Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mrs. Osborne (a retired Stoughton teacher) came and taught us a cheer that would help us when we were writing great answers to open response questions.  It is quite catchy and has really helped the fourth graders understand the best way to organize their thinking in a way that makes sense.  Check out the cheer and what some of it stands for!
video
So here are more details about each part.

According to...  This is how we start the response to show that we are referring to the text.
G Genre
T Title
A Author
TTQA... Turn The Question Around - this reminds the kids to use words from the question to frame their answer.
Answer! What is their answer statement for the question being asked?
         
All of this really goes into the first sentence of their response. For example, a topic sentence we worked on today went something like:

According to the nonfiction article, Menu Changes, by Brenda Iasevoli, schools are trying to persuade kids to eat more frutis and vegetables in many ways.

The cheer goes on to remind students to include 3 examples to support their answer and to include details from the text with their examples.  

The last part of the cheer is I.  This is to remind the kids to go a step further and apply something they read to their own lives.  For example, they might write:

If I was in charge of student lunches, I would have a bunch of fruit available each day so kids could always choose their favorite.

We have been using this cheer for several months now and the kids have shown that they can apply it to just about any question and write a well organized response that shows evidence from the text.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Just made this to remind us of the important steps from the writing MCAS!  Hope everyone likes it...

So sorry that it's been so long!  Things got very busy both in school and out of it, and this seems to be the thing that had to give for a while.  However, I am going to try to get back to it now that spring has sprung (at least according to the calendar).

We are in the middle of our two weeks of state reading and writing tests!  The fourth graders have been working so hard!  We have been learning strategies to help us since the first day of school and we have been doing some specific practice more recently.  

One of tricks we have been using is to make up chants and motions to help us remember the strategies we learn.  Our chant for answering multiple choice questions has 3 parts. 

  1. Read the questions carefully.  Underline the important words.
  2. Read the passage carefully.  Underline the parts that remind you of the questions.
  3. Choose the best answer.  Go back to the text to check your work!
We made a video to help us remember the motions that go along with each step.
video

Thee tips have been helping us know what to pay attention to while we read so that we can answer the questions to the best of our abilities!