Reflection: Rigor Preparing for Hotseat: Discussing Annotations of the Text to Identify and Analyze Character Development, pages 1-66 - Section 1: Share notes in small groups


As the students shared annotations in their books with each other, I circulated around the room.  I took the time to check on how the students' appraisals of the characters and character development were coming along.  I am looking for two things: first, I want to see breadth of involvement from the class, so I check to see if every student has two or more notes per page; second, I look carefully at a note or two so check the depth to which the student went in seeing and understanding the character.  

With respect to breadth, if a student seems to be flagging or falling behind, I take the time after class to write down the names in my teacher's notebook.  I keep assiduous track of these trends in informal communication because I feel that they reveal a great deal about the students' understanding.  If flagging trends persists, I make an appointment with the student to meet over lunch and/or after school.  In this reading of Abs True Diary, all but two of the students were on track, making regular notes, annotating for character development. 

With respect to depth, I am looking to see if the students are noticing character motives and key insights from the way characters are introduced.  Sometimes, students will use reader response comments that can be a little thin like, "Wow, Junior must be mad..."  Such comments are appropriate if mixed with more significant insights.  For example, in response to this quotation about Rowdy, "I think Rowdy might be the most important person in my life. Maybe more important than my family. Can your best friend be more important than your family?" (3.123), a student might write a question like the following: Why does Junior values Rowdy so much, when he is basically an abusive person?  This is an inferring type question and one that addresses the central paradox of their relationship, as it is very deep and committed in some respects and very dysfunctional and even abusive in other respects. 


  Reflection on Group Notes
  Rigor: Reflection on Group Notes
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Preparing for Hotseat: Discussing Annotations of the Text to Identify and Analyze Character Development, pages 1-66

Unit 2: Metacognition and The Absolutely-True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Lesson 5 of 19

Objective: SWBAT identify and explain the main character's development by annotating pages 44-66 of the text and then making contributions to key class discussion of the text.

Big Idea: I do it, we do it, you do it together, you do it on your own: this is the basic scaffold of many literacy processes. Today, "we do it" together, making text notes together.

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