Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Student Centered Stations

Fifth grade has been hard at work learning about and applying nonfiction reading skills.  These skills include fluency, writing about our reading, and working with texts to analyze and identify qualities of nonfiction writing.  Each morning our DEB time is dedicated to these skills as students rotate through three stations, each with their own purpose.

While independently reading students are able to work with nonfiction texts of their choosing.  We encourage students to select texts that will challenge them with information on an unfamiliar or new topic.  While reading we ask students to record their thinking in their “Nonfiction Reading Choice Boards”.  These boards provide them with a menu of areas to focus on.  Some students may choose to focus on vocabulary while they read, while others may select text features.  With many options to choose from, students can select the skill that best applies to what they need and are reading.

A Reading Choice Board

By fifth grade, many students have started to become more uncomfortable with reading out loud or in front of others.  Fluency however, is still a greatly important skill which we can’t lose sight of.  By allowing students to work with a single partner to track their fluency progress, many students have been able to find a way to read out loud without the discomfort or embarrassment.  By being in control of their own fluency data and time, they take charge of their growth and have been impressed with what they see!

Fluency charts show the trend of our reading

Our final DEB station brings students to the teacher for guided reading work.  Working with a shared text, students read together to focus on specific nonfiction reading skills.  In Mrs. Strejcek’s 5th grade classroom, text features were identified and analyzed.  Students thought about the purpose of such text feature as a timeline or photographs and discussed with one another why they found them useful.  Many students agreed that if they had the opportunity to edit or add to the article they would have included more types of text (bold print, italics) in order to highlight important words or facts for readers.

Deep in discussion about the importance of a timeline

Students have been able to take a lot of initiative at these stations, and it has been exciting to see the work they have produced at each!  Whether they are improving their fluency, writing about their reading, or engaging in a discussion with peers; students are taking control of their learning and loving the results!

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