Thursday, November 19, 2015

KTL Newsletter 3 - Two Column Notes

I hope you have all had the opportunity to use Two Column Note-taking in your classes.  I find it to be a wonderful tool to help students organize their thinking about specific content in readings, lectures, videos and media presentations. 

You can use Two Column Note-Taking in a number of ways. Here are just a few ideas if you want to spice things up:      

  • Important quotations  / meaning of that quotation
  • Pro argument / Con argument
  • Facts / opinions
  • Argument / supporting evidence
Helpful hints to give students:

  • Omit small, unnecessary words
  • Keep the meaning clear
  • Don't write full sentences (abbreviate)
  • Not all paragraphs have new main ideas
  • Not all paragraphs have new details
  • Some paragraphs have implied main ideas and require more time to identify
  • The more room you leave, the easier it is to edit
  • Details should be recorded in same order as found in reading

Thursday, November 5, 2015

KTL Newsletter 2 - Categories… Organizing… Finding the Main Idea by Looking at Details

Hopefully at this point you’ve tried a top down web, and found a way to take notes in 2 columns. You may have noticed your students still have trouble identifying the main idea.   Or maybe you are starting a new topic and want to launch it with some detailed observations about the main concept.  Below are some ideas you can use to make your lesson more engaging and easier to prepare.  

Practical Sorting Tips!

*Getting ready to categorize- you are faced with the following situation: 
25 students, 5 groups, 3 buckets each group, and sets of vocabulary or concepts for each group.          

Where to start? 

1) Type up your words.  
Use color to help to keep words in the correct groups.  

Try one of these:

  • Color the text.
  • Color the back of the paper with crayons before you cut.
  • Use colored paper and print a set for each group.

2)Put each set in a ziploc bag for re usability and safe keeping. 

3) Distribute to groups with the focus of looking at the words, sorting them by common traits to find the main idea. The main idea is the label on the bucket!

The goal of finding the main idea can be put into these 3 simple steps. 

A) Identify the details.
B) Compare the details to determine what they have in common.
C) Use your own words to paraphrase what they have in common. 

Spend time reflecting on some of the details and how they effect the main idea.  
Ask, “Is this main idea too vague, too detailed, or just right?”
This is the Goldilocks Rule. 

Optional - *Label a bucket or two for your students, and let them label some on their own.  
Sort- share-compare

*Remember there are buckets you can use housed in A1 for your Keys to Literacy activities at MSMS.

*If you want to challenge your students with daily observations, check out the site

They create daily photos of items organized neatly! Enjoy. 

Your Keys to Literacy Coaches