Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Peeling the Fruit

Peeling the Fruit

I have been curious to try the routine “Peeling the Fruit” with my kiddos, but have struggled with the context in which to use it.  In LLI, we fly through a new book every day, so I couldn't figure out how to use one for this activity.  It finally occurred to me that I could use it as a sort of summative assessment.  Through all of our work with UbD this year, I have really started to try to plan more intentionally based on formative assessments, but I need to also incorporate some sort of summative assessment into my end of year program.  I needed some sort way to gauge whether or not I have connected my program to the essential question I came up with in the fall:  How does reading impact and enhance our lives?

I used this routine with all of the first and second graders that I have had the pleasure to work with this past year.  I decided to ask the kids the simple question “Why is reading important?” and had them sit quietly and record their responses onto sticky notes.  They then helped me to categorize their answers onto one chart.  I had given some initial thought to how the chart would be organized (what the different layers meant), so that helped immensely in the categorization. 

To be honest, I really thought that the vast majority of ideas would fall into the “skin” category.  I really thought that the kids I see would be so focused on reading at the skill level that they might not actually be able to make the connection between those skills and the more substantial reasons for reading.  But, here is how their ideas about “why reading is important” turned out:

Outside Skin (Reading Skills):
  • ·         If you can read it, you can spell it
  • ·         You need to know what texts or letters say
  • ·         So you can read “flooently”
  • ·         So you can get better
  • ·         So you can read
  • ·         Figure out tricky words

Middle (Connections:  Academic, home, school, etc.)
  • ·         It makes you smart
  • ·         We got to learn math and science and read the books
  • ·         Because you have to read to be smarter
  • ·         Words are everywhere
  • ·         It is important because people need help
  • ·         So we can move on to a new high school
  • ·         Reading is important. If you can read newspapers you can read really hard words.
  • ·         It helps us learn
  • ·         Reading is important because if I need to read something like a chart of food and I want a cupcake and I need to know does this store have cupcakes?
  • ·         You can read to find out how to do something.

Core (How reading can enhance life)
  • ·         It is good for you.  It is fun.
  • ·         You have to have fun.
  • ·         So if you marry someone and they have a baby you can read to them
  • ·         Boss gives you papers and instructions for work
  • ·         It will help you be what you want to be
  • ·         Read instructions and instruction manuals to know how to do things
  • ·         My mom reads all day
  • ·         So you can get a job
  • ·         To work
  • ·         Sometimes you read for fun to listen to stories
  • ·         Reading can help you with your job
  • ·         If you don’t know how to read you can’t have a job
  • ·         Sometimes you read for fun to listen to stories

I must say I was pleasantly surprised!!!  They really are making connections between the skills they are working SO HARD on, and the benefits and outcome to all of that hard work!  Some even stated “because it is fun!”  That, in itself, is a victory with struggling readers.  I am so excited to use this routine again next year.  Now that I have been introduced to it, it would be so great to use it at the beginning of the year, and then at the end of the year, and measure the change in ideas.  It was really neat to see these kids extend their thinking, and go much deeper than I gave them credit for!!

1 comment:

  1. O.K., now that I have been introduced to this routine through YOU, now I will use it! Love love love!
    It feels so good to read the comment "it is good for you. it is fun". You can't TEACH kids to enjoy reading! I thought this was a very creative way to use as a summative assessment. Do I dare ask a middle schooler?.........
    Great work Burnham!