Embedded Reading

Simplify, Scaffold, Succeed!!

Archive for the category “Definitions and Explanations”

Michele Outlines ER examples

I change how I do ER, depending on the situation. Right now, my beginning students are reporting on what they did (or would have liked to have done) over the holiday. Each person gets one sentence to start with, and we add a few stories each day. They all drew pictures so that everyone can understand the visual.

Day 1: Atticus was sleeping. Grant was skiing. Wilton was not skiing. Michelle went to The Hobbit.

The next day, we read what we’ve written, and I ask some questions. I add the answers to the next day’s reading, and continue finding out what happened to other kids.

Day 2: Atticus was sleeping on the beach in Spain. Grant was skiing with his family at Alyeska. Wilton was not skiing; he was in a hot tub with girls. Arianna went to The Hobbit with her brother. Michelle flew to Hawaii. James was playing hockey. Iara was shopping. Jack was helicopter skiing in the Alps.

Day 3: Atticus was sleeping on the beach in Spain and reading “Origin of the Species.” Grant was skiing with his family at Alyeska. It was raining. Wilton was not skiing; he was in a hot tub with girls. Arianna went to The Hobbit with her brother. She really liked the movie, but her brother didn’t. Michelle flew to Hawaii with friends for five days. James was playing hockey. His team was training at Ben Boeke Stadium. They weren’t playing any games. Iara was shopping. She searched for a t-shirt for her brother for three hours downtown. Jack was helicopter skiing in the Alps.

(I don’t know how many days it will take us to get through the entire class…at least three more. We do this activity for about 20 minutes, while they still want to continue.)

With another class, we are reading a complex fairy tale. I took the original and cut it down into two successively simpler pieces. We read the first and the second piece in one day, because the first one was short enough that they could get the gist of the story: The goose-swans took Masha’s brother away. She searched for him. She found him in Baba Yaga’s house. She carried him away and took him home.

They drew pictures of that, and we went on to the next version the same day, after acting out some verbs of motion that they were going to need.

The next day, we played a game with a set of verbs, some familiar, some not, practiced with some diminutive forms, and then predicted how the story would proceed. Finally we read the last version with all the details. I still have to decide what we’re going to do tomorrow. They might get to retell it with back story. They might get to retell it with twists. They might get to tell a parallel story. I’ll probably start with a barrage of questions to help them remember the story. We might end up talking about fairy tale structure, or compare Russian fairy tales to American ones. Who knows!

As you can see, it can be quite different, and whatever way you choose to do it is is probably right! There are only a few key pieces:

1. Make sure that the kids can visualize the first piece confidently.
2. Change the activities for each successive version.
3. Add new (sometimes surprising) information in the middle of the continued versions, so that all the new information is not at the end of the piece.
4. Make sure that all the new information is not necessarily “harder.”
5. Consider making a first version in sentences that are separated by empty space, and pulling those sentences together into a paragraph for the next version.

Students can contribute to the extended versions. Upper level kids can contribute. Lower level kids can add to the versions after learning some new vocabulary. Students can write simple stories in English for the teacher to use in a three-level embedded story. The teacher, or an advanced student can “reduce” and simplify a complex text. (It’s a great job for a native speaker.)

That’s all for now! Hope it helps.

Michele

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Question #2: What happens in between the versions?

Here is a fantastic Q and A about this topic.  M has a good understanding of how to create an embedded reading, but isn't really sure about what happens when using the readings with students.:

M:  What I don't understand is what happens between the scaffolding versions, or levels -- if the words are new in the second scaffolding, do you use those in stories, for CI ... or do you try the next scaffold level? 

J:  When doing a story or whatever we normally add in 3-4 new structures. I have been treating embedded readings like this. When we are ready for the next 
    "level" of the reading, I build that level using the day's 3-4 new structures.

M:  It sounds as if some of you use them the same day, one right after another?   Others use them with a space of time between the scaffolding? And -- since in my French class, we have finished the first chapter, would they be "supposed" to be familiar with all of the terms in the stories just posted?  
    So interesting. 
J: When doing embedded readings I normally do only one level per day. This way new vocabulary for each level can be built in as that day's 3-4 new structures, like I said previously.

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Do You Use Embedded Readings?

On the moretprs listserv the following question appeared:

” Does anyone use embedded readings? If so, I would love to hear how you implement it in the classrooms. What steps do you take? Do you use different activities? It sounds like a great idea and something very useful for writing.

Would love to hear what you do with this in the classroom.”

Here is the first response!

“We read the first (short and basic) reading together as a class to make sure that everyone understands. Then I let kids continue by reading alone, in pairs, or in groups of 3. They can choose to read the second version (about 1/2 page) or the 3rd (a page). The second version is at a level that most of the students can handle fairly easily; in the 3rd I may add some new words or change things to something a little more advanced (like using entiende instead of comprende, for example).”

 

I hope to post more questions and answers for you!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

 

Student-created story from David: In Latin and in English

Here is a message and embedded reading from David Maust who teaches LATIN!!  He and several colleagues have found great success.  We’ll try to post more from them!  Thank you David for sharing this !

I had a lot of fun with this “bottom-up” embedded reading activity today. Wanted to share:

Today I tried an alternative to the regular “PQA-Ask the Story” routine. Instead I used Laurie Clarcq and Michelle Whaley’s “Bottom-Up Embedded Reading” format that they presented at NTPRS. It was very successful. The kids were very engaged for a whole block period (with a couple brain-breaks) and I got high reps on the structures. There was also not too much dead-time or English use that happens sometimes during the “Asking the Story” format because the details were already decided ahead of time (but still all chosen by the students).

I first gave the kids a short English story script the day before with blanks to fill in like a Matava or Tripp script. They did this on pieces of notebook paper. It took about 5 minutes. The story went like this:

_____ and ______made a trip to _______ because they wanted to ________. When they arrived, they said, “______!” They said that because _________. Then they began to ______.

The Key Structures were:

  • -iter fecerunt – made a trip
  • -cum pervenissent – when they arrived
  • -tum coeperunt – then they began…

I also ended up adding the structure convivari – to party, because that was in my final story I chose.

For the block period (100 minutes) I got:

  • 79 reps – iter fecerunt – made a trip
  • 67 reps- cum pervenissent – when they arrived
  • 78 reps – tum coeperunt – then they began…
  • 59 reps – convivari – to party

So after I got the suggestions from the kids, I reviewed them at home and put together a 3 location story script. Then I put each location into a powerpoint slide that would let me add in one sentence at a time.

I asked for the suggestions on Friday before Thanksgiving Break and presented the story on the Monday following the break. I presented it without any PQA; I just put up the first sentence, translated the new words, gave them the ASL signs, had them do the signs and started circling the sentence. It was great and comprehension was high. Then I did the same routine through the first location, taking about 45 min. to do this. I included actors about half-way through and we added a couple details just for fun, but I would actually not do the detail adding again – it was a little distracting. Just keeping to the script was plenty of input by itself.

I also added into my circling some of the other kids’ suggestions orally. This was a good way to use some of the material that didn’t make it into the official written story, but was still funny stuff and supported getting reps on the key structures.

After we had the first location well done and probably about 50 reps on each structure (I checked in with my rep counter), I had the actors sit down and we did a choral translation of the first location.

Then I went through the other two locations more quickly, but still pausing to circle and do comprehension and translation checks. Then we chorally translated each new location, but reading was faster since we had practiced the structures some already. Attention started to wane some on the last location, but this was understandable. Maybe next time I will save the other location(s) for the next day.

The kids gave me positive feedback at the end of the activity and I could tell it was a change of pace that helped hold attention. We’ve done about 5 scripted stories so far this year in addition to mini-stories at the beginning of the year and I felt like they needed a change of routine, especially on the first day back from Thanksgiving break.

Plus, I found that the energy that I needed to deliver in class was less in terms of trying to craft the story on the spot. This was nice for me, especially on the day back from vacation – just having a script there to follow that still had input that kids came up with. And if I did it again, I may only do one or two locations. I found that by the third location attention was starting to wane so it may be better to add in the third location on the following day in an embedded reading instead of doing them all in one day. For a non-block schedule, I think one could easily do one location in one day and still get great reps. I notice I loose a lot of time when you’re asking the story and deciding it, but with this model the asking was done the day before on paper and it only took about 5 min. (but took me about 45 min. at home to put the story together).

My plan for the rest of the week is to present one or two more versions of the base story as embedded readings with added details, titles, dialog, etc. The base story is below.

Laurie and Michelle! Thank you so much! I’m going to do this all the time! – David

STORY:

English version:

Luis and Steve made a trip to Sea World. Luis and Steve wanted to party with the ladies! When they arrived at Sea World, they said, “Woo-woo!” They said that because they saw a lot of ladies. Then Luis and Steve began to play Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme with the ladies.

The next day, Luis and Steve made a trip to Middle Earth. Luis and Steve wanted to party with the Hobbit ladies! When they arrived at Middle Earth, they said, “This is stupid!” They said that because they saw Gandalf bobble-heads. Then Luis and Steve began to play softball with the Hobbit ladies.

The next day, Luis and Steve made a trip to “Build-a-Bear Workshop” with the Hobbit ladies. The Hobbit Ladies said, “We like Build-a-Bear!” When they arrived at Build-a-Bear Workshop, they said, “O.M.G.!” They said that because they saw a stuffed panda with a jar of peanut butter.

Then Luis and Steve and the Hobbit ladies and the stuffed panda with a jar of peanut butter began to make a trip to Middle Earth because everybody wanted to party in Middle Earth.

Latin version:

Luis et Steve ad Sea World iter fecerunt. Luis et Steve cum feminis convivari volebant! cum ad Sea World pervenissent, dixerunt, “Woo-woo!” hoc dixerunt quod multas feminas viderunt! tum, Luis et Steve Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme cum feminis ludere coeperunt.

postridie, Luis et Steve ad Middle Earth iter fecerunt. Luis et Steve cum feminis Hobbitis convivari volebant!!! cum ad Middle Earth pervenissent, dixerunt, “HOC EST STUPIDUM!” hoc dixerunt quod Gandalf Bobble Heads viderunt. tum Luis et Steve cum feminis Hobbitis molipila ludere coeperunt.

postridie, Luis et Steve cum feminis Hobbitis ad Build-A-Bear Workshop iter fecerunt. feminae Hobbitae dixerunt, “Build-A-Bear nobis placet!” cum ad Build-A-Bear Workshop pervenissent, dixerunt, “O.M.G.!!!!” hoc dixerunt quod Stuffed-Panda-cum-Peanut-Butter-Jar viderunt. tum Luis et Steve, et feminae Hobbitae, et Stuffed-Panda-cum-Peanut-Butter-Jarad Middle Earth iter facere coeperunt quod omnes in Middle Earth convivari volebant!

I wanted to clarify one point – the above reading was only the base reading (with the three locations). I was trying to give the kids a format they were familiar with, and that is the typical stories we create from scripts in class, but I just wanted to make it in a different way. And I agree with some of your first impressions: it gave me a chance to use some great ideas from some of the shy kids who never volunteer in class, and it gave me the chance to intentionally use some info from kids who I wanted to engage in a special way by using THEIR details.

So, this was my base reading and then the next day I presented a second embedded reading which I’ve pasted below. When we read this in class I chose the following method:

1. first we read the base reading again and I circled and asked some comprehension and translation questions.

2. I had the kids hold their papers in front of them and said: “We are now going to have a experience much like you might in your English class with Silent Reading, but I am going to be helping you some. I am going to read a paragraph or two out loud and I want you to read silently along and try to create a movie in your heads of what I am reading. You will know most of the words, but there may be a few you don’t recognize. Don’t worry about this. Just keep reading and enjoy the story. After I read a paragraph or two, I will translate them in English. Most of you will not NEED the translation, but if there were any words you were unsure of, the translation will likely clear them up. Just enjoy the reading – I made this reading for you to give you a pleasurable reading experience in Latin, much like you would have when you read an English book.”

So that’s what we did with the second reading and as I read in Latin I noticed that kids actually laughed at appropriate times and seemed to enjoy it. When we were done I asked for some feedback and the kids said that the comprehended a lot and enjoyed it.

Some new elements I added were: title and subtitles, dialogue, Latinized names (the names were Anglicized in the first version, but the Latinized names give me the ability to more accurately inflect them according to how Latin grammar works).

Here’s the second reading below:

English Version:

Alovisius and Stephanus Make a Trip

The Trip to Sea World
One day, Stephanus and Alovisius were in Frances’s Bar. Alovisius said to Stephanus, “Stephanus, it pleases me to make a trip to Sea World. Does this please you?” Stephanus said to Alovisius, “Alovisius, why do you want to make a trip to Sea World? Do you want to see Shamu?” Alovisius said, “No way! Shamu is stupid! It pleases me to party with the ladies in Sea World!” Stephanus said, “Me too!”

And… Alovisius and Stephanus made a trip to Sea World because they wanted to party with the ladies. When they arrived at Sea World they said “Woo-woo!” They said this because the saw a lot of ladies. The ladies were really beautiful and were playing Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme.

“Hello ladies!” said Alovisius and Stephanus. “Hi Alovisius and Stephanus!!! Tee-hee-hee-hee-hee!” said the ladies. Does it please you to play Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme? It’s the best!”

Then, Alovisius and Stephanus began to play Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme with the ladies. They played Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme for seven hours.

The Trip to Middle Earth
The next day, Stephanus said to Alovisius, “It was pleasing to me to party with the ladies in Sea World, but today it pleases me to party with the Hobbit Ladies in Middle Earth!” Alovisius said, “Me too!”

and… Alovisus and Stephanus made a trip to Middle Earth because they wanted to party with the Hobbit ladies. When they arrived at Middle Earth they said, “THIS IS STUPID!” They said this because they saw Gandalf-Bobble-Heads.

The Hobbit Ladies said to Alovisius and Stephanus, “Hello Alovisius and Stephanus!!! Tee-hee-hee-hee-hee! Does it please you to play softball? It’s the best!”

The Gandalf Bobble Heads said to Alovisius and Stephanus, “Bobble-bobble-bobble!” Alovisius and Stephanus said, “STUPID!”

Then Alovisius and Stephanus played softball with the Hobbit Ladies. They played softball for seventy seven hours.

The Trip to Build a Bear
The next day, Alovisius et Stephanus made a trip with the Hobbit Ladies to Build a Bear Workshop. The Hobbit Ladies said, “Build a Bear is the BEST!” When they arrived they said “O.M.G.!” They said this because they saw a Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar. The Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar was gigantic.

Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar said, IT PLEASES ME IN MIDDLE EARTH TO PARTY!!! I WANT TO MAKE A TRIP TO MIDDLE EARTH!!!”

Everyone was afraid of Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar. But… Stephaus was brave. Stephanus said, “Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar, you may make a trip to Middle Earh. Come with us to Middle Earth!”

Then everyone said, “Hooray!” Everyone was happy.

Then Alovisius and Stephanus and the Hobbit Ladies, and Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar made a trip to Middle Earth because everybody wanted to party! In Middle Earth they partied and played Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme for seven hundred seventy seven hours!

Latin Version:

ALOVISIUS ET STEPHANUS ITER FACIUNT
iter ad Sea World
uno die, Stephanus et Alovisius in taberna Francescae erant. Alovisius Stephano dixit, “Stephane, mihi placet ad Sea World iter facere! placetne tibi?” Stephanus Alovisio dixit, “Alovisi, quare tibi ad Sea World iter facere placet? tu vis Shamu videre?” Alovisius dixit, “MINIME! Shamu est stupidus! mihi placet in Sea World cum feminis CONVIVARI!!!” Stephanus dixit, “ego quoque!!!”

et… Alovisius et Stephanus ad Sea World iter fecerunt quod cum feminis convivari volebant! cum ad Sea World pervenissent, dixerunt, “Woo-woo!” hoc dixerunt quod multas feminas viderunt! feminae erant pulcherrimae et Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme ludebant.

“salvete feminae!” dixerunt Alovisius et Stephanus. “avete Alovisi et Stephane!!! Tee-hee-hee-hee-hee!” dixerunt feminae. “placetne vobis Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme ludere? est OPTIMUM!”

tum, Alovisius et Stephanus Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme cum feminis ludere coeperunt. Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme septem horas ludebant!

iter ad Middle Earth
postridie, Stephanus Alovisio dxit, “mihi placebat in Sea World cum feminis convivari, sed hodie mihi placet in Middle Earth cum feminis Hobbitis convivari!!!” Alovisius dixit, “EGO QUOQUE!!!”

et… Alovisius et Stephanus ad Middle Earth iter fecerunt quod cum feminis Hobbitis convivari volebant!!! cum ad Middle Earth pervenissent, dixerunt, “HOC EST STUPIDUM!” hoc dixerunt quod Gandalf-Bobble-Heads viderunt.

feminae Hobbitae Alovisio et Stephano dixerunt, “salvete Alovisi et Stephane!!! Tee-hee-hee-hee-hee! placetne vobis MOLIPILA ludere? est OPTIMUM!”

Gandalf-Bobble-Heads Alovisio et Stephano dixerunt, “BOBBLE-BOBBLE-BOBBLE!” Alovisius et Stepanus, “STUPIDUM!!!” dixerunt.

tum Alovisius et Stephanus cum feminis Hobbitis molipila ludere coeperunt. molipila septuaginta sepetem horas ludebant.

iter ad Build-a-Bear
postridie, Alovisius et Stephanus cum feminis Hobbitis ad Build-A-Bear Workshop iter fecerunt. feminae Hobbitae dixerunt, “Build-A-Bear est OPTIMUM!” cum ad Build-A-Bear Workshop pervenissent, omnes dixerunt, “O.M.G.!!!!” hoc dixerunt quod Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar viderunt! Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar erat MAXIMUM!

Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar dixit, “MIHI PLACET IN MIDDLE EARTH CONVIVARI!!! ITER AD MIDDLE EARTH FACERE VOLO!!!”

omnes Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar timebant. sed… Stephanus fortis erat. Stephanus dixit, “Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar, licet tibi ad Middle Earth iter facere. veni ad Middle Earth!”

tum omnes dixerunt, “EUGE!!!!!!!!!!” omnes laeti erant.

tum Alovisius et Stephanus, et feminae Hobbitae, et Stuffed-Panda-with-a-Peanut-Butter-Jar ad Middle Earth iter facere coeperunt quod omnes in Middle Earth convivari volebant! in Middle Earth convivabantur et Tactical-Monopoly-Supreme septingenti septuaginta septem horas ludebant!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

 

 

The Origin of Embedded Reading: “Justin’s Story”

In 2006 I had a student who baffled me.  I simply could not get him to engage.  He would walk in to the class with his hoodie up over his head, put his head down on the desk and not participate at all.  Loving attention, phone call home and disciplinary measures did nothing.  I tried to get background information, but got nothing.  (I would find out at the end of the year that he had been language-exempt until that year, but had then not only been declassified, but was also not working with a 504 nor any support staff.  His reading level was about 4th grade.)  It was very frustrating.

 

One day I was greeting students outside my door and caught a glimpse of “Justin” coming down the hall.  The problem was, I didn’t recognize him.   I thought that I was seeing a new student.  He was standing tall, wore no hood, was laughing and smiling and talking with other students.   I wondered for a moment who this new student was.   Then, as he approached my room, he began to slouch.  He stopped smiling.  He pulled the hoodie up over his head, shoved his hands in his pockets and I realized that the young man that I hadn’t recognized, was my student “Justin.”

 

This was a horrifying moment.  I saw him transform on his way to my class, BECAUSE HE WAS COMING TO MY CLASS.  It really, really bothered me.

 

In January, after midterms I often show the movie Selena in English to my 9th graders.   For the first time,  “Justin” paid attention.  When, after we watched a 20 minute segment each day, we did interactive activities in Spanish about the movie, the head would go back down.  But, for 20 minutes a day, he was actually a member of the class.  One of his friends pulled me aside and told me that “Justin” had actually downloaded some of Selena’s music.    So I knew, at the very least, that a tiny crack existed in the armor he had put around himself.

 

When the movie was done, and we had finished all of our discussions and readings and drawings etc.. I gave students a blank sheet of paper and asked the students to do a “free write.”  “Write, in Spanish, ANYTHING that you can think of about this movie and the real Selena”, I told them.   And the pens went flying across the paper, except, of course, for “Justin”, whose head stayed firmly on the desk.  Then, after a minute, I realized that he actually was writing something on his paper.  Unbelievable.

 

When I collected the papers and the kids had left the room, I scrambled to find his paper.  After 5 months of NOTHING, I was dying to find out what he had given me.   It was 5 very simple sentences in SPANISH about Selena.   I couldn’t believe it.  I was stunned.   Then, as I was going through the other papers, I saw another student’s paper that was nearly identical and my heart just sunk.  “He copied.” I thought.   Then I was actually encouraged by that.  At least he had copied IN SPANISH!!!!  Then, as I continued to go through the papers, I saw several others that were nearly  the same.  I realized that these students had not been sitting near each other.   It had also been an UNANNOUNCED quiz.   They couldn’t have prepared a “cheat sheet.”  Finally it dawned on me.  If I truly believed in acquisition I had evidence of it right in front of me.  These four students were in the same place.  THIS IS WHAT THEY HAD ACQUIRED AND SO THEIR PAPERS WERE SIMILAR.

 

In order to celebrate “Justin’s” entry into language, I took his paper and typed his five sentences (errors corrected) in a word document.  Then I copied and pasted the paragraph a second time and INSERTED words, phrases or sentences from other students papers to make it more detailed.   But ‘Justin’s” paragraph remained the core of the reading.  I wanted him to know, without making a public spectacle of it, that I was honoring him.   That next paragraph was pretty interesting so I just kept going.  Copy, Paste, INSERT neat things that other students had written.  I could honor everyone.  I had done similar things before, but not exactly in this way.

 

The next day I passed out the papers face down and told the students that on the count of three they should turn them over, read the paragraph, and then make silent eye contact with me when they had finished, and understood, the paragraph.  If they hadn’t understood, then they should stay silent, but not make eye contact with me.  One, two, three!!  Everyone started reading.  Except for “Justin”, whose head remained down on the desk.   Then I saw him pick up his head and glance at the desk of the student next to him.   He sat right up and looked at the paper of the student on the other side.  He flipped over the paper, took one look at it, looked straight at me and silently mouthed the words, “THIS IS MINE!!” in great surprised.  I nodded and he gave me a smile.

 

When the rest of the class had read and made eye contact, I asked them to do the same with the second page, the longer piece.  They did, including “Justin”, who made eye contact and smiled, again.  When the students turned to the third page I watched “Justin” carefully follow the text.  He looked up at me, pointed to the reading and mouthed the words, “ I can do this!  I CAN DO THIS!” with that same smile.

 

And that is how it started.  It was so successful, not only with “Justin”, but with all of my students, that I just kept playing with it.  I truly believe that it is not something that I created, but a gift that I was given to connect with a young man who didn’t believe in his  own abilities.  For that reason, I am sharing it with all of you.   You all have “Justins”.  This not only helps the “Justins” that you are trying to reach, but offers every student a way to be successful and interested in reading.   It just doesn’t get any better than that.

 

With love,

Laurie

 

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What About the Culture? (big or little C)

I’ve had a few questions about the quality of the readings here.   There are concerns that the material is not culturally relevant and that so much more could be attained if the readings used with students were consistently culture-appropriate to the language of instruction.

 

I think that readings that integrate the target culture and that educate students are stellar.   I encourage you to use them.   The readings that are posted here are ones that we have had the time to get here.  Many of the embedded readings used by teachers are created from documents written by non-teachers.  In these cases, we try to get permission from the authors before posting the embedded versions on this site.  So, yes, they are out there.   Just not here yet.  :o)

 

Also, what you may see here as an embedded reading for a second-language classroom are only one piece of what may be a week’s worth of information and activities.   It is our goal to connect our students to the target culture as often as possible.  It is also our goal to connect with our students!!  Comprehensible-Input based instruction often starts with students’ interests and background knowledge and then segues into the target culture.

 

Comparison, or “parallel stories” are a regular part of the lesson.  The reading on Michael Phelps, for example, would be connected to a reading and activities about a Spanish or Bolivian athlete…using the same principal structures found in the Michael Phelps piece.

 

The story about Mia, recently posted, is just the beginning of a series of stories.  When Mia finds the enormous package in her living room, she Skypes with friends around the world to advice on what to do with the package.    Their responses will reflect their cultures.

 

So what about those “cultural” readings? Topics like holidays, customs, history, famous people etc.   Keep your eyes open…as more stories, and more “approvals to share” come in you will see more of them.

 

Thank you for the questions and concerns.  Keep them coming!!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Differentiation by Class

This year I have three Spanish 3 classes, each with its own size, needs and personality.  I am not really a stickler about having each class in EXACTLY the same place, but I do like them within a day or two of each other.    That isn’t always easy to do.  One class is significantly smaller and many of the students in the class are strong readers in English.  Anytime we read, they are off and running while I am prepping the other two classes for a successful activity.    Having several levels of one reading, and different levels of activities to accompany them has been wonderful.

This week we read a fictional story written in the past tense.   The base level reading was easy for all of the groups to comprehend, but one class had a much harder time answering questions in Spanish about the reading, so the next day we re-read it with actors and things went much more smoothly.  The other classes did not need to re-read, so in those classes we went on the next day to the second level of the reading.

On that day, the 3rd period class needed to go a bit more slowly than the ninth period class in order to thoroughly identify and understand the new details and language….and we had a fire drill…so we didn’t get as far as we did in period 9.

So, by day three I had three classes in three different places and I wanted to have a quiz before we started the state pre-assessments this week or it would be week 4 and I would only have 2 grades in the gradebook!    Here is what we did:

P. 3 quiz:  Students chose 10 sentences from the Level 3 reading (new to them) to translate to English.

P. 5 quiz:  Students read the Level 4 reading (new to them), answered 3 open-ended questions and wrote 2 sentences with new information that could be added to the story.

P. 9 quiz:  Students re-read Level 3 and answered 3 multiple-choice inference questions and 2 open -ended questions.

All of this was ready beforehand as activities to go with the reading levels.  I was able to choose which group was ready for which activities.

If I wanted to, I could continue on to Level 4 with all of the groups, but since it is early in the year, and we will be doing so much reading, I can stop right there in order to do next week’s state testing.   They will get many more opportunities to read and work through different kinds of questions and activities as the year goes on.  Remember, the MOST important pieces of language were in the base reading and have been repeated in every level, so I KNOW that each of the groups has had significant time with the focus structures in this story.
I’ll have the Level 4 version available for students to read on their own if they want to know how the story ends!!

Hope that your week goes well!!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Picture-based Embedded Reading

Thanks to Nathan who shared this on his and Michele’s TPRS blog and gave me permission to share.   His idea for an embedded reading came from a student drawing!  He writes:

Last week as part of introducing some past-tense modal verbs to my German II students (wanted, had to, was able to), I asked them to draw me pictures to illustrate them, and one student turned out this masterpiece:

We spent about five to ten minutes unpacking this picture in class (that’s the Pillsbury Doughboy fighting a chocolate chip cookie dough monster in Mordor), but for the past week, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get a little more burn for it.

This morning, however, I realized it would make a great embedded story as long as I withheld enough details from the early drafts. As I result I ended up with something like this:

Draft One
The Pillsbury Doughboy wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies, but didn’t have an oven. He was sad, because without an oven he couldn’t bake anything. The Pillsbury Doughboy had to find a new oven and Mr. S. had a big oven. Mr. S. wanted to eat the cookies but couldn’t.

The emphasis in this draft was to try and make the story as normal as possible.  The picture is so over the top, I wanted to build up to the story slowly.  After reading this draft with the class I then had my students draw me a picture of something from this story, with an emphasis on speed over quality (3-5 minutes drawing time).  We then looked at the pictures on the document camera and discussed how well they matched the story.

Draft Two
The Pillsbury Doughboy wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies and made a lot of cookie dough. But the Pillsbury Doughboy didn’t have an oven. He was sad because he couldn’t bake anything without an oven. 

The Pillsbury Doughboy also had another problem: the chocolate chip cookie dough was angry at the Doughboy.  It didn’t want to become cookies. The Doughboy had to fight with the cookie dough AND find an oven.

Mr. S. had a big oven and the Pillsbury Doughboy brought the cookie dough to his house. But Mr. S. was a very bad man.  Mr. S. wanted to kill the Doughboy and eat the cookies, but he couldn’t do anything. He could only watch.

In this draft I started throwing out a few of the funky details such as the cookie dough monster, the fight and the evil Mr. S.  Again I had the students quickly sketch me something from this story, but because this story was longer, I asked them to caption their picture.  Some students gave me a couple words, some wrote out full sentences.  Again we debated how well the pictures matched the story, and sometimes went back and forth between the picture and the story several times to establish the links.

Then I showed them the original picture and said this is what we were working towards.  Comparing notes, we then read the final draft.

Draft Three
The Pillsbury Doughboy wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies, and made a lot of cookie dough. But the Pillsbury Doughboy only had a normal oven and needed a very big oven for his cookie dough. He was sad, because he couldn’t find such a big oven. He had to do something.

The Pillsbury Doughboy also had another problem. There was so much cookie dough that it became a monster. The chocolate chip cookie dough monster was angry at the Doughboy because it didn’t want to become cookies. The Pillsbury Doughboy had to fight with the monster, but the monster was much bigger than he.

Mister Sauron had a big oven and the Pillsbury Doughboy brought the cookie dough to his house. But Mr. Sauron was a very bad man. Mr. Sauron lived in Mordor, and Mt. Doom was his very big oven. Mr. Sauron wanted to kill the Doughboy but he didn’t have any hands. He wanted to eat the cookies but he didn’t have a mouth. Mr. Sauron only had an eye and could only watch. 

What I liked about this approach was the “reveal” that I was working towards.  I had a great over the top picture to end with, and the progressive reveal coupled with additional pictures made it a really fun day.  I teach two sections of German II, and even the class that worked with the original picture had only two people figure out that we were working towards this picture before the finish.

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Embedded Reading in the Science Classroom

This fall I will be working with our biology teacher and the push-in Special Ed. teacher to incorporate Embedded Reading into the biology curriculum.  I’m extremely excited about this and will add a category for materials and reflections on this collaboration.   Let the science folks in your district know!

 

 

Greetings Embedded Reading: Possible Activities

Here are some possible activities to go along with each level:

Base reading:  Grandma is at the airport.  She is not happy.  A person smiles at her.  She is happy.

* Circle each sentence

*Draw the scene/ find an image online to use or have students each illustrate the scene (allow only 1-2 minutes for drawing)

*Adapt and use this PowerPoint ( Grandma 1 )  to clarify meaning

* Teacher re-reads aloud and students close eyes and visualize the story.

Version 2:  Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .  She is not very happy.   She does not smile.  A person smiles at her and says “Hello”.   She is happy.

* Ask ? w/ Question Words: Where is the airport?  Who is in the airport?  Why doesn’t she smile?  Who smiles?  What does that person say?

* Use a template like this that students fill in:  Grandma 2

*  Adapt and use this PowerPoint (Grandma 2 ) to clarify meaning.

Version 3:    One day, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .   She is not very happy.   She does not smile.  A person smiles at her and says “Hello Ma’am “.   She does not respond.   The person is not happy.  A person smiles at her and says, “Good morning, beautiful,” and Grandma smiles.  She is happy.

* Use a version of these questions in conversation, with a game or as a reading activity:  T F Grandma

* Have students write the meaning of the paragraph in English.

Version 4:

One beautiful day, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .  She does not smile.  She does not smile because she is not very happy.     A person smiles at her and says “Hello old woman.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile.   The person is not happy.  Another person smiles at her and says, “Good morning, Ma’am.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile. She is not happy and the person is not happy.  Another person smiles at her and says, “Hi  beautiful, ” and Grandma smiles and says “Thank you.”  She is very happy.

* Use a version of these multiple choice questions with the reading:

MC Grandma

*  The teacher acts as a narrator and actors act out the roles and say the lines.

 

Version 5:

One beautiful day in September, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles, California.  Usually Grandma smiles.  Today she does not smile.  She does not smile because she is not very happy.   She is not happy because she is in the airport for two days.   She is very tired.

A boy smiles at her and says “Hello old woman.”  Grandma is tired.  She does not respond and does not smile.   The boy is not happy.

A man smiles at her and says, “Good morning, Ma’am.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile.  She is too tired.   She is not happy and the man is not happy.

Ryan Seacrest arrives from London.   He smiles at her and says, “Hi  beautiful, ” and Grandma smiles.  She says, “Hello!  How are you handsome?”   Ryan responds, “I’m very good thank you.   How are you, gorgeous? ”  Grandma says, ” I am very, very, very good, thank you!”  She is very happy.

* Use a version of this PowerPoint: Grandma 5

* Create additional T/F or MC questions for the longer reading.

* Have students work in groups and write a Version 6.

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

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