During the Cue Set today, we watch a Brain Pop video that describes the taxes that the English placed on colonists. As scholars watch, we ask ourselves the following question: What is the relationship between all of the acts Britain passed and the American colonists?
The idea here is that scholars will watch the video and will build a background regarding the different acts that Britain passed. Also, scholars will access any prior knowledge that they may have regarding this content. Moreover, they will begin to practice the skill of describing the relationship between 2 or more concepts, ideas or individuals in a "low stakes" environment. Watching a video on Brain Pop is much easier than reading a complex text. Here are scholars watching the video
Scholars will write a T-chart in their notebooks - on one side they write the Acts Britain passed, on the other, they write American colonists. As we watch the movie, scholars jot down what they learn about each. Then, at the end, they ask themselves, "How do these two relate to one another?"
I pause a few times during the video to make sure that scholars all are actively taking notes, listening and able to glean information from a video source. This gives scholars who are having a tough time a chance to catch up and provides scholars with an accountability check to ensure engagement. Here is a photograph of a scholar taking notes.
During the teaching strategy today, we read a text from ReadWorks entitled Colonization and Revolutionary War. Although this text is labeled at a 4th grade reading level, the lexile level is an 820 which is within the 5th grade band for complexity. This is a on the lower end of the 5th grade band, so I am providing less support in reading the text today.
We do a very brief cloze reading (first paragraph). During a cloze reading, I read out loud to scholars and we all have a copy of the same text. I pause upon some words and phrases. As I pause, scholars fill-in-the-blank with the paused upon word or phrase. This enhances engagement and provides all scholars will access to the text.
As we read, we consider the following question:
*How do the new laws issued by Britain influence the American colonists? How does the American reaction influence the British?
I model a new strategy for my scholars today by showing them how to highlight new laws in one color, American colonists reaction in a different color and the British reaction in a third color. Then, I model asking myself out loud, "How are these ideas and events related?" Here is the first paragraph highlighted.
Providing scholars with a strategy and a think aloud will enable them to perform this skill on their own. It is also helpful to some of the visual and kinesthetic learners.
During the Guided Practice, scholars finish reading the text in partnerships. Then, they create a Look Book Foldable to illustrate the relationship between the new laws, the American colonists and the British. Click here to discover How to make a Layered Look Book.
I have scholars create a Look Book foldable because it is a nice way to illustrate the relationship - the taxes caused the American colonists to become outraged, and this caused the British to make more laws. Also, this is a great strategy for your visual and tactile learners. It feels like an art project and less like school. I know that scholars will need this for tomorrow's lesson on writing their PCR's. It will serve as a great graphic organizer to help them create their response.
Here are some hardworking scholars!
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 answer inference questions using books that are on each group's highest instructional level. My focus is this objective because it is a pre-requisite objective to RI 3 (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 RI3 - relationships between ideas, concepts and individuals within 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.