Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Clues, problems, and wanderings

Clue: hints to what the thing is. Problems: difficult words, phrases. Wanderings: questions about the story.

Clues, problems, and wanderings come from Open Court and it is quite possibly the longest, most convoluted way to do SQ3R to stories that range anywhere from 6-16 pages.

I don't really have a problem with it, although I know quite a few educators who do. It's actually a really good version of KWL for EL students. My current students seem to enjoy it a lot. My students from last semester never did this in their classroom. My students from last, last semester hadn't gotten to the point of reading in their anthologies yet.

Here's how we do it:

- Students look through the first 4 pages of the story
- A student facilitator calls on raised hands and passes a plastic ball to them as they give a clue, problem, or wandering. There has to be 6 in each category before this part is done.
- The class reads the story.
- On the day after we finish the story (usually Wednesday or Thursday), we go back to the ball passing and answer all the problems and wanderings.

That's about it. It sometimes seems like a gigantic waste of time, but I'm surprised at how well my current students retain information from the story through this routine procedure. It probably has to do with the fact that they get to toss around a plastic ball during the process.

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