Number One: I Wonder
I wonder is simply a thought bubble where students can record questions prior to reading, their thoughts during reading, quotes from the text and their opinions about them, or predictions for the future after reading. The I Wonder organizer provides a great opportunity for student discussions and scaffolds students who need a bit more thinking time before they feel comfortable to share.
Number Two: Text Structure
Number Three: Questioning
(who, where, when)
Think and Search: Found in multiple places
Author and Me: Requires book info and schema
On My Own: Opinion questions
Number Four: Annotations
Since close reading, there have been other innovations on this idea. Doodle notes have been introduced as an option for busy hands and minds. I love the idea of stopping and jotting strategically too. We, as teachers, need to pause for reflections sometimes, and so do students. By pausing to record thoughts and notes, we take time to reflect on the author’s perspective, main ideas, etc. Notes and/or drawings help cement thinking to memory or at least give us something to review later. If students and/or employees can use notetaking as a routine, then they have a record of what’s been tried or what’s important later too.
The freebie above is from Danielle Knight at Study All Knight. It provides a great example of doodle notes for the purpose of writing. You can hopefully see how this idea translates to reading if you have students sketch about what they’ve read. You can check out how Danielle’s used this concept in her digital interactive notebook resources.
Number Five: Think Aloud
Number Six: Determining Importance
I mentioned I would consider myself a word caller mainly because I struggled to maintain attention to my reading, but for some students, the struggle is more about where to place importance. Some children struggle to decide what they must remember and what is just added detail. Teaching children how to determine the importance of text information is an important skill you shouldn’t overlook. To do this, I have used the anchor chart to the left as an introduction to the topic. The umbrella idea helps kids visualize that what’s most valuable and the other information is just added fluff.
To make it more concrete, I loved this lesson from One Extra Degree. My students loved making their suitcase and let’s just say that their packing lists really shortened as the lesson was completed. I highly recommend giving it a try.
Number Seven: Focus on Vocabulary
Number Eight: Monitoring
Monitoring both reading level and understanding is important to reading comprehension. If we hand students texts that are beyond their range, we know the result will be frustration and poor comprehension. Likewise, if we give texts that are too easy, students lose interest. To ensure that you are targetting the correct range, you have to assess your students’ reading levels often with running records. Challenging without frustrating is the key.
Teachers are not the only ones who need to monitor reading. Students need to know how to think about their thinking. They need to realize when things aren’t making sense, when they have a miscue, or when they missed something. They need to practice fix up strategies when they realize they’ve missed something. I use the terms clicking and clunking. If my kids understand well, things are clicking, but when there is breakdown, there’s a clunk. The anchor chart and practice pages from C2Teaching to the right are great for introduction.
Number 9: Get Them Talking
Kids need to talk in the classroom. This is how they work out confusions and extend thinking about their reading. I wrote a post not long ago with 5 Ways to Improve Student Engagement with helpful tips you can use to get your students talking and doing the work. I highly recommend you check that out and download the freebie to the left. It is a checklist of engagement ideas you can put into your plans.
Number 10: Teach Reading Skills
Of course, this last one is probably not a new revelation, but seriously, there is a difference between assessing a skill and modeling a skill. I’ve been amazed at the number of times I’ve heard discussions that students don’t understand how to do a certain skill when their only instruction in the skill is reading a passage and answer questions. Explicit instruction with modeling and practice is the key to understanding and performance of a skill. Students need time to take in the process, to practice it, and master it before moving to something new. They also need instruction in the language associated with the skill. They often muddy things up when we throw too much at them at once. So, take the pace a little slower with explicit modeling, and then when you assess understanding, you’ll be more pleased with the performance.