Reflection: Shared Expectations Reading and Writing about Ballads - Section 2: Reading about Ballads


I had some high expectations for my students when I gave them the ballad passages.  They were difficult due to the lack of background knowledge and content vocabulary in addition to the l exile level.  The struggle that my honors students had with these passages is the same struggle that my struggling readers and writers have every day.  Every day.  It's no wonder they're resistant and reluctant. It's no wonder that they act out. It's better to be bad than to show weakness, right?

But I had high expectations.  I told the students that these passages would be hard, but we would work through them.  And we worked through them with repeated readings, quickwrites, discussion (small group and whole class) until they got the information they needed.  This passage was hard for all my honors students.  The passages I give my co-taught classes are not necessarily hard for all of them, so the blanket statement of "I know this is hard" wouldn't be as successful. 

And I can't lower my expectations because my students aren't reading at grade level.  If anything, my expectations need to be higher for those students.  That's hard sometimes, especially at the end of a semester when you and the students are tired.  You're wiped out, and the students are off the wall because it's right before break, there's an assembly coming up, there's a full moon, and a snow storm is moving in.  They need high expectations then, too. They need high expectations for themselves, but I've gotten wordy already.

  High Expectations for Teachers and Students
  Shared Expectations: High Expectations for Teachers and Students
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Reading and Writing about Ballads

Unit 8: Analyzing Ballads, Sonnets, and Popular Music
Lesson 2 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to cite several pieces of information from a nonfiction article to write a definition of a ballad.

Big Idea: Ballads: rhyme, rhythm, reading, and writing.

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