m. mortimer ncmsa- engaging reluctant and struggling students in ms

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  • 1. Questioning ExploringWritingin the Middle School

2. Introduction

  • Welcome!
  • Middle school is when students become engaged readers or slip behind. Shared Inquiry empowers all students to become better readers and thinkers -- starting with their questions and ideas and using collaboration to build defendable interpretations of what they've read.
  • Participate in a Great Books Shared Inquiry discussion about Wolf and find out how.

3. Program Overview Great Books Roundtablepreservesthe features that have made Great Books programs unique and exciting for more than forty yearsafocus on the Shared Inquiry method of learningsupportedby high-quality literature. 4. Sample Unit Wolf

  • We are going to use Wolf, with the video that depicts a middle school classroom working on pre-discussion activities, discussing the selection, and completing post-discussion activities including writing.

5. Engaging Reluctant and Struggling Readers in the Middle Grades

  • Please tell us who you are and what concerns do you have for struggling /reluctant readers?
  • ______________________________
  • ______________________________
  • ______________________________
  • ______________________________

6. Engaging Reluctant and Struggling Readers in the Middle Grades

  • Students who struggle or get bored who:
  • Dont understand the words
  • Dont want to speak up in class
  • Are afraid they have the wrong answer
  • Are embarrassed to read aloud
  • _________________________________________
  • _________________________________________
  • (what other painful example can you give)

7. Real Comments from Students

  • Can we do this again tomorrow (a boy)
  • Some times I dont agree with the class, sometimes I dont even agree with myself
  • I didnt like the story at first, but now I see it differently.more differently than everyone else

8. Skills

  • Roundtable provides a superb framework for teaching the skills of
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Speaking
  • Vocabulary
  • Writing

9. The Teachers Role

  • As a Shared Inquiry leader, youdo not impart informationorpresent your own opinions , butguide participantsin reaching their own interpretations.
  • You do this byasking thought-provoking questionsand bybeing an active listener.

10. Questioning

  • TEACHERS -The key to a great discussion is learning how to ask questions.
  • STUDENTS It is more important to question answers than to answer questions.

11. Why Interpretive Questions?

  • Allows for different opinions to be accepted or rejected without judgments
  • Builds critical thinking skills by leading students to:
    • developideas
    • offerevidencefrom the text
    • respondto the opinions of others
  • Allows for a student centered discussion sharing ideas from quality literature addressing ideas and issues effecting middle schoolers

12. Great Books Shared Inquiry An active and collaborative search for answers to questions of meaning presented by a text 13. Sequence of Questions

  • OPENING QUESTION (1 question)
    • Introduces and explores ideas, topics, and themes
  • FOCUS QUESTION(1 question)
    • Examines a central point of the text
    • Establishes relevance revolving around the focus question
    • Interprets a passage, explore a quotations, etc.
  • FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS( asked of students to probe and clarify)
  • Are you saying that...
  • Where in the text did you find support for that?
  • What do you mean by...
  • Tell us more about...
  • Do you agree with Sally when she says

14. Materials

  • Roundtable leader Materials include:
  • Leader's Edition
  • Audio CDs
  • CD-ROM
  • Activity Instruction Cards
  • Roundtable Road Map
  • Posters and Bookmarks
  • (The materials also include a student anthology)

15. Leaders Steps in Preparing a Selection

  • Readtwice and take notes
  • Turnnotes & reactions into questions
  • Testfor answers and evidence
  • Reviseyour questions, if needed
  • Selectquestions for SI Discussion
  • Plan ways to differentiate for your class
  • Always use a seating chart

16. Teachers Preparation

          • STUDY THE STORY
          • REVIEW RULES
  • Focus Question:______________________
  • Answer: _____________________________

What do you mean by______? Have you heard an idea you disagree with? What do you think of ___s_idea? Where do you find that in the text? AGREE QUESTIONS DISAGREE NEW IDEAS 17. Discussion of Wolf

  • Discussion of Wolf with Teachers
  • Discussion of Wolf from Students from Disk

18. Writing

  • Writing is thinking on paper.Knowing what you think and how to back it up is the first step the next is the paperwork.
  • SI Discussion prepares students to explore ideas and conclude an evidenced point of view
  • Writing assignments can be differentiated or scored according to abilities (rubrics included on disk & TE)
  • Roundtable included a full featured writing component on CD ROM with tools to differentiate and use across curriculums.

19. Roundtable Features

  • High-quality literature
  • In-depth reading, critical thinking, and writing activities
  • Teaching and learning in stages
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Common Core and 21 Century Alignments
  • Assessment options
  • Standards-and research-based learning
  • Renowned professional development


  • What do all students like to do?
  • What keeps students from feeling uncomfortable?
    • No wrong answers in SI discussions
    • Students talk openly and teaches only ask questions
    • Rules that allow all to participate equally
    • Rules of civility that require acceptance of the opinions of others with the right to respectfully disagree
    • Pace that allows for thinking

21. What About my Struggling Readers?

  • Reading becomesless lonely and difficult , and more exciting, as they experience the joy of shared discovery.
  • SI discussions work best with amix class of abilitiesand opinions
  • Quite (and second language students) becomevalued for their different and often thoughtfulopinions
  • Gifted studentslearn to see there can be more than their one right answer
  • All students see that theteachers answer is not the question
  • Gives struggling students tools and shows the importance of multiple readings, as well as reading aloud
  • Students learn to collaborate to solve problems of meaning and develop their understanding of a text

22. Shared Solutions

  • What do you see as ideas to share with the group as they struggle with struggling students
  • ________________________________________
  • ________________________________________
  • ________________________________________
  • ________________________________________
  • ________________________________________
  • Double circles, pairing students, ball toss, vocab physical exercises, theater time, tokens to limit # of answers, saving seating charts, etc.

23. Roundtable Benefits

  • For Teachers . . .
  • Paradigm shift in the way you teach
  • Integration of 21st century skills into curriculum
  • Integration of the reading and writing processes
  • Meeting of New Core and other state standards
  • Assessment of students in order to meet AYP
  • Flexibility to differentiate

24. Benefits

  • For Students . . .
  • Improvement of reading comprehension, critical thinking, speaking and writing skil