During the Cue Set, scholars watch a video to build a bit of background knowledge regarding the colonists and why they came to the New World. Scholars also practice the reading skill with the video (determining relationships between important ideas or concepts in a text). This is helpful because it provides scholars the opportunity to practice the skill before they need to apply it to text. Also, this is a skill that they will need to apply later in the unit as they begin to research the American Revolution and use video as a source.
Scholars watch the video on the Jamestown colony from the History Chanel. Then, they answer the following questions:
1. Describe the relationship between colonists and the natural resources in the New World.
2. Describe the relationship between why colonists came to the New World and the culture of the colonies.
Here are scholars watching the video. We watch the video once just to get the gist of what is happening. The second time we watch, we take notes on the questions above. Then, scholars have 1 minute to discuss the answer to the first questions. Next, I pull 2 friends from my cup and take 2 volunteers to discuss question 1. We repeat this process for question number 2.
During the Teaching Strategy, we do a quick review of how to determine relationships between ideas, concepts and people within a text. Then, I model how to apply this skill to some new text. We have learned this skill before and I expect that scholars will remember how to determine relationships. Therefore, we begin by pop corning out different ways that two or more things might be related. Scholars pop corn by jumping up (no raising hands needed) and calling out the answer. I expect scholars to say things like, "One thing might cause another thing." Or, "they might be similar or different in some way."
After this pop corning, we read pages 256-258 of And Then What Happened, Paul Revere in our Houghton Mifflin textbook. We do a cloze reading (I pause and scholars fill-in-the-blank with the correct word) so that scholars have access to the text and it keeps engagement up. Then, I model using a graphic organizer to answer the following question:
1. How do the symbols found on pages 256-258 relate to the United States of America?
Scholars write along with me so that they have an example of a strong response and so that they can remember what to do on their own. Here is a sample of a graphic organizer that students created.
During the guided practice, scholars read pages 260-261 of And Then What Happened, Paul Revere in our Houghton Mifflin text, and then use their graphic organizers to help them answer the following question:
2. Describe the relationship between the British king and the colonists between 1765 and 1770.
Guided partnerships are heterogeneous groupings. I pair lower scholars with medium low scholars and high scholars with medium high scholars. The reason for this is to ensure that no one becomes frustrated with their partner, and also so that my ELL co-teacher and I can strategically support certain groups. Here is picture of one Partner reading during guided practice.
Here's a video example of me interviewing and supporting one group:
Scholars love partner reading time because it helps them to hear a model of fluent reading other than the teacher. Also, they get to move around the room and find a comfy place to read. This increases oxygen to their brains and it gives them a change of scenery. Scholars work together to continue to record thinking on their graphic organizers.
During this time scholars rotate through 3 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, 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 answer inference questions using books that are on each group's highest instructional level. My focus is this objective because it is a pre-requisite objective to RI 3 (the focus standard of this week). 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). We practice recording our thinking on dry erase boards to use a different mode of recording and to keep things a little fresh. My ELL co-teacher pulls small groups that focus on RI3 - relationships between ideas, concepts and individuals within a text since this is the focus standard of the week.
The pink group will continue student-led text talk groups. Their focus question will depend upon the text they selected and the part that they read. They are always expected to use quotes to support their answer.
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.