Friday, November 16, 2012

A Peek at the Nonfiction Work in our Classroom: Part 1

This month, we began our nonfiction unit in reading workshop and have been learning new skills and strategies as nonfiction readers.  This is the first post in a series of posts I will be writing about nonfiction.  Below are two of my charts that identify the teaching points of my minilessons so far in this unit.  Each day, I add the teaching point onto the chart and give examples from my demonstration and the students' examples from their turn and talks/stop and jots.  I then hang up the charts above our meeting area so we can consistently refer to what we have learned and how we are building onto our learning.  I do this type of charting for each unit of study.  

Last week, we worked on first determining a main idea of a text  and supporting it with specific details from the text and then moved into determining multiple main ideas for one text.  The students have enjoyed delving deeper into nonfiction texts by asking, What is another big idea this text is teaching me? What's another possiblility for what this text might be saying? 

This week, we have been working on choosing a form of note-taking that best matches the text structure and will best organize the information we are learning.  For example, when reading a text that is comparing two topics, we can use a t-chart or venn diagram; when reading a text that is describing one topic, we can use boxes and bullets or a web; when reading a text with sequence structure, we can create a timeline; and so on.

I have also created pages in my sketchbook that I use for mini lessons, conferring, and small groups, that support this important note-taking work we are doing as nonfiction readers.  Below are some examples from my sketchbook.
In our classroom, we have created a bulletin board that is dedicated to highlighting student examples of note-taking while reading nonfiction texts.  Our bulletin board is divided into sections based on various text structures and note-taking forms.  Students post their examples for their classmates to use as mentors as they explore and try out using different forms of note-taking.

Happy Nonfiction Reading and Note-Taking! :)