Students and even some classes will work at very different paces than each other from one section to the next, so I make sure to pay careful attention to this as I am determining how much to be involved in Day 2 of our The Highwayman activity. As we focused almost entirely on vocabulary in the previous lesson, a number of the groups are feeling confident and prepared to forge ahead. Other groups need a little more "hand holding", which is perfectly fine. This is not a simple poem for them to wrap their heads around, even after the vocabulary obstacle is overcome because the context is unfamiliar for most of my students. This is a poem that requires them to persevere. Some of the teachers I worked in a recent district PLC with were under the impression that the poem should be very straightforward for the students because if its narrative style, but as we talked about this lesson, they began to see a different perspective.
Some students, and even some classes, will be able to work a little more independently. For those classes that need a little more support, I make it a point to go through the steps via the The Highwayman Close Read Powerpoint, one-by-one, on this day. This means that I work through each of the steps of the process, one-at-a-time, at a pace dictated by the needs of the students. I let the advanced students move ahead of us, but I ask them to pause where they are in the process whenever we come to a new step and evaluate their efforts in regard to what I am asking at that time, both in the written instructions and with the feedback I provide for the students moving along with me at each step. For other classes where a majority of the students are feeling confident, I step back and focus more of my attention on the students that need my help, allowing the others to work together and bounce ideas off of their table mates. They key for me is to step back as much as possible and then remain close enough by that I can step in when needed. The ultimate goal is for the students to do as much reading of complex text independently, so I make it a point to make room for that here.