Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Using graphic organizers to encourage deeper thinking in Reader's Notebooks...

A reader's notebook belongs to the reader.  The notebook should reflect what the reader needs to stay engaged in the text and push for deeper thinking.  Analyzing, categorizing, and evaluating were the three skills that I choose to put out there in the form of graphic organizers as thinking stems for deeper thinking.


After writing the post, Reviving Reader's Notebooks, I realized that there were three graphic organizers that I modeled mini-lessons with that were essential to have available to students WHILE they read.

*** Just added links to the graphic organizers at the end of the post on 2/27/13*** Enjoy! (Don't forget to comment and let me know how it goes!)

EVALUATE:
You are reading a book and a character makes a decision to act on something or say something.  A decision you don't understand.  A decision you have been waiting for.  A decision that you wonder what you would do.

The Other Side
Next to the face with the question mark, the reader records the character's decision.  As the reader, you evaluate the positive and negatives that can come from this choice.  The next part, the most important part, is not on this graphic organizer...then the student openly writes and comes out with a final judgement statement.  Was this a good decision?  The graphic organizer serves as a scaffold to thinking beyond the text.  Students then want to jump back in the book and read to see how the decision plays out.


Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County
ANALYZE:
This graphic organizer gets at the heart of the "why"and pushes beyond describing the character toward understanding the character.  Why is the character acting this way?  Why is this character saying this?

PS...Love this book!








CATEGORIZE:
This graphic organizer promotes thinking about how particular facts go together.  When reading a non-fiction book, students decide to collect facts into jars on particular topics.  Students label each jar with their topic...it is the beginning of notetaking and students discover that you can find facts on a topic all throughout a non-fiction text.

For example, in Elephants Can Paint Too, my students collected facts on "how elephants paint" and "trunks as tools".  Students learned that teaching an elephant to paint with a trunk is different than discussing the way the trunk is used as a tool.











PS...Here are links to the graphic organizers...EVALUATE, CATEGORIZE, ANALYZE
PSS...All organizers were made in Microsoft Word using Microsoft Images Online

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