Today I am linking up with my sweet friend, Kristen, of Ladybug's Teaching Files, who has a Linky Party going on that invites you to share an anchor chart or two (or several!)
At the moment, the anchor charts in my room focus mostly on reviewing for The Test. I will post some of those later this week. Today I am sharing two strategy charts that we have just revisited.
My students often distance themselves from their reading. They seem to be more intent on turning pages and proclaiming (to my dismay) "DONE!" I feel like I am constantly asking them to engage with the text (and the characters when we are reading a narrative) and to think more deeply about what they are reading.
I urged them to go back to their September strategies: Ask Questions, Visualize, Determine Importance, Make Connections, etc. We had just read a story and were were making connections to the text. Soon the whole discussion seemed to devolve into who had done the same thing as the author. They struggled, however, to make their connections support meaning-making in their reading.
We had been talking about a text which included the character's affection for her dog. One person had shared a connection--and then that connection inspired more "connections," and we moved further and further away from the text. Five minutes into the "discussion" and it was hard to remember what the TEXT was about. They weren't making connections that helped them make sense of the text!
|The last three graphics are from DJ Inkers clipart|
So we made two charts. First, we talked about the different kinds of connections we can make when we are reading. This sparked the need to add Text-to-Media connections because that comes up a lot when sixth graders participate in a discussion. Then we discussed how the BEST connections bring you back to the text and help you make meaning. I simplified the concept so that all of my kids can understand the idea--even those with limited English skills.
I recopied the charts at home (because my on-the-spot printing is atrocious). You can't tell because of the poor lighting in our room, but the connections chart has little plastic "connecting" chain links--and the link back to the text has a glittered pathway. I never added sparkle to an anchor chart before. I think I might like it!
This morning things went a little better. As our discussion was about to get sidetracked (again), one student suggested we were "getting off topic." Another added that we were "moving away from the text."
Suddenly sunshine flooded the room and I could hear angels singing... Okay, that didn't really happen. But I did point to the chart and ask them, "How does your connection help you understand the text?"
It's hard to get 'tweenagers to invest in their reading. Maybe this strategy review will help draw them back into the text.