Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day Three, the frustration continues

My day of frustrating them didn't end with math.

Later in the day, we went over sorts.  They did "no way Jose and that's a fact, Jack!" first.  In this sort, they separated statements about fifth grade into true and false statements. 

They also learned the procedures for gallery walks, where they critique the reasoning of others without touching the other team's sort.  It's a great opportunity for them to also practice using the accountable talk stems that we brainstormed together.

I color coded the stems to help my visual learners.

They also did an editing and revising sort which I used as a formative assessment.  They're still a little fuzzy on the differences between the two, so that's a teachable moment for me in the next few weeks.  We didn't provide any instruction on their writing task this week because we wanted to use it as an informal benchmark.  This week they wrote a letter to their future selves, which they'll get back the last week of school.

They were pretty good with the first two sorts, but then I gave them a syllable sort.

They were completely stumped.  Some groups used their responding cups to ask for help, one group tried to bribe me (both with food and a dollar), some made piles of what they thought they knew and what was confusing, some started sounding out the syllables, and others were on the right track.  They asked for help, but I let them struggle.  Struggle is a good thing.  When we came back together, I had a lot of grumpy students.  I told them that this activity helped me to see where I need to start phonics instruction (with what is a syllable), and showed me that they knew to ask for help, were comfortable asking for help, and could work together.  No groups quit during their struggle time (which was five minutes, I'm not that mean).  

They wanted to know the answers.  I said no, they don't get to know that yet.  We'll start instruction next week, but I'm not just giving you the answers without the practice.  

This was very irritating to many of my students, especially the higher ones.  I told them they won't always get the answers right away.  They won't know everything right away.  Learning is a process and it takes time.  They aren't used to not getting the answers right away and I told them this will be an adjustment.  They'll have to work through things.  They'll struggle. In the end, it will make them stronger thinkers.

I think some of them get it, but it doesn't mean they like it.

Best part of day 3?  This happened:

Oh yes, it happens in real life. 

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