Good afternoon and happy Friday! As your child works hard to practice thinking deeply and critically about their reading, they have also been writing much more deeply about what they read, and the thoughts they have about their reading. This work has been done through Post It Notes (PINs) that collect a thought in the text. Your children then choose one PIN and wrote long about it.
When your child writes PINs, they are jotting down sentences that can “grow ideas”. These notes may contain a clue that the readers noticed, a reaction they have had to something in the story, something they wonder about in the book, or a theory they have about what is happening in the book. These PINs should be short - no more than 1 or 2 sentences (and sometimes less!) - and help them begin to consider a Big Idea about their reading.
Then your child writes long. This involves writing “long and strong”: taking a small idea from a PIN and expanding it. When your child writes long, then look back into the book for evidence to support the theory they have about their reading, and then connect that evidence back to their original idea in order to draw conclusions. We have been working on thinking about Part to Whole responses in the past few days, which help us focus on one small part of the text and begin to connect it to bigger ideas about the story as a whole.
When thinking about connecting Part to Whole, your child will do 4 main things in their writing:
These responses connect to important thinking practices, and your child has practiced them in class. For independent, at home practice, your child’s response to an idea in their reading should be no longer than ¾ of a notebook page.
As we move deeper into fall and challenge ourselves further as readers and thinkers, this is the structure your child will be practicing to help them build and grow their critical thinking skills as readers. This work will be done in narrative fiction and graphic texts, allowing for a range of engagement and discussion. You can rehearse this structure by having deep conversations with your child and asking them, again and again: WHY. Why does this matter? Why did the author write it that way? Why? Why? Why?
Have a wonderful weekend, and happy reading!