Reflection: Advanced Students Creating Ballad Posters - Section 2: New Reading Log Homework


In December, right before winter break, my co-teacher and I gave our students a second reading comprehension test.   The first reading comprehension test was given in August, and we gave the test again to collect data and to give students appropriate reading homework. I didn't give the reading test to my honors classes, because the test in August showed that 90% of them were reading at a post-high school level.  They weren't going to show growth, so I skipped the second test.

We are using these books by Evan Moore for students who are reading below grade level. For students who reading at grade level or higher, we are using the 6 Way Paragraph series. Since 99% of my honors students are reading at a seventh grade or higher level, all of my honors students are being given the same assignment.  The students in my co-taught classes who are reading at a seventh grade or higher level are being given the same passage.   

According to my co-teacher, who taught a Read Right  class for eight years, you can't increase students' comprehension without improving their reading fluency.  If students aren't fluent readers, they won't be able to comprehend what they're reading. Therefore, we are asking students to read their reading homework aloud. That builds the fluency.  Even better is if they listen to someone else read the passage, and then read it back to them. 

The Evan Moore books have three passages for one topic.  There's an easier passage, a middle passage, and a higher passage.  We are asking students to read each passage aloud five times.  The time will work out to the same time we previously asked them to read, so we're not changing anything there.  

The passages have five questions each.  We're asking them to answer those questions and cite the evidence for each question.  They cite the evidence by underlining the answer(s) in the passage and labeling the underlining with the number of the question.

The final step is to write a T3C paragraph about the topic.

In order to quickly and easily grade these questions, we're using the bubble scoring sheets in Mastery Connect, an Edmodo app.   With this app, you can print a bubble sheet where students enter the answers to multiple choice questions.  They use the student ID number they have for school.  I can hold up their bubble sheets to a webcam, and it magically grades it.  There's a free version of the bubble scorer. If you have the paid version through Mastery Connect, you can track student progress.  It's pretty nifty.

I'll still have to grade the T3C paragraphs myself (duh), but that's no different than what I've been doing.

We're going to collect the reading homework on Monday, and then grade them Monday night.  On Tuesday, we'll give them back to the students and have them work in groups to compare answers. The groups will be determined by their reading level. The students who are reading at a third grade level will be in one group, the students who are reading at a sixth grade level will be in a group, and so forth.  For classes that have more than four students at a reading level, we'll break them apart.  There will be three groups of students who are at a seventh grade or higher level in every class.

In order to keep track of the insanity, we're copying the homework on the same color paper every week.  That does not mean that the third grade level will be copied on the same color.  That would immediately pigeon hole the students in to color coded groups, and we're not that stupid or insensitive.  The first week of the month, we'll use green paper for all students. The second week, we'll use white paper.  The third week, we'll use pink paper.  The fourth week, we'll use blue paper.  That way, when we remind students that their reading log homework is due, we'll be able to say, "Your blue reading log packets are due on Monday!" Will they be able to figure out what we're doing?  Probably, but the groups are not set in stone.  If we see that a student is getting every question right and writing an excellent paragraph, we'll move them up a level. 

  Leveled Reading Homework
  Advanced Students: Leveled Reading Homework
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Creating Ballad Posters

Unit 8: Analyzing Ballads, Sonnets, and Popular Music
Lesson 4 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to analyze the impact of a ballad's structure by creating a ballad reference sheet.

Big Idea: Creating a ballad reference sheet to rule them all.

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