Category Archives: Summarizing

Reading Logs

Both the grade fours and fives write reading logs.  The fives have been doing them for about six weeks and the fours have just begun.  With both classes we started by writing a reading log together based on books I read aloud.


The grade fours and I co-wrote a reading log about Teammates, a book about Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese taking a stand against racism.


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All the reading logs follow the same letter format.  They all have a brief summary, a reaction to the book, thoughts on the book based on a prompt and a description of a reading strategy used while reading the book.


Here is the reading log we wrote for Teammates :


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The reading logs demonstrate the students’ understanding of their reading in several ways.   Summarizing shows a literal understanding of the text.  A personal reaction demonstrates how they process how they read; can they relate to the characters, make connections to their own lives or other books they have read or movies they’ve watched.   The prompts elicit thoughts on a variety of topics such as character, writer’s craft, questions about the text, etc.  Finally, they write about a reading strategy they used while reading.  We study reading strategies such as making connections, inferring, visualizing, monitoring comprehension,  synthesizing and critiquing.  So far the grade fours have learned about making connections and visualizing so they would choose one of those two.




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The Thinking Matrix

I got the idea for the Thinking Matrix from Heidi Siwak, an inspiring teacher in Dundas, Ontario.

The Thinking Matrix is (modified from Heidi Siwak):

  1. A way to move student’s thinking from lower level to high level.
  2. Help students to analyze the types of questions they are asking and to move their questions to higher level thinking.
  3. A way to help student’s understand what is being asked and how to craft a thoughtful response.

Here is what the Thinking Matrix bulletin board looks like in our class (we’ve just begun):

thinking matrix

thinking matrix 2

thinking matrix 3

Today we were talking about summarizing.  After a few practice sessions in a whole class lesson the students worked in pairs or indepndently to write a summary of a short article on Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike.  Here is a work sample:

work sample

Finally, we created success criteria for a good summary.  Tomorrow we will add success criteria for good writing and will type it up.  We will be using is along with descriptors to mark our own and each others summaries.  Our goal is to learn how to improve our own work through analyzing the work of others.  These marks will be for practice only, not for any reporting purposes.

success criteria

Line Graphs

We are continuing with our Data Management Unit begun before the holidays.  Today we looked at line graphs.  We went over the importance of labeling graphs.  We talked about selecting a scale for a graph.  Here is an image from our SMART board lesson:

line graphs

Here are some photos of students working and a photo of Jenna’s work:

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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Data Management, Math, Summarizing, Writing


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