Today we'll tackle pages 62-93 in "Hate That Cat." We'll only have one more section to read after this one, so I'm thinking today will be a mini socratic seminar and then tomorrow we'll finish the reading and have a full seminar to discuss the overall big ideas of the book. My kids are still really engaged and enjoying the book. They're trying to sneak in pages to find out what happens next. I have been choosing the pages on purpose because of things that are revealed, so I've tried to keep them from reading ahead. It is hard though. By the end of today's reading the students will know all about the mom and will still see Jack asking of poets are still alive. I want them to start connecting how he asked Walter Dean Myers to visit in the first book to all of the questions about being alive. Also, by this point, the students know that Jack's mom is deaf. The kiddos will also read more about mean ole' Uncle Bill. The next section will show that Jack's new kitten ran away and the black cat saves him, so I want the students to hold off on reading that. It really ties up the story and hits on a major theme.
Today you will read pages 62-93 and record your thoughts in your journal. I've been seeing some amazing things in your journals and I expect to see the same level of work as we draw closer to the end. The next lesson will end our reading and discussions, so continue to put forth your best effort. I will be around to check in with you and peek at your thoughtful responses. You have about 1400 words to read today, so I will give you 20 minutes to read and record. While you're reading today I want you to think about the following questions: How is Jack feeling about William Carlos Williams? Why do you think Miss Stretchberry had the class read "The Naming of Cats"? What do you think of Jack's non-poems? What does this tell us about poetry?
After students have read the assigned pages, they can get into circles to start seminar. I'm still planning on two mini-seminars, but you can divide them up in any way that works for you. I thought about trying more groups, but it's too much for me to monitor and listen in on. I like the two right now because the conversation has been richer and I can stand between them both and pick up on what they're saying. I really let the kids guide these now, but I do like to pose questions when there is a lull in the discussion. Here is a short seminar chat about William Carlos Williams.
Now that you've finished your reading, we'll start our seminar. Remember your assessment tools for the outside and your book and journal for the inside. I really like how you've been referring to the text, so let's keep that up. Outside circle, remember the "hot seat." If you have a burning comment, wait for the seat to be open and then join in! We'll reflect on our performance in the seminar after both rounds have finished.
Students will have 10 minutes for each group to discuss. I usually allow about 10 minutes for wrap up and reflection following seminar.
This is just a quick check in for students to up date our class organizer on the SMART board and to keep the kiddos on track with filling this out. Sometimes they get so into their journals that they forget about this part. I really don't instruct at this time, I just let them fill in sections of our organizer and chat about what they're finding. Today is a good day for this because Jack finally attempts a metaphor and it's so good! The kids usually like this part because they connect with it and they feel happy for Jack.