Synthesizing / Solving
Synthesizing by fusing, reordering, recalling, retelling to ...create new meaning or understanding
Draw conclusions to create new meaning based on sound ...reasoning and authenticity of information.
Apply new understanding to solve the task.
Take a Closer Look!
Synthesizing information requires a student to process and interact with information rather than simply copying and pasting information. Students are actively engaged with information when they categorize, analyze, combine, extract details, re-assess the value of the collected information, look for bias, omissions, etc. Finally, they related this new understanding to their own knowledge and experiences and develop new meaning or solution. When Debbie Miller was asked how she began to understand synthesis, she replied, It's the ripple… You told me it was simple elements of thought transformed into a complex whole. But you told the kids that synthesis is like throwing a rock into a pond: first there's the splash, and then the water ripples out, making little waves that get bigger and bigger You likened that to synthesis, remember? You said that as you read, your thinking evolves as you encounter new information, and the meaning gets bigger and bigger, just like the ripples in the pond. I kept playing with that analogy and two years later, voila!"

Strategies for Critical Thinking and Synthesizing


Strategies for Critical Thinking and Synthesizing (con't)

  • Reading Skills (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill ) Weekly tips, how to, and student resource handouts to teach the following: Active Reading in the Classroom; Analytic Reading; Graphic Organizers; Three-step Approach to Reading; Reading Success with Expository Texts
  • Review, Write, Rate and Revise - elementary research process tutorial from the Oregon State Library System
  • Review Your Notes ... elemetary research process tutorial from the Oregon State Library System
  • Revise! - secondary research process tutorial from the Oregon State Library System
  • Secondary Literacy: Classroom Literacy Strategies/Resources (Ministry of Education, Wellington, New Zealand ) Great bibliography of web resources to teach literacy.
  • Synthesizing Information: Step-by-Step Instructions for Learners ( Arizona State University West ) ...a very practical guide using Post-It notes and a clustering process. See benefits of this model.
  • 7 Critical Reading Strategies Previewing, contextualizing, questioning to understand and remember, reflecting, and others.
  • The Reading - Mosaic Reading Tools - This source includes a WEALTH of resource for all kinds of ideas and strategies to increase student reading comprehension competencies. Resources include lesson plans, assessments, worksheets, and even PowerPoint presentation.
  • SQ3R(Learning Object -© 2005 Wisc-Online) This activity explains the SQ3R technique which learners can apply immediately in their reading of text assignments. It explains independent and cooperative learning strategies to support retention of the material.
  • Strategies for Effective Use of Science Reading Materials ( Salt Lake City School District) Includes before, during, and after strategies for K-6, 7-8, and 9-12.
  • Summary Writing (Learning Object -© 2005 Wisc-Online) Students demonstrate an understanding of summary writing by reading step-by-step instructions and then summarizing short paragraphs. Examples of summaries that are poorly written, as well as those that are written well, are included.
  • Technology Integration Resources for [Reading Comprehension] Strategies That Work (Harvey and Goudvis) Outstanding resource that provides web and print resources to teach the following reading strategies to primary, intermediate, and upper level students: Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing; Inferring, Determining Importance, Synthesizing. Includes links to examples, handouts, articles, and lessons.
  • Time to Create! ... elementary research process tutorial from the Oregon State Library Information System
  • Twenty Best-Practices to Teach Reading Strategies (Journey North) Activate Prior Knowledge | Adjust Reading Rate/Rereading | Ask Questions: Before, During, and After Reading | Classify or Categorize Information | Compare and Contrast Ideas | Distinguish Facts from Opinions | Identify and Analyze Text Structure | Identify Author’s Purpose: Why Did the Author Write the Selection? | Identify Author’s Viewpoint: What Does the Author Think? | Identify Main Ideas and Supporting Details | Make Inferences and Draw Conclusions | Make Generalizations | Make and Refine Predictions | Paraphrase/Retell | Recognize Cause and Effect Relationships | Sequence Events | Summarize Information | Synthesize New Information
  • Introduction to Syntheses Michigan State University
  • Write What You've Learned - elementary research process tutoiral from the Oregon State Library System
  • Writer's Toolbox For Building Arguments (Allyn & Bacon) A great source that prompts students to think critically about what they read. Checklists are provided to assist with preparing arguments in preparation for writing. Some are Analyzing Sources of Disagreement | Determining the Core of an Argument | Determining Claim Types.
  • Writing a Topic Outline (Learning Object -© 2001 Wisc-Online) Students will read a mini-lesson and apply information from the mini-lesson to an activity using the outline template provided. As a result, the learner will develop and submit a word-processed outline for a speech.

Reading Research and Articles