Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reflection 7

Reflection Prompt
I think one of the practices that reflects a first year teacher the most (besides being on the verge of tremendously excited and exhausted all in the same day) is that we want to "do the work" for our students. We want to answer the questions and pave the way. This seems particularly true with reading and writing.  I keep speaking to "pushing out the thinking" in your class. The writer of this blog posting offers thoughts on this, and not for first year teachers - ANY teacher. http://turnonyourbrain.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/defining-deep-reading-and-text-dependent-questions/
What are your takeaways from the article, particularly with regard to frontloading and expecting students to do the work on their own in the ELA classroom?

Christina Hank of Turn On Your Brain talks about a teacher's struggle of handing over the answers to students instead of letting them dig into the concepts, reading or subject matter. I feel the same way. Sometimes I want my students to "feel smart" so I probe them with questions that are kind of no-brainers until I can "trust" them with the content. Isn't that weird? I also have to admit that I link my students success to my own abilities and strengths as a teacher. In other words, when they fail, I MEGA fail. I feel so bad when they don't understand because I feel as though I am giving my students a disservice. As I grow, I'm learning to trust my students and my abilities.

Christina talks about text dependent questions. Text dependant questions force students to go back into the text and search for deeper understanding and evidence even if they have read the text more than once. This type of questioning goes right back to upper level Costas. It uses words like:
  • Analyze
  • Investigate
  • Examine
  • Prove
  • Consider
rather than
  • Define
  • Describe
  • List
  • Complete
  • Identify.
Since brought to my attention, I have made an earnest effort to push for text dependent and higher level questions.

1 comment:

  1. After a first read, the 5W/1H questions or lower level Blooms to see where students are with comprehension are appropriate. It's getting to those next level questions like author's purpose in text structure, word choice/syntax - they're a little tougher and worth going back to the text and further challenging students, allowing them to grapple with the text.

    Thanks for the thoughtful reflection!