Monday, September 6, 2010


Why 13? That is going to be my 1st 1LQ  (1-laptop-question).  Actually, we are doing this without laptops, as I will not be using them until students have completed their "responsibility training."

There are 13 sections in Seedfolks, representing 13 main characters, 13 points of view.  Fleischman could have selected any number, but he selected 13. I have no idea why, although I will be making my own guesses (sharing "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackboard", the power of the prime number, the power of the shape of the number itself). The point is: We should celebrate these questions and their answers.  Why NOT 13?

With the 1LQ sessions (5-8 minutes, group-work), we will begin to use my Question Matrix as the core tool for LA 7.  As we move beyond tomorrow's discussion into a focused reading of the book (Reader's Workshop model - we will begin by reading for Characterization and How It is Developed), the matrix will be used to develop questions that will make our reading deeper.  This upcoming week is for practice, so although we have already crossed out "Who is...", we will leave the other cells untouched until next week.  After this, students will be generating, and answering, questions for HW and during class, "using up" cells as they do so. It is my anticipation that comprehension and deep-reading skills will develop, as will the ability to recognize, highlight, and discuss pertinent supporting detail. 
Question Matrix

This is test-prep.  It is also prep for a life of thinking.  I have decided on this very simple core tool this year because there is not enough time in the teaching year to be complex.  Learning is not about one question-one answer. It is as complex as the simple question, Why 13?  The complexity of teaching is helping each individual student find a path through the content, processes, and ideas of the year.  This is the most important walking stick I will offer.

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