Wednesday, January 8, 2014

100% Student Engagement with Reading Comprehension Questions

How often do you ask comprehension questions and the same 5 or 6 students answer the questions? The rest of the students are quite content to sit back and let the others answer for them.  

Today I wanted to have 100% student participation to answer comprehension questions after reading the last chapter of Robo en la noche. It's not often you can guarantee you have 100% student engagement in class, but this quick activity delivered that.  

1.  I read, or I had a student volunteer read, two or three paragraphs at a time to the students in Spanish.  Then I paused and asked the students questions about the text, either in Spanish or English.

2.  Each student had a mini-whiteboard and marker.  ALL students had to write the answer in English or Spanish, depending what I asked for.  As soon as they had written the answer, students held up their mini-whiteboard. It was not a race to be the first person to write the answer, but rather I wanted to ALL the students to write an answer.  I told them if they weren't sure of the answer, they could look at what the person next to them wrote, or they could look around the room to see what answers the others were holding up.  They could change their answers if they saw other answers were different than their answer. 

3. Then I waited until everyone was holding up an answer.  The affective filter was lowered because they had permission to copy someone else's answer, but interesting enough, many of the students that are usually not quick to answer or participate in class, searched for the answers themselves instead of taking the easy way out and copying the other answers. I wasn't expecting that, but it was a welcome surprise. 

Imagine, every student consciously writing the correct answer to a question about the text they just read. :-)

Immediately following the chapter review, the students took a 6 point quiz on information on the chapter.  Overall scores were much better and I assume it was because they couldn't zone out during the review.

Just another tool for the toolbox...

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant. Using this tomorrow- after a long spring break, and taking a break from our novel!