As a teacher, I am always reflecting on my teaching. With the changes to our teacher evaluation system, I have to gather evidence for my teacher binder. To help me stay focused and sort through the bits and pieces I am gathering, I am starting a weekly post called "What Works Wednesday."
As a topic for the first post, I thought I would share a strategy that I saw on Mrs. White's 5th Grade blog, called "Keep It or Junk It". She included a video showing how an instructor got students to analyze non-fiction text.
It got me thinking about how I teach text coding. I decided to put text coding with the "Keep It or Junk It" strategy, and would tie the whole thing together with a Two Dollar Summary.
It was interesting to listen to their justification for keeping a word, or "junking it". When finished, students used the words to write a two-dollar summary. In a $2 summary each word counts as ten cents. Students have $2 to spend on their summary. They learn to quickly pare down their word choices to be concise.
Why would I choose this idea as a "What Works Wednesday" post? Students worked quietly, were actively engaged, and wrote a good summary. Also, I have a student with a one-to-one aide that struggles with communication. Most of his curriculum is adapted. (We did this activity "on our own", with out his aide.) The students in his group came up with their own way to make sure he could communicate his "keep it" words. They wrote the words "Keep It" and "Junk It" on paper. He held up his response. If he wanted to "Cloud" a word he signaled a circle. When I called on him to justify, he could say, "Not needed" or "Important." Watching the episode lay out in front of my eyes without any teacher or aide intervention choked me up.
In closing this post, I have to say the first "What Works" would be "Keep it or Junk it, and my kids. They are amazing!
I will be back with another "What Works" next Wednesday. Join me!