Lesson 1

I think this lesson went very well. The students were really struggling with the definition of freedom. Some students thought that no matter what, someone can choose their every action.

Lesson 2

We only read chapter 1, we stopped and talked about the plot, and what characters were introduced. I overestimated how much they can read in one day, especially as a whole group. I will stick with it.
  • It is really hard to stay on top of grading students' work, especially when I'm assigning 2 RRJ questions.

Chapter 19+20

Students read the chapters independently, and had the chance to respond to one or more inquiry questions as class work (meaning I would not be grading, doesn't NEED to have connections/textual evidence)
I changed the lesson because it was a Wednesday and I wanted them to have the chance to think about the questions ad discuss them without it being a formal assessment.
Questions: How does factory life affect Lyddie mentally? How does working with a purpose differ from working without a purpose? How does Diana's decision affect Lyddie? Why doesn't Lyddie respond to Luke Stevens' letter?
In the last 5-10 minutes of class, I opened the questions up to class discussion and got two interesting responses to the last question:
LG commented that in Lyddie's mind, Luke Stevens has "taken away" her farm. He bought it, therefore he owns it, and now she has no hope of ever getting it back and putting her family back together. And to top it all off, she feels like Luke Stevens is trying to "buy" her like he bought the farm.
Josh said Luke is actually getting the farm back for her--he's trying to retain the farm, which is in contrast to Uncle Judah, who would have sold it to anyone with no regard for keeping it in the family.

Notes from Mon 6/7

Jamie's Comments
I. Research Question
  • How can I help students use the text of a novel to really understand a character's perspective? (Interpretive discussion)
  • What kinds of questions: push the students to find textual evidence in order to answer them? help the students see the world from the perspective of the main character? engage student curiosity?
Hook: Question asked at the beginning of class: "Who knows what moral turpitude is?"
Would anybody change their response about what they might say if they knew what it meant?
Molly: Shameful or disrespectful in terms of
Aaron: Acting against the laws of the community
Laura: Not even against the laws, but what it considered normal in society. Who thinks they know what the bear is a metaphor is?
Eitan: Bad luck.
Laura repeats back.
Aaron: Her new life.
Molly: When she does something that she thought she couldn't do she remembers staring down the bear.
Laura: Interesting,.... I like it...
Lyndsay: Since she had stared down the bear & has been really brave, she's now thinking she can't be brave enough this time.
Laura: I agree. I think the bear represents her troubles.
Jamie's wondering: What was the goal in pursuing this line of questioning? To assess understaning? To engage them in discussion or book talk?

  • How do my facilitation moves: push the students to find textual evidence in order to answer them? help the students see the world from the perspective of the main character? engage student curiosity?
Students read. When they come to the part in the story where a defiant Lyddie shows up at Mr. Marsden's doorstep in order to threaten to tell his wife about his inappropriate behavior with the factory girls if he does anything to Brigid, I stop the students. I ask two students to come to the front of the room to act out the scene.
Students are engaged in dramatization. Molly yells & expresses anger, pretending to be Lyddie. Jacob tells Lyddie to go away. Lyndsay reveals she thought Briget was dimissed, and some students chime in that she has misunderstood the text. Lyndsay states that Mr. Marsden is vile.

Raise your hand if you have a question about how this might change Lyddie's life and how it might liberate her? To free her?
Lee: She might be ok w. marrying Luke.
Mark: She might go to college. She responded to Luke w/ a "how dare you"...
Jacob: She'd also see Betsy.
Aaron: I think she's going to go to college & then after college she'll marry Luke.

  • How can I help students identify which passages in a book are important to
  • focus on, that are the most illuminating passages for understanding a
  • character's perspective?

Laura chose to focus on the scene.
Sally, who rarely shares during GR: Or maybe he'll also be worried b/c what
if Briget send the letter.

  • How do students’ oral and written comments reveal their understanding of
  • the character’s perspective?

Sally had some misunderstandings about what Mr. Marsden knows. He does not
know that Briget has a copy of the letter. Or, did she not fully explain
her thinking. She spoke w/ confidence & in general does not speak up unless
she feels sure of herself. What was she thinking?

Jeremiah was hesitant to answer a question about when Lyddie was fired. Laura
prompted him to think of the whole book, and he succeeded in responding. (What was the question?)

  • What types of responses do students give in informal discussions? What
  • types of responses do students give in reader response journals?

Today's discussion: short answers, which fit w/ the way class was broken
Laura: What was she feeling when she was fired from Cutler's Tavern? Molly, Daniel, & Molly all respond with short answer explanations about how she

Other notes
Voices I did not hear today: Mark, Jacob, Emma, Jasmine,

Tue 6/8 Notes

(Jamie's comments)
Today we're going to read the last chapter & think about those questions
and definitions of freedom.

Student: After she was working at the factory a long time, I don't think she
was a slave b/c she CHOSE to work there.

Teacher: What do you think Lyddie means by that? Not a care in the world.

Student 1: She doesn't need to take crae of anybody. She can do things for

Student: No responsibilities.

Student 3: She still has to take care of herself. What will she do when she
runs out of money?

Teacher: Do you think she's being totally serious about not having a care in
the world

Student 1: She's not a free woman until she can find a home.

It sounds like Lyddie is saying w/out responsibilities, she's free

Student: She's free to make the decision to get a job or not..... I think
she's going to do to college & maybe after that marry Luke Stevens

Student: She's always had something to take care of or take care of & now
she doesn't.

Student 3: She's always been free.

Wednesday 6/9

Final performance assessment: I introduced the project on Wednesday, 6/9
I introduced this project by asking the students to read the assignment, letters and rubric. For each letter, I asked students if anyone could repeat in their own words what the letter is asking.
  • Students said that it sounded like my words, not Diana's
  • Students giggled at the Jewish values letter and nobody chose it
  • Students had a lot of questions about how to include textual evidence and big ideas in their letters
  • I needed to be clearer in my own thoughts and ideas about textual evidence (can it be citing an RRJ passage? Can it be a page # from the book?)
  • I told the students they could use a combination of both textual evidence from the book and from their RRJs, but they need to look back through their RRJ work and extend their previous work
  • I asked students to select the letters they would be responding to by the end of the class period, and start a bulleted list of ideas
  • Most students chose the first two letters (slavery, hope)
  • Some students wanted to know if they could come up with their own big ideas

Thursday 6/10

Final performance assessment. Students came in and started their work right away. As I suspected, they were able to step up to the challenge. Jerry wrote a great letter (not answering all parts of the prompt, but still) and remembered of his own volition to include textual evidence. Many students needed help thinking creatively about how to include a big idea in the letter. I wanted them to have the big ideas, and be able to support them with specific examples. One student asked if she could write one of my big ideas word for word, and I said great, as long as you can back it up with specific examples.
Josh: hardly started his first letter. Wanted to work on it at home.
See work from RRj's.