I discovered a brilliant idea today in a classroom walkthrough of Mrs. Harmon's English 10 class. She was using the It Says/I Say/And So strategy with Google Docs. Here's what she did and why I think it's brilliant.
What, exactly, did Mrs. Harmon do?
Why is this brilliant?
First, the students are doing what we as a faculty (and Schmoker) are trying to have our students do more of--they're reading closely (annotating, underlining, re-reading), thinking, discussing, and writing about texts. Next, they're using a graphic organizer as a strategy to harvest evidence from the text. By putting the organizer online, students can see lots of models, judging their own ideas against their peers, and Mrs. Harmon can use the organizer as formative assessment, reading--right in class--what students are writing, giving them immediate feedback and judging whether students are understanding the concept of formulating strong questions, pulling specific related evidence from the text, and adding thought-provoking commentary.
Bravo for Mrs. Harmon and for all of you who are having our kids READ CLOSELY, THINK, DISCUSS, WRITE about texts. If you have a strategy or activity you're using, I'd love to share it with everyone. We can be much more effective sharing our ideas, working as a team than being isolated in our classrooms.