Heidi A. Excursion 4

Analysis of Learning in Middle School. 

 

  1. I am currently a student teacher (6th grade) and my mentor teacher focuses on ELA. The school is located in the lower east side and it is a district 1 school. For the past few weeks we have been teaching students how to effectively go about answering short responses, extended responses and multiple choice questions. ( Test Prep) 

Lesson objectives for multiple choice:

  •  Students will understand their thinking and how they connect to answer choices on multiple choice questions. 

  • Students will be able to effectively answer multiple choice questions.

  • Students will be able to match their thinking to the choices.


 

  1. For this lesson, we went over different strategies to use when answering multiple choice questions. First, the students were given the opportunity to share the steps they believed should be taken when dealing with multiple choice questions. 

  • Hook: We have been going over different strategies to help you pass your upcoming state exam. We have been through short responses and extended responses. Today we will be working on multiple choice questions. I know a lot of times you guys are unable to connect your thinking to the answer choices. I would really like all of you to pass your exam and not have to go to summer school. ( I think this was done for students to see the seriousness of the upcoming lesson.) 

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  • Do Now: Review Define: Excerpt, Reveal, Develop, Metaphor. We created a do not with words we thought would confuse our students while they are reading. The words were from the questions, heading, and direction. We the students write down their definition and go over it as a class. ( They were required to take notes on it.) 

  • Provide students with the questions without any answer choices. This will allow teachers to think critically about their answers. This will allow them to match their thinking to the correct answer choice. 

We read the directions, title and questions to the students and asked if they needed anymore clarification. ( It is important to read the questions first before going to the passages.) 

  1.  The students were divided into small groups to come up with the best answers for each of the questions. ( After they are done coming up with answers, they will be provided the choices to match their thinking.) The lesson was well planned and the students were engaged throughout the learning process. I was surprised about how close their answers came to the correct answer choice. This strategy allowed students to think and actually understand the text. In order for the students to stay engaged, we rewarded them at the end of class with munchkins. I am not usually a fan of reinforcements but this did the job and I was so proud of what they were able to accomplish together/individually. 
     

#excursion4 excursion4

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Heidi,

      Thanks for your work on this Excursion. You have done a very solid job describing what you observed in the work of your mentor teacher. You have also highlighted some challenges that teachers face in these days of Common Core testing. I wanted to respond in more depth to some things that you have described here.

      Students will be able to effectively answer multiple choice questions.

      This is an interesting learning objective for a lesson. It is legitimate to be sure, but it reveals that at least some feel the need (pressure?) to explicitly teach to the test. I was mostly wondering where you were about this focus. Did you consider it necessary/legitimate? Also, what effect do you think the statement about summer school has/had on these students? Was it motivating? De-motivating?Threatening? What do you think?

      Hook: We have been going over different strategies to help you pass your upcoming state exam. We have been through short responses and extended responses.

      I am mostly wondering how this idea could have been incorporated into a broader theme about how to read, analyze, and make sense of text, which is a skill that includes multiple choice tests, but exhibits outside of that specific task as well. Do you think that this focus would have been helpful to these students? If so, how might you have orchestrated a lesson to address it?

      I was surprised about how close their answers came to the correct answer choice. This strategy allowed students to think and actually understand the text. 

      This is a very interesting phenomenon. Did you see this type of outcome in other collaborative work?

      I look forward to hearing your further thoughts. To respond to my comments, you can either 1) click on edit and add to your post or 2) "Leave a comment." 

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