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Staff Development: Think- Alouds and Gists. December 5 th, 2011. Reading Strategy: Think-Aloud.

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reading strategy think aloud
Reading Strategy: Think-Aloud
  • Think-alouds have been described as "eavesdropping on someone's thinking." With this strategy, teachers verbalize aloud while reading a selection orally. Their verbalizations include describing things they're doing as they read to monitor their comprehension. The purpose of the think-aloud strategy is to model for students how skilled readers construct meaning from a text.
why use think alouds
Why use think-alouds?
  • It helps students learn to monitor their thinking as they read and improves their comprehension.
  • It teaches students to re-read a sentence, read ahead to clarify, and/or look for context clues to make sense of what they read.
  • It slows down the reading process and allows students to monitor their understanding of a text.
when to use think alouds
When to Use Think-Alouds
  • Before Reading
  • During Reading
  • After Reading
how to use think alouds
How to Use Think-Alouds
  • Individually
  • With Small-Groups
  • Whole Class
how to use think a louds
How to use Think-Alouds

1) Begin by modeling this strategy. Model your thinking as you read. Do this at points in the text that may be confusing for students (new vocabulary, unusual sentence construction).

how to use think alouds1
How to use Think-Alouds

2) Introduce the assigned text and discuss the purpose of the Think-Aloud strategy. Develop the set of questions to support thinking aloud (see examples below). What do I know about this topic?

  • What do I think I will learn about this topic?
  • Do I understand what I just read?
  • Do I have a clear picture in my head about this information?
  • What more can I do to understand this?
  • What were the most important points in this reading?
  • What new information did I learn?
  • How does it fit in with what I already know?
how to use think alouds2
How to use Think-Alouds

3. Give students opportunities to practice the technique, and offer structured feedback to students

how to use think alouds3
How to use Think-Alouds

4. Read the selected passage aloud as the students read the same text silently. At certain points stop and "think aloud" the answers to some of the pre-selected questions.

how to use think alouds4
How to use Think-Alouds

5. Demonstrate how good readers monitor their understanding by rereading a sentence, reading ahead to clarify, and/or looking for context clues. Students then learn to offer answers to the questions as the teacher leads the Think Aloud.

think aloud template
Think-Aloud Template
think aloud video 1
Think-Aloud Video #1
think aloud video 2
Think-Aloud Video #2
writing strategy gists
Writing Strategy: GISTS
  • Generating Interactions between Schemata and Text
what is it
What is it?
  • Gist is a comprehension strategy that is used both during reading and after reading. It is one approach tosummarizinga text. When using GIST, students create summaries that are 20 words or less for increasingly large amounts of text.
  • The end product is a 20 word summary that is tight and precise.
how does it work
How does it work?

1. Define what the "gist" of something is.

how does it work1
How does it work?

2. Read the first paragraph/section of the assigned reading. The size of the section will depend upon the grade level and size of the complete text.

how does it work2
How does it work?

3. Write a 20 word summary that describes the main idea in that section.

how does it work3
How does it work?

4. Read the second paragraph/section of the assigned reading.

how does it work4
How does it work?

5. Write a 20 word summary that combines the material in the first gist statement and the new material.

how does it work5
How does it work?

6. Continue this procedure until a 20 word summary is created for the entire reading.

tips suggestions
  • GIST can be used with both expository and narrative text. (
  • Do not use this strategy with more than 3 paragraphs/sections.
  • Cunningham suggests that when using GIST, it is best to conduct it first as a whole class, then in smallgroups, and finally on an individual basis. (
gist brainstorming template
GIST Brainstorming Template
  • Use Think Aloud strategy with content area reading passage at least twice in the next 9 weeks
  • Use the Gist strategy for Summarizing At Least Twice During the next 9 Weeks
  • Reflections on their usefulness and success with students turned in electronically to principal and Dr. P.