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Introduction to Summarizing

Introduction to Summarizing

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Introduction to Summarizing

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  1. Introduction to Summarizing

  2. What is Summarizing? • Summarizing is finding the key ideas and supporting details to get the “gist” of a piece of writing. • Skilled readers distill what is important -- based on the purpose of reading -- to understand and recall the text.

  3. Three Key Elements of Summarizing • Provide an overview or topic statement. • Include key details. • Leave out irrelevant or unimportant details.

  4. How is Summarizing Important? • Aids students in processing information and focusing in on the key ideas. • Helps students see how ideas fit together to form a coherent whole. • Provides students with a means for presenting their ideas in ways that others can understand.

  5. How Does Summarizing Help Students? • Encourages your students to get used to looking for key ideas in the text as they read. This is a key element of comprehension. • Helps students connect key ideas to sense or meaning. Summarizing helps them absorb the ideas in the text. • Selecting key vocabulary words from the text helps your students expand their word knowledge. • Supports students in both comprehending and remembering information.

  6. How Can I Prepare Students to Use This Practice? • Provide clear explanations about what summarizing is and how it can help students in all subjects. • Share real examples of how students use summarizing every day. • Offer strategies and tools to help students with summarizing, including digital tools. • Give students lots of opportunities to practice summarizing many types of texts, both online and in print.

  7. Discussion Questions 1 • What types of problems do your struggling readers encounter when they are asked to summarize literature or informational texts? • Which Common Core State Standards focus on summarizing? • Which specific features of digital text could support students' ability to summarize?

  8. How Can I Support Students in Summarizing Text?

  9. Use of Evidence-Based Practices • Provide Clear Explanations • Give Students Strategies and Models • Provide Opportunities for Practice

  10. Differentiated Instruction • Plan instruction that considers students' readiness, learning needs, and interests. • Use a range of technology tools to: • engage learners at varying levels • engage learners in multiple ways. • offer students options for demonstrating understanding and mastery

  11. Teacher-Dependent Ways to Differentiate • By Content • Different levels of reading or resource materials, reading buddies, small group instruction, curriculum compacting, multi-level computer programs and Web Quests, audio materials, etc. • By Product • Activity choice boards, tiered activities, multi-level learning center tasks, similar readiness groups, choice in group work, varied journal prompts, mixed readiness groups with targeted roles for students, etc. • By Process • Tiered products, students choose mode of presentation to demonstrate learning, independent study, varied rubrics, mentorships, interest-based investigations

  12. Student-Dependent Ways to Differentiate • By Readiness • Options in content, topic, or theme, options in the tools needed for production, options in methods for engagement • By Profile • Consideration of gender, culture, learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses • By Interests • Identification of background knowledge/gaps in learning, vary amount of direct instruction, and practice, pace of instruction, complexity of activities, and exploration of a topic

  13. Discussion Questions 2 • How do you explain summarizing to your students? • Do you build practice in summarizing into your ongoing reading instruction? • Over time, how could you increase the complexity of the reading materials that students have to summarize?

  14. Activities Before Reading • Ask students to: • Review the headings and key words, as well as any pictures, graphs or maps within the text. • Use these clues to brainstorm what the text is about. • Think about what tools and strategies they'll use to help them build summaries -- note taking, highlighting, or using graphic organizers. This is a great opportunity to use digital text!

  15. Activities During Reading • Ask students to do the following on their own, in pairs, and in groups: • Read and reread text as needed. • Use planned/selected strategies and tools for marking text and taking notes. • Pause at set intervals to jot down ideas, talk to a peer, or speak into a recording device.

  16. Activities After Reading • Ask students to: • Collect their ideas. • Review and organize their notes. • Discuss their plans for their summaries with others. • Draft their summaries and get feedback. • Revise their summaries. • Digital tools for outlining, drafting, and sharing are great for these activities! Consider allowing students to create visual summaries as well.

  17. Discussion Questions • How do you vary instruction if students are reading literature or informational texts? • What strategies help students to dig more deeply when they reread the text? • Which technology tools could help students after reading to draft their summaries?

  18. Disclaimer Awarded through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Grant #H327G090004-10, PowerUp What Works was developed by a team of experts in education, technology, differentiated instruction/UDL, and special education at the Center for Technology Implementation, operated by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in collaboration with the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). • This document contains information from other public and private organizations that may be useful to the reader; these materials are merely examples of resources that may be available. Inclusion of this information does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any products or services offered or views expressed. This publication also contains hyperlinks and URLs created and maintained by outside organizations and provided for the reader's convenience. The Department is not responsible for the accuracy if this information. Further, the programs/models/resources featured on this site have not been extensively evaluated by CTI. This website was created and is maintained by American Institutes for Research (AIR) through funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Award # H327G090004. For more information, send an e-mail to