Thursday, August 12, 2010

Write Around

Today I was putting away files when I came across an old planning folder chock full of ideas I used in training teachers in California. One strategy I thought I would share with you is called Write Around, and you could easily do it with your child.

Here's how it works: You have a piece of text and post its. Start out by modelling. As you read a paragraph or two, write down what you are thinking and then explain it to your child. For example, I would write down a reaction to what a character did, or a connection I had with a setting in the story. Then I would ask them to write something they thought about either when they read that section or read what I wrote. They then add their thoughts to the sticky note. This is tough for kids at first. They may not have developed their thinking about reading very much. They will tend to either say "I don't know," or something very similar to what you said. That's ok. Teach them that saying "I agree with you BECAUSE..." is a perfectly wonderful thing to say. Stretch them, ask questions, and offer ideas past what you have written.

Next step would be to have them writing their thoughts first and then you reacting to them.

Eventually, it will grow. They will have more thoughts, and will be able to do it on their own. What I would do with Matt at this point would be to give him paper and have him write his thoughts and write the page numbers down. It would be perfect if we had two copies of the material because that way I can do stickies in my copy and he can do stickies in his and we can switch books to react.

It prompts wonderful discussions. "oh wow! I didn't think of that" "that part didn't stand out to me, but now that I see what you think," or "I disagree, I think...because..."

It is AWESOME deeper thinking.

Now how to do it with the little can just do it orally. Or you can do it where you ask them a question to think about before reading and then they can react as you read. For write around in kinder, it may be simply identifying words they know and you confirming and affirming.

I love this in my classroom because I have the kids pass to three or four classmates to respond. I usually make copies of the text so they can write directly on the paper instead of using stickies, but I also hate making copies -- this works best in my small groups when I have a small set of the same book.

I have vowed to do this more in my class this year...I can't wait!

No comments:

Post a Comment