Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tour Guides to the World

"Elementary teachers are tour guides to the world..."

New York Educational Commissioner King has a discussion with David Coleman and Kate Gerson on the First Instructional Shift: Balancing Informational Text with Fiction.

SHIFT 1: PK-5: Balancing Information/Literature from EngageNY on Vimeo.

Kate Gerson asks, "I wonder then what you think the ways in which this shift changes the role of the elementary teacher?"

Commissioner King responds:

The elementary teachers role ~

  • Demands attention to the coherent teaching of content

  • Demands a different allocation of time

  • Demands a different level of preparation

  • Invites teachers to think about engaging different students with different texts.

  • Provides an opportunity to add informational text to the teachers tool box.

Kate Gerson, "...creates a window for an elementary teacher to become the facilitator of the world as students begin to access it...."

Commissioner King later responds with, "...being a tour guide to the world will help students become better readers."

The message that I received from this video, and believe, is that through explicit and effective first instruction with informational texts you begin to expose students to topics they may not have otherwise been connected to. With that, a student may:

  • become genuinely interested in a particular topic

  • become incredibly passionate and seek out all they can know about that topic

  • connect with others who share common interests

  • share their knowledge, understanding and passion

  • and ultimately expand their reading ability.

It's a win-win situation!

So here are a few of my To Do  Items:

  1. Take an inventory of the non-fiction texts that our fifth grade team has.

  2. Seek out and discover non-fiction texts to add to our classroom library.

  3. Find gaps in my instruction where non-fiction text can be added.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Summarizing Non Fiction Text


The non fiction article I selected came from National Geographic Explorer magazine.  There is also a Teacher's Manual created by National Geographic as reference if needed.  The topic and images that go along with the article will engage kids and allow me to make connections to our Science lessons on Invertebrates and Vertebrates as well.

The main objective is to help students summarize and synthesize the information.  I am planning on 3-5 guided reading lessons using this article.

Here's the link to my lesson on Google Doc's or take a look below.

Summarizing Non-Fiction Text
Guided Reading Lesson
Grade 5

Fifth grade students will learn how to summarize sections of a non-fiction article.

Text Selection:

Got Poison?

National Geographic Explorer

Introducing the Text:
Guided Participation

Demonstrate and communicate needed information which:

Removes some complexities
Allows reader to take on new challenges.

  • Help students make personal connections to the images in the article Got Poison?

  • Ask them what they already know about the topic (poisonous animals)

  • Identify the Bold Titles of each section

  • Point out that each section will provides information about different animals

  • Show students how to use the glossary to identify the meaning of the highlighted words.

Reading the Text:
Students will read the first two sections, It’s Night and Poison Power, independently.

Discussing and Revisiting the Text:
Lead a discussion to help students:

  • Summarize and synthesize information

  • Communicate their ideas

  • Make inferences about the text.

1. Many animals use toxins—poisonous substances in poison and venom—to
survive. In some cases, they use it to kill prey. In others, the poisons help them
defend themselves

2. Animals deliver poisons in several ways: biting with fangs, injecting with
stingers or spikes, spitting, or oozing poison from their skin.

Teaching for Processing Strategies:

Revisit vocabulary and Glossary

toxins and venom

Here is a screen shot of the first page of this article that I will be using.



Anneberg Foundation ~  Teaching Reading Grades 3-5

30 minute video of a fifth grade teacher in her classroom teaching summarizing.

Read Write Think

Get the Gist ~ this lesson is geared for grades 6-8 but parts could be adapted to grade 5