Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Text Reduction Strategy using Google Docs

Ever need a simple way to use Google Docs in your classroom?  No bells and whistles, no apps or extensions, just pure and simple Google Docs!

Let's try using a strategy called Text Reduction to help students with comprehension and summarization skills. Find the text you want to use and copy/paste the text into a Google Doc.  My favorite source to find text is Newsela because you can chose the lexile level you wish to use and it always has stories that are up to date and current.

The rules are simple -
Use Google Highlight tool to blackout unimportant details in the story, leaving only the main idea of the paragraph showing. You can also use the same technique to select the main idea and then highlight with a different color two details that support what you chose as the main idea.

It is also a great tool to use for teaching math story problems!  One of the reasons students find story problems so difficult is that they don't know what details are important and what filler acts as a red herring.  Black out all the text that isn't important to creating the equation and then it is much simpler!

The highlight tool can be found on the main toolbar. It doubles as a tool to change the color of the text AND to highlight text.See?  Simple and easy!!  Just send a copy of the document out through Google Classroom so each student receives a copy.  When they are finished they can turn it in for credit.