A few months ago I came across a post of Aurelia McNeil about the Tear and Share reading strategy. This week I tried it out, with just a couple of minor tweaks to fit my needs.
- Develop 4 questions about the text and place one on each quarter of the page. You can either number them or color-code them as I did. If desired, questions can be at different levels of difficulty and students can be assigned questions based on readiness level.
- Place a green, yellow, red and blue piece of construction paper on the wall in 4 areas of the room.
- Place students in groups of four, each assigned a color. (See my post about how we used colored rubber bands to do this!)
- Students read the text silently and answer all 4 questions on their own.
- When everyone has finished, students tear the 4 questions apart, giving all the green to one person, all the yellow to another, all the blue to another and all the red to the final team member.
- Students then took the four answers to their color question and joined the other same color students at the colored paper on the wall. As a group, they read and reviewed the answers, synthesizing the best into one answer to write on the construction paper.
Discussion at the walls was so rich as students analyzed and synthesized the answers to decide on the best answer. The principal happened to stop in and was impressed with the level of discussion occurring - so much better than just answering a paper and pencil question and moving on!