The focus of today’s session was on emotions/feelings/states of being. My group and I gathered about 6-8 books at a fourth grade reading level that incorporated these: ‘Being Responsible,’ ‘Being Brave,’ ‘The Way I Feel’ and ‘Big Words for Little People’ among others.
We started by asking a few ‘How are you?’ questions, then had the student read three different short passages at the 4th and 5th grade reading levels while we did a miscue analysis. We first asked the student to read the title out loud and predict what he thought the story would be about. Then he read the passage, and after, answered ten comprehension questions.
This book was rather long, and what made it longer was that the student would stop to tell stories about something related to the text; or, we as teachers would ask comprehension questions during the reading as formative assessment. Though we felt that this lent to more interruptions than we liked, it was useful to see how his comprehension was in reading short sections.
After reading, we went on a short walk around our college campus. We started with the statue to the left of the library, ‘Transformation.’ The student was able to read the entire plaque on his own and did very well sounding out the longer words. We also visited the Waldorf College Art Gallery, paying special attention to pieces and how they made the viewers’ feel or what mood the piece gave off.
Our final activity, after returning to the classroom, was to read ‘The Way I Feel’ and then a writing activity incorporating the books’ ideas. After reading, the student selected a page that he enjoyed—‘I feel angry.’ As a group, we each took a corner of a poster and wrote 1-2 sentences about a time when we were angry. We also added pictures. At the end of the session, the student presented his work aloud to his mother and the rest of the class.
Here is what our poster looked like:
Looking forward to our next session, one of the things our group wants to focus on is comprehension over longer periods. Rather than checking comprehension as we go, my peers and I decided that we will wait until the end of the text and ask questions/request a summary. Hopefully this will minimize distractions and move the comprehension to a more advanced level.