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Introducing New Reading Strategies

I was writing a post about how I am using my readers's notebooks and I started to explain how I introduce strategies but I think this deserves it's own post!

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! 
2 comments on "Introducing New Reading Strategies"
  1. Hi Becky:
    Great post... and you've motivated me to go back and re-teach this strategy BETTER!
    Thanks for the great ideas. I'm your newest follower!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. Thanks! I'm going to try to post more of my lessons like this.


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