Literature & Inquiry Circles for deeper comprehension December 2009 Jen McCarty & Jessica Crooker
Why are you interested in Literature and/or Inquiry Circles?
Engage students in reading content texts
Offer choice to increase “buy in”
Differentiate for a diverse population of students
Push students to be seekers of knowledge
Foster thinking skills
Allow students to explore areas of interest
Promote ownership of learning
Read the passage provided. You may read it as many times as needed until you feel you understand it well.
A short comprehension quiz will follow.
How many reasons are there for studying this system?
What is the nature of the in vitro capsid assembly reaction ?
Current research focuses on what details of sequence-specific recognition?
How many “hot spots” dominate the affinity?
In what form are there examples of RNA where affinity and specificity are defined by structural elements?
What strategies did you use to reconstruct your understanding?
Reread, reread again... Slow down.
Question: What does this mean??
Connect to prior knowledge: genetics, DNA…
Visualize: diagram of DNA? Proteins attached to surfaces
Sift through details; figure out main ideas
Infer: author must be a scientist or researcher
Quit out of frustration!!!
Did these techniques lead to clear understanding of the text?
Lesson #1 About Comprehension
With all the tools of proficient readers, why was the passage still difficult to understand?
“… the prime determinant of understanding is prior knowledge . Period, point blank, case closed.”
“ Most ‘reading difficulties’ are really prior knowledge problems”
(Harvey & Daniels 2009)
Why Literature & Inquiry Circles?
Engagement: choice and collaboration
Comprehension and collaboration are closely connected
Research says instruction on specific reading strategies have positive effects on comprehension
Comprehension can be taught simultaneously with small-group inquiry
Benefits of Small Group Work
Lifelike; generate energy for challenging work
In small groups, we are smarter
Diversity is an asset
Engaged, interactive learning
Employers increasingly require collaboration
Well-structured=enhances student achievement
Harvey & Daniels 2009
Peer writing groups
What does inquiry look like?
Managed choice for students
Section of the chapter
strategies for comprehension
small group communication
Groups of desks/tables/chairs for group discussion
Steps in Inquiry Process appear linear, but are actually recursive Immerse
Immerse invite curiosity, build background, find topics Teacher Students Invites curiosity, questioning Express their own curiosity Shares own curiosity Explore, experience, and learn Models personal inquiry Wonder and ask questions Demonstrates questioning & finding a topic Read, listen, and view to build background Immerse students in topics to build background knowledge Connect new information to background knowledge Confers with groups & individuals Meet with teams to set schedules, ground rules, and goals
Investigate develop questions, search for information/answers Teacher Students Flood students with resources and materials Articulate thoughts and questions about own interests and experiences Model how to read with a question in mind Listen, talk, read, view to gain information Demonstrate how to determine importance, take notes (post-it, code) Develop questions; then read, listen and view to answer them Helps students sharpen inquiry focus Use text and visual features to gain information Confers with groups & individual Meet with teams to set and monitor schedules and task completion
1. Golden Lines (5 minutes)
Each person chooses one line to share (interesting, agree/disagree, made you think…)
Read the line to group and say WHY you chose it (no discussion yet, share only)
Give each group member a turn to share their golden lines.
2. Post-its/Interactive Discussion (5 minutes)
Someone shares a post-it thought. Group members discuss their thoughts/comments until that point is exhausted or everyone has shared.
Each person must share AT LEAST one post-it thought.
Discussion must sustain for a minimum of 5 minutes.
3. Further Inquiry—Closing the Discussion (3-5 minutes)
As a group, come up with at least TWO questions relating to the reading that could potentially be further investigated. You may need to revisit the reading or reflect on the discussion.
What are you still wondering about?
Did anyone pose a question during discussion that went unanswered?
Did you have a question during the reading that was never answered?
Coalesce intensify research, synthesize information Teacher Student Show how to infer answers and draw conclusions Engage in deeper reading and research Engage students in guided discussion and debates Keep asking: So what? What about this really matters? Share how to evaluate sources Conduct “people” research: interviews, surveys, focus groups Teach interviewing strategies Synthesize information to build knowledge Confer with groups and individuals Meet with teams to monitor schedules, complete specific tasks and plan for sharing
Go Public share learning, demonstrate understanding, take action Teacher Student Co-construct expectations for final project Co-construct expectations for final project Share widest range of possibilities for sharing/performing Demonstrate learning with performances, posters, models, essays, poetry, etc… Helps students find real audiences Become teachers as they share knowledge Responds, assesses, and evaluates projects Reflect on their knowledge building, cooperative processes & changes in their own beliefs or behaviors Helps students share learning by taking actions Take action through writing, speaking, community work, advocacy
What do we collectively know about our new topic?
What do we want to know now? Who will research these questions?
How can we best share this information with others?
Review of the process
Teacher introduces topic
Students read a short common text to build background
Mini-lesson: Listening to Your Inner Voice
Post-it Noting and Summary
Determine interests for further investigation
Regroup by interest area
Share learning with other classmates
Getting the most out of discussion
Give each member of the group a job with certain responsibilities.
Group facilitator, time manager, organizer of materials, group-teacher liaison
If the group is to work effectively, each person must do his/her job.
Participation and self-control are important ingredients in successful inquiry projects.
Double Entry Journal
Circle, Triangle, Square
What? So What? Now What?
Coding the Text
Provide thought-provoking during- reading activities. Then, let students use it during discussion.
What should students do during inquiry time?
Read to themselves
Read to each other
Conduct research online
Respond in writing and/or drawing
Respond by talking
Develop interview questions and conduct pract interviews
Contact specialists and experts
Maintain research notebook
Plan to actively use knowledge and take action
Sample Calendar Inquiry Model: Literature Circle-Week 1 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday -form groups -set a reading schedule -KWL -mini-lesson: during reading activity -inquiry time -inquiry time -discussion director meeting -discussion #1 -teacher observes -student reflection -mini-lesson: new during reading activity -inquiry time
Assessment & Evaluation “ We grade the learning, not the knowing.”
Assessment fills us in on what students are doing & how effective our instruction has been
Teachers reflect, revise, and reshape instruction
Evaluation gives a value to what students have learned
Body of evidence: work samples, student talk, performances, artifacts, conference notes
Individual accountability=key to small-group assessment