To begin today's lesson, I do a think aloud of annotating a text. The think-aloud is a useful strategy for days when you're asking students to do an activity that requires meta-cognition. At this age, students have trouble understanding what we're asking for when we say, "take notes as you read." By allowing them to be in my head, they see what it is they're supposed to do.
Also, there are sticky notes. Seventh graders love sticky notes!
To do the think aloud, I display the first two paragraphs of "Immigrant Kids," which the students read for the first time yesterday. I play out the back and forth conversation that goes on in my mind when I am annotating a text.
When I have completed my think aloud, I ask students if there are any questions. Usually, just seeing me go through the steps is enough for them to understand the process.
Now it's time for them to mark the text with their own notes!
For the next step of the lesson, I display the second screen of the PowerPoint with the response questions. I let my students know that they can use these questions to guide their note taking. I even take a moment to show them that the notes I've written on the board actually answer some of those questions.
I give the students 20 minutes to reread the text and write on their sticky notes.
Once time is up, we move on to the next part of the lesson: students will take the ideas from their sticky notes to formulate open-ended questions for tomorrow's Socratic Seminar.
To introduce this idea, I have students do the quick write on the PowerPoint presentation. I want them to think about the types of questions that make good discussion questions. I give them about 5 minutes to respond to the prompt.
After the students have had a chance to complete the quick write, I will ask if anyone wants to explain the difference between the questions on the quick write. Using their responses, I guide them through the differences between an open-ended and a close-ended question.
Next, I pass out the Socratic Seminar ticket that we will use for tomorrow's discussion. This ticket was invented by my esteemed colleague Amy Meiser at Vallivue Middle School in Caldwell, Idaho. I am so fortunate to work with such an amazing educator!
Once I am sure that they have a good idea about what an open-ended question looks like, I ask them to do the following:
I collect the quick writes for a formative assessment (checking for completion). If you run out of time, you can have students write their open-ended questions for homework. If you do this, however, it would be a good idea to let the students keep their sticky notes to refer to.