Sunday, May 5, 2013

What Makes You Say That?- Take 2

Connect:  After using the "What Makes You Say That?" routine with my 4th graders surrounding a Volcanoes book, I decided it might be interesting to use the same idea with a 2nd grade reading group.  This is an interesting group to work with because it is three boys, two of whom are ELA students.  Although this text was a very simple fiction story about the "Fixit Family," I thought it presented an opportunity to make a prediction and then dive into the information the students used from the text to "make them say that."

Extend:  The most interesting, and surprising, outcome of doing this simple routine with this specific group of students was the formative assessment it became for me.  This group of boys fearlessly dove into using the graphic organizer to capture their thinking, and made attempts at using the language of the book in their predictions and explanations.  Even without the support of the spelling in the story (they did this with the books closed), they used other information to help them in supporting their thinking.  They even wrote their answers using complete sentences, re-writing the sentence stems in each of the thought bubbles (without being told to do so)!  I was so impressed, and realized this was a direct reflection of the writing they have been doing in their regular classrooms!  And... their predictions were spot on! 

Challenge:  In the future I would push myself to use this routine with this same group of boys, but in a text in which they would have to infer more deeply. This prediction was very surface-level, but it did give me some important information about their vocabulary use in English, as well as their success with using English language sentence structure- really important aspects of reading instruction and speaking that I often overlook!


  1. It is interesting to think of all the different aspects of language that go into making a prediction and explaining your thinking. Lynn, you describing how you often overlook some speaking and reading instructions aspects really hit home for me. I do it all the time! This routine seems pretty simple, but you're taking it to another level by asking them to write it down and (I'm sure) share with their peers. In a couple of your posts you've really just made me think about how much my students and I talk about parts of a text, but how often do we really write about them? You're encouraging me to get our notebooks out even more. Thanks!

  2. Great scaffolding! I think although you would like them to infer more deely next time, this was a great starting point for them. It's imortant they feel at ease the 1st time around so they build up confidence. Sentence stems are so helpful for me too so this is a good reminder for me to keep on using them! Great job (and ideas for next year;)!

  3. What you've done with the routine is given students an avenue to use detail from the text to support their response, no matter how simple the responses. This skill is a priority for all of us these days. In order to get deeper inferences, I wonder if you could layer the "what makes you say that" so students respond to their responses by asking what makes you say that response? I'm not quite sure what the organizer would look like, but it could be fun to try.