I begin today’s lesson by asking students if anyone went home last night and told their families about the cool information we’ve learned so far about the ocean. I let the students share some of their stories, and eventually bring the conversation back to our work yesterday. I say to the students, “Let’s look back at our chart from yesterday. Which questions did we already answer?” I flip to our anchor chart on questions and start to go through each of them, discussing with the students whether or not we’ve answered that question, and putting a check mark next to any questions we have answered.
Now I say, “So, yesterday a few of you told me that you had some new questions pop up. I also wonder if anyone came up with even more questions yesterday throughout the day, or even once you were home. Sometimes I do my best thinking right before I go to sleep, as I think about what I did that day or what I’ll be doing tomorrow. What new questions are you wondering about now?” Again, I let the students share some of their new wonders!
I tell the class, “Boys and girls! I think this could be one of the moments that I am so proud of I will have to go tell Mrs. Gravel (our principal) about this! I am so proud of you that you are thinking critically about what you’re reading. Thinking critically means that you’re thinking a lot and deeply about what you’re reading. When you think critically, you think about the information you read, and then decide if you agree or disagree, if you need to know or want to know more information about something, or wonder why something might be as it is. Thinking critically is a BIG deal because it means that you are doing super thinking while reading, and that’s what good readers do! I’m so proud of you! “ You should see the smile on the students’ faces when they know their work so far is worth tell “the prinicipal”!
Today, we have reading to finish up in our KD Magazine: Oceans, so I tell the kids, “Today, we’ll get back together with our partners from yesterday and go ahead and get reading some more. Let’s see if we can finish the magazine up today, but while reading, be sure to use your post-its! Who can tell me what to do on our post-its again?” One of the students raises their hands and explains that one note is to jot down any answers we find and the other is to put down new questions we’re wondering about now. I say, “Yes! Perfect! Alright, let’s get back to thinking critically!” We pass out magazines and students go to work. Again, I circulate around the room and listen in to my students’ conversations, providing feedback as necessary. I’m especially on the look out today for students that have minimal or no answers or new questions on their notes. Those students may need further guidance in asking and answering questions, so I am sure to stop and have a conversation with these students add provide that additional guidance. If groups finish reading before other groups, I ask the partners to split up with a new partner and share the answers they found, but also the new questions they’ve come up with. I let the kids talk with each other about what they’re wondering now, and why they’re wondering that specifically.
I regain students’ attention with our Clapping Ball today (see my Strategy Lesson on the Clapping Ball). I ask again today, “Okay, third graders, did anyone find any answers today? “ I let students share a few. Then I ask, “How about any new questions? Does anyone have any new questions?” I let students share a few of those, too! Then I pose a last question to my students. “Boys and girls, if we finished reading our magazine today, and we have new questions now from our reading and thinking critically, what are we going to do? Where will we get the answers to these new questions?” Some students say, “The dictionary,” or “My mom could probably tell us.” One student says, “I know, we could read something else, or get online.” I say, “You know what? I think that’s a great idea! Stay tuned until tomorrow because tomorrow, we’ll get online to see if we can dive even deeper into ocean information to find our answers! Nice reading and thinking today boys and girls!” Now the ground work is set for tomorrow’s lesson!