Chapter 4 focuses on using text dependent questions to teach students strategies for understanding what the text means. I have to say this was an amazing chapter! The authors deepened my understanding of the ELA Common Core Standards and the purpose of close reading. Lots of A-HA moments! I’d like to thank Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten for heading up this book study.
Using Text Dependent Questions to Teach “What Does the Text Mean?”
Skilled readers can look at all of the parts of a text, similar to working on a jigsaw puzzle. They understand how the parts and the whole work together and can arrive at a deep understanding of the text. This is not an easy, or automatic skill. Using close reading processes, teachers lead students into an understanding of how to infer and synthesize text, so they correctly interpret the meaning of the text.
The authors point out that easier texts have a higher cohesion (the way the parts of the text work). These texts make relationships and inferences explicit. Rigorous text requires students to make the jump to interpretation and synthesizing. The amazing thing is our students can make this jump, and they thrive when our expectations convey our faith in their abilities.
By leading our students into making connections between multiple sources and working across disciplines, their knowledge is further deepened. Close reading at its finest guides students into taking the time to comprehend text and provide evidence for their opinions.
We read some wonderful books about diversity, acceptance, and kindness last year. I know that most of these are familiar, but the lessons and cross-curricular topics are perfect for close reading.
Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson, is fabulous for discussing issues of bullying, friendship, acceptance, and regret. It would be a perfect book if you were going to incorporate random acts of kindness in your curriculum. My second graders really had a hard time getting the deeper meaning of this text. They missed the author’s purpose and I basically explained the story to them. Of course, I know now, that is a big NO, NO!
Set in the deep south in 1964, just as at the height of the anti-segregation laws, two young boys, one white and one black, learn that friendship can be a catalyst for change. My kids LOVED this book.
The last book I will share, also by Jacqueline Woodson, was adored by my students! I can’t tell you how many times we read it, they read it, and we watched the YouTube production. If you haven’t read this book, then you are missing out on a treasure!
I can’t wait to read the next chapter and look forward to your comments!
Today I want to share 5 easy ways to use number cards in the primary math classroom. I’m excited to be linking up this post with my “I Teach” friends. We’re excited to bring you a Christmas in July sale and giveaway!
Number cards are a simple and versatile math manipulative. They are great for building number sense skills. In order to have number sense, students need to understand what numbers mean and their relationship to each other. I’m going to share ways I have used them in the classroom.
Ideas for Using Number Cards With Young Learners
1. Early learners can use number cards in a variety of ways.
- Practice simple number recognition
- Order cards to represent number order
- Start with a number other than 1, such as 6, then have students identify the numbers that follow
- Give students a card and have them represent that number with counters, blocks, or other manipulatives.
- Give students a certain number of objects to count, then have them find the matching number card.
- Give students two different number cards. Ask them, “Which is more/less? How do you know?”
- Have each student choose a card. Then, have them build towers to reflect their number. After, towers are built, have students compare their numbers using the vocabulary, same, more, less. For example, “I have 4. 4 is more than 2.” To differentiate use smaller numbers only.
- Use the cards to make a number book. Print cards on regular copy paper. Have them glue each number onto a page, then illustrate that number by drawing objects to represent the number.
- Give students a set number of cards. Provide clues to see if they can select the correct card. For example, “I’m thinking of a number that is one more than 6.” “I’m thinking of the number that is the same value of a nickel.” “I’m thinking of a number that tells how many legs a dog has.”
- Have students match object cards to the number card that represents the quantity of the objects.
Using Number Cards With Older Primary Students
- 2. Use cards to play concentration
- 4. Use cards to practice addition
- 5. Use cards to practice odd and even
I hope you have found some new ways to use number cards in your classroom. I would love to hear of other ways you use them! As part of your Christmas in July Sale, I am giving YOU these back to school themed number cards FREE! Simply click the Christmas in July image below. Additionally, my entire store is 20% off for the next 3 days!
You might want to check out my Back To School All About Me Writing Journal! Just click on the image below to find it in my store!
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Happy July 4th!
Welcome back for Chapter 2 of Text Dependent Questions! I hope you are enjoying Fisher and Frey’s text on successfully using text dependent questions in the classroom. I was excited to jump into Chapter 2 which focuses on “What Does the Text Say?” Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten is hosting this book study. Be sure to check out her post where she delves into planning for a lesson with a mentor text!
Literal Level Questions
Fisher and Frey stress the importance of literal questions as a precursor to deeper level and inferential understanding of text. Student responses to these questions are a clear indicator of their foundational understanding of the text. The authors refer to these questions as scaffolds to access complex texts.
“But understanding the literal level of a text is the gateway to analysis and conceptual thinking” p 26
I loved the validation for using literal questions with my students. I teach in an area where the students lack receptive and expressive language skills. As we are pushed into increasing the rigor of our questioning, I realize that these literal questions set the stage for my students to gain access to the meaning of the text. In addition, they allow me a quick check into their initial understanding.
Text Dependent Questions. What Does the Text Say?
This chapter focuses on using questioning to uncover the literal meaning behind text. Of course the authors point out that close reading and true understanding is best developed through the social contexts of student discussion. I did use partner and small group discussion in my classroom last year, however the authors highlight important considerations when using these strategies.
- It is not an “endless round of Q and A” neither is it frontloading all of the background or meaning of the text.
- Using challenging tasks, be sure to have students explain their ideas, not just facts.
- Teach students how to elaborate
- Discourage elaborated personal experiences and picture cues, as students can lose the whole meaning of the text.
These tips are going to be in my mind this year as I circulate during my student led discussion groups. I plan to create an anchor chart to assist my students in discussion starters for elaboration. I love this free chart found at Learning at the Primary Pond.
This chapter clarified my understanding of key details as defined by the common core standards. Understanding that key details in narrative text refer to story grammars such as plot, character and setting, and in informational text refer to organizational patterns such as cause and effect, will help me hone in on the standards during my ELA block. My next step is to locate texts to use in my classroom and develop questions as I work through this text. The authors state to have a range of literal level questions ready to accompany each text. However, they state that doesn’t mean you have to ask EVERY. SINGLE. QUESTION! Once your students demonstrate literal understanding they are ready to move on to “How Does the Text Work?
Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to join in on the lively conversation happening at:
Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten Blog
The Kindergarten Collaborative Facebook Group