There are two topics that stood out as I read this chapter and they are Getting the Gist and the using evidence questions listed on page 216. The teachers are always commenting that many learners are struggling when discussing evidence to support the answers. Giving learners and or teachers a list of questions to consistently use can only aide in reading comprehension. Getting the Gist is not term I am familiar with, but I believe could be a valuable tool. To become good readers learners need to be able to monitor their own comprehension as they read instead of reading a long passage and having no idea what was just read. This systematic process of checking for understanding will be of benefit to all readers who do not do this. This first step can help learners to become readers.
I have used the GIST with my students where the students have a certain amount of words to tell what the reading is about. It is a challenge for the students. I felt that the activity "This is About/This is Really About" on page 221 was quite interesting. I think our students tend to have difficulty with summaries and want to just give out information they find in the reading. I like how they gather the information and as groups take those big ideas and streamline them into a summary that encompasses the true meaning of the passage.
Teresa and all, GIST is a strategy that I want to try out with students. Learning to summarize and paraphrase are challenging skills. I think this strategy would be a useful way to scaffold the learning process.
What do others think?
Moderator, Assessment CoP
I agree. Summarizing is a hard concept for many students. I have given them a small piece of paper and stated that I want them to fill it up with ideas about what they read. It is hard because they cannot tell what is important and what is not. When they see that they can only include a small amount on their paper, it seems to be a good first step. I have not tried GIST but would like too.