Holding Students Accountable

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SWBAT share summaries and learning from a shared nonfiction text.

Big Idea

Students learn that they may be called upon to share their ideas and they need to be prepared by having taken notes on what they have read.


10 minutes

This lesson is the first of many that create a classroom routine and procedure that holds students accountable for their learning. There are so many ways that students can show that they have learned a concept or information or the meaning of a vocabulary word from a text. However, in this case, students are showing their understanding of a chapter in a book and will be doing so for each chapter. It is very effective to ask students to share their thinking out loud so that you, as a teacher, can get a quick sense of their understanding than to spend a lot of extra time having them write a lot to show you they understand. Also, this way they have to share out loud and other students can either learn from the students that share or can compare their ideas and reflect on whether or not their understanding is correct. 

Main Activity

25 minutes

I tell students that they will be reading a chapter from our class textbook. While they are reading, I suggest they take notes to prepare them for the conversation we will have at the end. A few ways they can take notes would be to answer, generally, what are a few main topics? What was one thing that was most important? What should someone learn after reading this chapter? Give an example. If there are specific things I want them to learn, I might provide a question sheet that has questions typed and make it available to anyone who needs it.

Show and Tell

15 minutes

After students have had time to read and prepare, I tell them that I will be randomly calling on students to answer some questions about what they learned. Students should have their notes and the book they read out and open on their desk. I then call on one student randomly to answer a question. The questions can be specific to the chapter students read or they can be questions that help students summarize or find the main idea or define important vocabulary. In my class, I use sticks with students name on them. However, another way to do it would be to put students name on a deck of cards and draw a card to select a student at random. 

I give the selected student an opportunity to respond and then they can pick another student to add to their idea if there are any other students who want to share. If not, I will either confirm their idea or correct it with evidence from the book. 

Whenever I review or summarize information with this activity, I see most, if not all, of my students engaged and eager to share.