Fingers crossed for a snow day here in Michigan tomorrow!!! But just in case the weather man is wrong, I'm still planning to continue our informational summarizing practice during Writer's Workshop! I've found that we are much more apt to get a snow day when I pretend like everything is normal. So.........
Summarizing informational text is so much more than just determining the important facts. While determining importance is an essential skill (and one that my fifthies are STILL trying to master - click HERE for my first post about determining importance), a good nonfiction summary MUST reflect the text structure and author's purpose for writing the text. All together determining: important facts, text structure and author's purpose, lead to a great informational summary. I'm finding that once students identify the author's purpose for writing the text, it is much easier for them to sum up the gist of the text. So, I've created a FREEBIE author's purpose reference sheet for my students to keep in their writing folder. Feel free to grab a copy if you're interested.
It's also included in my Informational Summarizing Resource Pack. This resource is keeping us focused and organized during our practice with informational summarizing. Also, I'm loving the structure it's giving the kids so we can practice the same steps over and over (and over and over) to build their fluency with informational summarizing. To pass the grade level DRA assessment, my students must be able to write an effective informational summary - so we'll be practicing this skill periodically throughout the rest of the year.