Tag Archives: Writing About Reading

Practical Amplification Series: Planning for Instruction Part 2

This is the third post in a short series about using SeeSaw as a tool to amplify classroom practice in order to help students meet instructional goals.  You can read the first post here, and the second post here.


I couldn’t stop thinking about my terrible bookmark tool all weekend.  I could spend several paragraphs critiquing it, but I won’t belabor the point.  That clunky bookmark is out and I’m keeping it simple.

One digital anchor chart to help students with the procedure and remind them of a key teaching point.  (This is where I had to go back and really ask myself “What is it that we want students to practice and apply in this lesson?  We want them to write about their thinking!)  Normally I build charts with students, however in some cases I prepare something ahead of time.  The digital format makes it easy to adjust to add student thoughts and ideas.

You can view the full size document of this chart by clicking on the image.

One sheet to hold thinking.  This is my six box sheet.  A very simple layout.  I added four more boxes on the back and the sentence stems from my original book mark. (shudder!)  I figured that was the most important scaffold and one that we have seen some students use with success.  I don’t know if this will help all kids or hold them back, but time will tell.

The front of the six box sheet.  This replaces sticky notes and is a little neater.  You can see the full document with the back by clicking on the image.


One digital tool-SeeSaw.  Students will access articles via SeeSaw and gather ideas into a comment underneath the article that they chose to read.  I like to offer several options for text so that students have some ownership and choice in the work they are going to do.

So I’m feeling a lot more prepared now that I’ve dumped my confusing tool!  Tools should help, not hinder kids.  Simple is often best!

So my instructional plan for tomorrow is going to be to use a gradual release model with some guided practice before releasing kids to do this work independently.  My goals are to;

  • Teach kids a simple, yet effective, procedure for reading and responding to digital texts.  This is to give kids more authentic work to do during workshop time, gather formative assessment data, and help them build stamina while the teacher works with small groups.

*Just as a note this isn’t the only tool we will put in their toolbox.  It’s the first of many.  But this tool and strategy meets our immediate goals based on what we are seeing kids can  do and where they need to go.

  • Continue to reinforce a series of lessons designed to boost students’ ability to capture their thinking about text and expand that thinking in a variety of mediums.


Please visit on Friday to see the outcome of this lesson, look at some student work with me, and think about where we can take these kiddos next!