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Bronxville Union Free School District

Second-Graders Analyze Nonfiction Texts, Learn Note-Taking

Bronxville Elementary School second-graders recently learned how to analyze nonfiction texts and discovered what types of notes are most efficient, thanks to a lesson developed by second-grade teachers at the school.

Students in Dianne Aronson’s class partnered with classmates to examine a variety of illustrated texts. They were asked to take notes based on the information provided, as well as their own observations, before discussing the types of notes they had taken with the rest of the class.

“Our lesson was discovery-based; the students were challenged to use the text and gather information by taking notes in a way that makes the most sense to them,” said Justine Rutherford, a second-grade teacher and curriculum leader. “They were prompted with the task of gathering information to write a detailed paragraph about the topic.”

As the students collaborated, they discussed what parts of the texts were most important and how to best record that information in a clear and concise way. They analyzed their own notes by examining the information they recorded and then compared it with their peers’ notes. They learned to write in full sentences, use their own words to paraphrase what they had read in order to fully understand the text, and include key words and information important to the topic.

“Our goal was to have the students develop their own understanding of what note-taking means,” Rutherford said. “More importantly, we wanted the students to engage with nonfiction texts in a new way, thinking critically about the information in those texts and being able to decide which information is most useful for their purpose.”

The lesson encouraged students to collaborate with peers, think critically and make discoveries on their own, which are skills closely aligned with the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise. Second-grade teachers Aronson, Nina Blauner, Deirdre Cococcia, Lori Feingold, Maria Rizzuto and Rutherford, along with lesson study consultant Makoto Yoshida, observed the class as part of their professional development lesson study in order to develop plans that further enhance student learning.

“The teachers engage in the lesson study model in order to determine the most effective approach to teaching a challenging, essential topic for students on their grade level,” Assistant Principal Adrienne Laitman said. “This model allows teachers to collaboratively design a detailed lesson and then analyze student learning based on real-time data collected during the actual lessons. Many education experts consider lesson study the ‘gold standard’ for professional development.”

  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image