My student teacher Mr. Preston Becker created a Kahoot to help our students do some retrieval practice when learning the different types of claims. After a round of practice in teams, students were ready to dive into the reading. I modified Ariana’s template so that students could all work in the same document and I could monitor their progress. They were given 30 minutes to identify the three different claims and talk about whether or not there was a grande claim — the most important point in their reading.
Instead of providing individual feedback to each group, I chose a sample and added comments so that students could see where they need to improve.
Where I highlighted in red, I commented that a claim of policy should be made by an institution, organization, or government. This sounds more like an opinion or claim of value. Where I highlighted in yellow, I mentioned that a claim of fact should be able to be proven or disproven. How would you do this? Lastly, for the claim of value, I asked what is an adjective you would use to describe this value-oriented behavior?
Students will use this challenge again to identify claims in their reading of I Am Malala or The Kite Runner. I know that their English teacher and Chemistry teacher both use this CER format in their classes and I hope students will see how easy it is to transfer their knowledge and skills in all subjects.
I am always on the hunt for good historical fiction that makes my students connect with the era under study in my class. This week, I finally finished Forbidden City by Vanessa Hua. It’s a fantastic book by a well-respected author and could engage students in deep learning about the Chinese Cultural Revolution, however, the focus on the love life between the Chairman and Mei Xiang makes this book too cringey for me to assign to my class. This is honestly the first book where I have censored myself and I wonder if other social studies teachers feel similarly in this political climate, or if I am alone in this sentiment.
Do you feel as if your school administration would stand up to parents who want to question or argue with you about your curricular choices?
Does today’s anti-teacher sentiment make you anxious about assigning academic work outside of your district textbook?
Should teachers team together on interdisciplinary approaches to teaching ELA & History in order to diffuse some of this tension?
Join me on Twitter September 26, 2022 at 5 PT, 7 CT, or 8 ET to chat about this topic with the #sschat #sschatreads & #engsschat community. Bring your most controversial titles. We will be issuing merit badges.
This week began with a cyberattack on my district computer systems that made digital instruction all but impossible this week. Kids are locked out of everything. Resetting passwords was not easy. Without missing a beat, my students utilized our class sets of books. My 11th-grade USH students began reading Hellhound on His Trail and my 10th-grade World History students had a choice between I Am Malala or The Kite Runner.
One of my favorite ways to get students reading for a purpose is a corroboration drill. I give students a finite amount of time to corroborate facts from their reading with the textbook. I teach them a simple format to emulate, essentially Source 1 says… Source 2 says … When these two facts are taken together they suggest…
This is a very difficult cognitive task that students struggle to complete. Last year, my tenth-grade students could do four corroborations per class period on average with a low of four and a high of twenty-seven over two class periods.
When I follow up and build on this lesson, I will need to provide better examples so that students learn to improve this skill with additional reps. Sentence starters will go a long way toward improving this type of student writing.
Retell in Rhyme
In World History, students were challenged to choose 10 unfamiliar words from off the whiteboard and write rhyming couplets that summarized their understanding of what they read in I Am Malala.
Since this was the first time students used this EduProtocol, I paired them up to make this a collaborative task. I was very pleased with the results, which contained important historical details and indicated a strong understanding of the material.
My goal was for students to complete 10 rhyming couplets in 30 minutes. Not everyone hit the goal. The 11th-grade USH students did a better job, but I think this was because they had used this EduProtocol last year and were more familiar with it. I am looking forward to coaching up my 10th graders and giving them more reps with Retell in Rhyme.
It was a glorious, short week in Dr. Petri’s World History class because LAUSD has given us a four-day Labor Day weekend. My students continued learning about the Middle East. They finished their Flip videos on the History of Afghanistan.
Only 40/53 or 75% of my 10th-grade students turned these in, so I have some work to do in building a culture of completion. Toward this end, I’ve designed a follow-up peer review protocol so students can practice giving each other positive comments a la the feedforward book I’ve been reading by Joe Hirsch.
After finishing that, students collaborated on a Middle East Wars Cyber Sandwich that taught them the basics of the Persian Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan. This led to a note-taking drill where I measured how many pages of notes students took while listening to the excellent This is Democracy Podcast. Students only slightly improved their note-taking when given the transcript compared to just listening.
For homework, they were asked to write five multiple-choice questions on the War in Afghanistan. I gave them a Quizizz template, so I could easily import questions into the gamified platform for some Fast and Curious reps next week. That will remind me to teach students about Ebbenghaus’ Forgetting Curve.
Lastly, we viewed a PBS Frontline documentary called Afghanistan Undercover which profiled the Taliban takeover and their subsequent treatment of women. Students completed a Sketch & Tell to record a memorable moment that stuck with them. I thought these samples showed significant maturity and depth of reasoning. I have great hopes for these students. It is early, but it is going to be a great year.