Today, we are continuing our focus on RI 5.3: Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more concepts in a historical, scientific or technical text based on specific information in the text. We are starting to read a new text: Interrupted Journey: Saving Endangered Sea Turtles by Kathryn Lasky.
In order to build background knowledge for my scholars (and my ELL scholars in particular) we watch a video on Kemp's ridley sea turtles. Before we begin to watch the video, scholars quickly sketch a T-chart in their notebooks. The T-chart has humans on one side and Kemp's ridley sea turtles on the other.
As scholars watch the video, they take notes about what they notice regarding humans and the sea turtles. I pause 2-3 times early in the video to model how to take notes. After the video, scholars have 3 minutes to jot down their ideas. Then, I give 1 minute to share with tables. Here are scholars discussing cue set and scholars continuing to discuss cue set. Finally, I take 3 friends from my cup (to hold them accountable and keep them on their toes). Then, I take two volunteers.
The idea here is that scholars say things like, "first humans harmed the sea turtles and then they worked to help protect them."
Scholars and I quickly review their foldable from last week and popcorn out some possible ways that people, ideas and concepts relate to one another in the text. Click here to see the foldable how-to from last week. When you popcorn out, scholars jump up out of their seats and call out 1 way that people, ideas and concepts relate to one another. The idea is that it can be a basic statement. Scholars do not have to use complete sentences to answer questions when pop-corning out.
Then, we do a cloze reading of pages 672B and 672C of our Houghton Mifflin text book. During a cloze reading, I read aloud to scholars and we all have the copy of the same text. The follow along and read the words that I skip over. The idea is that all scholars have access to the text and I can be sure that they are all following along and participating.
I use the T-Chart graphic organizer to record what I'm learning about Kemp's ridley sea turtles and Max Nolan. Then, I model how to use the evidence to think aloud about that relationship. I might say something like, "Max picked up a Kemp's ridley sea turtle and brought it to a vet. That makes me think that Max is trying to help the sea turtle. Max saw a sea turtle in distress and wanted to help it out. This makes me think there is a cause/effect relationship between Max and the Kemp's ridley sea turtles. The sea turtles are endangered and this makes Max want to help them."
As I think aloud, scholars are writing the same example down on their paper so that they have an exemplar. Here is a sample of one scholar's T-chart. Having scholars take notes also helps me to know that they are remaining attentive.
During guided practice today, scholars engage in partner reading. In the next 20 minutes, scholars are responsible for reading pages 672D-672G in the Houghton Mifflin text. They are split into teacher-chosen heterogeneous partnerships. I pair high scholars with medium-high scholars, low scholars with medium-low scholars so that scholars do not become frustrated. My ELL scholars and scholars who require accommodations are pulled to the horseshoe table to work with my ELL co-teacher.
Scholars have 20 seconds to move to a quiet and comfy place in the room and begin their work. As scholars work in partnerships, I circulate and interview scholars, giving on-the-spot feedback and offering support as-needed.
Here is a video of scholars hard at work: Partner Practice.
During this time scholars rotate through 2 stations. I start the time by reviewing our checklist items for the week and explicitly state what should be completed by the end of the day. 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 determine relationships between two or more concepts, ideas or people in books that are on each group's highest instructional level. Scholars read a portion of the same book (different for each group depending on reading level, but the same text is read in each group). Then, we discuss how two or more ideas, concepts or people are related. We practice using the T-chart to organize our thinking. We also use our foldables. The focus today is the reading skill, not the recording.
My highest groups are engaged in Text Talk Discussion Groups. These groups are small, student led discussion groups. Scholars must read the same book as their peers in the group and prepare for discussion and then discuss a target question with their peer. All scholars in the same group should be at the same instructional level. Check out this document for a further explanation (Text Talk Discussion Groups). Here is one Text Talk group, hard at work!, and A second Text Talk group, hard at work. Check out how this student in a Text Talk group uses self-created graphic organizer. He made this graphic organizer to prepare for a discussion on main ideas and supporting details of a text.
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.