Adventures in Literacy Land: cooperative learning

Showing posts with label cooperative learning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cooperative learning. Show all posts

Giving Students Choices

Hello Teacher Friends!  This is Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads.  I had such a busy beginning of the school year that my own blog has been silent and unfortunately I felt so overwhelmed that I haven't posted on Literacy Land since summer.
 For the first time ever, the "busy" of the beginning of the school year wasn't my own, but My Girl began Kindergarten and that has completely taken over our home life.  I'm just now taking a breath.

Today I want to discuss giving students a choice in the classroom.  I teach a GT pull-out program and my students like having a choice just as much as reluctant readers do.  Choice also seems to give them a feeling of being "grown up".

I'm sharing an example that I used in my own classroom.  My mini-lesson was Asking Questions.  I began by choosing 5 different short non-fiction passages. Based on the passage, I posted an "I" statement.
Students put their names on post-it notes and attached it to the statement that they identified with the most.

Their readings were inside a folder marked 1-5 and once the students got into their groups, I passed out the folders and let the groups read the passages and write questions that would spark new learning.  Finally, my students presented their questions to the class.  I must add that since every group had a different passage, the audience was engaged and listened closely to the presentation. 

Choice Menu's don't have to be the only way you give student's choices. What is one way you give choices in your classroom?


Informational Text Feature Walk

Hello Everyone!  It's Colleen and Stacy from The Rungs of Reading.  Today we are going to share a nonfiction strategy that Stacy loves to use in the Reading Room called the Text Feature Walk! 
Most primary-aged students learn how to do a "Picture Walk" before reading a story.  While previewing text, students activate prior knowledge, make predictions, and set a purpose for reading the book.  Effective reading instruction includes this important strategy yet this supportive practice is not as common when using informational text. 

When entering intermediate grades, students may experience difficulty reading textbooks and informational text due to high-level vocabulary and unfamiliar concepts.  In addition to these complexities, students encounter numerous text features throughout the text that often get overlooked even though they have been taught their importance.  The Text Feature Walk is a technique that explicitly teaches the purpose and importance of text features which enables students to navigate any informational text more effectively. 

First, students learn how text features support informational text.  Familiarizing your students with the purpose of each text feature is key to the lesson's success.  Additionally, it is important to model an interactive discussion about text so that students will be prepared to do it on their own.

Once students are familiar with text features and are able to hold a focused discussion about text, you can easily introduce the steps of a Text Feature Walk.  Through explicit modeling and thinking aloud, demonstrate the steps to follow while taking a Text Feature Walk using a short nonfiction article.  The steps outlined on our Student Cue Cards include identifying the text feature, making a prediction, making a connection, asking questions, and predicting the main idea.

Part 2 of the lesson focuses on guided practice with the teacher providing support as needed.  Within small groups, students use the cue cards to preview and discuss each text feature in order to activate prior knowledge, make connections, and set a purpose prior to reading the information text.

Once groups are finished, have students come back together as a whole group to discuss what went well and what they learned from their discussions.  They are now ready to read and more fully comprehend the text!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about using the Text Feature Walk!  To get you started using this important cooperative learning technique, please download our LIMITED freebie that includes all of the cue cards you will need.  This freebie will be available until May 2nd at 9:00 EST.  
 Text Feature Walk download