What ended up happening was for the better though because the kids ended up loving this lesson! I created the following slide to kick off today's reading mini-lesson on determining importance. Computers are wonderful for easy manipulating of fonts, colors, sizes, and locations of things. Nothing is permanent (unlike markers and paper) and on a day like today, I needed that flexibility. Also, put in your long term memory that KIDS LOVE STICKERS. Use them if you can! Red on a stoplight means STOP; green on a stoplight means GO. Kids' schema for these colors became important for practicing today's strategy on determining what about my text was important and essential versus the interesting, little details.
I scanned a section from a National Geographic magazine article called 'Doctor Bugs' (March, 2008). I first modeled the strategy by reading the first two paragraphs. I placed a red sticker next to the sentences where my inner voice said, "STOP! This information is IMPORTANT!" and a green sticker next to information where my inner voice said, "That's neat information, but I can let it GO." The first six stickers on the text below are what I modeled for students.
I also recorded my important and unimportant information on a T-chart. I had students glue a similar T-chart into their Thoughtful Logs to anchor our learning from today. The information above the wavy lines is what we recorded from my own modeling. (P.S. - I know I'm missing an apostrophe in "author's favorite insect". I'll ask the kids tomorrow if they notice any errors in my notes. A teachable moment, if you will. Overall, it's the co-construction of knowledge that's the most important. Even though I'm O.C.D., I've learned to let go of my handwriting being perfect when we record information together.)
For guided practice, I handed out the same piece of text and gave kids one red sticker and one green sticker. Their task was to read the rest of the text and place their red sticker next to a very important piece of information and a green sticker next to a detail they determined was more neat and interesting than important. Then they added their thinking to their T-charts in their Thoughtful Logs.
When guided practice was over, students shared out with their thinking. We added the bottom three stickers to the text based on what they shared and added their thinking to our T-chart (the information under the wavy lines!) I was excited because many of the kids put their stickers in the same places, meaning they agreed in what was important about this text and what wasn't!