I am required to write specific learning goals for each student…a “written educational plan” or WEP. I feel it is important to have students know and take ownership of their goals, so each student read their goals and asked for clarification if needed (or looked up unfamiliar words…”repertoire” was a popular one!) Then I had the children re-write their goals for personal use and use “frogs” to find their goals posted in the classroom. This way I could ensure that they would take ownership of their specific learning goals!
Doing this also let them see that others shared their goals. We did talk about how we are working on all of these goals and more, but 2 of the goals they are “owning” are the ones I will focus on more for their specific needs as based on what the MAP assessment revealed. Their 3rd goal or “affective” goal is more general to their needs as a learner overall.
This week our focus has been “closely reading to comprehend” better. When I have students “read more closely” my goal is to bring them and a text closer together. Goals include paying attention to their own experiences, thoughts, and memories, considering their interpretations as well as the interpretations of others, becoming more aware of their “metacognition”, and listening to their inner voice (made “visible” by making tracks of their thinking.)
As a strategy, I am teaching that closely reading involves multiple reading of a single text. Obviously we do NOT do this with everything we read! However, when we read something a first time, we typically read to get the “gist” or determine the topic and purpose. During a 2nd reading, we are looking to find significant moments or ideas. Here I am teaching some very specific annotating skills. These we will use for smaller parts of text. While my 4th graders are exploring and learning about multiple intelligences for their TaT (“talk about text”), 3rd graders are learning to annotate more specifically now.
Here is one of the lessons I did with a smaller group this past week using the short text “Icebergs”: (I used an iPad app called Educreations; the iPad was connected to a desktop monitor so the children could see what I was annotating clearly while they practiced on their own copies!)