January 5, 2017

Author's Point of View: Independently!


     Over the last two days I have shared with you the process of how I've taught Author's Point of View in my classroom.  I guess it is important at this point to share that all of the texts that I have used are non-fiction.  I continue this trend with the final step in the process.  This is where my class took to small readers and tried the skill out at their reading level.  It was interesting to say the least! 

     First, I started with deciding who my small groups would be.  I often look at where students are at in the skill, as well as their reading level.  I gave them the directions above!  Yep, that's it!  We went carefully through each step actually as I wrote them on the board!  And that's it-off they went!  

Soon, they were reading and working.  Most students chose to read together.  The length of the reader and the complexity of the content-they were mainly about National monuments-really allowed for success in this area as a shared read.  They could talk a little about each idea as well.  This was the harder part for me.  I didn't have the opportunity to support the read because of the fact that I had four groups going at once.  But it worked!

    Next, they set to work on their questions.  I monitored their work and helped out where I could.  Again, a little hard with four groups going at once.  At the same time, I didn't want to give too much help.  This was their independent opportunity to show what they knew!  I was excited!  I couldn't wait.  What I saw was pretty good. Then it happened!

     We meet as small groups next.  I monitored all groups until I realized what was going on in my lower level team.  They were really lost.  When I finally got to them, there was some debating going on about what they were even doing!  Yet, on paper, they were working on the task and I had seen question stems.  WHAT HAPPENED!  So, in I went!  One young man had asked a question and then just copied the text to read.  One of the ladies had asked a "Why" based question but then twisted it to be just a why question.  One lady was right on!  She was trying to build understanding in the other students.  One young man was just blank faced by it all!  What did it teach me?  We still need a lot of work in this group!  Yet that one lady, the right on one, was the surprise of the whole entire class!  She has mastered something that is complex and difficult and I am so proud of her!  And, the rest of the class too!  They really have caught onto this and are growing by leaps and bounds.  

     There is some data to back this up!  After our brief learning from our series, we had a class average on our weekly assessment of 62%.  That's it!  I received some concerned messages because of the test scores.  I was concerned because of the test scores!  After these lessons, our class average jumped to 72%.  That's a 10 point jump in a week's worth of lessons!  And we aren't done!  We will be continuing to work on Author's Point of View in the weeks to come, including moving into fiction and how the character's point of view impacts the story direction!  

     Thanks for joining me during this series of posts! (see Post 1 and Post 2 for more info.)  I'm hoping they will help you in your journey with Author's Point of View!  If you have any great ideas or additional thoughts, I'd love to hear about them!  Leave me a comment to let me know! 


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