“What it does is allow students to begin making connections”








Happy Tuesday #sisrocks!  This week we are highlighting Rosana Walsh from our Bayside campus. Rosana was nominated for all the knowledge, energy, and support she brings to creating a more inclusive environment for her students. 

What did you want your students to know or understand?

The lessons that I am thinking about are tied to our first unit in seventh grade, which is modern identity.  Students have a choice of two novels, one is called among the hidden, which is really about identity because its about a child who shouldn’t be there. And what it does is allow students to begin making connections into things like the one child policy in China. There’s a lot of inferences you can get out of the story: Why is this child treated like this…? The other book is called Flying Solo and it is about a class that runs itself on a day when it is not supposed to when the substitute doesn’t show up – What’s interesting is that as the story unfolds all the personalities come out. I wanted these kids to know that they could get the same  kind of understanding from these two very different books about how we can identify character traits and personalities and how they develop – and often it has a lot to do with studying our backgrounds. – what do we bring. One of the big words for modern identity is perspective.

2. What skills did you want your students to gain?

Really what I wanted them to know is that we are unique and often people see us from different perspectives.  Its a unit that builds empathy.

3. How did you teach this lesson in the past? / 

If I go back to the books that we are focused on right now.  In previous years, they’ve read the bookend have done reading responses but we’ve had a shift in student demographics so we now have students coming into seventh grade who are various reading levels – they may be seventh grade level in their own languages. Now we are looking at books that are dual languages, which is why Flying Solo was introduced last year. And to teach it differently, we had teachers take chapter and read so that now students have an audio piece to go along with the text.  

4. How did you problem-sol come up with this new method for this lesson? 

In terms of problem solving, we keep finding different solutions for student who need a lot more support … for example, this year we began using curiosity catalysts, which are really just visuals that matched the title of each chapter but they’re really fun and they are an excellent prompt fo getting the kids to discuss what they see in that image. Whats significant about it? How do you think its attached to this story? This allows kids to warm up to the chapter before we, as a class, read loud.  It’s a shared, interactive, talk through of the chapter. 

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