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I.R.A. – Atlanta, 2008 Reading Power Teaching Students How to Think While They Read Adrienne Gear Vancouver School Board Vancouver, Canada The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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teaching students how to think while they read

I.R.A. – Atlanta, 2008

Reading Power

Teaching Students How to

Think While They Read

Adrienne Gear

Vancouver School Board

Vancouver, Canada

slide2
The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

recommended professional resources for comprehension instruction
Recommended Professional Resourcesfor Comprehension Instruction
  • Harvey, Stephanie & Goudvis, Anne. Strategies That Work. Stenhouse, 2000
  • Harvey, Stephanie & Goudvis, Anne. Strategies That Work, 2nd edition. Stenhouse, 2007
  • Miller, Debbie. Reading With Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades. Stenhouse, 2003.
  • Kelley, Michelle J. & Clausen-Grace, Nicki. Comprehension Shouldn’t Be Silent. International Reading Association, 2007.
  • Gear, Adrienne. Reading Power: Teaching Students How To Think While They Read. Pembroke, 2006.
reading
Decoding

Letters, sounds

Phonological awareness

Spelling, vocabulary

Fluency

Comprehension

Thinking

Understanding

Constructing meaning

Meta-cognition(awareness of thinking)

Reading
connect question visualize infer transform
connect question visualize infer transform

One of reading’s biggest myths is that we “learn to read” in the primary grades, then suddenly “read to learn” in the intermediate grades. Reading is not so simple a process. We develop strategies to improve reading proficiency well into adulthood.- Stephanie Harvey

slide6

Three Stages of the Reading Process:

  • Pre-Reading Strategies

To help students focus on the text prior to reading

  • During Reading Strategies

“Reading Power”

Teaching students what to do in their heads WHILE they are in the process of reading.

  • Post Reading Strategies

To enhance students’ reading; help them respond in a meaningful way

slide7
Comprehension occurs during the act

of reading.

- David Pearson

thinking strategies used by proficient readers based on the research of p david pearson
Thinking Strategies Usedby Proficient Readers(Based on the research of P. David Pearson)

A proficient reader is able to:

  • Make Connections
  • Ask Questions.
  • Visualize.
  • Draw inferences.
  • Determine Importance.
  • Analyze and Synthesize.
  • Monitor Comprehension.
slide9
A good reader is metacognitive. He or she is aware of and is able to use and articulate these strategies in order to interact with the text and enhance meaning.
slide10
Developing a common language of thinking in your school is the most significant factor in the successful implementation of comprehension instruction and the development of meta-cognition.
moving away from text and into thinking
Moving Away From Text and into Thinking

Literal Interactive Interpretive

Connect

Question

Visualize

Infer

Transform

Synthesize

Critical Thinking

Text

Reader as Thinker

slide12
The brain, at work reading, is actively constructing meaning by engaging in these five Reading Powers:
  • Connect
  • Question
  • Visualize
  • Infer
  • Transform
slide13

Three Components of Reading Power:

  • Reading Power Poster
  • 2. Reading Power Books
  • 3. Method of Instruction
slide14
The good news is that comprehension has become a long overdue reading focus. The bad news is that comprehension strategies and exercises in isolation often dominate comprehension instruction. Students are spending massive amounts of time learning and practicing these strategies, often without knowing how to apply them or not understand how they fit into the big picture of reading.

- Regie Routman (2003, p.119)

book collections
Book Collections:

Students will make CONNECTIONS more successfully when reading books about:

  • Family
  • Friendships
  • Siblings
  • Feelings
  • School
  • Favorite toys
book collections16
Book Collections:

Students will ask QUESTIONS more readily when reading books that are about:

  • Realistic issues that promote questions such as homelessness, war, prejudice
  • Fantasy stories which leave things open-ended
  • Mysteries of the world
book collections17
Book Collections:

Readers will VISUALIZE more successfully when reading books about:

  • Weather
  • Seasons
  • Specific places, i.e.: the beach, the forest
  • Poetry
  • Descriptive language
book collections18
Book Collections:

Readers will learn to INFER more successfully when reading:

  • Wordless picture books
  • Books with very little text
  • Books by authors who “craft their stories” carefully: Chris Van Alsburg, Anthony Browne, David Weisner
book collections19
Book Collections:

Readers will learn to TRANSFORM their thinking more successfully when reading books that:

  • encourage readers to view themselves, others or the world around them in a slightly different way
  • include a moral or ethical issue or message
  • are tied to social responsibility issues such as respect, fairness, self respect, consequences of actions
  • you often need a Kleenex when reading!
slide20
Creating “Reading Power Book Bins” and customizing the selections to your students and community makes implementation more accessible and authentic.
where to purchase books to begin your reading power collections
Where to purchase books to begin your Reading Power collections….
  • Vancouver Kidsbooks (Kits, North Van, Surrey)

www.kidsbooks.ca

  • United Library Services

burnaby@uls.com, www.uls.com/ReadingPower

  • Scholastic Book orders
  • Chapters, Amazon
  • Bilingual books – www.mantralingual.com
  • USED books:

www.alibris.com; www.abebooks.com

but let us always keep in mind
But let us always keep in mind….

Reading Power is not grounded in any book or tub of books. It is grounded in the principles of thinking and meta-cognition. Using picture books to introduce, teach and practice each of the reading powers is necessary but not necessarily a means to an end. The end is when our students can use ANY of the strategies with ANY book.

- Adrienne Gear

slide23

Tool Box Analogy

“A carpenter knows which tools they have and which one will help them complete a particular job. For example, they know to take a wrench out when they need to tighten a bolt or a hammer when they need to put in a nail. A good reader also knows which “tools” or strategies they have and how to use each one to help them find meaning in a particular part of the text.”

slide24

Components of comprehension instruction that follows a gradual release of responsibility approach:

  • Introduce the strategy
  • Explain the concept of the strategy
  • 2. Teacher Modeling
  • Read aloud/think aloud - “speaking voice/thinking voice”
  • 3. Guided Practice
  • Reinforce the strategy through whole class practice,
  • guided reading groups
  • Independent Practice
  • Student practices the strategy on their own
  • Application
  • Student applies the strategy to real life reading experiences
slide25
Children are more likely going to understand and use the language of thinking if they hear their teachers (and parents) using it.

TRY:

“I’m inferring you’re frustrated”

“I’m inferring there’s a problem going on in here”

“I’m inferring from the weather that you may need your warmer jacket on today.”

After “sharing time” - “While you were talking about your special object, I was making a connection…”

After a guided reading lesson: “The page where my thinking voice was the loudest was… because it reminded me of…”

intentionally integrating the language of thinking in your classroom
Intentionally integrating the language of thinking in your classroom….

IS NOT replacing anything you are already doing….

IS“adding” to what you are already doing

IS “planting the seeds” of comprehension, metacognition and thinking

slide27

Oral Language

Productive Receptive

- speaking - listening

- communicating - thinking

- explaining -meta-cognition

what does an active listener look like
What Does an Active Listener Look Like?
  • On the outside
  • “Knee-to-knee”
  • Eye contact
  • Head nodding
  • Appropriate response: questions acknowledgements connections “I respectfully disagree”
  • On the inside
  • making connections
  • visualizing
  • questioning
  • inferring
  • summarizing
  • synthesizing
slide29
“The words on the page are only half the story… the rest is what you bring to the party.”

- Toni Morrison

how has reading power helped you to become a better reader
“How has Reading Power helped you to become a better reader?”

“I used to think that when you read, that what was on the page, like what the author wrote, was what mattered. But now it’s like when I read, I read the words on the page but then I like add my own thoughts and ideas into the story. The story make more sense when I can find things inside my head that will help me understand it. It’s like reading on the inside”.

- grade 6 student

Selkirk Elem. – Vancouver

slide31
What has been your “shift in thinking” about reading comprehension? Your “transformed” thought?

How might this “shift in thinking” become a “shift in practice”? What do you hope to add to your current literacy program?

Tell you “elbow partner”

slide32

The Power to

CONNECT

“No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river.”

- Mitch Albom, Five People You Meet in Heaven

slide33

Components of comprehension instruction that follows a gradual release of responsibility approach:

  • Introduce the strategy
  • Explain the concept of the strategy
  • 2. Teacher Modeling
  • Read aloud/think aloud - “speaking voice/thinking voice”
  • 3. Guided Practice
  • Reinforce the strategy through whole class practice,
  • guided reading groups
  • Independent Practice
  • Student practices the strategy on their own
  • Application
  • Student applies the strategy to real life reading experiences
lesson 1 explaining the concept
Lesson 1 – Explaining the Concept

“Your life is a story…

It’s just not written down on paper.”

“Find your chapter…

effective modeling
Effective Modeling
  • Find your special “connect book” – a book that you make a lot of personal connections to
  • Read-aloud/Think aloud – use post it notes or “thinking bubbles”
guided practice group connect
Guided Practice - “Group Connect”
  • Select book appropriate for all students
  • Each student is given one post-it note
  • Students write their names and the letter “C” on post-it
  • Read through the book once without stopping, while students

“pay attention to their thinking voice”

  • Read the book a second time; students come up and stick their post-it note on the page where “their thinking voice was the loudest”
  • Teacher participates with their own post-it note
  • Teacher models with their connection and then allow time for sharing connections either as a class or with partners
allow time for students to share their thinking aloud
Allow time for students to share their thinking aloud.

Effective connections include:

  • Names of people and places
  • Details - Share the “whole chapter”, not just the first sentence
  • Feelings, emotions
expanding connections the training wheel lessons
Expanding Connections(The “training wheel” lessons)

Mini Lessons to help students expand their understanding of the strategy

  • Quick vs. Deep – thinking Connections
  • T-S, T-T, T-W
  • “Put on your BIB”
  • Assessing our responses
expanding connections lesson 1
Quick Connections

“I have a dog!”

“My Grandma wears glasses, too!”

“That looks just like my Dad’s new jacket!”

Deep Thinking

Connections

“This reminds me of the feeling I had when I had a fight with my friend. I felt very lonely and sad”.

“This reminds me of the time when had to sing a song in front of the whole school. I felt very nervous and also embarrassed.”

Expanding Connections – Lesson #1
expanding connections lesson 2
Expanding Connections – Lesson #2
  • T-S : Text to Self

“This part of the book reminds me of myself”

  • T-T : Text-to-Text

“This part of the book reminds me of another book”

  • T-W : Text-to-World

“This part of the book reminds me of

connections that may also affect

others in the world”

expanding connections lesson 3
Expanding Connections – Lesson 3

“Put on your “B.I.B.” :

“Bring It Back” to the story

“How has my connection (question, inference) helped me to understand the story better?”

B.I.B.

expanding connections lesson 4
Expanding Connections – Lesson #4

Let them in on the secret!

  • Allowing students to reflect and evaluate their own responses
  • Provide samples of “fully meeting” answers
meeting fully meeting minimally
Meeting? Fully meeting? Minimally?
  • “I don’t have a brother but my sister gets a little wild sometimes like the kid in this book. It bugs me a lot.”
  • “That reminds me of my brother, Alex. My brother kind of looks like Charlie and also he can be annoying like Charlie sometimes. Sometimes I can handle it, but sometimes I get so mad and feel like I want to scream really big. This connection helps me to understand how Charlie feels when he thinks nobody is listening to him. I guess I should try to listen to Alex better.”
  • “My connection is to Charlie. My younger brother sometimes gets really out of control, like Charlie. That’s when my mum says he’s “beyond the beyond”.
  • “He reminds me of my brother. My brother has messy hair, too.”
  • “I don’t have any connections to that book.”
connect question visualize infer transform44
connect question visualize infer transform

“Comprehension and composition strategies interact to create understanding and build memory”

Building Memory From Writing

- David Pearson and Michael Pressley

independent practice expanding connections in writing
Independent Practice: Expanding Connections in Writing
  • Student choose their own book from the “connect” tub
  • Students read, think, and mark connections with post-it notes: Primary: 3-5 post–it notes with code “C”

Intermediate: 5-7 post-it notes with brief notes

  • “Never put your book back and leave your thinking behind”. Students peel off post-it notes and stick them in their Reading Power notebooks
  • Choose one connection and expand it in writing

“Write the whole chapter, not just the first sentence’

connect song to the tune of brush your teeth
“Connect” Song(To the tune of “Brush Your Teeth”)

When I read a story and my brain says “Hey!”

This part reminds me of the other day –

It’s called “connect” – dah dah dah dah dah dah

It’s called “connect” – dah dah dah dah dah dah

When I read a story and my brain says “Whoa!”

This part reminds me of my friend Joe

It’s called “connect’ – dah dah dah dah dah dah (repeat)

………..brain says “cool” …..reminds me of my school

…… brain says “look” …. reminds me of of another book

………brain says “Wow!”…. Reminds of of my grandpa’s cow

slide48
“If books could have more, give more, be more, show more, they would still need readers, who bring to them sound and smell and light and all the rest that can’t be in books. The book needs you.

- Gary Paulson

slide49
“If you are teaching and not learning,

You are not teaching.”

- Frank McCourt

thank you
Thank you!

I hope that you ….

  • Have experienced a “shift in thinking” about reading comprehension
  • Have something to take back to your district, school or classroom that you can implement this year
  • agear@vsb.bc.ca