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Breanna Cook

One-on-One Lessons for Improving Main Idea


Final Analysis
1. John is an African American male that is ten years old. He is in the fifth grade
but is small for his age compared to some of the other students. John is the
oldest of five children. Due to a single parent home life, John has to be an
acting parent to his younger siblings most of the time. He is well respected
by his peers and has many friends. He likes basketball and riding his bike,
but dislikes reading when he has to for class. John is a humble, genuine and
hard-working student.
2. I asked John to complete a Rhody Reading Attitude Assessment. His answers
indicated that generally he would rather participate in other activities than
reading. However, he said that he enjoys reading military books. So anytime
he finds a military book he cannot put it down. John seemed apathetic yet
willing to work with me during the QRI assessment.
3. The data from this screening assessment showed that John is a fluent reader.
The data showed 18 miscues, which told me he is at an instructional level
based on miscues. While he currently reads on grade level at a level 60, he
struggles with retell of main idea and details. The data also indicated that
John possess adequate word attack skills when sounding out words he did
not know. John also has a good sense of grade-level vocabulary. Based on
the data, John needs work with main idea because he missed all of the retell
points for the reading. He also needs to improve retell of details because he
missed a vast amount of details from the story. With the comprehension

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questions, John missed one explicit and one implicit question. This data
shows again that John is instructional.
4. I chose to work on main idea and retell with John because with the QRI, I saw
how much of a struggle those skills are for him. Therefore, I wanted to assist
John in becoming a stronger reader. He was unable to recall any of the
identified parts of the main idea from the QRI reading. Additionally, he was
only able to recount surface details from the story. The ability to state the
main idea and supporting details is key as John continues in his schooling,
thus, I wanted to help him grow in those aspects of reading.
5. Discussion of the LessonsLesson 1:
a. For the first lesson, the instructional strategy I used was a main
idea T. John seemed apathetic and nervous during this first lesson.
For the assessment, I provided the article titled, Spitting to
Survive and had John complete a main idea T on his own to
determine the main idea and the supporting details. John provided
adequate details, but the main idea was too vague. Therefore, the
assessment told me that he was able to provide details from the
article he read, but still struggles with writing a complete main
idea. He offered surface level indication of the main idea. However,
he needs to go deeper to fully describe the main idea. For example,
the student said that the main idea of the article was spit. I
prompted, by asking the student questions, to try to get a more

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specific main idea sentence. With that, the student said, how spit
is helpful. Instead, the main idea of the article is how humans and
animals need and use their natural behavior to spit to survive.
Since John struggled to pull the main idea from a text, he needs
more practice and scaffolding with main idea. For the next lesson,
the student used a more visual model to show how the main idea
and details of a story go together.
Lesson 2:
a. The instructional strategy used with the second lesson was a main
idea wheel. John still showed apathy during the lesson. For the
assessment, John completed a main idea wheel for the
thunderstorm passage I provided. The assessment showed me that
he was able to provide details and use the details to determine the
main idea. However, John needed extra prompting for main idea.
He would say the main idea, but it would actually only be one of the
details. He also needed prompting when his details were too vague.
Based on the assessment data, I knew that John needed strategies
to help wording the main idea and how to choose important details
from texts. So, the next lesson focused on using word sets to find
the main idea instead of finding the main idea of a text.
Lesson 3:
a. The instructional strategy for the third lesson was called, Finding
the Main Idea. With this strategy, the student looked at a list of
words and determined a word that the list was most about. The

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student was enthusiastic throughout this lesson because I used a
game-like activity. For the lesson assessment, John was given a
group of words and asked to identify what the words had in
common or what would be the big idea for the given words. He
completed 3 word sets for reinforcement and further practice.
Then, he created a few word lists for me to use to figure out the
main idea. John was also able to correctly identify the three word
sets as well as accurately create his own word sets. The
assessment told me that John was easily able to determine the topic
word in the word sets. This activity made main idea less
intimidating by showing John the relationship between main idea
and details using relatable words. Since John still needed further
exploration with main idea in relatable ways, the next lesson
focused on writing a main idea and providing details of a personal
experience.
Lesson 4:
a. This lesson was taught using the instructional strategy called, The
Rest of the Story. John was apathetic at the beginning of the
lesson, but by the end was more interested. For the assessment of
this lesson, John chose a memorable experience and wrote a main
idea sentence and the details that would support his main idea
sentence. Then, he wrote a paragraph using his main idea and
details of his personal experience. Using a rubric, John included the

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main idea sentence and clear details, so he received exceeds
expectations for content, organization, and legibility. Some
prompting was still necessary to help John brainstorm how to write
the main idea of his topic and to remember to include his main idea
sentence at either the beginning or end of the paragraph. This
assessment told me that John is better aware of main idea but is
intimidated when asked to write his own main idea. The next
lesson will provide a less intimidating model for determining the
main idea and details of a text and in his own writing.
Lesson 5:
a. The instructional strategy called, Fiver Finger Retell was used in
the fifth lesson. John was eager to begin the lesson and seemed less
apathetic throughout the lesson. For the assessment of this lesson,
I traced Johns hand and then he read a short passage. After
reading the passage, he completed a five-finger retell using his
hand first to speak the main idea and details. Then he wrote the
main idea on the palm of his traced hand and the details on the
fingers of the hand. John did very well with this activity and was
able to clearly provide the main idea and supporting details for the
passage. Thus, the assessment told me that John has a better grasp
of determining the main idea and details of a text. If I were to teach
another lesson to John, I would have him write a main idea
sentence and details to show why he likes books about the military.

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6. Next StepsI saw growth in John throughout the lessons. He has become more
aware of determining and writing main idea and supporting details. To
continue practicing, John needs to think about and write the main idea
of the books he reads during independent reading. When finding the
main idea, he also needs to write the details that support the main idea.
Another QRI needs to be administered to see if John can provide the
main idea and details of the passage. Dependent upon improvement or
not, the teacher needs to continue working with John to provide
further practice and reinforcement.