Today is the first day of a new skill and a new text. Therefore, we start our lesson by doing two things: building background knowledge regarding the new text and practicing the new skill with something concrete.
We begin the lesson by watching a video on James Forten. Here are some scholars watching the video on James Forten. The first time we watch the video, we watch it straight through just to comprehend. The second time we watch, we pause every minute or so and ask ourselves the question - What are the multimedia elements in this video? How do they contribute to the meaning of the video? Tone? Beauty?
Once we've watched the video a second time, scholars have 1 minute to synthesize their thoughts.
Then, we do a quick whip around at their tables to share 1 multimedia element and how it contributed to the meaning, tone or beauty. Here are some scholars watching the video on James Forten.
Finally, I pull two friends from my cup to share their thoughts or a partners thoughts with the rest of the class. Last, I have 2-3 volunteers share their thoughts.
During the Teaching Strategy, I model how to apply the skill of identifying multimedia elements to a text. We do a cloze reading of James Forten: From Now is Your Time on pages 310-311. When we cloze read, I pause and scholars fill-in-the-blank with the word I pause upon. This enhances engagement and ensures all scholars are reading along with me. I show scholars how I ask myself, "What are the multimedia elements in the text? Do these elements add anything? Do I understand something new because they are there? If so, what? Do they make me feel something? If so, what do I feel?"
Modeling these questions is INVALUABLE to scholars because it helps them to know what they should be asking themselves as they read. Here is a video sample of the rationale and model of using a think aloud.
Then, I model how to record my thinking on my Analyzing Multimedia elements graphic organizer that we will be using throughout the week. Scholars record my thinking on their graphic organizer too so that they have a model of strong thinking.
We do not have a Guided Practice today because it is day 1 of a new skill. It is imperative that we do get to small groups so that scholars have more individualized direct instruction with the new skill. Scholars finish the graphic organizer from the teaching strategy on their own during station rotations today.
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 identify multimedia elements using books that are on each group's highest instructional level. My focus is this objective because it is a pre-requisite objective to RL7 (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 RL7 - how multimedia elements contribute to tone, meaning and beauty of 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.