We are working on a new reading strategy – Synthesizing. This is one of the most difficult strategies to explain and understand.
When we read we are constantly connecting the new information to our schema (background knowledge). As we learn more and more our thinking shifts and we begin to synthesize and evaluate what we are learning. We gain new insights and ideas. I really like this anchor chart that I found online. We will be recreating it for our Reading Strategies bulletin board in class.
I am modeling synthesizing through note taking. Together we have been reading an article about the Maya which was published in Kids Discover magazine. We use a T-chart to take our notes. On the left we have Facts/Notes which we have paraphrased from the text. We discuss what are the most important details and how we need to write in our own words. On the right we have a thinking chart. Here we write questions we have, connections we make and other thoughts we have as we read. This really slows the reading process down in a productive way. The students need to stop, absorb what they have read, and think about the text. Here are some samples from the Maya note-taking practice.
We will be continuing with this method of note taking as we begin the research for our report writing. The reports will be in both French and English. The grade 5s have chosen an ancient civilization and the grade 6s have chosen a Canadian First Nation for their report.
We have started another unit on measurement and we have been measuring mass, length, and capacity. For the past few days the students have been rotating through stations where they practice these skills. Watch for our Water Campaing launch where we will be using our math skills for a really meaningful project.