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Text Features
Old 04-18-2010, 07:03 AM
 
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I'm looking for ideas on how to teach text features for the third time. My issue is, my kids seem to understand text organization fine, it's using the text features that kills them. I've had them make posters by pulling magazine articles and labeling the features and had them do a scavenger hunt to find the features in nonfiction books. However, when I assess them, it's like I'm torturing them and they have forgotten everything.
Anyone have any ideas? I'm supposed to be teaching it again this week and I'm also addressing it in small group/guided reading. I'm hitting a wall with ideas and they're hitting a wall with me... Hopefully the third and fourth times will be the charm???


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Old 04-18-2010, 08:20 AM
 
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Have them create their own books (or posters) about a topic they feel they are an expert in. Brainstorm a list of text features with them and then have them choose x number that they must use in their project. It can be as simple as how to make a delicious sandwich, including a labeled diagram, caption under a picture, glossary, etc
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Specify problem 'text features'.
Old 04-18-2010, 08:31 AM
 
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If they can recognize and name the text features they may be getting confused with the way it is being assessed. I'm wondering what the questions are that they are being asked on the assessment.

What are some of the text features that seem to give them the most trouble?

Maybe we can give you more specific help with those...
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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Thank you Victorious for the suggestion! That will work really well with the writing we're doing as well.

Risa,
I've attached the assessment for you to take a look at. It's for third graders. I know it won't make complete sense because you won't have the pages of the book that I copied for them to use, but I think you'll get the idea.
The issue is, the ones that have trouble look at the assessment and shut down. I'll ask them what's wrong and they won't say anything but "It's too hard." I went through it with them explaining everything on the test and they were even able to use the text features chart in their journals (which was taped in by me, so they all had the same information). Am I asking too much of them or are they being end of the year lazy? Thank you, thank you.
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File Type: doc Nonfiction Text Features Assessment.doc (34.0 KB, 989 views)
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Am I asking too much of them or are they being end of the year lazy? Thank you, thank you.
I think it's a very good assessment but I really do think it's too much for 3rd grade. There was a lot of academic vocab (which I'm sure you teach) that could be confusing and that organizer at the end (the chart) was great but maybe for 5th grade. I like the pp's idea about creating their own books and using text features in it. What better way to assess? (and I believe it's more relevant)


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Old 04-18-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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I think my third graders would be intimidated by that format and would shut down, too. I agree with the PP that creating their own book would be the most beneficial to them and they would be more engaged. However, if you really want a written assessment, I would suggest turning your questions into multiple choice. Sad as it is, this is the format they are now used to and that much writing seems overwhelming to them. If you really want this free response format then I would give them the exact format and fill it out with them as a review the day(s) before. As a side note, I think this is one of those topics that needs to be hit on continuously throughout the year. I like reading a-z books for guided reading for this reason because I can review test features so often! Good Luck!
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That helps...
Old 04-18-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Thank you for the feedback. This is my first year teaching third grade and sometimes I do feel my expectations are too high.
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Just looked at your assessment
Old 04-19-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Maybe you could just have them fill in ONE of the boxes at the bottom? That might make it easier to understand for them. Also, after having them make their own book, make a test where they could use it. For instance, you could have questions like "on what page in your book can I find ____________? What is the purpose of this text feature?" That way you can also have an actual assessment to go along with their project.
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Book using features
Old 04-19-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I agree with everyone.. The best way to assess is a performance assessment where they have to correctly use the features.
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Thanks everyone!
Old 04-20-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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I'm in the process of revisiting a few things. I also found a nonfiction reading strategy THIEVES that I introduced today that seemed to get them engaged!

I'll be doing the book on Thurdsay and I love the idea to assess them on their book! So awesome!!
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