Reading for the Test

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Objective

Students will be able to determine central ideas and word meanings by reading and discussing a short Revolutionary text.

Big Idea

Ready, set, discuss--preparing for a skills test.

Do Now: Are You Ready?

5 minutes

We're closing in on the goal, our first skills test. I ask students to check their progress: have they completed all the formative assessments for the skills in questions? Have they studied?

I require my students to complete all formative assessments before taking a test unless they can earn a 4, the highest score, on an early practice. This seems harsh to some students, but I encourage them to think of it like a sport--a football player wouldn't just show up on game day and hope it all worked out on the field.

Students check their PowerSchool grades while I take attendance, and I then ask for thumbs to show readiness: thumbs up = good to go; thumbs middle = more work to do; and thumbs down = lots of work to do.

For middle and down thumbs, I remind them of options. I'm available at lunch and after school for "emergency" tutor sessions before the test.

Reading for the Test

40 minutes

While the written test is tomorrow, students get a chance to work with their test text today. I offer them the opportunity to read, take notes, and bounce questions about basic word meanings and key ideas off each other.

I start by setting the rules: no discussion of claims, details, or evaluation. I will not participate in the discussion at all, not even a head nod for the right ideas. The class must figure out the text on their own; it is, after all, for their test. Otherwise, the discussion will run like a normal read-write-share. I will read a paragraph, they will write what they think it's about and a comment (question, opinion, connection, etc.), and then they will discuss. Students are free (and encouraged) to take notes on what others say during discussion, but I remind them that not all contributions may be "right." It will be important for them to question one another: how did you arrive at that conclusion? Where is that in the text? Instructions provided, we proceed: