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Teaching Students How to Think While They Read

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  1. I.R.A. – Atlanta, 2008 Reading Power Teaching Students How to Think While They Read Adrienne Gear Vancouver School Board Vancouver, Canada

  2. The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. 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.

  4. Decoding Letters, sounds Phonological awareness Spelling, vocabulary Fluency Comprehension Thinking Understanding Constructing meaning Meta-cognition(awareness of thinking) Reading

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Comprehension occurs during the act of reading. - David Pearson

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Moving Away From Text and into Thinking Literal Interactive Interpretive Connect Question Visualize Infer Transform Synthesize Critical Thinking Text Reader as Thinker

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

  13. Three Components of Reading Power: • Reading Power Poster • 2. Reading Power Books • 3. Method of Instruction

  14. 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)

  15. Book Collections: Students will make CONNECTIONS more successfully when reading books about: • Family • Friendships • Siblings • Feelings • School • Favorite toys

  16. 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

  17. Book Collections: Readers will VISUALIZE more successfully when reading books about: • Weather • Seasons • Specific places, i.e.: the beach, the forest • Poetry • Descriptive language

  18. 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

  19. 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!

  20. Creating “Reading Power Book Bins” and customizing the selections to your students and community makes implementation more accessible and authentic.

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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.”

  24. 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

  25. 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…”

  26. 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

  27. Oral Language Productive Receptive - speaking - listening - communicating - thinking - explaining -meta-cognition

  28. 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

  29. “The words on the page are only half the story… the rest is what you bring to the party.” - Toni Morrison

  30. “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

  31. 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”

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. Lesson 1 – Explaining the Concept “Your life is a story… It’s just not written down on paper.” “Find your chapter…

  35. 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”

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. 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

  39. 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

  40. 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”

  41. 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.

  42. 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

  43. 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.”

  44. 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

  45. 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’

  46. “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

  47. “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

  48. “If you are teaching and not learning, You are not teaching.” - Frank McCourt

  49. 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