PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

“What’s the main idea?”

In our current Reading unit, we’ve been reading non-fiction and working to identify the main idea. Reading for the man idea requires students to synthesize portions of text, rather than be “fact finders”.  In order to read to learn, readers need to slow down and read more thoughtfully and actively. We are learning to read a chunk of text (usually a page or a section), then stop and think “What’s the main idea?”

This is challenging for many third graders! They have to consider all the details and “wow” facts that are in paragraph, and then think about what the section is “mostly about”. Sometimes the very first sentence in a paragraph will present you with the main idea – we call this a “pop-out sentence“- but not always!

Here are some strategies that students have been taught when finding the main idea:

We have also been using a strategy called “boxes and bullets” to help us determine the main idea, and find details to support the main idea.

Here is are some examples of students using the “boxes and bullets” strategy:

We will continue to work on this important skill in class, and you will see Main Idea practice coming home for homework. As we dive deeper in our unit, we will also continue work on  comparing and contrasting and synthesizing information from two seperate texts.

Upcoming Dates:

February 9th- Family Friday– Please join us as we share our Personal Narratives! Families are welcome from 9:25- 10:10.

Respect for All” week is next week! Please look below to see how your child can support Respect for All.

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February 14th-We will be making valentines for our Buddy Class and getting together to celebrate friendship on Valentine’s Day.

February Break-  No school from Feb. 16th -Feb. 23rd BACK TO SCHOOL ON FEB. 26th!

February 27th- “Dragons Tale Trip” at College of Staten Island