Novel Study

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by FourSquare, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Aug 11, 2012

    Can someone share what novel study looks like in the middle grades? I'm not looking for book titles....but literally what you do each day. :eek: I have an idea, but I'm coming from 3rd where we never did whole class novels. How much do you read each day? Do you usually read a bit and discuss? Do kids work on questions with partners or something?

    I never observed in middle school cause I never thought I'd end up there. :eek: :eek: I keep having this nightmare where I just do what I think is right and all these people come to observe and laugh at me. :unsure:
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2012

    I can tell you what I did :) I taught 8th last year on an every other day block schedule. Here's what a typical day looked like.

    1. They had some kind of bell work, usually a journal prompt. I would walk around and check their guided reading questions from HW.
    2. We would review the bell work.
    3. We would summarize the reading and then discuss the questions.
    4. Short, 5 question quiz.
    5. Some kind of activity that got them up and moving around! Usually I would start pulling them out for grammar groups at this point.
    6. Either a grammar related activity or a writing prompt.
    7. Some sort of closure.

    I had 80 minutes.

    ETA: Forgot to add-I always started the next night's reading before they left, even if it was just for a couple of minutes. I literally had every single 8th grader in my class so I had students who were great readers and students who really struggled. It can be hard to meet all the needs of the students in a class like that! That's why I used the guided reading questions. Each packet included different levels of questions. I started with simple comprehension questions and then went up the levels until they were finally analyzing and evaluating what the author was saying. Obviously some students had an easier time with that than others but I always gave them credit as long as they tried. I also always included opinion questions that anyone could answer but was still related to the novel. For example, during The Outsiders, one of their questions was "What are three things you would buy from the store if you were running away?" This way I could encourage better participation.
     
  4. mrsenglish

    mrsenglish Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2012

    I'm not a fan of read and answer questions. That's very low on Bloom's. Here's what I did last year (for my freshman classes).

    We were reading Lord of the Flies. I set up the novel for them by creating a stranded island and grouping them in survivor groups. From there, they would be given a reading assignment to complete independently. During class, they would complete an activity on their "stranded island" as a precursor to what would happen in their reading.

    When they return after reading, one of two things would happen:
    1. I'd do a cursory check of novels for their annotations. If all completed well done annotations, we'd hop right into literature circle discussions, followed by a large group discussion.
    2. If little to no annotations were complete, there was a short comprehension quiz to remind them that they had to complete their reading, followed by literature circles, then large group.

    Finally, they'd break into the survivor groups and complete the next task. All tasks had some writing component as a part of the activity, as well as a technology component.
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Aug 15, 2012

    Fantastic, thank you! I just watched a great video introducing "talking to the text" to 6th graders. I think I will incorporate some of that. Part of my struggle is that my kids are special ed, so they are far below grade level and I have to figure out how to expose them to grade level text still. My kids are looping as a group and their previous teacher thinks my suggested novel will take them all quarter to get through. I will need to spend most of my time in guided reading at their level, but I'm still determined to do the novel. Even if we have to listen to it on tape in a center on top of reading it together. For this reason, I don't think assigning reading for homework will work, but I will work it out!
     
  6. Mark94544

    Mark94544 Companion

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    Aug 17, 2012

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