After peer conferences, students poems looked very ... COLORFUL! You can see this writer's original ideas in pencil, her own revisions adding adjectives and extending her ideas in red, and fixes made during her peer conference in blue.
In social studies, we are continuing to use our leveled immigration readers to learn more about the reasons immigrants left their homelands, the challenges they faced, and the contributions they've made to American society. The texts below came from National Geographic. I love them because the look of the books is the same, as are the three main ideas discussed in each of the books. It's the complexity of the content that is differentiated, allowing ALL students to access information at their independent reading level. Yay!
For this lesson, I had students use a two-column note-taking technique to record important information. In one column, students listed the challenges their immigrant group had on their journey to America. In the other column, students listed the challenges their immigrant group had in America. Again, each student was given a reader that was appropriate for their independent reading level.
After students finished recording the challenges for their specific immigrant group, they met with everyone else who read about the same group of immigrants to compare information and make revisions to their notes, if needed.
Here's a clip of some of the groups as they discuss their immigrant groups. It's a little hard to hear what they're saying but I assure you they were focused on the topic (immigrant challenges).
In reading, we are continuing on with explicit mini-lessons on determining importance. On Friday, I taught students that when reading a piece of non-fiction text, good readers should:
- Identify the the main idea
- Infer the author's opinion and perspective about the topic
- Think about their own opinion in comparison to the author's
Here is one student's response. You can see she was able to pull out the main idea, identify the author's perspective about the topic, and think critically about her own opinion. When I conference with her, I will applaud her ability to do these three tasks as a reader of non-fiction. My teaching point will be to stress the importance of rereading her writing to make sure it makes sense from beginning to end. :)