Today I wanted to share with you something I did this week that I loved! Like many of you, we explicitly teach the concept of informational “text structures” in both reading and writing–and have to give a grade on report cards. This is a tough concept to quantify! As the unit came to a close, I had an idea of how I could get a sense for how well students were applying the information I was coaching throughout the unit.
I grabbed one of our new Time for Kids magazines, I skimmed through and found three articles that had relatively clear “structures”–or at least a text structure that could be defended. I created a google form that gave students directions to read the articles, identify the main text structure they felt matched the article (I put all choices in a drop down menu), and asked them to “justify their answer”. This allowed a number of possible answers–as long as they gave sufficient evidence from the text.
Students got to work (I have 12 Chromebooks, so half my class worked on this while the other half worked on their social issues book club work) and read, and wrote, and reread, and wrote. They were SO focused!
When creating the form, I knew I needed more data on how well the students were summarizing, so I added in a “Write a 1-2 sentence summary of the article.” question for one of the articles as well. When everyone was finished, I hit “view results” and VOILA!
I just LOVE how all the information gets slurped into a spreadsheet for me (did you know that to text wrap a google spreadsheet you just highlight the column, then go up to THIS icon…
I read through their ideas and used a highlighter to mark students whose work concerned me, and I had a ready-made intervention group. More soon on the summaries–I was SO disappointed in their summaries, so I planned a whole-class activity to reteach. Anyhoo–thanks for stopping by–I use google forms SO much these days…I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it much more!
Interested in one of the resources that has been super helpful for me as I teach about text structures? Check it out!