Saturday, April 20, 2013

Synthesizing with Flowers!

Well, hey there! Can I just say that I'm *still* madly in love with this new blog design?  I'm so excited to come and write about something educational after a little blogging/creating hiatus.
We just started a new unit in reading and it's all about Synthesizing.  Let me just say -- At first, I had NO idea what synthesis even was! Everything I was reading on it just sounded like a bunch of mumbo jumbo and our *curriculum* left a lot to be desired.  So I've been busy as a bee coming up with ideas on how to teach this concept that is terribly hard for those sweet second (Almost third!) graders to grasp!  So Synthesis = How your thinking grows and changes as you read.  After wracking my brain, I looked to my left and saw this gorgeous yellow flower one of my sweeties brought me and decided I would teach my kiddos Synthesis using flowers.  Because they grow and change... DUH! :)

Now, I'm no artist so don't expect a whole lot from this anchor chart... surely when YOU'RE teaching synthesis, you can pretty it up a little! :)  But, this is how I introduced the idea of synthesizing to my kiddos.
We have spent all week reading stories and discussing how our ideas and thoughts are growing and changing.  We've been using graphic organizers to get our thoughts down on paper AND we've been working in small group to synthesize during guided reading.  Synthesis is an EXTRA special skill, because it requires us to use all those other awesome strategies that the kids totally forgot about and need to review like crazy REMEMBER! :)  We've been busy making connections, inferring, and analyzing illustrations this week!
If you are stuck on synthesis yourself, I created a mini-unit to go along with this anchor chart! It has a lesson plan for introducing synthesis, some post-it note charts for guided practice using trade books, 3 different graphic organizers for assessment, thinking stems and strategies for small group, AND a cute little synthesis craftivity! Click the icon below to check it out!