I'm lucky to have found a great MOOC on Reading to Learn in Science. Loads of good ideas and people who actually care about the science of a classroom as much as the reading.
A surefire way to get them hooked on doing more in-depth reading has been to use an Anticipation guide for Chapter 11.1 I tried out some of techniques recommended by the course just to see the reaction of my Spring Fever infected 8th Grade Science students. My almost 2:1, 8th graders preferred this way of reading for information over anything else I've tried this year. I found the template at Read, Write, Think.
The guidelines that are recommended are as follows:
- Write claims that are just there on the page. Write claims will push student to draw conclusions from what they are reading.
- Make sure the claims are the central points of the lesson.
- Have a mix of true/false or Agree/Don't Agree
- Include common misconceptions you anticipate encountering
If you download my guide, you'll see I made some mistakes. My claims weren't open-ended enough and probably didn't connect back to the big themes. I also didn't include any misconceptions.
Even with those mistakes
the conversations were much higher quality. Here's a smattering of student feedback
I liked this better because I got to find out if I was right or wrong.
This made me curious.
I had to read things a couple of times to figure out where the evidence was to prove that my answer was right.
If I was wrong on my prediction, it didn't matter. I could fix it.
Student reaction reinforces my desire to learn more about how to make reading in science as much an inquiry activity as the hands-on labs I've developed.
Have you used anticipation guides?
Does it get easier and faster to create them?