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General Strategy Learning Plan

Page history last edited by fran toomey 13 years, 8 months ago



*Discuss what a strategy is?



*Give and ask for examples in everyday life.


*Ask for specific school-based examples


One scenario

^Ask for example about studying for a test.  See what kinds of answers students give.  Then,


 ^Have kids actually use their current strategies for specific kinds of mini practice tests:  multiple choice, fill-in, essay


^Compare differences in strategies chosen for each type of test.

  Talk about what worked/didn’t work and why.


^Pair kids up to “study” for a test on a different topic.  Have kids choose the kind of test to study for.  Ask student A to advise student student B and have student B record the advice, try it, and evaluate it.  Did the strategy work?  Why/why not?  Would it be easy/hard to use in another situation?  Why/Why not?  Could student make it work?


^Ask how they could prove if the strategies would work in other situations. 

*Move from discussion of strategies in general to strategies for reading.  

Talk to the students about strategies they use when they are reading.  Follow the same kind of sequence, starting with questions:  What is the strategy, how does it work?  Is it usually effective?  What do you do when it doesn't work? 

Ideally students will mention strategies realted to the SPOKES tasks:  for example, Main Idea (Organization), Vocabulary (Constructing Knowledge), taking notes (Stop and Record).

Then have students choose one of their strateges and try it as in the sequence above. 



Where to Start.

If you're not sure, start with Self-Management 

1.  Define Self-Management in kid friendly terms.   Talk about what it is and why it is important (refer to the research if that's appropriate).  Familiarize the students with the “vocabulary” of Self-Management:  Strategy, management, self-management, metacognition, reflection, planning, monitoring, generalization, etc.

Then, look at the list of Self-Managment Strategies.

Sm1   Checking Your Work

Sm2   Personal Reading Journal Record

Sm3   Planning Sheet

Sm4   Coding Difficulty

Sm5   Look Back Strategy

Sm6   Triple Entry Reflective Journal

Sm7   S.P.O.K.E.S. Cue Card 

  2.  Choose One.  Talk about it.  Teacher models it with a short text example.  Model with a second example. 
  3.  Have students try it with an easy text.  Circulate and observe.  Provide scaffolding as needed. 
  4.  Share your observations about how the students used the strategy. 

5.  Engage students in a discussion about if/how well that particular strategy worked.  If it worked, ask them why it worked?  If it didn’t work, ask them to explain why.  Talk about whether it could be modified to work. 

  6.  Assign different groups of students to work with one other strategy and discuss if they think it could work.  Choose one that a group thinks will work and model it.  Have them try the strategy they chose and discuss whether or not it worked or didn’t work and why. 
  7.  Encourage students to create and test their own strategy(ies).

8.  Talk about the sequence for learning to use a strategy independently.  Talk, as necessary, about what it means to do something independently.  Talk about starting with an easy text and an easy strategy, and then practice with harder texts and strategies. 

What Next?

9.  When each new S.P.O.K.E.S. task is introduced, after building some background knowledge, take students through a similar process of reviewing the available strategies, observing some modeling by the teacher, trying one with scaffolding, evaluating the effectiveness of the strategy.  And, if the strategy is effective, practicing it to a level of independence, moving from practice in a controlled situation with easy reading materials to harder reading materials and then less controlled situations.  Talk about supports or cues they can use to remember to use a strategy and to remember how to use a particular strategy.

Into the Future

10.  Over time, have students make a set of personally effective strategies for each of the 6 S.P.O.K.E.S. tasks and keep them available while reading until they have been internalized and are no longer needed.   


See the following links for instructional and learning principles


Instruction and Learning Principles  


Phases of Learning










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