Tuesday, December 11, 2007

teaching like I learn

The concept has occurred to me before: I should teach students to read by reading and sharing my thoughts with them. This concept is not new and is often the greatest teaching tool we can use.

For example, if my teacher asks me to read the chapter and then answer the questions at the back of the chapter, what will I do?
I will read the questions and then go on a search and destroy mission for the rest of the information! How can I expect my students to do any differently? Especially my ELLs. They can barely read the text, and so they intuitively find key words and copy sentences from the text to answer the question. Did they learn anything? NO!

I teach my NHS students how to code and take notes from their text to prepare them for college, hoping they won't have an experience like me.

Today, it dawned on me that my language students need the same kind of support. They need it more. In order for them to process and understand the text, they must find a way to access it. Copying sentences won't do that!

Today I'm going to try a sort of book walk that I learned from my ELA Coach Barbara Remund. The students and I will go through the section we will be reading and, using three columns copy the headings, the subheading in the second column, and finally the bold vocabulary and graphics in the third column. We will leave room for notes and such.

Then, we will read the text together and note our thoughts or summaries under the appropriate heading. I think that some of the students will get this right away, but it will take some a few attempts.

This is a skill they can take to other classes to create meaning from their text. I hope that they will find it engaging and challenging, but will be successful in the end!

1 comment:

Joseph Miller said...

Cool idea! How did it go?