Happy Monday, y'all! I am SO happy to be back on "normal" schedule and not testing this week! We started The Westing Game last week, but we are taking it SLOW because the novel is complex. Out of all the novels we've read this year, this one is the most challenging in terms of comprehension. There is A LOT to take track of, so we are doing a few things to hopefully make it easier to understand. I thought I'd share with y'all since these can easily be applied to any novel or text. 

Just like with Tuck Everlasting, we are using Central Questions. These are such a great way to guide your reading and hold students accountable for what they read. Love! We read the question before we read the chapter and then the kids answer the question after reading. Sorta like an exit slip. 

The most difficult part of the novel is keeping up with all the characters (over 20!) . To help with this, we are using Kristine's strategy. We also draw character names out of a box and each person is assigned that character. They are required to give us info about their character a few times a week. By the end of the novel, they should be an expert on their character and they will do a few other activities using that character...stay tuned for that!

Since there is a lot of action to keep up with as well, we've started taking what I call quick notes. These are in no order...we just jot down when something important happens or a new character is introduced or when we have a question about something. I do this with each class and depending on the kids' thinking, the notes vary a bit, so I made a chart for each class. Also, if I just did one chart my other two classes would simply copy down what I had written with my first class and that would defeat the purpose of note taking!

I'll be back tomorrow with some ways to keep up with all those characters! :)