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Jackie Burton

EDR 317 Lesson Plan #2

Making Connections
Grade: 3
Time: 30 minute lesson; 30 minutes independent reading
1.1 Integration of Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to make connections with the text in order to better
comprehend the text, Belinda the Ballerina. (CC.1.3.3.B)
Students will be able to refer to the text, Belinda the Ballerina, to support
responses (both written and oral) . (CC.1.3.3.B)
Students will be able to demonstrate a grade-level appropriate use of the
conventions of English in their grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation,
and spelling when writing a response to Belinda the Ballerina. (CC.1.4.3.F)
Students will be able to use a variety of words and sentence types in their
written response to Belinda the Ballerina. (CC.1.4.3.K)
1.2 Standards
CC.1.3.3.B - Ask and answer questions about the text and make inferences
from text, referring to text to support responses.
CC.1.4.3.F - Demonstrate a grade-level appropriate command of the
conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization,
punctuation, and spelling.
CC.1.4.3.K - Use a variety of words and sentence types to appeal to the
1.3 Anticipatory Set
Today we are going to be working on making connections with a text in
order to help us understand it better. Turn to your partner and quickly discuss
what you think the meaning of "connection" is. -Come back together.- What did
you come up with? (If you do not see a large response, try asking "Have you ever

watched a movie or read a book and thought to yourself "I know exactly how that
character feels!"

1.4 Procedures
Introduction of Strategy
A connection is when something in the story reminds you of anything else - it could
be something in your life, or something in someone else's life, or an event that
happened - anything! While I read Belinda the Ballerina, I want you to be thinking
about what the story reminds you of.
1. Read pages 1-6. Stop at the bottom of page 6. I'm going to stop right
here as I am realizing that I reminded of a connection here. This really
reminds me of a few things. I remember as a child, I was told I was too
small to play soccer because the bigger kids would knock me over! I also
remember some people thought I would never learn to play guitar
because my hands were so tiny that I could not reach all of the strings.
Thinking of these events, I can better understand how Belinda would
feel. I imagine she is going to be very hurt and upset by this. Let's keep
reading and find out. Use the SmartBoard and the Making Connections
Chart to fill out connections as you read.
Guided Practice
2. Read pages 7-10. Stop at the bottom of page 10. Let's see if you all can
think of a connection to this part of the story. Turn and talk to a partner
and see what each of you has to say. -Come back together.- What
connections did you come up with? Has anyone ever made you feel so

bad about yourself that you wanted to quit? Be sure to record student
response on the Making Connections Chart on the SmartBoard. Allow
students to come record it themselves to give them practice using the
SmartBoard. Be sure to praise students in a positive manner when they
make good connections.
3. Read pages 11-17. Stop at 17. I know a connection is brewing in my
mind. I know when I love to do something very much, like kick a soccer
ball, I cannot stay away for very long at all! I also find myself randomly
playing my guitar without even thinking. I now know how Belinda feels
because if you love to do something, you will not want to quit for long
and it becomes second nature, something you do automatically. Is there
anything you guys love to do that becomes second nature? Turn & talk.
Be sure to continue recording student responses on the SmartBoard.
You want them to know that their connections are just as important as
4. Read pages 18-end. Turn and talk to your partners. Are there any final
connections that you can make with those last few events? -Come back
together.- What are some connections that you and your partner made?
Be sure to praise the entire class as a collective group for the great
connections that they made. (i.e. You guys came up with some really
strong connections! I feel confident that you will continue to put this
good reading strategy into practice in your independent reading.)
Independent Practice
5. Ask the students to get their Writer's Notebook from their seats. As we
have discussed before, good writers know how to vary their sentences
right? Do we always want to have sentences starting with "I made this
connection..." or "This connects to my life..."? (Assume students would
say no). No, we want to make sure our sentence starters are varied.
Instead of "I am connecting" or "this connects because", what are some
other ways we could phrase these thoughts? (Answers will vary; if
necessary, suggest things like "This reminds me of...." or "This made me
recall a time when I/someone else felt that way...." etc.).

6. I want each of you to write a paragraph - how many sentences do you

think your paragraph should be? Expect the answer "5" due to
previously taught expectations. That's correct, five. Can it be less than
five? No. Can it be more than five? Absolutely. Your paragraph should be
a description of at least 3 connections that you made with the text
Belinda the Ballerina. This will be collected, so show me your best
grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills!
7. Prior to collecting student work, bring all students back to the carpet for
Sharing Circle. Have a few students read their paragraph - be sure to
positively point out varying sentence structures when students apply
that concept!
1.5 Differentiation
First and foremost, this lesson was easily accommodated to both genders in
the classroom through the book choice. By choosing Belinda the Ballerina as my
read-aloud book, I was able to access both genders because of the ability to
interchange ballet with any sport. The boys could easily relate to Belinda's
feelings, but compare it to times when they had experienced those feelings in
their respective sport (baseball and soccer seemed to be most popular). I
reinforced this by using soccer as my first modeled connection because I wanted
the boys in the classroom to be thinking along those lines. I did not want those
students to check out early in the book. Certain students in this classroom have a
lot of attention issues. I was able to keep them focused by reading short seconds
and only giving about a minute of time to Turn & Talk. The book chosen was at a
level that was suitable for all readers in the classroom, and the concept of
connections provided a chance for the more advanced readers to continue to stay
engaged by making deeper connections (i.e. text to world). This lesson was taught
in a mid to upper socioeconomic status elementary school; therefore, I was able
to use resources such as the SMART board in order to enhance the students'
learning. My materials and methods of assessment, including Turn & Talk, the
SMART board chart, and the written paragraph, engaged all learners because it
gave multiple opportunities for involvement and assessment. While some

students may not share as much during Turn & Talk, their written paragraphs
were far more advanced and descriptive than they may have shared. The same
can be said for the opposite student who is much better at communicating
verbally, rather than through written language. This lesson served as an
introductory lesson, but can also be used to determine where students are at with
the concept. In addition to further lessons, it can be used in order to structure RTI
groups when deciding where students are in their comprehension levels.
1.6 Closure
Connections are a great tool to use to better understand (or comprehend)
the text you are reading. We can make connections to our lives, other books, or
things going on in the world. Now that we have gone over this strategy, we should
be consistently using it in our independent reading so we can enhance our
comprehension. We can start by doing so in our independent reading today. As
you read throughout today, this week, and even at home, I want you to utilize
your sticky notes and jot down connections that you make. We will continue to
share how we are making connections during our Sharing Circle time. Throughout
the next week, we will go more in depth, one at a time, into Text-to-Self, Text-toText, and Text-to-World connections.
1.7 Formative & Summative Assessment
Formative Assessment: Turn & talk activity throughout the interactive read-aloud.
Be sure that all children are participating and actively discussing the connections.
Summative Assessment: Collect the Making Connections paragraph that was
written by students during the lesson. Be sure that each student has made at
least 2 connections to the text, Belinda the Ballerina, and uses grade-level
appropriate conventions in their writing.
1.8 Materials
-Belinda the Ballerina
-Making Connections Chart
-SMART board
-Writer's Notebook
1.9 Technology
The SMART board was used to enhance student learning by allowing them to
practice their handwriting when they share a connection. The use of this
technology engages the learners and often prompts more response because the
students desire to write on the board.
2.0 Reflection on Planning
I was asked to plan a broad lesson on Making Connections. It was suggested
to me by my cooperating teacher that I do this as an interactive read-aloud. I had
done something similar to this in my field course last year with first graders;
however, I did not actually know at that time that I was performing an interactive
read-aloud. To be consciously aware of this fact this time around and having
learned about it this semester in EDR 317 allowed me to be better prepared in
planning this lesson. One of the textbooks for this course, Creating Strategic
Readers, was helpful in rationalizing this lesson. The author, Ellery, explains that it
is crucial for a teacher to provide situations where students can activate their
background knowledge and connect to the text (p. 177). She explains that when
students are able to activate prior knowledge, they are able to use their
experiences to alter their thinking as they are given new information in a text
(Ellery, p. 177). The other resource I happened to find was an article by Helen
Crompton about professional learning. As teachers, we need to be sharing our
educational tools with one another. One of the technologies that I have been
fortunate enough to be experienced with is the SMART board. By sharing this
technology with both the teacher and student, I am expanding my own
professional knowledge but utilizing and implementing it and also sharing my
information with a fellow teacher.

I was given two books to choose from and went with Belinda the Ballerina
because I could incorporate both genders with the feelings that Belinda had. My
anticipatory set was designed to bring in students' background knowledge of
connections. By asking if they have ever compared their feelings to another
character's, it gives them an idea of how the strategy can be used and how they
have already used the strategy in their lives. My teaching point was "Good
readers make connections in order to enhance their comprehension of the text. I
chose my stopping points based on when I thought the students would most
relate to what was happening in the story. In regards to technology, most of these
students have never written on a SMART board. I view this as a valuable tool and
feel as though it should be utilized and put into the students hands. By allowing
students to write their connections on the SMART board, they are given a chance
to experience this technology. When choosing which chart to use, I felt as though
the Making Connections chart was most appropriate because it clearly grouped
the students' thinking into three separate categories: The text, the connection,
and the understanding. When asking for the written paragraph, this allows the
students to further develop their connections and also practice their conventions
of English, as many of them have struggled with correct grammar and
punctuation thus far. As far as activities go, I love using Turn & talk and find that it
generally works well. By engaging all students, the environment was positive
because each student was participating and respectfully listening to all other
participants. As far as modeling for the students, a teacher is a social model every
single day of their lives. In front of those students, you must be on your absolute
best manners and most commendable behavior. Those students look up to a
teacher and use a teacher as a model for social interactions. By asking questions
politely, listening intently to student responses, and praising students for their
hard work, you are setting an example for how they should act as well. That is my
belief on modeling social interactions - it is an all day, everyday occurrence.
*Note: This lesson was planned as an introductory lesson. The hopeful plan is to
then move into detailed lessons on each specific connection: text-to-self, text-totext, and text-to-world connections.
2.1 Reflection on Instruction

I was fortunate enough to teach this lesson as a mini lesson on Monday,

September 24, 2014. Looking back on it, I felt as though my lesson went really
well. I liked how well most of the students participated, and I felt that my reading
was expressive and smooth. I have always had confidence in the my reading
capabilities during a read-aloud. Throughout the lesson, I was amazed at how
quickly the students caught on. The students already knew how to broadly make
connections and only needed a little prompting here and there from me. The
objectives were clearly met; the students showed their understanding of the
concept/strategy through their Turn & Talk discussions, and through their
paragraphs that were later collected. They made clear connections and even
incorporated a few key terms such as "text-to-world" and "text-to-text"
connections. I could have definitely improved on being sure that all students were
voicing their connections, instead of the same 4-5 students repeatedly reporting
on their Turn & Talk discussions. Next lesson, I plan on circulating during Turn &
Talk in order to "eavesdrop" on other students' conversations and catch other
students' strong points. I could easily tell that all students were actively talking
with their partners; however, not all students were as eager to share with the
whole-group what they had discussed. In addition to these observations, I
remember reading in Ellery's text that teachers need to be teaching
comprehension strategies explicitly, making sure to point out how the strategy
assist them in comprehending, or understanding, the text (p. 171). As I look back, I
feel like I tried to do this as much as possible and felt as though I did fairly well
with it; however, it is still an area that could use improvement. I would want to
further emphasize in my teacher talk how I am better comprehending the text
because of my connections so that the students realize that good readers use this
strategy to enhance comprehension.
From this lesson alone, it does not appear that any interventions are
necessary - there are one or two students that could possibly use a small-group
activity with more instruction, but I feel as though it would not be my decision on
that and I would not want to make that choice based off of one lesson. After
possibly the second application, I would intervene and create a small-group
activity if these students were still showing small signs of struggling with the

strategy. These students already struggle with comprehension; therefore, it

would make sense that they may need extra support on this subject and I would
completely be open to preparing a more focused lesson for them should they
continue to struggle with the concept. Overall though, the students
comprehended the concept very well and my assessment of their learning proved
to be informative and adequate. The writing paragraph served both as a
comprehension check to see if the students understood the concept and as an
assessment of where their current levels are with appropriate conventions of the
English language. There is a lot of work to be done as far as punctuation and
grammar usage, which will begin to be targeted in the coming weeks during
Writer's Workshop.
One of the ways that myself, my cooperating teacher, and my professor
feel that I need to professional grow in is my teacher talk. I often stumble upon
my words and it does not come out with the same meaning as I intended it to.
Clearly, I need to spend more time actually rehearsing my teacher talk. My
cooperating teacher suggested in front of a mirror, and my professor suggested
while in the car driving or walking into the building, just rehearsing to myself
exactly what I want to say. In doing this, I am able to hear how my words sound
and decide if I like the way that my words could be conveyed. I felt as though my
stopping points were very well chosen; they provided great breaks for the
students to connect to the text. However, I feel as though the strength of my
stopping points was clouded by my stumbling teacher talk. In the future, I want to
see improvement in the physical delivery of my words because it would be easier
for the students to understand and allow myself to be confident in my
The main goals that I set for myself from here on out deal with rehearsing
my teacher talk, as mentioned before, and monitoring all student discussion
during Turn & Talk, also mentioned above. Thankfully, I have a cooperating
teacher who loves to give me as much hands-on experience as possible. She gives
me interactive read-aloud assignments nearly every week and I am getting
numerous chances to put my skills into practice. Throughout the rest of the
semester (and continuing into future semesters), I will be working to meet these

goals, particularly during read-alouds. However, I can also work towards these
goals in other aspects of lesson implementation, such as math or social studies
where I may need to rehearse what I am trying to say, or monitor student
discussions or work groups. At the time being, I cannot think of any questions I
have because I have been fortunate enough to have a cooperating teacher and a
professor who answers most of them immediately. My professor was helpful in
answering my question of how to keep those few stragglers who want to use a
different strategy during turn & talk on task and on the appropriate strategy. She
said to acknowledge that they are using their prior knowledge, but then refocus
them to the current strategy at hand. This will be a great tip to keep in mind
during future read-alouds, as a few of the students get particularly off-task.

2.2 Citations
Connell, G. (2013, January 24). Reading Response Forms and Graphic Organizers.
Retrieved September
25, 2014, from
Crompton, H. (2014, October 1). Know the ISTE Standards for Teachers: Keep
learning and leading.
Retrieved November 6, 2014, from
Ellery, V. (2009). Comprehension. In Creating strategic readers: Techniques for
developing competency in
phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency,
vocabulary, and comprehension (2nd ed., p. 171-177). Newark, DE:
International Reading Association.