Saturday, January 25, 2014

Compare & Contrast Practice with my 3rd Graders

Hula hooping champion of the 4th grade...that's me! Why wouldn't I find a way to incorporate these hard colorful plastic rings of fun into my lesson on comparing and contrasting?! Before expecting my scholars to be able to dissect and analyze similarities and differences between two FULL text passages by the same author, I thought it would be good to break it down into more manageable chunks for my kids.

I intro'ed the skill to the whole class using the anchor chart below and by using the passages I created (that are available HERE) to model, guide, and eventually release the application of comparing and contrasting.

The steps listed gave the students an opportunity to covertly and overtly tackle this task. As soon as I would go to Step 2, students would immediately raise their hands. It is important to actually wait it out fora bit to teach them that "thinking" should take time. We will often put on our best "thinking faces" when getting to these "think" steps of any process. This also kind of forces them to stop and think before raising a hand to answer. By waiting it out, you also give the slower processing students what they need to work it out and feel successful before giving them the answers.

Using my Promethean board, I completed the "I DO" part of my teaching delivery (note the I DO, WE DO, YOU DO, & YOU DO sign next to the board) where I modeled and students gave me the 3 L's (look, listen, and learn). We then practiced the steps together in the "WE DO" stage. During this stage, it is SUPER DUPER important to make sure ALL students are working with you and not just sitting there picking their noses, playing with their shoelaces, or daydreaming of snow days ;). I made sure to color code my markings when working through the passages, to match the anchor charts and steps we referred back to so frequently.

Working in partners and small groups for the "YOU DO" stage, students used another short passage to fill out information in a life-sized Venn diagram. I walked around, giving immediate feedback, challenging my higher students, and helping my struggling students. I also grouped them so that I had stronger students mixed in with the students that would need help. I often find that students learn well when being coached by a same-aged peer. I guess they truly know their audience :). To answer your question, OF COURSE WE HAD A HULA HOOPING CONTEST once we finished our work! Haha! I absolutely lost my title of champ to a 9 year old student. 

After practicing this skill for two more days, I had students attempt to try one all by themselves (thus completing the last "YOU DO" stage). It was through this task that I was able to quickly assess them on their mastery of the skill. Based on the information given, I knew who had mastered it, who needed a little bit of review, and who needed small group or one-on-one help. Luckily, I only needed to pull two students out of twenty to point out a few minor mistakes. 

Be sure to visit my TPT STORE to check out the passages created solely for teaching the skill of comparing and contrasting!!!!! :) 

Happy Teaching, 
Mary ~ Teaching Takes the Cake

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