Teaching students to become active readers and monitor their comprehension is an important part of becoming a successful reader.
For many readers, the process of decoding is taxing and can interfere with comprehension. When students think about their thinking and pay attention to the story that is developing in their head as they read, they can more actively check their comprehension and seek help resolving any inconsistencies.
Teaching students to think about their thinking can take many forms.
- Thinking routines (from Project Zero) can help make students’ thinking visible while they read. A thinking routine is a set of questions or a brief sequence of steps used to scaffold student thinking. These routines help make students’ learning processes visible, offering a way for them to make sense of what they read.
- When students aren’t sure if they understand what they’ve read, you can offer them strategies such as rereading or leaving a sticky note in places where they have questions.
- Use “turn-and-talk partners” to encourage peer collaboration and let students articulate and discuss their understanding of a text.
For more metacognitive strategies that can boost reading comprehension, check out these suggestions from the Landmark School Outreach Professional Development for Educators.
- Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org
The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org