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sjgriffin sjgriffin is offline
 
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Reading textbooks in class?
Old 07-17-2015, 03:00 PM
 
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I have been told I was not "Rigorous" enough in my class. I am trying to improve next year. A few questions:

Do you have your students read at home and then discuss / ask questions in class?

How fast do you move through a chapter?

do you give notes on a chapter or have students do it themselves.

I am starting in a new school and really want to make it work.

Thanks!


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Mr.L Mr.L is offline
 
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Combination
Old 07-18-2015, 03:44 AM
 
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I teach 7th and 8th social studies and I do a combination of all of what you said. Primarily at the start of the year, when I am teaching my SOP's (Standard operating procedures) I lead them through everything. We read a little bit together and talk about the text features of a social studies book and then I give them notes from the chapter. as the year progresses however, the students mainly read at home and we have discussions/note taking during class time. I do a lot of research based inquiry so we spend a great deal of time working with primary and secondary documents in the classroom, therefore, the students must have background knowledge from what they read at home.
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All in Class
Old 07-18-2015, 05:27 AM
 
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You don't say what grade level or subject.
I teach 7th English and social studies and they do nothing outside of class. Our school has policies of "no homework" and "retests" so virtually no responsibility is put on the kid. Oh, but we are expected to be rigorous also. Then, when they flunk a test or don't turn in an assignment, it's our fault because it didn't "relate to their interests." Ugh. Then, we have to re-test or MAKE them another assignment.

Here's what I do:
At the start of the year, I read the stories with them and model it. Then, they do the questions or whatever with a partner. As the year goes on, I let them read with partners. Then, towards the midpoint, I start them reading more independently. Since we don't have tracked classes, this can be hard if I don't have adapted stories for the low readers and LS kids. Our kids are really bad at doing anything on their own. They have been babied so much that they can barely write a sentence on their own.

Most, if not all, of our tests are open book or open story so they can refer back to the text.

We do use a textbook part of the time. I usually give students notes. Sometimes I have them write things down in their own words but they are not great at that. Plus, a lot of the special edu kids are allowed to have a copy of the notes.

I have started to do a lot of "close reading" on non-fiction. I give them an article and a close reading sheet of symbols and have them "figure it out." I print the articles out on Newsela so I have different reading levels. For example, I give the gifted kids, 9th grade reading level, regular-7th, and low -3rd grade.
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Thank you
Old 07-18-2015, 06:20 AM
 
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Holy Smokes! How do these students do in high school? in college?

I do like how you use a pairing system and the ease into independence.

I will be teaching 6-8 social studies and then 6 ELA. I was mostly asking for social studies.

Thank you -
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Nice idea
Old 07-18-2015, 06:23 AM
 
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Thank you for your response. I think I will try to do basically what you wrote. I like the idea of the research based inquiry (doing more of it than I usually do) and that way the students will understand that the textbook is a foundation of their learning and there will be more.

Thanks!


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rigorous
Old 07-18-2015, 09:52 AM
 
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I usually begin a passage in class with some background info on author and setting .
I will then begin reading aloud and model for them on the screen how to annotate as I read. Then, I pass the balance of the passage to them to finish independently. They have all night to read again if needed. The next day I give them a comprehension quiz...graded in class by peers...and then move on to a deeper discussion of literary analysis. I post that quiz grade quickly on the computer so the parents know by the afternoon whether or not their child read the passage well. The test grade on the selection requires test- like written response. ..not recall. All of this is posted on my Web site so the parents are completely aware.
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:16 AM
 
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Basically, I think that many of our students have a "rude awakening" in college! Of course, we do have good students who take advanced classes in high school and are prepared. However, the average students seem to really struggle. They are shocked when the professor won't let them take re-tests and they have out of class work! Our district is in denial though and keep telling us that colleges are moving towards the "retesting" model. Of course, we have several teachers whose kids have gone through the district and they get pretty ticked that their kids are so poorly prepared for college.

In SS, we have a class set of textbooks but students can't take them home. They can access them online if they have internet at home, but they never do. This is one of the reasons that I either use a reading guide, study guide, or give open-book tests. The reading guides are great if the kids are reading the text independently. However, I do see them just looking for the answers, instead of just reading. Our book doesn't have any questions so I am thinking that next year, I might have the students create the questions and then answer them.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:02 PM
 
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"Rigorous" has nothing to do with speed or challenge. It is a measure of how what types of thinking you are asking students to do on a regular basis. I don't know what subject you're referencing but outside of Language Arts and Math using a textbook with any kind of regularity is not going to be very rigorous. The questions in them are typically very low on Bloom's taxonomy and the reading levels are very low as well.

So, to more directly answer your questions, I hardly use the textbook at all. When we do readings we mostly use primary sources and we read and discuss them in class. I do not provide notes of any kind for students.

As far as the "how fast" question it shouldn't matter. A chapter in a text shouldn't dictate your pacing. Your school should having a pacing for your subject. It is possible they built it based on the textbook but you should really be asking "how long should it take to accomplish this learning goal?"
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