Great web resource for all 6 strategies-with videos to use with your class: called Into the book: http://reading.ecb.org/ http://www.readinglady.com/mosaic/tools/tools.htm Schema strategy lessons: Online making connections schema lesson: http://reading.ecb.org/downloads/mc_lp_connection_stems.pdf File Folder Schema Concepts – An individual’s schema for a topic changes as he reads. Some ideas are confirmed and some are proven false. New knowledge is discovered as one reads and this knowledge is added to the reader’s schema. A. Model whole class 1. Explain to the students that our brain is like a file cabinet. We have lots of information about different topics filed away in our brains. Show them the teacher’s file cabinet and files as a comparison. The information in your brain files is your schema or background knowledge about a topic. Everyone’s schema for a topic is different, depending on your experiences and what you have read about a topic. Give some examples. Explain that as we read our schema changes. Some of our ideas are confirmed, and some are proven wrong. The ideas that we had that we find out are not true need to be thrown out. We add new schema to our mental files when we read new information about a topic. 2. Attach a file folder to chart paper. Pose a question to the students and write this question on a strip of paper, attaching it to the file folder with paper clips. Sample question that Debbie Miller used which worked into my lesson because of the time of year – ―Why do leaves change color?‖ Ask the children for their schema on this topic. Record each response on a large note card and put it inside the file folder. Accept all responses. 3. Read a nonfiction book or parts of a nonfiction book that answers the question. After reading, reexamine the schema note cards and discuss which ones need to be thrown out. Take those cards out of the file and put an X through them. Discuss which schema were confirmed in the reading and put that back in the file. Put new facts that were learned on new cards, and put them into the file. If there was new information read that was connected to information put on a card before doing the reading, the new information can be added to an existing card to clarify or further explain an idea. 4. Follow up – Discuss how our schema changed when we read the book. Talk about how good readers are constantly changing their schema as they read. B. Guided Reading Groups 1. Give each student a file folder with the student’s name on it and paper clips to clip on a question to the front. Questions can either be broad to cover the whole book or specific questions can be asked for each section of a book. This decision depends on the book chosen. (I am giving each of the 4- 6 members of a reading group a copy of the same nonfiction book so that we can have a common text to work with and the students can support each other in their work with schema.) Inside the file folder, glue a business envelope to hold strips of paper which contain a student’s schema for a topic. Provide a library card pocket for a wastebasket in which the student can ―trash‖ schema that has been proven wrong. Trashed schema are kept in the ―wastebasket‖ so that the students can reexamine how their schema changed, and so the teacher can evaluate the students’ processing of the activity. 2. Teach the students how to code their schema: Put a star on strips of paper which contain schema that was confirmed by their reading. Underline in colored pencil any new schema that was added during or after reading. 3. I have guided reading groups three days a week. Of the 4 groups that I have, I see the lowest group on all 3 days and the other 3 groups on 2 days each. The lowest group needs lots of support. I present them with a question which will be answered in their reading of the next 1-2 pages. They check through their schema strips that they wrote before we read the book, to see if they have already written anything on the topic and pull those strips out to share. I tell the students that they will read the next assigned pages and that while they are reading they should be thinking about whether the schema they have written is confirmed or disproved. They also need to be thinking about what is the most important new information they are learning so that it can be added to new schema strips. After the students finish the assigned reading, we discuss how our schema has changed, put stars by the schema that was confirmed, and trash any disproved schema. Then we discuss what is important to add to new schema strips. This group of students needs a lot of guidance in this area because they often want to write down everything instead of sifting out the unimportant details from the main ideas. The other reading groups need various levels of support. I start all of the groups out just like I do the lowest group, but the difference is that they are able to do more on their own and less with me. It is still important, though to spend some time each reading session processing what they have done and sharing how they have decided what to confirm, trash, or add. They really enjoy sharing what they have done with the small group, and it is an excellent way for me to get close with the students and really see who is grasping the strategy. They all get very excited when they are able to share schema that was confirmed, new schema that they want to add, and even schema that they have trashed! Activity created by Debbie Miller Adapted by Karen Carlson/Spring Trail Activating Prior Knowledge/Schema ~Talking Drawings~ Objectives: To activate schema To provide information that shapes future teaching To provide a vehicle for students to measure learning To make connections TS, TT, TW (for extension) Materials: Book that will be used to introduce subject matter (Any text can be used, alter lesson to your needs) Talking Drawings sheet (if you choose) or anything to draw on Writing implements Concrete item to activate schema (especially for younger students) Making connections posters (for extension) Chart paper/overhead transparency (for extension) Timer (helps to keep students on track) Process: Introduce the book/area of study using the concrete item (ex: toy insects for an insect unit, etc.) or by telling the title of the story. Show the cover of the book if you want to help give a clue. (I normally do not show the book because I do not want them to draw the picture on the cover.) Invite students to quickly draw a picture that shows everything they know about this subject. Take about 5 to 10 minutes for drawing time. Once the time is up, have them turn to their neighbor and discuss their drawings— what they know about the subject. Take about 5 minutes for each pair. Use timer to help, set it for two and a half minutes so it goes off and then let the next person talk for the remaining two and a half minutes. Be sure that the drawings reflect an activation of schema/prior knowledge about the subject matter. If not, try to engage that student in conversation that helps them activate their prior knowledge/schema. If not using for unit of study: Read the story and discuss it as you normally would. Make comparisons to their drawings and see if they learned anything new about the subject matter. This is where a lesson just to work on activating schema would end. Extension: At this point, you can record the various ideas under K of a KWL chart and move into the wonder questions as you make predictions about the story/subject. While recording on the KWL chart students can write one or two word labels on their drawings as reminders. (Be sure everyone is with you as you move on to predicting—only write during the recording of the K.) Read the story to the students and use the drawings to help make connections with the text. You can have ―connection people‖ that hold the posters and/or write down the connections that are made during and after reading the text. The ―connection people‖ can record their specific type of connection. (Connections should be done as you go along in your study and only after you have practiced with each type of connection.) Management: This lesson can be carried out over several days or throughout a unit. First Day: Activate Schema using Talking Drawings technique Start KWL: Use Drawings for K, and make predictions for W Collect drawings Day Two: (This can be done for every text used for every text in unit) Review KWL chart (OWL can be used instead of KWL) Read story Make connections (record under L if using OWL) Use W list of KWL to help generate what was learned for L. Record ―what was learned‖ under the L of the KWL chart. Day Three: (You can do this as you see fit, mostly for OWL) Read the connections one by one Decide if response helped with the text. Mark it with a 1. Decide if the response did not help. Mark it with a 2. If child who made response disagrees, have them explain their thinking. Stop here with L if using OWL—these are your links. Last Day: (Culmination of Unit) Compare W to L of KWL and see if all was answered, etc. Draw a picture representing what they know about the subject now Use pre and post drawings as a comparison—authentic assessment Talking Drawing Source: Talking Drawings: A Strategy for Assisting Learners by Suzanne McConnell, Journal of Reading, December 1992/January 1993.