The rest of the week

The ten lies handout wasn’t as popular as in the second class on Tuesday, but nor was it as quickly dismissed as in the first one – it has served well as a hook. As HW I’ve been asking the kids to bring to class questions that they have about what they’ve read so far. I’ve got them from two classes so far, I collect them and read them to the class without saying whose it is, I told them this is how I was going to do it so that they would ask their questions and know that they would be anonymous. Many very good questions, I didn’t try to answer any of them, it would have ruined the story if I had but the point was to show them that they weren’t alone in having questions and to give them a reason for reading – try and find the answer.

This was the perfect segue into reading strategies. I polled the class for what they do when they don’t understand, reviewed ‘metacognition’ with them [they had a mini lesson with my mentor about 2wk ago] and told them what I do when I’m reading. They had great strategies – asking a question and reading on to see if it is answered, reading slowly and enunciating in their head as the read – I was impressed.

One problem I’ve run into is that kids are reading faster than I thought they would – quite a few are finished with the book already. This makes for tricky class discussions. I’m adamant about not spoiling the story for those who are not there yet. As we pass my reading deadlines conversations will be less restricted.

I taught my textual evidence lesson to two classes on Friday. I thought it went really well. My hook was to ask about shows like CSI and Law and Order and other crime dramas. I elicited the term evidence from each class pretty easily when i asked about what the police spent most of their time looking for. Then i made the connection to making a claim about a book and backing it up, proving it. That was my question of the class – can you prove it? and, how does that quote/scene prove it? I had a handout that i projected on the wall that we completed as a class. The final project is going to be an essay, the will need to provide support for claims they made, I pointed out that what we were doing will translate directly to the writing of the essay.

Unfortunately (?) the essay wasn’t part of my initial plans for the novel so I’ve had to rework my schedule and content to make time to scaffold and give writing time. As well as create a product descriptor and rubric. I created a calendar that I am going to give to the kids that has each assignment listed on its due date. That way they have multiple representations – the grid, and the list that is posted on the blog.

I’m been the blog site [I created a new one just for Speak] to post reading/blogging/essay draft due dates, you can check it out at I also posted the product descriptor for the essay – I haven’t officially gone over the assignment, I’ve just let them know that they have to write and essay. I did create bookmarks that I passed out to all the kids during a house meeting with the essay topic choices on it. This way they could take note of page numbers on the back once they’ve decided what they will write about.

I also have to begin to introduce them to the web-quest I designed you can see that at It is going to be quite the trick fitting everything in in the next 3wks.


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