Quick tools for helping students access complex texts
This week I have felt like a total disaster in my class. I’m still trying to do way too much in one period, and it is resulting in some really rough sessions. Every day this week I have had the following happen: I teach first period. I realize what is wrong. I adjust. By last period things are moving along, albeit still a bit roughly. Today this had me thinking about how I can do this. During my first year teaching I had lots of rough classes, but the problem there was I didn’t know how to fix them. Now I have some strategies in my back-pocket that make it a bit easier. This week I needed some post-reading strategies – things to use to get students discussing what they read in a way that helped their understanding. Here are just a few of the strategies I was able to use as I tried to correct for the disaster that ensued first period . . .
Developing an understanding of a text (after reading):
– Have students identify interesting/remarkable lines and explain why they chose them. (bonus – have them share and find “patterns” between their lines and others).
– Have students write down questions they had during/after reading and share those questions with others. They can discuss those questions, respond to other’s questions in writing (via a notebook pass or gallery walk, etc.)
– Give groups of students specific passages. Have them summarize these passages and then explain their summaries to the class. Have students “Graph” the passages using a variety of things (how positive/negative the passages are, how a character changes from passage to passage, etc.)
What strategies do you use to help students develop an understanding of what they read?
What? Non-vegan food featured on a vegan blog? During Vegan MoFo, no less? Well, I’ve gotta tell you – it is a trick title. I wanted to feature a list of food today that is vegan – yet it is enjoy and consumed by vegans all over!
Pasta (or polenta) and marinara sauce (sans parm). I grew up on this economical, easy and enjoyable meal. When I became vegan I dropped the parm and suffered no ill effects – and in fact enjoyed my pasta even more!
Stir-fry: The go-to for extra veggies in our house, who can resist a good stir-fry? Tofu in this yummy dish is hardly strange sight. In fact, a lot of people expect to enjoy tofu, snow peas and broccoli covered in a delectable hosin or teriyaki sauce.
Soup and bread: This is one of my favorite dinners, especially in fall and winter. Sure, there are plenty of non-vegan soups in the world, but who needs those when you can enjoy a soothing minestrone or sweet corn chowder anytime as a vegan! Tonight we enjoyed an amazing Vegetable and Lentil soup from Vegan on the Cheap, paired with Mushroom and Onion cibatta from When Pigs Fly. Yum!