Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Focusing on Comprehension

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How do you use reading, writing, speaking, and listening to teach other subjects? Reading a section out of our social studies textbook or an article about a current event was a common activity in my classroom. However, if I asked students to read silently prior to a class discussion, they seemed to struggle and lack focus. I found it was important to give them a structure prior to reading. Sometimes I gave them an outline and key points to find. Other times, I was more open-ended with my directions. For example, I would ask them to read a section of their textbook and place at least three sticky notes throughout the selection. On each note, they can write a comment or a question about what they have read. The notes become the basis for our discussion in class. In addition, there are times I have them take the sticky notes out of the book, stick them on a piece of paper, add their name, and take it up for a grade.

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