Shared Summaries

Post date: Aug 7, 2014 10:43:25 PM

I've spent 5 days over the last two weeks in PD focused on reading. I'm not a reading teacher - but I'd sure like to be. Reading has long been the biggest hang up for my students. These 5 days have netted me some fairly interesting strategies (on that note, can we make the term academic moves a thing?) that I'll be sharing as I can.

The first I want to share is called Keyword Notes, or, Shared Summaries. I prefer the latter as it gets to what the strategy really is about. In it students read a chunk (1 to 2 paragraphs) of material and underline 3 words that will help them remember what the chunk was about. Students, in pairs, take turns sharing their words and justifying why they chose them. This is where the most learning takes place. I was amazed how much came out of trying this step myself. Since the words are not shared before justification I did not find out until after my 1 minute was up that my partner had also selected two of my three words. I got the rush of both defending my position and being validated in my choices. I really believe students will experience the same. Then, with your partner, you write a single sentence summary of that chunk that uses at least one of your 6 words. We, being over-achievers, of course used all 4 but that is not required.

This process is repeated until all chunks are complete. The finally summary opens with an identifying statement like:

In "Shared Summaries" Mr. Roughton explains...

and then is followed by the previously written single sentences. This results in a wonderful paragraph summary of the text that has been discussed, justified and created via collaboration all in a short time. I won't use this every time my kids read but it will certainly sit in the CCSS toolbox and be used throughout the year.