I went to a literacy workshop at the Teachers' College at Columbia University and learned so much about how to help students read content text and to write about their learning.
The past few weeks, it has really been evident, and really annoyed me that my students often regurgitate what they read when answering a question. When I try and make the questions something they actually have to think about, they complain that the answers are not in the book.
Yesterday, on a review sheet about the Second Industrial Revolution, I asked the students to write about different inventions. They had to tell me what the invention did and how it would help people and the society. Some of the students had a hard time telling me what impact the lightbulb, the engine, and the airplane had on people since the answer was not written in the book.
I had to stop the class after the third person asked me what the answer was. We had a mini-lesson on thinking about how they use the item, what it would have been like before the item existed, and therefore the impact that invention may have had on society.
It was a real test of my patience and my desire to use sarcasm to be able to answer their questions.
The workshop man taught strategies to help students read text and actually take notes to show what they learned, not on the book. Makes so much sense, and is what I plan to start doing with the kids on Monday.
I am such a dork that I am excited about all the strategies he taught, will review my notes several times, and may even buy his book and start to follow him on Twitter.
I'm linking up with Papa Is A Preacher's Tidbit Thursday (I'm a day late... oops).
You can click to see other linkup participants and to read her posts.