Saturday, January 8, 2011

Making Reading Explicit: Thinking Aloud

We read to children for many reasons - for enjoyment, to focus on a comprehension strategy, to look at text features, etc., etc.  Reading is often difficult to teach and assess because much of the thinking that happens in reading happens in our head.  That is why it is so important to think aloud when reading with children, to model and share what is going on in your head so students can be conscious and aware of what is going on in their head when reading.

Here, Iain is engaged in a think aloud with Robert Munsch's Smelly Socks.  His focus is on main idea.

Usually when thinking aloud, we have our post-its ready, and often, in the book already.  Iain does something a little different with his think aloud.  While reading, Iain stops to share and writes down his thought with the students, so that they can see this active process with him.

As he reads, students are invited to share their thoughts, and Iain records them on a different coloured post-it note.

Here is a sample of the ideas shared during Iain's think aloud.  They are posted so that as students work on thinking about the main idea while reading, they can refer to their teacher's and classmate's thoughts to guide them.

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