It is a very awkward time in education. I admit that it makes me nervous to see so many colleagues angry and upset over pay and benefits because I alone am powerless to change anything and as a rule, I try to solve problems and these issues are well beyond a single person’s action. It will take many people to make a difference and it is my summer wish that the civic leaders who can effect change do so without hesitancy. Another summer wish is to ask brave educators to become civic leaders and lead from the front. It is a time and money commitment, but think of the benefits to the entire education community! Summer is also a good time to sit back and reflect on job satisfaction. If you are thinking of leaving education altogether, please read my February post: “Thinking of Leaving Education? Read This!” I promise there are many ways to serve the youth within a community; it doesn’t always have to be from the classroom. Most of all, I am sending a summer wish that you temporarily disengage from the politics of education and take time for yourself, family, and friends to renew your spirit and reignite (if needed) the love of teaching and helping others. What is on your summer wish list?
I read an article yesterday about how a college professor assists students with reading assignments. I enjoyed it very much and thought how beneficial the method Dr. Barry Casey calls GSSW could be for college bound high school students. If you get a chance, please read the entire article, the link is listed below. This article truly gives students a way to tackle written information in a thoughtful and meaningful way. In pure Edumentality fashion, I've designed a protocol for ease of use. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
44. GATHER, SORT, SHRINK, WRAP (Reading, Writing, Discussion, Collaboration)
Description: Perfect for pre-college students and based on Dr. Barry Casey’s GSSW (Gather, Sort, Shrink, Wrap), this deep reading method helps students write clear and concise essays based on multiple readings or complex text.
Application: This method can be used in numerous courses, most especially in literature, social studies, and/or humanities.
Process: Model this method early in the semester so that students may apply the learning in more than one instance. Provide text to students and outline the "GSSW Method:"
Gather: Partner students and direct them to read the text out loud to each other noting things that stand out as significant to the general understanding of the text.
Sort: Tell partners to “cluster the ideas into chunks, both for retention and for
understanding the general themes that run through the text.” Check to make sure
the pairs are writing down the information.
Shrink: Direct partners to further refine the information by expressing their thoughts into
sentences using their own words. Remind students that the sentences should
reflect their deeper understanding of the text (no superficial or general ideas
allowed). Allow partners to work together creating sentences or to work
Wrap: After sentences are created, instruct students, either as partners or individually, to
use them to create an outline or mind map which will act as the foundation for an
essay or other written product.
Casey, Barry. “A Method for Deep Reading.” Faculty Focus | Higher Ed Teaching & Learning, 15 Sept. 2017, www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/method-deep-reading/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork.
Alison Thetford, M.Ed