Yesterday we began to read Rosa Parks: My Story. Today we continue to do so and focus on identifying multiple main ideas within a text. To begin our lesson, I ask scholars to review (that means re-read and visualize what you read) the main ideas in chapter 1 of Rosa Parks: My Story. Then, they describe how the detail that Rosa Parks was a sickly child supports the first main idea of chapter 1. I give scholars 3 minutes to do so.
As they are thinking and writing, I circulate and support some of my more struggling learners. I ask them questions like, "What was the main idea of that section? What information does Rosa being sickly give you? Does it tell you about someone in her childhood? Does it tell you what her childhood was like? Does it tell you where she grew up?"
When the three minutes are finished, scholars turn and discuss with a partner for 1 minute. Then, I pull 2 friends from my cup and take 2 volunteers. I do this so that scholars are accountable for their work (pulling names from the cup is random, you never know when you will be pulled out). I take volunteers to encourage the eager scholars who want to share their thinking (so that they will not be discouraged).
We do a close reading of pages 22-23 (all except for the last paragraph) of Rosa Parks: My Story. Together, we identify the topic, main ideas and supporting details of the section. I pause and ask, "What is the topic?" Scholars have 10 seconds to tell their friends. Then I say, "Everyone, what is the topic?" Scholars can all call out "Rosa Parks!" I do a call and response like this when I know that most or all of the scholars know the answer. It amps up engagement and is fun.
After reading the section, I begin to think aloud about the main idea. "Hmm... we just finished reading the first part of this chapter. What were all of the ideas that we just read about? How are they all related." I tell scholars to turn and tell their friend what the main idea is. I give them 30 seconds to do so. Then, I pull 1 or 2 friends from my cup (depending on need). I have scholars do a non-verbal "agree" or "disagree" sign as the friend shares what they think. I have scholars do this to enhance engagement and also to show me that they are thinking as their friends share.
If the friend is wrong, I have scholars who disagreed share why they disagree. If the scholar is right, I have friends share why they agreed or disagreed.
Sometimes, I have scholars agree or disagree again at the end so that scholars have the opportunity to change their answer based on evidence from other scholars.
I repeat the whole process with the supporting detail. As we discuss, we record our ideas on our Graphic organizer for chapter 2. When I record my ideas, I show them on the visualizer so that they can explicitly see where I am writing and where they should put their thinking.
Scholars read pages 23-30 of Rosa Parks: My Story in their partnerships. Partners are pre-selected based on level. I always put my high-high scholars with a medium-high, my medium scholars with a medium-high scholar, medium-low with a medium and my lowest scholars go to the front to work with the ELL teacher or me. The reason I group scholars like this is so that they don't become frustrated. If a super high scholar is really getting it quickly and is unable to explain thinking in a concrete way for the lowest of scholars to understand, both will become frustrated very quickly. Therefore, it is always better to pair scholars up with someone who is one above or one below their level.
Here are Scholars working in partnerships. As partners read, I walk around the room, making sure scholars are able to read the text and answer clarifying questions. If my ELL co-teacher is not in the room at the time, I will pull the yellow group to the front and will do a close reading with them to ensure that they have access to the text. Partnerships move to any place in the room. This helps keep their brains fresh and their bodies moving. This enhances engagement and allows scholars a chance to stretch a bit.
As scholars finish reading, they record the main idea and supporting details for this section. I circulate and ask them, how are all the ideas related in this section? If scholars are not on the right track (even if they are), I sometimes ask, "I see where you got that from, let's test that theory." It is important to test the theory to make sure that all ideas align with and relate to the idea that you think unifies all ideas. This is a good practice for scholars to use because it helps them to evaluate their thinking.
If scholars are not finished at the end of the 30 minutes, then they can finish independently during the independent rotation. Scholars are responsible for completing the work on their own and it is collected at the end of the week. If a scholar does not complete the work or hand it in at the end of the week, then they must complete it the following week during "their time" (i.e. recess, lunch, specials, homework). If most of the class does not complete the work, then that is more of a reflection that I assigned too much. However, if it is just one or two, then I know that they did not use their time wisely and therefore, they must make it up at a different time.
It is important not to dwell on this part of the lesson and instead to keep it moving so that you can get to small group practice. Students really need to get into small groups so that they can have more individualized instruction with this skill.
During this time scholars rotate through 3 stations. I have a bit more time for this today as it is the fourth or fifth lesson in our sequence on main ideas/supporting details. Scholars are at the point where they have specific and individual needs.
I start the time by reviewing our Checklist for the week and explicitly state what should be completed by the end of the day (a summary of the text). This holds scholars accountable to their work thereby making them more productive. Then, the ELL teacher and I share the materials that our groups will need to be successful (i.e. a pencil and your book baggies). Then, I give scholars 20 seconds to get to the place in the room where they will be for the first rotation. The first scholars who are there with all materials they need receive additions on their paychecks or positive PAWS.
During the rotations for this lesson, my small group objective today is to distinguish between topic, main ideas and supporting details within books that are on each group's highest instructional level. Scholars read a portion of the same text (different for each group depending on reading level, but the same text is read in each group). Then we discuss how details support main ideas.
After the first rotation, I do a rhythmic clap to get everyone's attention. Scholars place hands on head and eyes on me so I know they are listening. Then they point to where they go next. I give them 20 seconds to get there. Again, scholars who are at the next station in under 20 seconds with everything they need receive a positive PAW or a paycheck addition. We practice rotations at the beginning of the year so scholars know if they are back at my table, they walk on the right side of the room, if they are with the ELL teacher, they walk on the left side of the room and if they are at their desks, they walk in the middle of the room. This way we avoid any collisions.
At the end of our rotation time I give scholars 20 seconds to get back to their desks and take out materials needed for the closing part of our lesson. Timing transitions helps to make us more productive and communicates the importance of our learning time.