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Engaging Reluctant and Struggling Students  in Middle School
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Engaging Reluctant and Struggling Students in Middle School



M. Mortimer

M. Mortimer
Engaging Reluctant and Struggling Students in Middle School



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  • GRAPHIC = discussion table (?) OR maze?
  • Work on language of #3 and 4. Repeated for use as summary at end of course section.

Engaging Reluctant and Struggling Students in Middle School Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Questioning Exploring Writing in the Middle School
  • 2. Introduction
    • ‘ Welcome!
    • Middle school is when students become engaged readers or slip behind. Shared Inquiry empowers all students to become better readers and thinkers -- starting with their questions and ideas and using collaboration to build defendable interpretations of what they've read.
    • Participate in a Great Books Shared Inquiry discussion about “Wolf” and find out how.
  • 3. Program Overview Great Books Roundtable preserves the features that have made Great Books programs unique and exciting for more than forty years—a focus on the Shared Inquiry™ method of learning supported by high-quality literature.
  • 4. Sample Unit – “Wolf”
    • We are going to use “Wolf”, with the video that depicts a middle school classroom working on pre-discussion activities, discussing the selection, and completing post-discussion activities including writing.
  • 5. Engaging Reluctant and Struggling Readers in the Middle Grades
    • Please tell us who you are and what concerns do you have for struggling /reluctant readers?
    • ______________________________
    • ______________________________
    • ______________________________
    • ______________________________
  • 6. Engaging Reluctant and Struggling Readers in the Middle Grades
    • Students who struggle or get bored who:
    • Don’t understand the words
    • Don’t want to speak up in class
    • Are afraid they have the wrong answer
    • Are embarrassed to read aloud
    • _________________________________________
    • _________________________________________
    • (what other painful example can you give)
  • 7. Real Comments from Students
    • Can we do this again tomorrow (a boy)
    • Some times I don’t agree with the class, sometimes I don’t even agree with myself
    • I didn’t like the story at first, but now I see it differently….more differently than everyone else
  • 8. Skills
    • Roundtable provides a superb framework for teaching the skills of
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Critical Thinking
    • Speaking
    • Vocabulary
    • Writing
  • 9. The Teacher’s Role
    • As a Shared Inquiry leader, you do not impart information or present your own opinions , but guide participants in reaching their own interpretations.
    • You do this by asking thought-provoking questions and by being an active listener.
  • 10. Questioning
    • TEACHERS -The key to a great discussion is learning how to ask questions.
    • STUDENTS – It is more important to question answers than to answer questions.
  • 11. Why Interpretive Questions?
    • Allows for different opinions to be accepted or rejected without judgments
    • Builds critical thinking skills by leading students to:
      • develop ideas
      • offer evidence from the text
      • respond to the opinions of others
    • Allows for a student centered discussion sharing ideas from quality literature addressing ideas and issues effecting middle schoolers
  • 12. Great Books Shared Inquiry An active and collaborative search for answers to questions of meaning presented by a text
  • 13. Sequence of Questions
    • OPENING QUESTION (1 question)
      • Introduces and explores ideas, topics, and themes
    • FOCUS QUESTION (1 question)
      • Examines a central point of the text
      • Establishes relevance revolving around the focus question
      • Interprets a passage, explore a quotations, etc.
    • FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS ( asked of students to probe and clarify)
    • “ Are you saying that...”
    • “ Where in the text did you find support for that?”
    • “ What do you mean by...”
    • “ Tell us more about...”
    • “ Do you agree with Sally when she says……”
  • 14. Materials
    • Roundtable leader Materials include:
    • Leader's Edition
    • Audio CDs
    • CD-ROM
    • Activity Instruction Cards
    • Roundtable Road Map
    • Posters and Bookmarks
    • (The materials also include a student anthology)
  • 15. Leader’s Steps in Preparing a Selection
    • Read twice and take notes
    • Turn notes & reactions into questions
    • Test for answers and evidence
    • Revise your questions, if needed
    • Select questions for SI Discussion
    • Plan ways to differentiate for your class
    • Always use a seating chart
  • 16. Teacher’s Preparation
            • STUDY THE STORY
            • REVIEW RULES
            • USE A SEATING CHART
    • Focus Question: ______________________
    • Answer: _____________________________
    What do you mean by______? Have you heard an idea you disagree with? What do you think of ___’s_idea? Where do you find that in the text? AGREE QUESTIONS DISAGREE NEW IDEAS
  • 17. Discussion of Wolf
    • Discussion of “Wolf” with Teachers
    • Discussion of “Wolf” from Students from Disk
  • 18. Writing
    • Writing is thinking on paper. Knowing what you think and how to back it up is the first step – the next is the paperwork.
    • SI Discussion prepares students to explore ideas and conclude an evidenced point of view
    • Writing assignments can be differentiated or scored according to abilities (rubrics included on disk & TE)
    • Roundtable included a full featured writing component on CD ROM with tools to differentiate and use across curriculums.
  • 19. Roundtable Features
    • High-quality literature
    • In-depth reading, critical thinking, and writing activities
    • Teaching and learning in stages
    • Differentiated instruction
    • Common Core and 21 Century Alignments
    • Assessment options
    • Standards-and research-based learning
    • Renowned professional development
    • What do all students like to do?
    • What keeps students from feeling uncomfortable?
      • No wrong answers in SI discussions
      • Students talk openly and teaches only ask questions
      • Rules that allow all to participate equally
      • Rules of civility that require acceptance of the opinions of others with the right to respectfully disagree
      • Pace that allows for thinking
  • 21. What About my Struggling Readers?
    • Reading becomes less lonely and difficult , and more exciting, as they experience the joy of shared discovery.
    • SI discussions work best with a mix class of abilities and opinions
    • Quite (and second language students) become valued for their different and often thoughtful opinions
    • Gifted students learn to see there can be more than their one right answer
    • All students see that the teacher’s answer is not the question
    • Gives struggling students tools and shows the importance of multiple readings, as well as reading aloud
    • Students learn to collaborate to solve problems of meaning and develop their understanding of a text
  • 22. Shared Solutions
    • What do you see as ideas to share with the group as they struggle with struggling students
    • ________________________________________
    • ________________________________________
    • ________________________________________
    • ________________________________________
    • ________________________________________
    • Double circles, pairing students, ball toss, vocab physical exercises, theater time, tokens to limit # of answers, saving seating charts, etc.
  • 23. Roundtable Benefits
    • For Teachers . . .
    • Paradigm shift in the way you teach
    • Integration of 21st century skills into curriculum
    • Integration of the reading and writing processes
    • Meeting of New Core and other state standards
    • Assessment of students in order to meet AYP
    • Flexibility to differentiate
  • 24. Benefits
    • For Students . . .
    • Improvement of reading comprehension, critical thinking, speaking and writing skills
    • Growth as independent learners and thinkers
    • Participation in a collaborative classroom
    • Development of cognitive, emotional and social intelligences
    • Opportunity to learn and practice 21st century skills
  • 25. For More Information
    • For more information contact
    • Marg Mortimer
    • [email_address]
    • 800-222-5870 x7123 or visit our web site at
    • www.greatbooks.org/roundtable