Yesterday afternoon, I loaded up with 9 of my colleagues to make the drive to Dallas for my 7th AVID Summer Institute. Throughout the years, I have been to the Mathematics strands, Elective Teacher strands, Leadership strands, and this year I am really excited to be in the Critical Reading strand. I had several people today look at me funny when I introduced myself as a math teacher in the Critical Reading strand, but I'm really excited to learn strategies that I can use in my classroom!
Taking a note from Sarah H over at MathEqualsLove, I'm going to try to jot myself some notes from today's session so that I can visit it later...
ALL teachers are teachers of reading and writing. This is something that I often forget. For obvious reasons, I identify as a math teacher but honestly, it is part of my job to teach students how to read a math text or how to write a mathematical argument. I need to integrate these skills more often.
One of the first strategies we worked on was marking the text. To be honest, this was NOT a skill I learned in high school or college. If you were to look at my college history books, it looked like a highlighter blew up on the paper because I had no idea how to interact with the text. Once I became an AVID elective teacher, this was a skill that I was required to teach to my students, only we called it annotating at that point. I turned to one of my ELA friends who also taught AVID with me and I'll never forger how she explained it to me. She told me to think of the text as a movie and anytime I got an urge to "nudge" the person beside me and say "OMG, did you see that!!!", then it was something that I needed to underline and write in the margins. If you were to look at my #EduRead archive of articles, you would see evidence of how I interact with text... usually through underlines and margin notes, but sometimes highlighting for something vital. I need to create opportunities for students to interact with text in my classroom. In AP Stat, we often have students read an article or a textbook passage, but I have not taught them how to be an active reader.
Pre-Reading strategies... this is a "duh" moment for me, because I knew that we should always try to activate prior knowledge. However, I never really knew what that meant! Today we did several pre-reading strategies such as the ever popular Quick Write with a relevant prompt, but one of my favorites was a set of "Interview" questions where we paired up and had a short discussion over questions that related to the text we were going to read.
Sentence Starters... OMG, I think this will be a game changer for me! Our presenter gave us a sentence frame that said... "In ____ (title of text), (Name of Authors) _____ (claim, state, argue, or some other verb) that ______." The presenter said that she was dreading grading 100s of sentences that were the same, but she decided to try it anyway. She gave the students a few minutes to complete the sentence, then had them table-share and choose one person to share with the whole class. All of the sentences were different, even though the structure and article were the same. One of the presenter's students exclaimed, "Miss! We sound so smart!!". The presenter's point was this... We expect kids to write academically when they don't know what that looks like. With the sentence frames, we provide structure to help them learn academic writing. Chalk up another DUH moment for me!
As one of the samples from reading in math, we did some graphs... I need to search out good infographics for students to read, notice, wonder, etc :)
One management strategy that I really liked was how the presenter brought us back from a group discussion. In the midst of the chaos of chatting about the task at hand, she would very loudly say, "Back to me in 5...4...3...2....1". It was very effective and I'm eager to try it.
I know I learned a lot more, but those were my major take-aways from today :) Day 2 is tomorrow!