Last week, I got my students pumped up about the book with my prediction board! I had the board turned against the wall, propped up on a desk so they couldn’t see it until I turned it around. I gave them the run-down of what we were going to do. Then, I teased them a little, like, “Are you ready to see it? Are you sure?”
So, here’s how it went:
- Students were instructed to stay quiet for a minute, or until I made my way around the entire room with the board.
- They were to look closely, at all of the objects and pictures and read all of the words carefully.
- After I made it slowly around the room, I asked if there were any words that they weren’t familiar with or didn’t know how to pronounce. I first let other students give the meanings if they knew them. If not, I explained what the words meant.
- Usually, they need me to clarify the words “sorrow” and “loyal.”
- Since I added “PTSD” to my new board, I had to give a brief explanation of what it stands for and what it is.
- I was able to include a personal story about my grandpa who is a 92 year-old WWII veteran and still suffers from nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD.
- After clarifying a few words, I gave them 3 or 4 minutes to have a discussion with their partners (or in a triad) about what they thought would happen in the story, based upon the information on the prediction board.
- I gave them a sentence starter stem, like, “According to _______ on the prediction board, I predict the story will be about . . .
- Or, “Based upon the ______ on the prediction board, I predict …
- I perused the room and listened in on the predictions. At that point, when they asked me questions about the book, my go-to response was, “I don’t know, but that’s a great question.”
- When time was up, we stood and delivered our predictions, making sure to use the sentence starters. I took volunteers first, then I cold called (drew popsicle sticks.)
- An exit ticket was a quick way to wrap up. The next day, we wrote a draft of a prediction paragraph, did some peer editing, and rewrote the final copy to be turned in.
I went ahead and asked my principal to come in and observe for my evaluation on prediction day because I knew the kids would be engaged more than usual. She loved it! She said it was fun and it made her want to read the book, too.
One of our more challenging students went up to her at lunch and told her how much he “loves this book!” That was something that she never thought she’d hear coming from this particular student. Me neither, but it happens every year. That’s one of the reasons I get excited about reading a novel with my students, especially this one.