Each day we are reading a poem from Nancy Atwell’s book, Naming the World. I set the scene for the poem by giving them a little background and asking a question to help them see how the poem might connect to their lives. Then I read the poem aloud to the students. The students are then given a purpose for re-reading, and they read the poem silently with highlighter in hand to note lines they like or want to discuss further. When they discuss their thoughts, I leave the circle so they don’t address their comments to me. I want them to talk to and with each other. When they have completed their discussion, I re-enter the process and help them discuss how the discussion went from their perspective (metacognition). I then give them some feedback and give them points using Class Dojo. They love their avatar in the Dojo and seeing themselves get points as they give themselves compliments as well as hear my feedback. The best thing about Class Dojo from my perspective is that the teacher can add comments at the end of the day. I so enjoyed watching how students changed their behavior during their second discussion that appeared to be in response to my comments after day one.
So … it was a good class . But why did “my heart sing” you might ask? It was my students’ comments when they were processing their discussion. Here is a sampling.
Student 1: “This is so much more fun when you can relate to it.”
Student 2: “I guess that’s why the Do Now had us talk about people who have disappointed us.”
Student 3: “Yeah, we are always supposed to ask ourselves, what do we already know about this.”
Thank you class for seeing the connection between background knowledge and comprehension. Your learning makes my heart sing!