Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Teaching Moment

In addition to teaching 7th grade Language Arts, I also teach a Reading Intervention class - targeted at students who are reading 2+ years below their reading level. Most of these students have struggled with reading since 1st grade, and reading has never been something they enjoyed.
I try to change that.
I show them strategies to use while they are reading that help them retain the information. And we try to have fun.
This is one of my favorites
At the end of each chapter, I ask the students to write down 2-3 favorite lines from the chapter. They might like the figurative language - they might have a personal connection - whatever.

When we finish the novel, they cut out their sentences, select a few, and put them in a different sequence to create:

Here is my example from the novel, "The Music of Dolphins," by Karen Hesse.
Note: This novel is written at a 5th grade level, but is 7-8th grade interest. It is written in a journal form, and reminds me a lot of "Flowers for Algernon."

I watch the red sun set into a choppy sea
I am on this beach of grass with no ocean, with no quiet, with no clean air to breathe.
Waves whisper onto the beach, sucking at my heels and my toes.
I must get back to the sea.
In the sea there are no locks or switches, no doors or walls.
I can leave my human thought on the beach
I swim out to them on the murmuring sea
-like the wings of the ray flying through the slow green water
What we are doing will not fade like a sunset.


Katie :) said...

I love, love, love, love that idea!
You are such a rad teacher Madame APJ!

airplanejayne said...

Katie -- glad you love it. Here's my other one:
I hear the great sea lifting its ton, singing its long tale.
The water sings in my ears.
All around me swims the big music, but I am trapped inside the sea grass of my little notes.
when I go to the sea, I will take this music with me.
All that I am, all that I was, and all that I ever will be, I put into my song.
My inside hums, like with dolphin questions.
Who will come into my room when I am gone and sing my story?

:) ::sigh:: I am so blessed to have this job.

lime said...

oh i hope the kids gasped like i just did when i read that. wonderful!

sexy said...


airplanejayne said...

Lime - you should see the ones that my kids wrote -- knocked my socks off!!!

to all: ...I do not have a clue what "Sexy" is selling...


Anonymous said...

I think this is a great way for the kids to gain comprehension!!! How cool!! I'm going to have to suggest your technique to my teacher friends ;)