I love pinterest and am loving using it as my PLN. I’m getting so many great ideas from it. This morning, as I was browsing through my pins I ran into this one:
I struggled this past year in encouraging my students to complete text reading. I will admit reading for my class was challenging; we were using the Spodek book. It is a college level book focusing on themes and periodizations in World History. The language was difficult for my freshmen and sometimes it presumed knowledge that my students did not have. I usually assigned 10-15 pages each night and did not assign much else for homework–with a few exceptions. Nevertheless, my students complained about the reading. It was “too hard, they didn’t get it. . . .” The list goes on. Ultimately, by mid-year, 90% students were not reading the text. I could tell by the reading quiz scores and discussions in class. My suspicions were confirmed by my summer school group saying, “Miss, no one did the reading last year.”
I knew I needed to rethink reading quizzes, but my summer school students confirmed it. Here were rules for reading quizzes last year:
- Timed–10 minutes
- Students could use any resources you brought to class–an annotated book, notes, study guide. Most students simply brought their book to class and skimmed for answers to the reading quiz. This is why they hated the time limit and whined about it so much.
What I am considering for next year:
- Continuing reading quizzes; however, students will only be permitted to use their own HANDWRITTEN notes. They will turn in their HANDWRITTEN notes with the quiz. Additionally, I am considering moving the quizzes online.
- Alternating reading quizzes with some of the activities from the list above.
- Giving students a study guide for each chapter. I haven’t determined whether I’ll require students to turn this in on test day. What I like about study guides is that students will have something to focus their reading, but if I require submission of it–lets be real, here–students will simply copy others work.
Side Note: We selected the Duiker & Spielvogel book for next year. It is organized better for high school freshmen, yet still challenging reading. I sent the book for review to the freshman guidance counselor and “SPED” teacher. Here were their comments:
“The text is a lot easier – much more straight forward in it’s organization and instruction. I think it will be great.”
“The text looks like a great pick. . . I love the summary timelines at the end of each chapter. I see an opportunity for cross curricular instruction. . .while the chapters are fairly long, each presents an organization that would be easy for students to form a note template to prepare for lectures or summarize topics in the margins . . .Great selection ladies.”