We Were Meant to be Teachers!

Classroom Management Strategies and other Teacher Worthy Ideas

Using the “Text Reduction” Strategy to Highlight Main Idea

Have you ever considered how many “useless” words are in Informational Texts that we ask our students to read? While these words enhance the overall reading enjoyment, they’re not necessarily reinforcing the Main Idea of each paragraph or page.  They, frankly, get in the way of determining the Main Idea.  Children with Comprehension difficulties, really can’t get past these sentences to get to “the bigger picture.”

I just saw this interesting strategy to be used with weekly newspapers like Scholastic News.  It’s from the blog, teacherthought.com and I thought it would be useful for Intermediate Reading instruction.

“Why Text Reduction can be effective is another means of understanding it from a literacy perspective. When readers are asked to identify the main idea of a reading, they have to decode words and recognize syntax to follow an argument that extends the full length of a reading. They then have to prioritize ideas, synthesize those that seem most critical, and paraphrase them into a an idea that is, more or less, their own. For master readers it’s not difficult, but for even intermediate readers it’s easy to miss crucial (often implicit) ideas and ultimately ‘create’ a skewed and inaccurate main idea.”

If you’re a teacher of Reading strategies or a Homeschooling Parent, you just might want to consider using this Text Reduction Strategy in small group instruction.


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