Sunday, November 4, 2012

Reading is Thinking

       In the beginning of October, our Daily Five was finally up and running smoothly.  I only give my students two choices during our Daily Five block: read to self and read to someone (independent reading and partner reading).  We do word work during a separate time of day and also during centers time when I am doing interventions.  So, to get my students on the path of understanding that reading is thinking, I used a series of lessons from the book Comprehension Connections.  You can click on the picture below to check it out.

       So, first we made a "real reading salad."  We used green paper for lettuce to represent the thinking and red paper for tomatoes to represent the text.  As I read aloud, I would point to the book when reading the text and point to my head when thinking aloud.  I had two student volunteers add a piece of "lettuce" each time I pointed to my head to share my thinking and a "tomato" each time I read more text.

Our salad part of the way through the book.

      I used the book Amazing Grace for this lesson.  It is a wonderful story about a little girl who is told she can't do something because she's a girl and she's black.  She shows everyone that she can do it!


     After the read aloud, I showed kids the reading salad and asked them what they noticed.  They noticed, "There's more thinking than text!"  Ding ding ding!  They got it.

     The next day, we made the following anchor chart to show what we learned from the real reading salad.

      The third day of thinking about "real reading," I let students practice thinking aloud with a huge thought bubble.  They loved this!  I posted an anchor chart with the following (sorry forgot to take a pic):

Thinking sounds like...
I'm noticing...
I'm thinking...
I'm wondering...

    As I continued reading aloud from Amazing Grace, I would stop every few sentences and ask the student with the thought bubble to share his/her thinking.  

     All of these concrete models really helped solidify for kids that reading is thinking!  For more details on the lessons, please check out Comprehension Connections by clicking on the picture at the top of this post.  It is a great resources with lots of practical ideas.

    Please comment with what you think and feel free to follow me for future ideas. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post. I read that book several years back with my team and made the salad stuff, the thought bubble, the anchor charts, then just dropped it. It was my first year teaching so I was trying a million things. Thanks for reminding me how concrete these techniques can make something that is pretty ethereal (metacognition?). Did you use any other activities from the book, like bringing in your neighbor's trash? I want to try that for inferring.