With the common core in mind I have been thinking a lot about how to help students use precise language and textual evidence when supporting their ideas about what they read. Last week we put hand motions in place to help us realize when we are thinking about a book and when we need to support our thinking, or back it up with specific evidence from the text.
When students shared their thinking about a book, they had to point to their head. (Or sometimes we use a thinking bubble prop to hold up while talking). Then, when asked what made us think that, when pushed to give text evidence, students had to point to the palm of their hand, or "the book".
When partners turn and talk they are trying to point to their hands after someone shares thinking and nudge their partner to share what in the text made them think that.
We are also trying hard to use precise, exact language when giving evidence. This is tricky because students often want to summarize or give a general answer to explain their thinking. The key to all of this is finding great books that get students talking!
Finally, I love seeing classroom pictures others share that hold important learning, so here are a few of our anchor charts from September. (Much anchor chart language is stolen from great resources such as Patrick Allen and Lucy Calkins!)