Phew! We are done with a unit. (Well, after Tuesday). It took us quite awhile, but next week, we are on to rhetorical analysis! I’m optimistic that the extra time with critical reading helps us out.
As per usual, I found my kids struggling through determining purpose and tone on SOAPSTone. In order to make sure they were prepped for the test Tuesday, I went over collective feedback with them.
Basically, I wrote out detailed notes about Purpose and Tone - which they then copied into their notebooks. Since those notes are available for their test, they can use these notes to get through those two tough spots on the test.
BUT before we jump into RA, we are taking a pause to assess their reading habits. I have an Independent Reading Assessment for them to complete this week which will ask them to analyze the book they chose but also (and possibly more importantly), they will do a self-assessment of their own habits.
To be honest, it isn’t a busy week. Just a test and this assessment.
For me, Teaching Sincerely is about being able to pursue what you deem most important. Independent reading is one of those things for me. I look at the other teams in my building, and despite how much we all value this reserved reading time, it always takes a back seat - for a lot of different reasons. I myself even find that I will cut them off a couple minutes early in order to get to the skills lesson.
Nonetheless, the day I decided to give students reading time every day was an essential move for me. Even if it is just 50 minutes a week, I at least know I’ve got them engaging with text for that long. And, frankly, that’s a lot more reading than I did in high school. People sometimes scoff at me investing this much time here, but my kids scored better on their AP test and its a better bell ringer than anything I’ve tried to sustain in the past.