Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Determining Importance in Reading

Moving along with our Reading Comprehension Work (shout out to Tammy McGregor's incredible book).
We have been focused on Determining Importance within the text through this semester. We have had a great time using non-reading activities to help us develop an understanding of this strategy before, and along with, applying it in our reading.
To introduce the subject I use the creative activity of having the kids look through my purse and determine the items that would be important if I were to go to the gym this afternoon. 

Then, I found THIS cute WS from iTeach 1:1 blog that we inserted into our reading notebooks and I had them go through THEIR backpacks to determine what were the VITALLY important items needed for a successful school day ... we found LOTS of "treasures" as we cleaned out looked through our bags.
TOPIC = Backpack
MAIN IDEA = Being successful at School (not on the way to or from school) 
I use Tammy's "Noodle Metaphor" (along with a notebook insert idea from Life in 4B blog) to help them remember the entire process ... since we are currently looking at figurative language, this worked out great in the discussion of what the noodles, water, combination, and strainer represented.
Anchor chart inspired by Life In 4B blog
In our guided reading groups, I have been using A-Z non-fiction books along with graphic organizers to help them practice finding the most important information for each section that helps them find the MAIN IDEA.
I gave THIS AMAZING MATH WORKSHEET (from iTeach 1:1 blog) to my partner teacher to help integrate "determining importance" into math.
MY LIFE Blending with SCHOOL (grin)
This week was my University Gymnastic Team's Home Show. As I was mournfully reminiscing watching, it got me thinking about another, unique way to help my kiddos remember "determining importance" ... I showed the kids a video of my old Collage Acro/Cheer Gymnastic team. It is a GREAT example of determining importance. The audience has to practice this strategy throughout the performance since there are many things happening, however, there are usually big center moves that you don't want to miss even thought there is a lot of other stuff going on. Another great example to show kids this strategy would be to show a circus routine under the big top - LOTS of audience determining of importance going on there! 
Southern Adventist University Gym-Masters (2012) (available on Youtube)

Pictures from my University's Home Show 2013:
Hoop Routine 
Chairs Routine
Contortionist Routine
Pairs Silk Routine
Group Routine
All of this was such a HUGE part of my life throughout high school and collage (see my post Reminiscent Gymnast). I had bittersweet feelings as I went back and watched the final home show! Always sad to not be still in it but great to still feel apart of such an awesome program - and reunite with old teammates! 
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