Reflection: Routines and Procedures Identifying and Writing Opinions About Clouds Using Clue Words - Section 2: Reading and Discussing the Story


After watching the video in this section, I was pleased to see that my students seemed very natural as they talk to each other.  I can assure you this was the product of a great deal of planning and instruction on my part.

I believe discussion in both partner and whole groups has to be structured and intentional - especially at this young age when students are still learning the norms of academic discussion.  At the beginning of the year I had to actually teach my class how we would talk to each other.

I try to find fun and engaging ways to partner my students each day.  I've included some resources for you here: Fun Ways to Group Students, here: Sorting Sticks, and here: Partner Picking Cards.  I switch my partner groups for each lesson so my students get used to working with every classmate - not just their best buddies. 

I also had to model the simplest skills from the beginning of the year on, skills such as looking at someone in the eye.  I also didn't want chaos to ensue so I had to provide structure for each partner.  I created necklaces for each student using these talking stem cards, Accountable Talk Stem Cards. After I partner my students, they decide who gets to be Partner 1 and who is Partner 2.  Partner 1 starts off being the speaker and Partner 2 is the listener.  Each partner looks at their card and reads what their responsibilities are. The roles for each student encourage them to actually have a conversation.  The listener has to ask the speaker questions and then this turns into multiple exchanges between partners.  Then on the second turn, they switch roles.  I read the cards at the beginning of the year because I know many of them can't read well at this point.  We review these cards a great deal at the beginning of the year.  Then when our partner talk starts to become natural and they don't need the necklaces anymore, I put them away for next year's class.

  Routines and Procedures: Setting Up Accountable Talk Routines
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Identifying and Writing Opinions About Clouds Using Clue Words

Unit 12: Reading Comprehension Lessons
Lesson 8 of 14

Objective: SWBAT identify and state opinions using clue words.

Big Idea: What do clouds and opinions have in common? Come on and find out!

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