom source I recommend, The Lowdown. Its a kqed site that offers news articles and lots and lots of graphic and visual interpretations of very complex ideas. I like to use this site as a first place for students to gather information and begin questioning the texts. Check it out, the visuals are exceptionally accessible for students.
A-ha: Close reading strategy practice is good for me too!
Reminder: The more comprehension the more one enjoys reading.