The reason why I spent an extra day on this objective is because I noticed that scholars had a really tough time yesterday. They were able to identify the main idea in an individual paragraph, but had difficulty when they had to identify the main idea of multiple paragraphs and then synthesize the main idea of the section. It kind of blew their minds. So, I decided to spend an extra day here in whole group and small group instruction.
I say, "Yesterday we learned all about identifying the topic, main idea and supporting details. We realized that it is actually MUCH harder than it seems to find main ideas in passages with more than 1 main idea. Today, we are going to continue to practice this skill. But first, we're going to build a little bit of background knowledge as it relates to our topic. We are going to watch 2 videos of Michelle Kwan; 1 from the Junior National Championship in 1992, and 1 from the National Championship in 1996."
Ask yourself the following questions as we watch the videos:
1. How are the videos the same? Different?
2. How does Michelle show us that she "Gave it all she had?"
As we watch the videos, I highlight her awkwardness in the first video and her lack of confidence. In the second video I emphasize her artistry and how fierce she seems.
Then, I give scholars 2 minutes to jot down their thoughts. We share with a friend. Then, I pull 3 friends from the cup to give us their thoughts and then I take volunteers. I give scholars time to think independently so that they can collect their thoughts. They have time to talk to a friend so that they can hear an example of strong thinking or practice sharing their thinking. Then, I pull from my cup so that scholars are held accountable for the work and for the thinking.
I did a cloze reading of pages 144-150. We do a cloze reading so that all scholars have access to the text. As I read out loud, I pause and scholars read the word that I pause upon. This enhances engagement. I have a copy of the text and each of the scholars has a copy of the text. I model the reading on a visualizer so that scholars can see the text as I read and follow along in their copy.
After, we finish our reading of this section, I re-read the first few sentences of each paragraph on page 144. I asked myself the question, "How are these ideas related?" Then, I write my answer on a post-it note and place it on the page. Post-it notes are helpful because they engage your more tactile learners. Also, the act of jotting down a few words and sticking it on the page in the book is more concrete than writing a complete sentence in a notebook. It is a bit easier to get your thinking out there and is more engaging.
After I model, I ask the scholars do the rest of the pages with a partner. As they work in partnerships, I circulate to offer support and see which partners are struggling and which are on the right track. This helps me to prepare and adjust (if needed) during the guided practice.
Scholars are going to need LOTS of support here! This is a very tough skill. Scholars are actually finding the main idea of each paragraph, then synthesizing to find the main idea of the page, and then synthesizing again to find the main idea of the section.
Make sure that you are prepared as you circulate. Ask questions like:
What does this paragraph tell you? What does the next paragraph tell you? How are those ideas related? Let's test that theory.
My kids needed TONS of support with this and it is something we will continue to practice in small groups.
During the independent rotation, scholars read pages 143-150. Again, they record supporting details. They also work on the independent checklist for the week.
When scholars come to my group they practice identifying topic, main idea and supporting details of a text that is on their highest instructional level. I use the alternative graphic organizer to help scholars identify supporting details and then determine the main idea by asking themselves, how do all of these details relate to one another.
When scholars go to my ELL teacher, they practice identifying topic, main idea and supporting details of a text that is on their highest instructional level.
Scholars look forward to this time because they get to move around the room and be a bit more independent. When scholars are at their seats, they are silent, working independently to accomplish the checklist work for the week. There is typically a low buzz in the classroom since I have 1 small group and the ELL co-teacher is working with one small group. Scholars know that all checklist items are due at the end of the week and therefore work diligently during the independent rotation time.
I noticed that some of my kids struggled because they can't just read a section and say, "Bam! There's the main idea!" So, I found this graphic organizer that has them identify the topic, then list supporting details and then form the main idea from that. This is super helpful for the kids who need to first identify the facts and then state the main idea.
*Check out the graphic organizer in the resources section!