Fourth Grade 2011


Summarizing…

Fourth graders finished a unit on summarizing what they have read.  In order to summarize the students needed to identify the main idea of the text read along with supporting details.  Identifying the main idea can be difficult to narrow down, but they learned to think and use the topic in their main idea sentences to get them started.  Along with identifying the main idea, students could easily come up with details but often the details didn’t support the main idea.  Evaluating supporting details will take practice and focus.  We will continue to review this skill in the next few months.


Metacognition…

Welcome to a new year and a new 4th grade reading group!  Fourth graders started the new year learning how to think about what they are thinking while reading.  This may be seem simple, but it actually can be difficult.  This skill can make the difference between a good and a not so good reader.  Students who are metacognitive will slow down when something doesn’t make sense.  They will make vivid pictures in their minds perhaps with smells, tastes and sounds.  They will ask questions and make predictions as they read.  Many readers are doing this, but when a child may be struggling with a passage they need to understand how to activate their knowledge of metacognition.


Text features…

Fourth graders have begun studying text features.  Students are learning to identify text features as well as stating each feature’s purpose.  As we studying the features, we are learning how to find answers to our questions that we may have about the topic we are reading.  Using the features helps students to realize their importance.  A few of the common text features include:  table of contents, index, glossary, photographs, picture captions, diagrams, lables, fact boxes, graphs, tables/charts, types of print and headings.


Using Context Clues…

Good readers are active when reading.  They are asking questions, making connections with personal memories in their lives, visualizing, and summarizing important parts of the text.  As they read, they are stopping and determining meaning of unknown words and concepts.  Without out this stopping, we become passive readers who just read through the words.  The above skills will not occur without the readers active interest in meanings behind words and concepts.  Fourth graders studied how to determine meaning of unknown words by using context clues.  They learned to look for clues before and after the unknown word or concept.  They also learned to be comfortable with using their best guess when using these clues.  We just can’t look up every word in the dictionary when we are reading!


Determining Importance…

Fourth Graders are learning to identify story elements in a fiction text.  The story elements we have studied are:  characters, setting, problem/goal, events, solution/outcome, and the theme.    When we read, it can be difficult for our students to identify what is important.  Recognizing story elements is one strategy to help with this skill.   Here is a copy of our anchor chart that we made together over the past two weeks.