March 6, 2014

Thursday Throwdown with Flash Freebies

imlovinlit.blogspot.comI'm linking up with my very first bloggy bestie, Erin from I'm Lovin Lit, today to share one way I make learning more interactive.

When we read The Outsiders in 7th grade, it was always done as an independent novel study. What I mean by this, is that students were given a set of parameters, but they had a lot of choice for how they wanted to complete the requirements.

For example, for each set of chapters, students had to complete the following:

1. Journal - I provided 4 prompts for each set of chapters, and they have to choose one to answer thoughtfully
2. Comprehension check -10 point multiple choice or true/false quiz
3. Activity - I offered and 3-4 choices here as well. The options offer students opportunities to explore various plot elements, point-of-view, re-writing scenes, exploring the meaning of the word tuff, taking on the role of a character for a shopping spree, writing up articles for the local newspaper, etc.

My students were very motivated during our 3-week unit because they had SO much choice about when, what, and how they completed their assignments. Some students preferred to read the book in its entirety, take all the quizzes at once, and then go back to finish the journals and activities. Other students preferred to complete the journals and activities as they read the chapters as a way to check their comprehension before the quizzes.

My role during this unit was to help students create individual schedules for themselves and to keep them accountable for staying on task. The goal for this unit was for greater independence, but of course, there are some students who just need daily (or even more frequently) check-ins.

Now, that's not to say we never did anything as a class becuase we did, of course. Usually twice a week, I would select a group activity for them to do within table groups, and we would have great discussions as a whole class. Two of the favorites include the Social Group Analysis and a We Will Make the Rules Activity. You may download both activities for FREE by clicking on the links. Each of them provide plenty of opportunity for students to share their thoughts and opinions - trust me when I say that even your quietest students will be participating in these activities!

It's amazing how much more engaged students are in their learning when they have choice.

It is my goal for the month of March to get my entire novel study in my TPT store, and as always, I will probably offer a couple freebies, so make sure you're following my blog! :)

1 comment:

  1. You are the MASTER at this book and the only reason I *kind of* taught it this year instead of just testing on it and moving on. While I don't enjoy it (AT ALL) my kids sure do! Thanks for linking up, friend!
    :) Erin

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