Happy Monday! Today was my first day back to school. The kids come back Wednesday so today was all about professional development. I wanted to write a quick blog post to expand on my previous posts about teaching the kids to use thinkmarks to “work” the text.
The first strategies that I introduced to my students this year was how to mark their thinking using thinkmarks. We started out really simple with just the Predictions (P), Connections (C), Inferences (I), and Questions (Q). I had this chart ready before the lesson (without the Summary-that was added later). We talked about each type of “thinking” and looked at the sentence stems. (I absolutely hate that I capitalized the because on Predictions). We had a great discussion about how good readers think while they are reading. I let them know that we were going to practice that today using these stems and marking our thinking on a post-it note on the correct code. I also let them know that this would be an ongoing expectation while they were reading.
After going over the chart and reviewing each comprehension skill in depth (I can tell I will have to continually review some of these) and how to use the sentence stems to show our thinking, I read this book to the students.
This book is not really grade level, but my particular group of students could really connect to it. Even I could really connect to it! As I was reading, we would stop and make predictions, connections, inferences, and ask questions. With partners, each student shared their thinking, using a complete sentence. If they struggled with this, they used the sentence stem. As the individual students shared their thoughts with the class, they would come up and code their thinking by putting a tally mark on the correct post it. Sometimes, I would just ask for thoughts on a particular page, and the students would then help me code the thought correctly.
We did this same activity several times that week as a whole group with a variety of read alouds. While the students were independently reading, they also practiced marking their thinking. In order to record their thinking, the students simply wrote the letters on their paper and used tally marks. Here is an example:
After reading time, several students shared their thoughts with the class. After a few day of this, we moved to nonfiction books to introduce the strategy of summarizing using the same procedure as above. The students were required to summarize each page in their head after reading it. If they were reading a nonfiction book with a lot of fact-filled text and information, they had to summarize each section.
We have been doing this all year long! My students now call this strategy, “Marking our PCIQSs.” It has become routine and automatic to them after several weeks of focused practice and sharing. I simply have the student use a piece of paper or any other handout they may be working on during reading time that day. However, I made a quick handout if you would like to try it out and want a specific handout to use.
I would love to hear how you guys get your students to “think” while they are reading!