Friday, December 26, 2014

Students Rate Their Stop & Jots

Below are some charts that were made to help students develop their stop and jots.  The first picture is blank because it can then be used with a small group of students (or whole group) who are working on stretching their thinking while jotting.  The other pictures show possible "STAR" Jot Charts.  These can be helpful for students to rate their jots and set goals regarding their jots and thinking while reading.  It is important for our students to know how to be successful in their reading work.  Offering exemplars with descriptions are an easy way to incorporate this.  Some staff I have worked with have also used these charts as student-facing rubrics and teacher rubrics for assessing reading jots.

The first column shows a star or stars.  The more stars, the more in depth the jot.

The second column includes a description of what the jot might include.  This can be done as an "I can" statement or a checklist format.

The third column is an exemplar jot.  I have seen teachers develop these exemplars with students using a read aloud.  I have also seen students take their jots from one star and revise it to make it a two, three, or four star jot.

Before developing these charts with students, it might be beneficial to develop a rating chart and exemplars with your grade level teams by looking at rubrics you use or the CCSS.  This way you can get a feel for what students are going to go through to grow their reading ideas from one star to higher level jots.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Conferring Scaffolds and Collaboration in Reading Workshop

I have been lucky enough to learn alongside some colleagues who are considering how conferences might go when digging through their units of study in Reading Workshop.  One of the tools they are preparing are visuals to help scaffold students in the big ideas or unit objectives (see pictures below).  This has offered powerful collaboration, as we are creating these visuals during common planning time and discussing interpretations of teaching points.  Conversations are also around what student thinking or jots might look like if they are successfully utilizing the skill or strategy (Considering the success criteria for ALL students!!)

Some of the steps we took:
1. Consider some important teaching points (the enduring understanding of the bend).

2. What do we want students to know and be able to do after having taught this bend (or set of teaching points)? What will success look like for the diverse learners in the class?

3. Discuss this success criteria and the teaching points with colleagues - What is the interpretation of the bend?

4. Create scaffolds using any tools that might support students in the work (index cards with visual prompts, sticky notes that are readily available during the conference, exemplar jots in mentor texts...)

Supporting Stop & Jots with Anchor Charts

Hi everybody!  This fall, I worked with a number of teachers on utilizing stop and jots in Reading Workshop.  Our goals included:
  • What is the purpose of stop and jots?
    • Supporting the objectives of the unit
    • Preparing for book clubs / partnerships
    • Carrying ideas across the text
  • How might students use their stop and jots?  Why and when might a student stop and jot?
    • Finding / carrying ideas across multiple texts (intertextuality)
    • Practice comprehension skills and support unit goals
    • Write long from jots - elaborating in a notebook to explore topics
    • Monitor comprehension
  • How to raise the level of student stop and jots?
    • Model, Model, Model!
    • Exemplars
    • Student-facing rubrics
    • Anchor Charts (see below!)
  • How might teachers use the stop and jots to help form instruction?
    • Formative and summative assessing
    • Develop strategy groups
    • Determine next steps for whole group
One of the exercises the participating staff members engaged in was looking closely at their unit of study and considering what kids should know and be able to do.  This consideration is followed by determining how will you be able to tell if they are understanding the concept
While digging into their units, teachers developed potential anchor charts that could be created with students to support student responses that connect to the unit goals. 
We displayed our charts and did a Gallery Walk to share out:


It was really energizing to see the creative ways the group was considering how to support students in their jots.  Some teachers developed chart ideas to support students in:
  • When to jot... ("To jot or not to jot...")
  • How to start jots... ("Jot starters")
  • Jotting specific to a genre
It is powerful to come together collaboratively and discuss teaching points and unit objectives through this lens. When planning together, it is helpful to consider the work our students will be doing and discuss the scaffolds we can provide to help students find success.