I read a post on a friend’s Facebook account yesterday that explained how many spaces are typographically appropriate following punctuation at the end of a sentence. The correct answer? ONE! Why is that shocking to me? Well, because I was taught the correct number of spaces was two, that’s why. Even now my muscle memory is fighting me after every sentence. The backspace button on my laptop has never been so well used as it is with this post! Thanks to technological advances with how fonts are spaced, the ol’ double-space after a period is obsolete.
Teaching Kids to Paraphrase
My out-of-date knowledge ties in perfectly with my students’ research project about innovative inventors. After all, these were people who refused to accept the status quo and thought “outside the box” for solutions to common problems…like how to make font spaces equivalent! Day 2 of our project had us learning how to paraphrase from websites. I didn’t expect this to be an easy lesson, but kids are so willing to learn and challenge themselves. One thing students do need to have in their prior knowledge is an understanding of synonyms and some sentence fluency.
A Simple Strategy
I came up with a simple strategy my 4th graders could use while researching their inventors. After teaching students the strategy, I showed an example and then modeled how to paraphrase using the strategy. From there, students created a 3D graphic organizer (LOVE them!) where they could practice the strategy. Check out the photos below!
I’d be the first to admit that paraphrasing is certainly not a one-time lesson. I know several students will need many more chances to practice before we can call this skill mastered. I have access to Study Island and that program offers some online practice, not to mention the printable I created that can be used as both an assignment and a quick assessment to check my students’ progress. I’m pleased with how many useful skills are integrated into this research project. Next week I will share how we took our notes and began the process of transforming them into a rough draft.
That’s a wrap for this post. Yesterday’s sunny and 65 degree temps were replaced today with more snow! Ugh! Fortunately, Spring officially begins this week. I’m not ashamed to tell you that I’ve set an alarm on my iPhone to mark the exact minute it starts @ 11:57 a.m. Don’t judge…I’m so tired of being cold. 🙂