It’s been really busy as we hurtle toward the end of the school year. I didn’t make it any easier by leaving for four days to go to a meeting in Washington, DC. Two of those days were spent flying twelve hours, and the others were completely full of meetings and notes, so now I’m pretty drained, even if inspired.
So I was surprised today when I could think of a good way to cut to the chase in a story we’re reading in the advanced class.
I have the book on a PowerPoint, since we don’t have enough copies. There are pictures, and the reading is easy enough for the kids to do with a little bit of circling on my part.
(I think that learning to do MovieTalk has helped my ability to use pictures in a story.)
Each pair of kids had a mini white board. After we read and circled a page (short pages, with pictures), I told them to split responsibilities: one kid was to read the text from the overhead to the other, and the other was to draw symbols and stick figures that represented the reading. After they had about two minutes to do that, they had to re-tell each other the parts that they’d drawn. They could use the display as a reference. After that, I called on one pair each time to retell for the class and be applauded, and then asked other groups to show and describe any pieces they’d drawn that the “performing” group had left out. Then they all erased their boards and we went to the next page.
Shockingly for me, it went so well that I duplicated the process in the next class. Unfortunately, the story I chose to read there was not one that was easy for the kids. It didn’t go so well. Too many unknown words messed up their comprehension. I’m going to have to repeat that activity with an easier story in the second group.