Monday, March 23, 2015

Guided Reading: Main Idea and Summarizing

Happy Monday!

I wanted to share how I've been working with my two guided reading groups.

Both of these groups are at S and T (now T and U), above expectations for fourth grade right now.

However, my S group is struggling with the main idea of a text, and my T group is struggling with summarizing!

So I've pulled together some quick, easy lessons for us to do-that works with any book! (Although we are focusing on Nonfiction for this)
Now, my S group is made up of kids exclusively from my class. And I taught them main was one of the first skills we worked on!

But they were still struggling with finding a main idea, so I decided to dedicate a whole book and block of lessons to work on it.

The book I choose was from the wonderful, amazing reading series that we have. I do actually like most of the guided reading components of this!
This book is divided into four sections-one for each of the seasons. I though it would be perfect to focus on a season at a time.

It starts with summer, so I had them read it (independently) and come up with what they thought the main idea was.

The next day, I had them tell me their main idea. I wrote each of them down, and we discussed them.

We slowly put together main ideas that had things in common, weeded out those that were in left field, and came together with one, cohesive main idea.

After we had a cohesive main idea, they needed to find details to support, as well as read the next section and repeat.

The next section went much better.

We started out by sharing our ideas again.
Our main ideas were a little closer together this time!

Then when went through the pages and wrote down the most important idea of each one.
We discussed what they had in common-what they needed to be successful, and came up with an answer.
Which then helped us form another cohesive main idea that included elements from each one!
It's been very interesting to see what each student thinks is the main idea.

I sent them back to find supporting details, read Spring, and come up with the main idea. We'll repeat this throughout the book-and hopefully have stronger main ideas by the end!

My T group is made up of a mix of kids from all three classes. And while I know that they have had summarizing, I don't know how it's been taught or how much it has been practiced.

I had noticed that when I have asked for a summary from this group, most of them have been giving me retells. So I thought a quick lesson was in order!

I wrote down the components of a nonfiction summary-like I had discussed with my class-and had them copy it down in their notebooks, so they could refer back to it.
I modeled using Thundercake, which was our Mentor Text last week.

Then, as we just finished the book you see peeking out, I sent them to work on summaries for it. 

They did well! I was much more pleased with the quality of summaries than I had previously gotten-let's hope they keep it up!

Smiles and Sunshine,

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