Launching Independent Reading: Book Selection | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G3:M1:U1:L2

Launching Independent Reading: Book Selection

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.3.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • RI.3.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • SL.3.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • SL.3.6: Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

Daily Learning Targets

  •  I can select a research reading book that I want to read. (RL.3.10, RI.3.10)
  •  I can talk with a small group, using complete sentences to tell why I chose my book. (SL.3.1, SL.3.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Discussion Norms anchor chart (SL.3.1, SL.3.6)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Reflections on Module Guiding Questions (10 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Launching Independent Research Reading (20 minutes)

B. Fishbowl: Book Discussion (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Small Group Discussion (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Read your research book for at least 10 minutes.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • To build a body of knowledge and vocabulary on this module's topic, students should use the classroom, school, or local library to obtain book(s) at their independent reading level. These books can be used in a variety of ways: as independent and partner reading in the classroom whenever time allows, as read-alouds by the teacher to entice students into new books, and as an ongoing homework expectation. In this lesson, students browse and select one of these texts for reading throughout the unit (see Independent Reading: Sample Plans on the Tools page).
  • In this lesson, students choose independent research reading books and discuss why they chose those particular books in small groups (RL.3.10, RI.3.10, SL.3.1, SL.3.6). Before discussing, they watch a model discussion to generate a Discussion Norms anchor chart that will be referred to whenever students have collaborative discussions in future units and modules. Refer to the Independent Reading: Sample Plans standalone document for ideas on how to launch independent reading in your classroom or follow the routine you have already established.
  • In Opening A, students have the option to share their reflections about the module questions. It is important to be sensitive to students' and families' feelings and experiences with education, books, and reading and to acknowledge that these feelings and experiences may differ greatly, from very positive to somewhat neutral to very negative. It is important to be prepared to handle this issue sensitively should it arise. The main point students should understand by the end of this module is that education, books, and reading are important for college and career readiness, and that is the reason for the emphasis on education, books, and reading in this module.
  • This lesson is the second of two that include built-out instruction for strategic use of the Think-Pair-Share protocol to promote productive and equitable conversation.
  • In this lesson, students generate the Discussion Norms anchor chart. Ensure that all of the cues and responses suggested on the Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) are added, as these will support students in having productive and equitable discussions that will deepen their understanding. This anchor chart will be referred to both throughout the module and the school year.
  • Because students may be accustomed to different communication norms at home, help them explicitly connect the Think-Pair-Share protocol, Fishbowl protocol, and Discussion Norms anchor chart with the implicit value that many U.S. classrooms place on each student sharing thoughts and being given an equal share of talk time.
  • In this unit, the habit of character focus is working to become ethical people. Throughout the rest of the unit, students will "collect" characteristics of ethical people on a Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart. This anchor chart will be referred to both throughout the module and school year. The characteristic they collect in this lesson is respect because of the potentially diverse views of students in response to the guiding questions.
  • Throughout the module as students collect characteristics of each habit of character, examples of what each might look like and sound like are provided in the supporting materials; use these as a guide. Note that they are suggestions, and it is not necessary to include all of the examples on the anchor chart.
  • The research reading that students complete for homework will help build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to overcoming challenges in access to education, books, and reading near and far. By participating in this volume of reading over a span of time, students will develop a wide base of knowledge about the world and the words that help describe and make sense of it.
  • Note that students are not given independent reading journals until Lesson 6. The homework reflects this by simply asking students to read their research text for at least 10 minutes. In the second half of the unit, they will begin responding to prompts in their independent reading journals.

How it builds on previous work:

  • In Opening A, students are given the option to share their reflections on the module guiding questions, introduced in Lesson 1.

Areas where students may need additional support:

  • Students may need additional support when participating in discussions, particularly if they find speaking to groups challenging. Consider placing those students in smaller groups of three.
  • Consider grouping students by home language for small group discussions. Invite in adult family members to support the groups and allow students to begin the discussions in their home language with adult supervision.

Assessment guidance:

  • Listen to students as they participate in small group discussions. Identify any common issues to use as whole group teaching points to add to the Discussion Norms anchor chart.
  • Consider using the Speaking and Listening Informal Assessment: Collaborative Discussion Checklist to collect baseline data during students' small group discussions in Closing and Assessment A.

Down the road:

  • Students continue to read research texts independently for homework. Vocabulary logs are introduced and added to this routine in the next lesson.

In Advance

  • In this lesson, students watch a model small group discussion to generate discussion norms. Choose three to five students who can serve as strong models of speaking and listening, invite students from an older grade to choose and bring their own research reading texts to share, or invite several teachers or adult volunteers to choose and bring their own books to share and discuss. In selecting model participants, consider building a diverse group that includes comprehensible ELLs and people who may exhibit contrasting communication norms. All participants will need to be briefed in advance. Briefing should involve explaining the task and sharing the Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) so that participants can understand what is required in an effective discussion. Request that participants bring brief notes about why they chose their books to the discussion so that students can see evidence of preparation.
  • Predetermine groups of four or five for small group discussions in Closing and Assessment A. Consider grouping students heterogeneously.
  • Prepare:
    • Discussion Norms anchor chart. This chart will be added to throughout the modules, so ensure you leave room at the bottom of the chart.
    • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (see supporting materials).
    • Review:
      • Independent Reading: Sample Plans in preparation for launching independent reading in Work Time A.
      • Review the Think-Pair-Share and Red Light, Green Light protocols. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
    • Post: Learning targets and Guiding Questions anchor chart.

    Tech and Multimedia

    • Work Time B and Closing and Assessment A: Record student discussions using software or apps such as Audacity or GarageBand.

    Supporting English Language Learners

    Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 3.I.A.1, 3.I.A.3, 3.I.B.5, 3.I.B.6, 3.I.C.11, 3.I.C.12

    Important points in the lesson itself

    • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to observe U.S. classroom discussion norms before having to exhibit the norms themselves and allows space for students to build diverse discussion norms that reflect their home cultures. As with the previous lesson, this lesson invites diverse perspectives on education, books, and reading.
    • ELLs may find it challenging to understand the two learning targets. For instance, the second target requires them to use complete sentences, but many ELLs may not know how to form a complete sentence in English. Provide them with upfront instruction, models, and practice in what constitutes a complete sentence, beginning with the idea that most complete sentences in English requires a subject with a verb. Invite them to compare this requirement to their home language. Display, repeat, and rephrase all three learning targets for students.

    Levels of support

    For lighter support:

    • Before providing sentence frames or additional modeling during Work Time, observe student interaction and allow students to grapple. Provide supportive frames and demonstrations only after they have grappled with the task. Observe the areas in which they need additional support.
    • Invite students to add on to the Discussion Norms anchor chart to create varied and complex sentence frames, for example by using even more polite language (e.g., "Would you be able to" instead of "Can") or adverbial phrases (e.g., "I'm interested in what you said about" > "I'm interested in what you said earlier in our discussion, something about").

    For heavier support:

    • Provide students with two or three behaviors or phrases to look out for during the Fishbowl discussion. (Examples: the behavior of asking questions and the phrase "Could you tell me more?")
    • Consider allowing students to choose a book in their home language alongside a book in English. Whether or not the book is a translation of the English version of the book, reading independently in a home language can support good reading habits and make reading in English more accessible.

    Universal Design for Learning

    • Multiple Means of Representation: This lesson helps to set the foundation for respect that will continue throughout this unit and will shape class discussion. Respect may be an abstract concept for some students. To grasp how to enact respect, students will need multiple examples. For instance, provide opportunities for role-play and modeling when appropriate and make explicit connections to the Discussion Norms anchor chart.
    • Multiple Means of Action and Expression: This lesson launches independent reading. Some students may need additional support with building their reading stamina. Consider developing individual plans for students to take breaks at predetermined times initially. These supports should decrease as their reading stamina increases over the course of the unit.
    • Multiple Means of Engagement: Build excitement about the research reading books. Tell students that they will become experts on the module topic.

    Vocabulary

    Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

    • ethical people, research reading, respect (L)

    Materials

    • Guiding Questions anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
    • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (new; teacher-created)
    • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
    • Independent Reading: Sample Plans (see the Tools page; for teacher reference)
    • Red, yellow, and green objects (one of each per student)
    • Discussion Norms anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time B)
    • Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
    • Lined paper (optional; for students to take notes during Closing and Assessment A)

    Opening

    OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

    A. Reflections on Module Guiding Questions (10 minutes)

    • Remind students that in the previous lesson, they were introduced to the module guiding questions.
    • Direct students' attention to the Guiding Questions anchor chart and reread the questions aloud.
    • Explain that not all students will feel comfortable with the first guiding question for a number of reasons: They may not like school, books, or reading, or they may come from a background that doesn't value school, learning, and reading as much as we do. Ensure students understand that it is okay to have different opinions, but that for college and career readiness, this school emphasizes education, books, and reading.
    • To help build trust and exemplify, consider sharing a personal story regarding your feelings about education, books, and reading. Consider acknowledging a time when education, books, or reading may have felt uncomfortable.
    • Remind students that for homework they were asked to reflect on what the module guiding questions mean to them and how they feel about them.
    • Tell students they will now have the opportunity to share their reflections, if they would like to, with the whole group. Tell them that they need to be respectful as they listen to other students sharing. Explain that part of being respectful means treating others with care.
    • Invite students to share their reflections with the whole group as they feel comfortable.
    • Focus students on the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart. Emphasize the phrase ethical people at the top of the anchor chart and inform students that ethical people are people who treat others well and stand up for what is right.
    • Read aloud the habit of character recorded:
    • I show respect: This means I appreciate the abilities, qualities, and achievements of others and treat myself, others, and the environment with care.
    • Ask students to turn and talk, and select volunteers to share their responses with the whole group:

    "Using the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart as a guide, what does the word respect mean in your own words?"

    "What does respect look like? What might you see when someone is showing respect to someone else?"

    "What does respect sound like? What might you hear when someone is showing respect to someone else?"

    • Record student responses in the appropriate column on the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart. Refer to the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
    • Add ethical people and respect to the Academic Word Wall.
    • Once again, remind students of the habit of character focus: respect.
    • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Establish transparency of purpose by asking:

    "Why do we have guiding questions for each module?" (Responses will vary, but may include: to help focus our learning, to help us think about the performance task.) (MMR)

    • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading: Ask ELLs in advance if they would like to share their reflections. Invite them to practice with you or a peer, helping them to rephrase any language that prevents comprehension of their intended message.
    • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with new vocabulary: Pronounce and spell respect aloud. Tell students that the words show and respect are often used together (collocation) and can be learned as a phrase, e.g., "I show respect." Invite students to investigate additional collocations with show and respect (e.g., "clearly show" or "lose respect"). (MMR) (Hint: Suggest that students complete an internet search or use a collocation dictionary.
    • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Check comprehension by asking students to describe any ethical people they know. Ask them how these ethical people show respect. (MMR)
    • For ELLs: Invite students to add translations of the words in their home languages in a different color next to the target vocabulary.

    B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

    • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and select a volunteer to read them aloud:

    "I can select a research reading book that I want to read."

    "I can talk with a small group, using complete sentences to tell why I chose my book."

    • Underline the words research reading in the first learning target. Explain that research reading is reading informational texts about the topic and that this is important to help students build background knowledge and vocabulary on the topic.
    • Explain that when they talk with a small group about why they chose their book, they are going to speak in sentences to be clear and understood.
    • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Ask students to explain what an informational text is. Show them examples. Show them a simple fiction book and ask them to explain the difference. (MMR)
    • Build excitement about the research reading book by explaining that students get to become an expert in something that is really important to them. Then, they will get to share this expertise with others. (MME)
    • For ELLs: Explain that, in English, a complete sentence must usually contain a subject with a verb. Tell them a subject is a person, place, or thing, and a verb is an action or state of being. Provide them with a simple example, circling the subject and underlining the verb, or use one of the learning targets to exemplify. Compile a list of subjects and verbs, scramble them, and invite students to choose among them to create their own complete sentences.
    • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading: Invite students who benefit from heavier support to sketch the gist of the learning targets. (MMAE)

    Work Time

    Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

    A. Launching Independent Research Reading (20 minutes)

    • Launch independent reading. There is a suggested independent reading launch in Independent Reading: Sample Plans.
    • Direct students' attention again to the first learning target:

    "I can select a research reading book that I want to read."

    • Tell students they are now going to use the Red Light, Green Light protocol to reflect on their learning.
    • Distribute red, yellow, and green objects.
    • Invite students to place the color on their desks that best describes their comfort level or readiness with that target. Remind students what each color means as necessary. (Red = stuck or not ready; yellow = need support soon; green = ready to start)
    • Note students showing red or yellow objects so you can check in with them.
    • For students who may need additional support with building reading stamina: Consider developing a plan to take predetermined and timed breaks during the 20 minutes independent reading block. The plan should be modified over time to reduce the amount of breaks so that students can sustain independent reading the entire time. Offer specific feedback as students build their stamina over time. (MME, MMAE)

    B. Fishbowl: Book Discussion (15 minutes)

    • Refocus whole group. Redirect students' attention to the second learning target and reread it aloud:

     "I can talk with a small group, using complete sentences to tell why I chose my book."

    • Explain that having an effective and productive small group discussion can be very challenging because, for example, one person might speak more than the rest, or one person might say nothing at all.
    • Explain that it is helpful to know what such a talk might look and sound like. Tell students that a few people will model a group discussion using a "Fishbowl" technique and that students will be watching from the outside and seeing and listening to what people in the Fishbowl are doing and saying.
    • Direct students' attention to the Discussion Norms anchor chart.
    • Tell students that they are going to watch a mock Fishbowl discussion. Following the discussion, they will discuss criteria to add to the anchor chart based on good and bad examples they see in the model discussion.
    • Encourage students to look and listen for:

    -  things that made the discussion effective

    -  things that didn't work so well

    -  questions they heard students ask

    • Facilitate a Fishbowl discussion based on arrangements determined in advance (see Teaching Notes) by having participants sit in a circle in the middle of the group and discuss the research reading book they chose and why.
    • After 5 or 6 minutes, bring the Fishbowl discussion to an end.
    • Tell students they will now use the Think-Pair-Share protocol:

    -  Ask the first question (below) and give students think time.

    -  Invite partner A to ask partner B the question.

    -  Give partner B 20 seconds to share his or her response.

    -  Invite partner B to ask partner A the question and give partner A 20 seconds to share a response.

    -  Cold call students to share their responses with the whole group.

    -  Repeat this process with the next question:

    "What did the group do well during the model discussion?"

    "How might the group improve their discussion? Are there any norms we could add to prevent that issue in our collaborative discussions?"

    • As students share out, capture their responses on the Discussion Norms anchor chart. Refer to the Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
    • Create a chart with two columns at the bottom of the Discussion Norms anchor chart. Label the column on the left "Cues" and the column on the right "Responses."
    • Repeat the Think-Pair-Share protocol for these questions:

    "In the model discussion, how did participants clarify when they didn't understand? What questions can you ask when you don't understand what someone is saying?"

    "In the model discussion, how did participants find out more about the ideas of others? What questions can you ask when you want to find out more?"

    • As students share out, capture their responses in the Cues column. Refer to the Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
    • Repeat the Think-Pair-Share protocol for this question:

    "How can you respond when you are asked to clarify or to elaborate on an idea?"

    • Record student responses in the Responses column. Refer to the Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
    • To facilitate better comprehension, provide a note-taking template for students to jot down what they notice during the Fishbowl. (Example: Provide a T-chart with two columns that read: Effective and Not Effective. They can use this as a reference during the model discussion.) (MMAE)
    • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Display, repeat, and rephrase the questions. (Example: "Did the group do a good job? Why? Should we do the same thing they did?") (MMR)
    • After students offer suggestions on ways to improve the discussion, consider demonstrating these strategies via role-play to facilitate comprehension before asking them to synthesize. (MMR)

    Closing & Assessments

    ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

    A. Small Group Discussion (10 minutes)

    • Move students into predetermined groups.
    • Distribute lined paper.
    • Tell students they are going to have 3 minutes to silently think and take notes, if they wish, about why they chose their research reading book. Then, they will spend a few minutes sharing their thoughts with their small group. Remind students that notes help them remember their thinking, do not have to be full sentences, and will not be collected for assessment.
    • Invite students to begin thinking and taking notes.
    • After 3 minutes, refocus whole group.
    • Remind students of the criteria on the Discussion Norms anchor chart, including the need to speak clearly in complete sentences to ensure that they are understood.
    • Invite students to begin discussing in their small group, using the Discussion Norms anchor chart as necessary.
    • Circulate to support students and to identify any common issues to use as whole group teaching points or to add to the Discussion Norms anchor chart.
    • Direct students' attention to the following learning target:

     "I can talk with a small group, using complete sentences to tell why I chose my book."

    • Tell students they are going to use the Red Light, Green Light protocol to show how close they are to meeting this learning target. Remind them that they used this protocol earlier in the lesson and review what each color represents (red = stuck or not ready; yellow = needs support soon; green = ready) as necessary. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.) Use the protocol for students to self-assess against the learning target, and against how well they did showing respect.
    • For ELLs: Pair students with a partner who has more advanced or native language proficiency. The partner with greater language proficiency can serve as a model in the pair, initiating discussions and providing implicit sentence frames, for example.
    • Provide differentiated mentors by purposefully pre-selecting student partnerships. Consider meeting with the mentors in advance to encourage them to share their thought processes with their partner. (MMAE)
    • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with expressive language: Provide sentence frames to students who need heavier support. Examples: (MMAE)

     "I chose my book because _____." (It's about a fascinating topic/it has information that's new to me/someone recommended it to me, etc.)

     "In the book, there is a picture of _____. That's why think the book is _____." (interesting/special)

    Homework

    HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

     A. Read your research book for at least 10 minutes.

    • For ELLs: Read a book in your home language for at least 5 minutes and then a book in English for at least 5 minutes. Read a sentence or a paragraph with a friend or family member, and then discuss the meaning of the sentence or paragraph.
    • For ELLs: Choose from these strategies to practice reading unfamiliar texts:
      • Chunk the text into manageable amounts, e.g., sentences or paragraphs.
      • Underline important people, places, and things.
      • Read aloud.
      • Read repeatedly.
      • Silently paraphrase the chunks.
      • Summarize what you read for someone else, perhaps first in your home language.

    Assessment

    Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

     

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