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Monday, November 10, 2008

Science and Literacy at Livermore Falls HS

Alisa Lee, Science Teacher at Livermore Falls High School uses a word sort on her smart board to help students comprehend science concepts. Alisa's reflections on the application of Thinking Strategies to science content follows.

It is my intention to help students learn how to understand the text they don’t understand by using different strategies. Reread think-a-louds are a big part of this process as well as having students listen to how other students came up with a gist, for example. Why were these words chosen as the key concept words? How could we break down some of these complex sentences into phrases or smaller pieces of information for better understanding? (cognitive dimension)
I try to make sure I activate their prior knowledge and also preview the text with students before they read it so that they comprehend more of it when they do read it. The strategies I have used and continue to use are the following:
-Textquest (how to understand the science textbook structure and features)
-Think-alouds (how to approach previewing a section of the textbook)
-Previewing the vocabulary
-Brainstorming as a class
-Trying to make personal connections between the students and the material about to be read (knowledge-building dimension)

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