Saturday, August 2, 2014

Three Fun and Engaging Close Reading Strategies for Common Core Reading, Speaking and Listening Standards!

 This year I'm excited about incorporating some new strategies in my ELA classroom as well as using some of my old favorites with my new set of students!  Some of the strategies I plan to use with my fourth graders include:

                                  Strategy 1  The Fishbowl

A Fishbowl discussion in Mrs. Gross's 5th Grade Class (Detroit Future Schools)



     This first strategy was first introduced to me by my cousin who teaches high school. The picture above is NOT her class, but one that I found on a blog using the same technique with younger students. The Fishbowl Discussion Strategy uses two groups of learners seated or standing in two circles. The first group, the fishbowl group, are the students in the center of the circle.These students are the ones who are actually discussing the topic or answering the focus questions. The outer circle of students, the observers, are watching the the discussion group, taking notes about what they are seeing and hearing and will use those notes to add to the discussion after the "fishbowl"  group has finished. Both groups have an important task and are contributing to the lesson. This is an excellent way to teach the common core speaking and listening standards.Students are also encouraged to use Accountable Talk with phrases such as "I'm hearing you say...."  "I agree with ...."  "I disagree with..." etc. Students MUST cite evidence from the text to support or refute their or their classmate's contribution. The diagram below shows the seating arrangement for the "fishbowl" discussion.

               Strategy 2 Keep It, Cloud It, Junk It

This is one of my favorite strategies. I've used this for the past couple of years and the students really enjoy it!  My students have always caught on  well to this one and the lesson is truly run by the students rather than led by the teacher.


                     Strategy 3 Jigsaw  Method 

This is a short video clip of how one teacher uses the Jigsaw method. I like the fact the students are give a specific part of the text to analyze in their group. Then after small group discussion they will move to whole group discussion where they teach their peers what they learned, observed, noticed etc. about their aspect of the text.

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