April 02, 2014

Let's put this in context!

As good readers, we need strategies for solving unfamiliar or understanding unfamiliar words. It's hard to teach the word "context" to students, but I think I'm getting there. My students are very quick to catch on to new concepts, so this really makes my job a lot easier!  

This slide was part of our Morning Message today. We've looked at a few of these over the course of the week. 

We talked about how that first sentence, the short one, doesn't really help us as readers to understand just what a "snocker" might be. It lacks detail and that gives us no context with which to solve the meaning of the word. 

The second sentence is longer and provides the context for the reader in which the word is used.  The reader understands that a snocker is an essential part of the car. Without a working snocker, the car won't start.  

Students in the class even went so far as to identify that the snocker was under the hood, since that's where the engine is and that's what "starts" a car, so to speak.  I loved that they brought their prior knowledge to the table here.  They used it to make a really good judgement about what this mystery word means.  

We're going to continue this look at context clues because it's something that needs to be explicitly taught, given the reading demands of Grade Three.  
The first sentence doesn't provide context,
while the longer paragraph is more helpful. 


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