Stop…Jot.. and Think!

For the past few weeks I’ve been contemplating how to get my students more involved with what they’re reading. How do I get them to think, question, feel, or react to text WHILE they’re reading, and not just wait until the very end of a text 2 pages long, to realize that they don’t understand. It’s as if they’ve been programmed to read… read… read… read some more…stop when you reach the end…ok now answer questions.

I mean does that make any sense? Do any of your kids do the same?

Stop and Jot Poster JPEG Well, in order to tackle this task, I decided to introduce “Stop and Jot”. Basically, I gave everyone a yellow post it note.  We then read Slide6an  article from our Scholastic Storywork’s magazine. (I absolutely l-o-v-e this magazine… some of the articles are a bit difficult, but then again Common Core is rigorous!) I paused throughout the reading and asked students questions such as “how do you think the character was feeling, how does that make you feel”, etc… Students recorded their responses on the post it. I let them respond with a picture, a few words, or a sentence… whatever they felt comfortable doing. We shared our responses and then added our post its to our Team Tweets Chart.

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Take a look at some of our responses after reading a Narrative Nonfiction about the experience of Jack Thayer, a young boy who survived the Titanic’s disastrous voyage.Slide1

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Did you notice that some of them have that Jack was happy and then later on write he was horrified or scared. They’re absolutely correct… his feelings change throughout the story. I think that pausing and having my class Stop and Jot helped some of them pick up on this.

The next day we took our post its and used it to help us respond to the reading. I asked them to write about how Jack’s feelings had changed throughout the passage and to provide details and evidence.

Criticial Thinking Pics final jianna JPEG

I was thrilled at the progress we had made…

The following day we used a new story, but this time we jotted right alongside the text.

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Here’s a closeup of some of the thinking going on…

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Why the red pen you may ask… just because it’s DIFFERENT and FUN! The kids loved being able to write with their red pens. Such simple things can make learning so much fun :0)

After reading, jotting, discussing, and analyzing, I felt we were ready to complete our Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then organizer.

Criticial Thinking Pics final REVISED JPEG

The students did a GREAT job!

The past few days did take time, and every day when I ended the lesson I found myself wishing that I had more time 2 teach… However, I felt that because we paused and thought about the text WHILE reading, my students were able to comprehend a little bit better.

In the end, my goal is not to have to prompt them to stop and jot/think, but that they will do it automatically in their heads.

Stay tuned for later on this week, when I show you what we ended up doing with our Somebody Wanted But So Then organizers. (Oh and by the way, if you’re looking for a FREE copy of this fabulous organizer, you can visit Storie’s store by clicking here.)

Thanks for stopping by…

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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! My fourth graders will LOVE this. The connections from one task to another are so important.

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  2. I love the poster with the post it notes. I wish I could see a better picture. How did you make the little people in each square? I think I might use something like this for an exit ticket strategy.
    http://bloomingin4thgrade.blogspot.com/

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