This is a part of our series on Close Reading. If you are looking for additional free resources, please visit our Complete Close Reading Collection.
One of our goals recently has been to learn more about Close Reading strategies. As an emphasis on Close Reading is becoming more common in classrooms across the country, we want to make sure we are providing our followers with tools to make this shift easier to implement. As we read and learn, we believe that many strategies that are a part of Close Reading are probably happening without teachers realizing it. We are breaking Close Reading into sections to help you have the tools you need. Our focus this week is on self-monitoring, a skill which is probably not new to most. However, it can be difficult to teach so the more resources you have, the better, right?
Self-Monitoring Anchor Chart (in black and white) We have started by creating a self-monitoring anchor chart. This is designed as a pledge – using “I Will” at the beginning of each strategy good readers use. You can use this as a poster in your room or have your students add it to their reading notebooks, or both!
If you are looking for another anchor chart idea, check out the chart Nancy created with her class over at Teaching My Friends. She did a great job explaining her lesson and we think you will love her anchor chart. Believe us, it worth hopping over to her blog to check out her ideas on this topic!
Monitoring for meaning while reading involves many steps. For this reason, we feel like this is a skill that will need to be broken down for most classrooms of students. You might begin by teaching students how to ask questions as they read. For this, you can refer to Asking Thick and Thin Questions, one of our previous posts on close reading where we have created resources for helping children learn to ask meaningful questions while reading.
Monitoring for Meaning Booklet Another part of monitoring for meaning is making sure that you as the reader understands the text. Students must be taught to stop, think and ask: Does what I read make sense? We suggest lots of modeling to help students begin doing this on their own. As you read aloud, stop after each section and ask yourself questions out loud. Show children your thinking. Once children are ready to try this skill on their own, you can use our Self Monitoring Booklet. Have students record what they read from each section. You will need to specify how the reading is broken down. Paragraphs? Pages? Chapters? Make sure your students understand the expectation before they start.
Recording Unknown Words Are there words getting in the way of your students fully understanding the text? It is important to teach children how to use their detective skills to determine the meaning of words they are unsure of. Use this graphic organizer to encourage children to record words they are not sure of. Again, this gives you the teacher more information to guide your reading lessons during conferencing or small group instruction. (Look for a close reading post containing strategies for student to decipher new words later in October!)
When students understand the process of monitoring for meaning, this graphic organizer can be used to help them show you their thinking: Monitoring for Meaning Chart. We like having students use an organizer such as this one because it helps us as teachers to find the spot where students are struggling.
Making connections while reading is another strategy that can help students develop a deeper understanding of their reading. Often, in the upper grades, students already have an understanding of this skill. However, you might find that students need to revisit the idea or need additional practice. Look for graphic organizers to help you isolate this skill on The Curriculum Corner 456 next week!
We feel like our previous post on readers using think marks is another take on monitoring for meaning. You will find it here: Using Think Marks.
What strategies do you use to help your students monitor for meaning while reading? We would love for you to share below!