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Mass 2020 /Newton School. Cluster Meeting March 15, 2013 Greenfield. Newton School Instructional Practices.

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mass 2020 newton school

Mass 2020 /Newton School

Cluster Meeting

March 15, 2013


newton school instructional practices
Newton SchoolInstructional Practices
  • The Key Comprehension Routinebuilds upon research-based strategies that have been shown to be effective with students. The program uses existing literacy and content area materials to enhance student comprehension by integrating spoken language, reading, and writing skills in an effective and practical teaching routine.
Integrated teaching strategies that are essential to building student literacy skills:(Keys to Literacy)
q a r
  • Question Answer Relationships—is a research-based method for getting students to think about what they read. It helps students identify the type of question they're being asked and shows them how to approach each type to answer it correctly. QAR provides a common language for discussing comprehension strategies from class to class, and grade to grade.
  • QAR uses research-proven strategies to help students:
  • Understand the relationships between questions and answers
  • Ask thoughtful questions about text
  • Practice higher-order thinking
  • Improve test performance
f our basic types of question and answer relationships
Four basic types of question and answer relationships

In The Book

  • Right There -- In this type of QAR, the answer is found in the text.  Also, the words in the question and the words in the answer are usually in the same sentence.  The reader can point to the answer.
  • Think and Search -- In this type of QAR, the answer is found in the text.  However, the words in the question and the words in the answer are not found in the same sentence.  The reader must put together different parts of the text to get the answer.

In My Head

  • Author and Me (or Author and You) -- The answer is not found in the text.  The reader has to put together the information the author provides with information the reader already knows to come up with the answer.  
  • On My Own (or On Your Own) -- The reader does not use the text at all to answer the question.  The answer is based on the reader's opinions and experiences
  • Kindergarten will gradually introduce the main elements of a story using the Sharing Hand (Thumb – Who; fingers add – where, when, what, and why. They discussed using a garden glove with Velcro on each finger and adding the question words one at a time.
  • Once this device is familiar for retelling of stories the focus will shift to the most important part of the story or the summary is…
  • Partner sharing will occur using the sharing hand and summary sign
  • When children write about the summary of a story they will draw a picture and a sentence starter as follows:
    • I can summarize (sign). The most important part of the story is….
grade one
Grade One
  • Teachers will start the year using the sharing hand familiar to incoming students from kindergarten.
  • A transition will occur from the hand to laminated retell cards on a ring that can be used by children in literacy centers
  • Once this is established they will introduce, model, and practice the “Get the Gist” activity for finding the main idea of the story
  • They will use a sentence starter to write about and illustrate the main idea/gist of the story.
    • I can summarize (sign). The gist of the story is…
grades two and three
Grades Two and Three
  • Teachers will start the year using the familiar summarizing strategies and tools learned in prior grades (sharing hand, retell cards, get the gist activities, think/pair/share)
  • Teachers will integrate the partner summarizing cards and tailor them to the activity and/or needs of the students (ex. Paragraph by paragraph, section by section, whole article or story). One idea was to use these partner cards after students had read a story twice and were now practicing fluency
  • When writing summaries students will use a sentence starter to write about the main idea/gist of the story.
    • I can summarize (sign). The main idea/gist of this story/article is…
p roblem o f the d ay
Problem of the Day
  • Students are presented with a Problem of the Day and they must solve the problem in writing following the format used for the MCAS open response questions:
    • identify the important information
    • show your work to solve the problem
    • write the answer in a complete sentence
p o d

To teach students to use all these steps, we created a 10 point rubric:

  • Put your name and date on the paper
  • Read and follow all directions
  • Underline what you know (important information or data)
  • Circle the question or command (what you need to know)
  • Make your work neat and readable (legible)
  • Show your work (shows understanding of the problem)
  • Clearly label your work
  • Show all your work
  • Answer in a complete sentence (Turn the Question into an Answer – TTQA)
  • Give a correct answer