As the students discuss their books, I will walk the room to ask and answer questions. Our initial meetings were good discussions, but lacked the depth/individual contributions I was hoping for, so I will also walk the room to specifically talk to students that I think may be hiding behind their group members. I will ask them questions about their specific books and try to get a sense of what each individual is struggling with (i.e. is it laziness or comprehension that is causing them to fall behind with their written work).
Once students are finished discussing their books, I will let them have a solid chunk of time to read, write and respond to our 10th grade Dystopian blogs on www.schoology.com using a class set of Chromebooks (W.9-10.6). I am giving them time in class to do this for a couple of reasons. First, I promised them that I would do all that I could do to make sure the only homework they had during this unit was reading. Second, not all of my students have the same access to technology at home, so I have to be sensitive to this when I assign projects that require online access.
I will start this time to highlight a few shining examples of discussion or analysis and remind them that I will be looking for textually supported claims/ideas as well as kind internet behaviors. As they are writing, I will hop on to Schoology to respond to their blogs. I will post comments and questions based on their posts and questions and will try to encourage more depth in their discussions. All of the 10th grade teachers have agreed to do this so that we can promote safe online interactions as well as model the kind of thinking that we are hoping the students will engage in. Additionally, it provides a really cool opportunity for the students to see their authentic audience engaging in what they are thinking and posting, which is the beauty of this genre.
If they finish, I will tell them to spend any remaining time reading their novels.
I will make sure there is enough time left at the end of class to collect and count the Chromebooks. I will also make sure students know where they are supposed to be in each of their books by our next discussion prep day on Monday.