During the Cue Set today we watch a video to build our background knowledge regarding the Loyalists and the Patriots. Watching a video can help scholars who are visual learners as well as increase the engagement of all learners. My voice can get old after a bit of time, so it is always nice to have a different way to illustrate key concepts.
As scholars watch the video, we focus on three questions:
1. Who were the Loyalists?
2. Who were the Patriots?
3. How were these groups of people the same? Different?
Here are scholars watching the video for the Cue Set. We may watch the video twice if scholars need to do so to gain all of the necessary information. After watching the video, I give scholars 2 minutes to jot their answers down in their notebooks and then give them 1 minute to share with their table groups. Here is a sample of a scholar's notebook during Cue Set. Giving students time to jot down ideas first gives all scholars a chance to organize their thinking independently, then share in a low stakes environment before we share with the entire class.
Finally, I pull 2 friends from my cup and take 2 volunteers to share answers with the entire class.
During the Teaching Strategy, we create two foldables - one to represent the characteristics of the Loyalists and one to represent the characteristics of the Patriots. People foldables are a great way to keep tactile and more artistic scholars engaged. Creating a foldable feels more like a fun art project than school. Also, scholars will be able to go back and reference their foldables as we continue our unit of study so that they can be reminded of key characteristics of Loyalists and Patriots. Here is a video about how to make a person foldable.
After we create the People foldables, we then begin our reading on page 290-291 of our Houghton-Mifflin text. The purpose of our reading today is to build our background knowledge regarding the Loyalists (or Tories) and the Patriots. This section is a quick informational selection that describes who Loyalists are before reading the text, Katie's Trunk.
I model how to begin to create my foldable that represents the Loyalists. I use specific details from the text to record my observations about the Loyalists on my foldable. This will help support scholars as they move into Guided Practice so that they know exactly what they are supposed to do.
During the Guided Practice, scholars get into heterogeneous partnerships (determined by me & changed weekly) and do a parter reading. 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.
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.
To continue to build their background knowledge, scholars read pages 147-148 of their social studies text book. This section of the text book gives more information about who Loyalists were and how they are the same/different than patriots. With their partners, they continue to complete the Loyalist and Patriot foldable so that they understand the characteristics of both groups.
Here is a video of scholars hard at work!
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 develop strong characterizations of individuals or groups of individuals 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 & RL 6 (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 RI or RL 6 - how narrator's point of view influences the way in which an event is described- 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.