Thursday, January 8, 2015

Teaching students to think about reading

Hi, I'm Aimee from Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks.

How do you teach students to think about reading?

We all have those students in our class that can read anything.  You know the ones that can decode words like disestablishmentarianism, but the second you ask them to talk about what they've read they're clueless.
I have a class full of above grade level readers this year.  They can decode anything!  Often we forget that decoding doesn't necessarily mean comprehending.  Even the best readers need to be reminded to stop and think while reading.  Thinking about reading is one of my favorite strategies to model.  I made cards to hold up in my classroom to remind students to stop, think, and question during independent reading time.
I display this card when I want students to read:
I hold up this card when I want students to stop and write what they're thinking:
I hold up this card when I want students to stop and ask a question about what they're reading:
I also made a tri fold to display during guided reading groups:
Often my students like to read with a friend, so I made cards to display when students are buddy reading:
And finally, I hold up this card when I want students to stop and talk with their buddy:
The cards have worked really well since I introduced them to my students!  First, I spent a week or so modeling the cards during our read aloud time.  I would stop and think out loud, ask a question about the story, or have them buddy talk about the story.  Next, I introduced the cards to my small groups during guided reading.  Each student has a dry erase dot on their spot at the table.  When I flip the tri-fold, they know to pick up their marker and write.  We don't discuss what they've written until the end.

My next step is to use the cards during independent reading.  Hopefully, within no time, they will become as good at thinking and comprehending as they are at decoding!
These cards, along with an included worksheet for students to write their thoughts and questions, are available in my TpT store.


  1. Very cool! I'd like to know what the green dots are. Thank you for sharing!

  2. The green dots are called WallPops. They're removable dry erase dots. The dots are meant for walls but work wonderfully on tables. You can find them online or in stores. They usually cost $9.99 for three dots and a marker.