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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Melody - English Class

On December 14, Maureen and I visited Melody's English class.  The class is made up of a small group of advanced students.  They are about to study Mac Beth.  Like many teachers, Melody is concerned with her students' ability to infer and interpret the universal themes in classical texts.  She chose to use an anticipation guide in order to allow students the opportunity to connect and focus on the themes.  Here is her anticipation guide.


Melody handed these out to students and had them mark their before opinions.  Next, she had them position themselves on the appropriate side of the board.


As Melody projected the statements on the board, students selected their positions and then were asked their rationale for their choice.  Melody was totally noncommittal - skillfully encouraging each student to participate.  After listening to the discussions, students were able to change their opinions.








 Melody was totally noncommittal - skillfully encouraging each student to participate.  After listening to the discussions, students were able to change their opinions.



The discussion was intense, thoughtful, and demonstrated a high level of metacognition.




Maureen commented on:
1.  the high level of student engagement
2.  the benefit of observing these students (she knows in various contexts) in English class
3.  the benefit of setting up a before, during, and after framework for students with this anticipation guide
4.  the high level of metacognition when students asked questions, reflected on wording, make connections, explained their perspectives
5.  the benefit of helping students look through each other's perspectives    

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