Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Reading or You're Not a Little Kid Anymore

Learning to read is the main focus throughout elementary school. However, the style of reading must change as students enter Jr. High School and above. By sixth grade, figuring out all of the words is a small part of the reading process. Students must learn to decipher meaning, especially in difficult text. Reading for the Gist, understanding the W's (who, what, when, where, why, and how), and comprehending important details becomes the focus.

Although comprehension strategies are taught in the primary grades, the techniques should change as students enter the intermediate grades. That is our objective currently in language arts class.

Our notes from yesterday illustrate our focus:

01/07/08 NOTES Reading Nonfiction 1


1.Skim
2.Read & Highlight
3.List W’s
4.List facts
5.Write a topic sentence/Gist Statement


Basically we are breaking down nonfiction articles trying to glean the most important facts and information. One particularly difficult sentence from an article in Science News Online took almost one half hour just to figure out. The sentence is written with a complex style, and uses vocabulary that was unfamiliar to many sixth grade readers. These three copies of the sentence show the process we went through to break it down and make it easier to read.


"The team has withheld from its article critical code-breaking details that could abet would-be hackers."

The team has withheld from its article critical code-breaking details that could help would-be hackers.

The team withheld details that could help hackers.

Our goal is to break down the meaning to the simplest terms, to make reading and understanding easy. This takes an immense amount of hard work and brain power. Students have been giving a great amount of effort as they are learning new reading skills.

Topics of discussion include:

Learning to Read
You Don't Have to Get it All
What Did the Writer Feel/Think as he Wrote
Reading Rate
How the W's Guide Thoughts
Predict and Revise

2 comments:

Molly VanCuren said...

We have to write notes everyday, it's funny because Josh and Cail can never get finished writing everything down before I do!

Anonymous said...

I think that reading is really important in our world. If you don't know how to read you would not be able to do anything.