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Ideas from chapters 5 and 6

I'm liking this book because it offers strategies that sound practical in the classroom.

Chapter 5
My reading mantra next year will be:
What does it say?
What does it mean?
What does it matter?
I've got some ideas to shake up the study guides. I have study guides available to students when we're reading a novel. but next year in lieu of that I'll try the strategy of multi-layered time lines. The fact that the timelines are a combination of individual and group work is appealig to me. I also liked the visual format of literary dominoes for for a quick quiz.

Chapter 6
Based on my learning experience this past week, collaboration is a weakness in my classroom. What I liked about this chapter is the section entitled "'Ten strategies to Promote Higher-Level Thinking in Samll-Group Settings". It drives me crazy when groups get off task. The success of the group hinges on everyone coming prepared and they don't seem to because of absence or whatever. Any ideas on handling the unprepared?

Theme triangles joining the novel's theme with a film's and some other medium or genre should make everybody happy. I like group work and the variety it can achieve. I've gained some worthwhile new ideas in these two chapters.

On to reading chapters 7 and 8. I find when I read for deeper comprehension I not only have to reread the text, but also reorganize or rework the material into a more meaningful schemata for me to think about..


As far as group members coming unprepared, speaking from my own experience, if groups are publically accountable to the rest of the class through some kind of reporting, I'm not against the natural consequence of embarrassment. Let the other students see what didn't happen in the group. Then, I follow up with the individual with my observations of their lack of preparation and a show of concern about why homework isn't getting done. When all else fails, the phone call home...

Of course, these are all mainstream strategies. In the alternative setting, I have to be sure to let the unprepared student know how brilliant I think he is and how much the class missed out on because he didn't participate and how much I'm looking forward to hearing his thoughts next time, and how I need him to be a leader for the others who look up to them...

I like the idea of replacing study guides with the multilayered time line. Wouldn't it make kids so much more responsible for their learning?