Students will be getting a new literature discussion group book next week but rather than just needing to read their assigned pages and flag their thoughts, students will also need to write a response in their Thoughtful Log prior to a literature discussion group meeting. To help remind students of these new expectations, I had them glue a gold reminder sheet in their Thoughtful Logs so they could always find my expectations, even if they're working on their responses at home.
Here is one student's response about the book she read today. Her summary paragraph of what she read appears at the bottom in this picture.
Students need to be independent readers, writers, thinkers, and discussers (is that a word?!) of text. By assigning students to read a text, flag their thoughts about a text, write about their thoughts about a text, and discuss a text, they will push into the meaning of text at a deeper level. Students will be required to write a response prior to every literature discussion group meeting. Just before a group meets, students can read their summary to remind themselves of what the story was about and their paragraph about their thinking and immediately be 'back in the zone' of their text from the day before. It truly helps prepare kids to discuss a text at a deeper level.
Yes, these kids are 9. Yes, these kids are young. And YES, they CAN do it! You might say, "Whoa...that's a lot of writing." Well, we've been writing about our thinking since day one in our room. The kids know it's just what we do. They've gotten really used to the process of reflecting about their thinking. Obviously, it takes a lot of teacher modeling, but with the right scaffolds, students truly can become independent youngsters who can do a WHOLE lot. I believe it's ok to set the bar high, as long as I do my part to get these kids the tools they need to reach it. I think my kids surprised themselves today with all they did in terms of their literacy thinking. I even heard one girl say, "Oh, that wasn't too hard. That was actually kind of fun!" Let's hope that attitude continues.... :)
In other 4B news, students have been truly diving in as scientists. Yesterday they sported their safety goggles while taking apart 'mock rocks' (fake rocks). All real rocks are made of a variety of materials. Students sorted the materials in their mock rocks, and tomorrow students will try to figure out how to identify each of the materials based on a variety of tests.
Lastly, today we met with our second-grade buddies. Buddy pairs went on a scavenger hunt in both our room and Mrs. Adams' room to find a variety of things.
Hope you've all had a great week!