Live-blogging student teaching #5

Yu is circulating. He wants to make sure each kid is following in the right place as they read. He is cold-calling kids to read. Each kid does a paragraph.

That's a correction over yesterday, where the Google doc on Yu's feedback shows he was interrupting kids a bit too frequently with questions. Now he's letting the actual article do some of the work -- just letting kids read and learn for a while.

When kids mispronounce, he corrects. Cholera, tarps.

When kids are stuck, they ask Yu. Epidemic, critics.

After a decent chunk is read, he chooses 3 questions.

Yu: Someone remind me of the main idea.

Carlisia: The main idea of the article is to see what Haiti is like one year after the earthquake.

Yu asks another question. Didn't catch it. Two hands go up.

Yu: More hands.

No more hands go up.

Yu: Fred?

Oops. Needed to wait for more hands.

Yu: True or false, guys. Everyone who lost a home has found a new home. 3 hands up. False. A little louder so that your classmates can hear you.

My big thought at this moment: I wonder if our teacher prep program should show teachers how to this read-aloud activity (sometimes called Control The Game) for lonnnngggg chunks. Like 90 minutes. This one lasted about 4 minutes.

My small thought at this moment: I'm wondering if it makes sense to spend any precious seconds trying to bring a key vocabulary word alive before reading the article. I.e., in 90 seconds before the reading, you could quickly say:

Here's a puzzle. Tell me what disease I have.

a. Oh, gosh, I'm extremely drowsy. What disease do I have? (Cold call)

b. Next clue. I'm hot. My temperature says 102. Normal is 98.6. I have fever and I'm incredibly sleepy. (Cold call)

c. Now I have convulsions, too. Convulsions mean shaking. I'm shaking, I can't stop. What do I have? (Cold call).

Okay doctors. The answer is I have a disease that nobody in USA gets. Only in nations without sanitary conditions. I have cholera. I feel terrible. Now let's read.

Back to Yu. Each kid is engaged. My hypothesis from before is confirmed: this is an "easy" group of 8 kids, nobody testing the boundaries. Not a demerit given; not a demerit warranted.

That said, Yu is executing well. The article is interesting enough that it holds them. But he's also using all sorts of moves. He's getting kids to turn in their chairs and face the kid speaking. Small corrections when needed. I can follow along. Now he's closing by selling the importance of summarizing as a high school and college skill. They're attentive.

I wonder what the Tickets To Leave will show.