Reflection: Student Grouping Comparing Versions of "To Build a Fire," Part I - Section 1: Introducing and Distributing the Stories


As I mentioned in the section description, I tried to group the students strategically, based on their reading rate (well, actually reading rate and comprehension, but I focused on rate.)  I have had these students for months, so one would think that I would be right on with my assessments.  Well, to be fair, I was right on with about 80% of my students.  However, I gave the LONG version to some students who really felt overwhelmed by it.

Upon reflection, I realize that I was basing my assessment of reading rate on the rate at which they do independent reading of self-selected novels.  I tried to give my non-readers (yes, sadly, some still qualify) the shorter passages, but I didn't factor in the QUALITY of what my students usually read.  

For example, I have an "A" student who reads all the time.  The only trouble is, she reads Rick Riordan.  There is nothing wrong with that, but that reading is not challenging enough -- at the eighth grade level -- to prepare her to read a classic text with speed and fluency.

[I talk to kids about reading all the time.  I explain that they need to read widely and challenge themselves.  I explain that I really love murder mysteries set in England or Ireland, but I can't "just" read those books.  But, for the most part, they don't listen.  Because reading hard books is, well, hard.]

So, next time I differentiate, I think I need to be a bit more careful in order to avoid a mutiny :)

  Student Grouping: Differentiation
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Comparing Versions of "To Build a Fire," Part I

Unit 4: Nature, Naturalism, and The Call of the Wild
Lesson 3 of 14

Objective: SWBAT compare three versions of "To Build a Fire": the original, the revised (and more famous) version, and the film.

Big Idea: Looking at three versions of a story allows us to focus on the changes and decisions that each one represents.

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