Monday, February 18, 2008

Session F - Pre-Reading: The Key to Success for All Students

This session went over a big ol' list of activities to help students connect with a text. Some of them were:

- debriefing/reverse engineering the lesson plan: briefly explaining to the students why I've set things up as I have, what they should expect to gain from it, etc.
- four-thought organizer: offered a problem, students must describe it, react to it, explain its cause, and come up with a solution.
- paired shares: students take turns responding out loud to a prompt; write down things partner shared and/or questions that were raised.
- hot seat: easy-answer questions relating to topic on post-its stuck under certain desks; student reads question and attempts to answer; rewards for reasonable or appropriate answers
- "smart charts": provide a "background" column to a KWL chart
- gearshifts: students form two circles, one inside the other; each student on the inside circle is paired with a student on the outside circle; discuss a question briefly, then inner circle shifts 2-3 places and continues discussion with new partners.
There were quite a few other strategies as well. We really didn't have enough time - we started a few minutes early and finished up after everyone else was done, even though the presenter glossed over the last few. It might have worked better as a double-session, but then I'm not sure I would've gone. I'd like to see if we could have Dr. Sevigny come by for professional development at the school.


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