I stick to the Modeling, Guided practice, Independent practice layout. First, I tell the students the name of the strategy and a 1 or 2 sentence definition of it. Next, I model how to use the strategy with a picture book & a think-aloud. I select places to stop & use the strategy in each book. The first few stopping points I model how to use the strategy with them. The next few, I let them try and I guide them. The last 1 or 2 stopping points I have the students write down how they would use the strategy (Independent practice). If we have time, I let them free read and practice the strategy more.
I realize that may have sounded confusing so here is my lesson for Checking for Understanding:
Intro: "Today, you are going to learn a new reading strategy called Check for Understanding. When you check for understanding you simply make sure you understand what you are reading as you read. After you read a few pages, stop and retell the story to yourself. If you can do that, keep reading. If you can't go back and reread. I think this is one of the most important but simple strategies you will learn. I'm going to read The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers and show you how I check for understanding while I read."
Modeling: I will read 2-3 pages and then stop and re-tell what I have just read. If I can retell the important parts, I keep reading. If I can't, I stop and re-read that section again.
Guided Practice: I will continue reading and stopping but instead of retelling the section myself, a student will.
Independent Practice: The last 2 stopping points, I have the students write down their simple retelling. We go over the first one together and I assess the second one.
Closure: I have the students share their final retelling and explain what checking for understanding is or how to do it.
The next day, I introduce the strategy card and sentence frames for that strategy. The students practice using the strategy independently & writing think-marks for that strategy. I don't have them write think-marks for checking for understanding so they would read and I would stop everyone a few times and have them check for understanding by writing their retelling - just so I know they are using the strategy.
This isn't the most creative way to introduce strategies but my students need structure and consistency so it works for me!