Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It Says/ I Say/ And So

** Welcome to a WAYBACK Wednesday email – where Tracy shares a tip from wayback – this time from wayback in 2012! Still relevant, still helpful, (I hope). Enjoy!

Michael Stipe of the band REM once said, ““Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious...”.

Does that sound like your students sometimes? Or even your class?
Are your administrators looking for “higher-order” thinking in your classroom? Want to make it easy to prep and obvious to your walkthrough team or evaluating administrator?

Students often think that reading is a passive task – that once they read it (or even look over it) they will get a magic light bulb over their heads that will clarify and expand on the reading. And they get frustrated when that doesn’t happen. Hmmph. I get frustrated when that doesn’t happen too! (I’m talking to you, IRS and Turbotax…..)

One quick and easy way to help them learn to dig deeper into text, to help them react, respond, summarize, and infer is a quick strategy called “It Says/I Say/And So”. This strategy is good for using DURING reading and AFTER reading.

It’s not too complicated. The teacher poses a couple of questions. The students make a chart with three columns (four, if you count the questions as a column). The first column says “It Says”. The second column says “I say”. The third column says “And So”. They read the text (text means textbook, document, article, chapter, editorial, or whatever you want them to read.) and answer the questions through the columns about what they’ve read.

Column 1—“It Says”: As the students read they answer the first column, what “It Says”. By “it” we mean the text they are reading whether it’s a textbook section, a primary source, an article, etc. This is a brief summary. This is where students find information from the text that will help answer the question.

Column 2 – “I Say”: In the second column, they can put it in their own words or their own views. They can think about what they already know about that information or what they learned in class or in another reading

Column 3 – “And So”: In the third column, they can infer and extrapolate from what they learned. Combine what the text says with what you know to come up with the answer. I kind of like to use the phrase “This means” here (like I do on DBQ arguments). So here is where students have to practice their higher-order thinking. You can, of course, model this a few times before they “get” it. Real thinking takes practice!

Here’s an example, based on using a short excerpt the Declaration of the Rights of Man (from the French Revolution)

Here’s the excerpt:
1. Men are born free and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions can be based only on public utility.
2. The aim of every political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible (can’t be taken away) rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
3. The sources of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation; no body, no individual can exercise authority that does not proceed from it in plain terms.
Here is what it looks like with a couple of questions:
What do the French think about government?
Men are born free and equal and the government can’t take that away.
The French treated most of the people (the 3rd estate) pretty horribly. They really didn’t have any rights before.
They feel like they have to spell it all out since they really didn’t have any rights before now. They want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
According to the French, who gives the government its power?
Rulers get their power from the people
If the leaders get their power form the people, that means it’s NOT from God or anything else.
That means we give the rulers their power – so we can take it away, too!
Think of it like the DOK levels. Level one, you can find with one finger on the answer in the text, like the “it says” column. Level two, you can find the answer with two fingers in two different places in the text, like the “I say” column. Level three, you can find the answer with three fingers – two on two different places in the text and one finger on your head to represent thinking about what you bring to the table, the “and so” column.

I would try it with a textbook passage, first, to help ME learn how to make the questions. I would also make sure I had some answers in mind for each section, so I know if I wrote a good question for this assignment or not.

Anyone willing to try this out? Or need help making a chart or questions? I can’t wait to hear how it goes! Have a great week!


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