Friday, September 23, 2016

Writing about Reading

I am soaking up some amazing Professional Development these days! I went to a session held by our district with Benchmark ( the fabulous presenter Sarah Winston).  I really enjoyed it and feel I can implement some of these strategies in the classroom.  This session was writing about reading and getting writing to be less of an assignment and more of a way to "linger" with a book.  The presenter from Benchmark was great and shared the following strategies.  Here is a picture of an anchor chart that has a menu of different writing students can do when writing.  She does NOT recommend putting all these out at once but introduce slowly.
She read a book titled: "Those Shoes" She modeled how a teacher would read it and had a "Reading/Thinking" Stick that she used to demonstrate to students how good readers read and stop and think.

The first strategy she used was Stop and Jot.  She chose a spot in the text were she stopped and would have students infer what the character was feeling, or predict what will happen next.  Students would stop and jot on a small square or on a post it.  Students then gave the post its to her and she would post on a continuum type rubric so students and teacher could discuss how their response could move up the continuum.  It was basic-on target-sophisticated. So for example if students were writing about how a character was feeling, students that just stated the feeling would be scored in the basic.  If they included text evidence, they would be on target.  If they included text evidence and character traits they would be sophisticated.  Using the continuum, students know what is expected and strive to be sophisticated. Sarah also shared Graphic Organizers and Summarizing which needs little explanation. She did say you do need to have anchor charts on summarizing is a must so it is clear to students what is expected of them. Another strategy was writing long.  This is when you take one of those ideas that you jotted down and expand and write long.  The Double entry journal is great for pulling evidence from the text.
Student could also create a timeline, create a poem, journal or sketch.  I liked sketch because it is a way for students to work on visualizing what is being read.  Students should include important details.   Students also could do an Internal External Journey.  This is like two parallel timelines that line up through out the story.  The top line maps out the internal/ the inside feelings the character has throughout story. The bottom line is a physical timeline of where the student is when they were having those internal feelings. Students can also Lift a line.  This is when they write long to a line that sticks when them from the text.  The last option we went over was letter writing.  This is when a student feels so connected to a character that they can write to them. This next pic is a bit blurry but I like the simple code students can use while reading. 
She also shared some great prompts for discussion during reading. 

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