Sunday, March 9, 2014

Determining Importance Some More!

Last year, I posted a quick over view of some activities that I do to help my kiddos determine what is important, specifically in non-fiction text. However,  I just HAVE to share the learning that was happening in the classroom today while we were straining NOODLES from WATER.
If you are unfamiliar with Tanny McGregor's visual metaphor for this comprehension strategy, please check out my Determining Importance Post for more detail.
 After teaching the lesson and completing our notebook insert, I had the kids choose to read one of two non-fiction books on either Turtles or Ants. While they were reading, they looked for "noodles" (important facts and details) and "water" (interesting, but not important to the main idea) details. They text coded their "noodles" onto sticky notes. This was their MUST DO assignment during independent reading time.

After reading time, I had them meet in groups of 4, with similar books, to share their thinking/reading through Purposeful Talk. They shared their "noodles" with each other and discussed whether some of them were more "watery" then others. 
As I walk around monitoring and facilitating learning, I like to take notes of neat things I see groups do and say to each other, that way, at the end I can recognize these kids as well as reestablish what purposeful talk looks and sounds like. Please ignore my messy jotting! 

 Then, the groups worked together to create charts based off what they had agreed upon as "noodles" and "water" details.
Most of them did a great job at this and it really helped me see where some of their misconceptions from the lesson still were. For example, the group below did a good job of separating factual details from broader/big picture details, however, they have them placed under the opposite headings. Broader facts are generally the more important details that we want our brains to hang onto, while the statistical facts are great, and usually very interesting, they are not usually the focus of the main idea.
Stay tuned for more updates on how we are determining importance while reading! 
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