As an Instructional Leader coaching new and experienced teachers is a major part of my responsibility in my school. I have always enjoyed helping college students who have chosen this noble work as their future profession. In this lesson I was coaching a college student who was completing her practicum for her master's degree. She lead the activator activity by first referring to the power point while passing out the Of Mice and Men Opinionnaire, and asking students to fill it out. I recommended reading the questions out loud as a prompt for maintaining focus on each question.
After giving the students time to answer, with the use of a docucamera to project the Opinionaire onto a screen for the group to see the practicum teacher facilitates the compiling of student answers through a group discussion.
Next, I facilitate a reporting out of student answers. I want my students to analyze their responses as well as make the Opinionaire relevant to their personal experiences and lives because when learning is made relevant it is retained.
I think the primary goal of an educator is to prepare students for the “real world." Real world skills in this activity include speaking and listening skills SL.9-10.1, interpersonal skills, and group problem solving. It's important in secondary education that we emphasize not blatant memorization but more on critical thinking skills and a problem-based learning. As in the real world, my students are encouraged to discuss and challenge each others answers as necessary.
I've taken several workshops with a unique presenter named Dr. William Bintz who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies at Kent State University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy education. The workshops I attended were focused on how to include literacy across the curriculum using award-winning literature. A major portion of his workshops is demonstrating how teachers can teach common core ELA standards while using picture books to stimulate interest and critical thinking! I know what your thinking, "Picture books in high school?" I was skeptical at first but a few of the teachers in my school who have taken these workshops as well have been augmenting their grade 9 and 10 lessons with this strategy and have reported very positive results. So I decided to include this strategy for this lesson.
Using a power point presentation slides #3-5, students are shown illustrations from pages 1-4 and from the picture book “George and Martha One Fine Day” as I read the text. Students are then asked to answer the question on slide # 6, “During this short story, 'The Tight Rope' what qualities of friendship are expressed in this short interaction between George and Martha?" "Give evidence to support your answers.” RL.9-10.1
I facilitate a group discussion emphasizing the sequence of events that lead to an understanding of the interaction and behaviors that expressed the type of friendship between Martha and George SL.9-10.1.
Next on slides #7- 9, I introduce Aristotle and tier two vocabulary words that are integrated in the 3 Types of Friendships article that they will be reading. I ask students to write the words and definitions in their journals. On slides #10-12, I further define the 3 types of friendships coupled with illustrations to increase understanding.
I pass out the article and first read aloud the Task on top of the article “Types of Friendship According to Aristotle” by Claudia Micalus. I explain that for today's homework assignment, they will write a response that discusses the types of friendship described by Aristotle and Calude Miclaus and evaluate which type of friendship is demonstrated in an excerpt from John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
Next I explain that they are going to first read and annotate the article by circling the vocabulary words they wrote in their journals and then using the Note Taking Guide write a definition for each type of friendship in their own words RI.9-10.4 and L.9-10.4.
After they write their definitions which I check while circulating among the class, they then write responses to the text dependent questions RI.9-10.1 and analyze the sequence of the author's ideas by writing about their personal experiences and inferences RI.9-10.3
For the next 10 minutes I facilitate a sharing of student responses to the questions on the Note-Taking Guide. I use the Cold Call technique by randomly calling names and asking each student to read their response to the question. When completed I ask all students to circle the type of friendship according to Aristotle that they feel the majority of their friendships fall under: useful, pleasure, or genuine.