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  • Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis (authors of Strategies That Work ) share that when we teach the strategy of determining what is important, it is often introduced in nonfiction. Nonfiction text and this strategy go together.
  • Allow time for participants to read the slide.
  • “ Skimming and Scanning” may be a part of this process. Skimming and scanning are techniques which allow readers to only attend to the most important information (as determined by the text’s structure and content or by the reader’s own purposes).
  • The gradual release of responsibility is assumed in teaching all the strategies. In the beginning, students are given a great deal of support and responsibility for learning, and working is gradually released to the students.
  • Modeling should occur frequently using short selections. Teachers should focus not only on conclusions about importance, but on how and why they arrived at those conclusions. It is important to think aloud about how the focus on what you as the teacher believe to be important enhances comprehension. It would also be a good idea to include some of your own knowledge.
  • Be sure students provide some evidence or reasoning to support their judgments.
  • Guided Reading or small instructional groups should focus on determining importance during the strategy study. This would be a good time to discuss different conclusions about important ideas if all are reading the same text.
  • Read Slide
  • Many textbooks today present information in a variety of visual formats in addition to print, and offer numerous study aids that highlight what is important in the chapter. Unless attention is specifically called to these text features, students often skip over them as they read to complete an assignment. We need to assist students in noticing ways the chapter forecasts organizational structure (i.e. cause/effect, compare/contrast, concept/definition, problem/solution, and so on) and how it signals key concepts and ideas.
  • Nonfiction text features help to focus readers as they sort important information from less important details.
  • Allow participants to read through the list. More information related to text features can be found in Strategies That Work – Chapter 9 and Appendix F. In addition to these text features, students need to learn to attend to text clues that signal importance. These would include phrases such as, “For example; For instance; In fact; In conclusion; Most important; But…; Therefore; On the other hand; and Such as.” A powerful instructional idea would be to create an Anchor Chart related to these text features (See Strategies That Work, page 121, for more information . )
  • Once again the versatile two column notes outline also comes in handy as an aid to guide students towards understanding the strategy of Determining Importance. When using two columns, the left column would state the main idea and the right column would list the details that support the topic.
  • A ninth grade student shared with his teacher that, "Determining importance is like a strainer, and the words are like noodles in a pot. It sifts out the water and leaves the noodles.” Let’s continue to work with all our students, giving them the tools they need to be successful readers.
  • Scanning

    1. 1. DECIDE WHAT'S IMPORTANT Strategy ~ 2
    2. 2. <ul><li>“ Readers of nonfiction have to decide and remember what is important in the texts they read if they are going to learn anything from them.” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Harvey & Goudvis </li></ul>
    3. 3. Decisions about importance are based on… <ul><li>The reader’s purpose </li></ul><ul><li>The reader’s schema for the text content - ideas most closely connected to the reader’s prior knowledge will be considered most important </li></ul><ul><li>The reader’s sense of the aesthetic - what he or she values or considers worthy or beautiful </li></ul>
    4. 4. STRATEGIES USED FOR DETERMINING IMPORTANCE Before reading, determine the purpose for reading.
    5. 5. Reading for a Purpose Students need to have an understanding of the purpose for reading and viewing particular texts before they begin. Teachers can assist students to clarify the purpose of reading by asking the questions: Why are you reading this text? Are you reading for enjoyment, to retell, to answer questions, to gain information?
    6. 6. <ul><li>Once a purpose for reading is established, students can be directed about which method of reading will best achieve that purpose. These methods for reading include: </li></ul><ul><li>skimming: reading to gain an overall understanding of the content of the text </li></ul><ul><li>scanning: reading to locate specific information </li></ul><ul><li>rereading: reading to confirm meanings and understandings and to clarify details. </li></ul>Reading for a Purpose
    7. 7. Determining The Purpose For Reading ENGAGE STUDENTS IN THE PURPOSE FOR READING 1. Establish one clearly stated purpose - For example, “Read pages 283-285 to find out what a tide pool is.” 2. Model and directly teach students how to read for the stated purpose.
    8. 8. “ It is critical to support learners through the learning process and gradually release responsibility to them.” Keene & Zimmerman - Mosaic of Thought Teacher Modeling Guided Practice Independent Practice Independent Application
    9. 9. Teachers should model thinking aloud about their own process of determining importance during reading. Teacher Modeling
    10. 10. Guided Practice In small or large group mini- lessons, students are invited to share their thoughts about what is important.
    11. 11. Independent Practice Students may work individually, meet in small groups, or work in pairs to compare ideas about what is most important in text and how they came to that conclusion.
    13. 13. Main idea refers to determining what is important. Main idea is often confused with topic. Main Idea
    14. 14. Main Idea is Difficult for Two Reasons
    15. 15. Most main ideas are implied and are not directly stated by the author. <ul><li>Must be determined by using the sum of the information provided </li></ul><ul><li>Requires the reader to think about several pieces of information at once </li></ul>Main idea is difficult.
    16. 16. Main idea thinking is tentative. Readers alter their thinking as they encounter new information later in the text. Main idea is difficult.
    17. 17. <ul><li>Rereading what the author has written and thinking about what the author wants us to understand is most important. Put yourself in author’s place. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the words and phrases (the details) for clues to what is important. </li></ul>Five SECRETS TO FIGURING OUT MAIN IDEA 17
    18. 18. 3. Ask questions about what, in your experience (schema), the combined clues seem to say about what is valued. 4. Decide what the main idea is by saying, “If I had written this and said things this way, what would that say about what I thought was important?” 5. Remember your purpose for reading. Five SECRETS TO FIGURING OUT MAIN IDEA 18
    19. 19. <ul><li>Reread (#1 strategy independent readers use when something stumps them in the text.) </li></ul><ul><li>Read to find the clues </li></ul><ul><li>Put the clues together </li></ul><ul><li>Put yourself in the author’s place to figure out the main idea. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember your purpose. </li></ul>Five SECRETS TO FIGURING OUT MAIN IDEA - SUMMARY 19
    20. 20. NonFiction Text Conventions Features that Signal Importance
    21. 21. “ We must teach our students what nonfiction is. Teaching our students that expository text has predictable characteristics and features they can count on before they read allows them to construct meaning more easily as they read.” ~ Debbie Miller NonFiction Features
    22. 22. NonFiction Features <ul><li>Labels </li></ul><ul><li>Captions </li></ul><ul><li>Comparisons </li></ul><ul><li>Graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Maps </li></ul><ul><li>Fonts and Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Table of Contents </li></ul><ul><li>Index </li></ul><ul><li>Glossary </li></ul><ul><li>Appendix </li></ul>
    23. 23. Another idea to help students
    24. 24. Graphic Organizer (2 Column Notes) Different ladders should be used for different applications OR <ul><li>Aluminum is strong, light, and non-corrosive, but conductive of electricity </li></ul><ul><li>Wood is nonconductive if kept clean and dry, but heavy and susceptible to rot </li></ul><ul><li>Fiberglass is strong and non-conductive </li></ul>Ladder Material Main Idea Supporting Details You should consider your purpose and application when choosing a ladder
    25. 25. What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? <ul><li>FIRST and Second DAY – Teacher gives students the reading assignment and explains the purpose for reading. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher reads aloud. Students read text silently along with teacher for 5 minutes. Teacher models his/her own determining importance in the reading assignment for students. </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s look at the title and the paragraphs. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To decide what is most important (the main idea), I first have to get “inside the author’s head” or put myself in the author’s place to decide what the author values or considers important. </li></ul></ul></ul>What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? First and Second Day Modeling Example
    27. 27. <ul><ul><ul><li>I reread the sentences and try to decide how the author is feeling. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I look for details or clues such as “aluminum ladders aren’t good around electricity” and “wooden ladders are heavier and susceptible to rot” to help me know what the author thinks is important. </li></ul></ul></ul>What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? First and Second Day Modeling
    28. 28. <ul><ul><li>When I combine these detail or clues with my own experience of painting my gutters and painting my ceilings , I decide what all these words have in common; all the words seem to convey the idea that different jobs require different ladders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With teacher’s direction, students fill in graphic organizer for main idea and supporting details. </li></ul></ul>What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? First and Second Day Modeling
    29. 29. What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? <ul><li>THIRD DAY – Teacher gives students the reading assignment and explains the purpose for reading ( guided practice ). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher and students read text silently for 5 minutes, and teacher asks students for details or clues that help them know what the author thinks is important. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As students offer examples, with the teacher’s direction, the class fills in the graphic organizers for supporting details. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    30. 30. What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? Guided Practice Third day continued <ul><ul><li>Teacher asks students to combine the details or clues with their own experience to decide what the author’s main idea is. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As students offer examples, with the teacher’s direction, the class fills in the graphic organizers for main idea. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    31. 31. <ul><li>Teacher gives students guided practice by following the Third Day format through the week ending 3/17/06. </li></ul>What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom?
    32. 32. What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? <ul><li>From 3/20 to 3/30 – Teacher gives students independent practice . Teacher gives students the reading assignment and students determine purpose for reading. </li></ul>
    33. 33. <ul><ul><li>Students maintain 5 minutes of silent reading. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students write supporting details and main idea on graphic organizer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher asks for supporting details and main idea and discusses answers with class. Students may correct graphic organizers. </li></ul></ul>What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? Independent practice
    34. 34. What does Determining Importance look like in my classroom? <ul><li>TWICE A WEEK - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher gives students the reading assignment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students sustain 5 minutes of silent reading. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students fill in graphic organizers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The teacher asks for main ideas and supporting details. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A system of distribution and collection of graphic organizers is in place. </li></ul></ul>