A great online resource, We Are Teachers, often posts questions for the general community to assist our colleagues. With Common Core, NCLB and other initiatives, we need to get creative and push our students to think more.
Here’s the question posed on their site and my suggestion. Do you have a good idea? Share your comments!
Question: How can I hold my students accountable for reading our novel?
Answer: In this electronic age, kids using online resources is inevitable; however, I say push them beyond the facts to rethink the facts. Using the book details to connect to other things…keeping dead authors and dusty books fresh is important to students. This helps them see purpose. If we pick on ol’ Tom Sawyer, then we might assign an internet article on grave robbers, and then have them read that chapter. Perhaps we tie geographic elements to map out the story. If you have to make a map of where Tom goes and how they’re connected…you need to understand what happens and more. Pick a funky word deep in the chapter (a different one for each class) and have them use it all day. When I taught, 7th grade I used to do something different with each chapter to keep the kids guessing. Asking open ended questions, gives much more interesting answers and pushes students to THINK, THINK, THINK.