Showing posts with label Questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Questions. Show all posts

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Do You Know?

The good news is that no one on has to know everything. All we need to know is to know when we don't know and know, ask questions, and know how to find out when we don't.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Who Do You Ask?

Ben and Chloe sit beside each other in Reading Workshop. Both are good students and work hard. When they have a problem, or don't understand something, they don't ask for help. They will talk to each other about things that don't matter but they don't ask each other for help. 

What makes this interesting is how our class is built around everyone helping everyone be successful. Peer tutoring is a continual thing. Any time a student doesn't understand, someone is ready to help. This is expected and students do an amazing job of making sure their classmates do well.

This is similar to how our team of teachers work. If someone has a question or concern, Mrs. Hardin, Mrs. Webb, Ms. Huysman  and I work together to help work it out. This makes a strong team of people that count on each other and are strong because of their unity. This also helps make our hallway a great place.

We talked about this in class today. Most of the students have a couple of people they count on when they need help. This might be when they are editing their writing, doing something on the computer, or trying to complete an assignment. Hopefully now that we have discussed this Ben, Chloe, and any other students that doesn't have a pal to count on will be open for a little help and ask someone when they need a hand.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What Words Students Don't Know--Achievement Vocabulary

Students frequently miss questions during an assessment simply because they don't understand the question.  Use of unusual or uncommon words is a common practice on the Ohio Achievement Assessment.  In addition, simple requests are often worded in a way that create confusion for the test takers.

To overcome this barrier, students went through the OAA 2006 test booklet that they just used as a practice test and highlighted all of the words in the questions that they didn't understand.  Once we compile this list, I will compare it to the vocabulary list from The Reading Workshop Achievement Vocabulary Page.  Also, I will use to to look for specific vocabulary and word attack needs.
  • barked--All afternoon, Uncle Orrin barked orders.
  • description--Support your description of each attitude with a specific detail.
  • symbolize--Which place symbolizes love and safety to Nathan?
  • conscience--the value of listening to one's conscience and being honest
  • intimidated--Why was Ella too intimidated to dance?
  • scat performers--What do the selection and the footnote suggest about scat . ..(this is defined in the footnotes)
  • footnote--What do the selection and the footnote suggest about the scat performers?
  • evaluation--Identify two factual details from the selection that support the author's positive evaluation of Ella.
  • factual--Identify two factual details from the selection.
  • amateur--A number of other amateur venues
  • venues--After her early success at the Apollo and as a popular performer at a number of other amateur venues . . .
  • analysis--To write a scientific analysis of why some frogs jump farther than others.
  • organizational--Which organizational tool would most clearly contrast the lengths of winning jumps?
  • contrast--Which organizational tool would most clearly contrast the lengths of winning jumps?
  • wilted--But she wilted under the glare of the spotlight.
  • star-struck--She was star-struck and she just sat there looking at everyone.
  • rental frogs--Rental Frogs includes which piece of information?
  • coachable--Frogs don't understand about money and they're not very coachable.
  • capacity--Having the capacity to be taught.
  • figurative language--In the poem, how does the poet use figurative language?
  • repetition--Explain why the poet makes this repitition.
  • personification--Which characteristic can be found in the poem?
  • dialogue--Which characteristic can be found in the poem?
  • emperor--Each emperor built a magnificent palace.
  • prosper--It also helped the Inca prosper.
  • terraces--Why did the Inca farmers build terraces to plant their crops?
  • ravines--Suspension bridges made of plant fibers spanned deep ravines.
  • spanned--Suspension bridges made of plant fibers spanned deep ravines.
  • priorities--What was one of the Inca government's main priorities?
  • adequate--To make sure everyone had adequate food and clean housing.
In one class, students averaged not knowing 6.75 words.  This would obviously lead to many missed questions.  We will spend the next few days working on word attack skills, looking for root words, prefixes and suffixes, and context clues, and we will spend the next few weeks improving vocabulary specific to achievement test questions.  This will allow students to show their ability on the 2010 OAA.
Image from

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reading Strategies, Ask Questions for Comprehension

Good readers must get inside the book.  For comprehension to occur, several reading strategies must take place simultaneously.  Students must connect with the book--the characters and the setting.

The reader must visualize, picturing events as they happen.  Predictions must be made, evaluated, revised, and then renewed.  Prior knowledge must be related and compared.  Students must constantly question the story, the characters, and the events.  When all of this happens at once, usually without the reader consciously thinking about it, comprehension happens.

One skill that is particularly important is asking questions.  Students must wonder, examine, doubt, and inquire as they read.

Examples of starts of questions might include:

How will the problem . . .
Why did she . . .
I wonder what will happen when . . .
Does this look like  . . .
Why did that character  . . .
How will she solve  . . .
Where are they going to  . . .
Who will be the one to  . . .
Why did the author . . .
Why didn't he  . . .
If I was there I wonder  . . .

Students, as you read today, what questions did you have?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What Character Could You Be?

As we continue the read aloud of Larger-Than-Life LARA, written by Dandi Daley Mackall in Reading Workshop, the characters are coming alive. This book has a wide variety of characters, each explained in enough detail so that the reader can identify with them. In fact, Dandi makes it easy for the reader to picture him/herself in the book.

Laney, the main character was described in detail in the post Laney is Larger-Than-Life.

LARA is new student at Paris Elementary School. No matter how mean someone is to her, she is nice. She responds to meanness by being kind with a friendly poem. She thinks independently, and always has a smile. She is huge, so fat that she blocks the light around her coming into the door, and needed a special chair and desk.

Joey Gilbert is a leader. Laney does not like him, but he is a hero to the other boys in the class. He is the class bully. He is mean to LARA and picks on other people. He is a good baseball player, but he won't let the girls play.

Wayne is the class clown. He laughs the loudest, and thinks everything is funny, even when he doesn't know what is going on. He is Joey's sidekick.

Maddie is the class princess. She has pretty blonde hair, and thinks she is all that. She wears all the latest styles, dressing like the high school girls. She wants to be the center of attention. She wants everyone to know who she likes and who she doesn't.

Sarah is a follower. She is insecure and usually doesn't think for herself. She wants to fit in with the popular crowd. Every decision she makes is based on what Maddie says and does.

The brothers (Laney's) are mean, skip school, don't like Laney or appreciate what she does. They argue and fight constantly.

Laney's dad has a bad temper, hates his job (and his life). He drinks way too much.

Good readers can relate to characters based on one trait, or many. To enjoy a book though, the reader must understand the characters. Frequently, one characteristic shared between the reader and someone in the story creates involvement and connects the reader to the story.

What character are you connected to? How are you connected?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Google Docs Gift to Bloggers

Want an easy way to survey your readers? Thanks to Google Docs, that is an easy task. Embedding a question into a blog post is a simple process, and results will be compiled in a Google Docs spreadsheet that will allow sorting of the data.

The first step is to create a Google Docs account. Once that is completed, and you have signed in, just follow these steps:
1. Click on New
2. Click on Form
3. Choose the type of questions. The types include text, multiple choice, check boxes, choose from a list, and scale 1-n.
4. Edit the form with questions.
5. Embed the form into the html of a blog post.

For an example of how this will look on a blog post, you can check out Where Am ?. This is a sampling of students used in The Reading Workshop.

Thank you to Mr. Todd Tomlinson, Logan Elm technology teacher for the tip!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Don't Want No . . .

"You don't want no cheese on that?" I just stared at the Wendy's Menu. I wasn't quite sure what the voice on the intercom said. My daughter, Emily and I were sitting in the drive through, grabbing some lunch to go.
Finally I said, "I'm sorry, what was that?"
"You don't want no cheese on that?"
I replied, "No thank you. No cheese."

Then I looked over at Emily. She was sitting in the passenger seat slightly shaking her head. A few hours later, I couldn't really remember anything about the lunch. I think maybe the fries were a little wimpy, and limp-like, but I honestly don't remember too much about the lunch. I do remember that the people were friendly at the two windows, first to pay and then to get our food. Emily didn't complain, and I soon forgot about it, so the food must have been OK.

Three days later though, that voice on the intercom has stuck with me. I tried to put a picture to that voice Somewhere along the line, she could have been in my class. She obviously spent a lot of years, sitting in language arts classes. It was a nasty, snowy day, and she was at work, so she probably was a hard worker. She was friendly, and polite, with good customer service in mind.

I have so many questions I would like to ask her.

Did your teachers ever mention double negatives?
Did you like school?
How did you do in school?
What kind of grades did you get in language arts?
Do you like to read?
How did you do on the "test?"
Did you graduate from high school?
Where did you go to school?
Does the Wendy's manager ever say anything about how you talk?
How long have you worked there?
Did your parents ever talk to you about your grammar?
Do you have kids?
Do you help them with their school work?
Did you ever think about college?
Do you think you might be a manager some day?
Did you ever consider that your dialect might limit you?
Have you traveled?
Who do you look up to?
Do you think how you speak matters?

I don't remember anything about that sandwich except I "didn't want no cheese on it." I sure have thought a lot about that voice on the intercom, though. I think there is a good chance that we will be having a few conversations about this in Reading Workshop.