Introducing the Reading Strategies and Think Marks
Since my students typically struggle with reading comprehension and using active reading strategies, I start out my lessons with just the Predictions (P), Connections (C), Inferences (I), Questions (Q), and Summarizing (S).
Guided Practice and Modeling
After going over each reading strategy, we discuss how good readers think while they are reading. Then I tell the students that we are going to practice that today with the strategies we just went over. I tell them we are going to mark our thinking on a post-it note using the correct code. At this point, I also let them know that this would be an ongoing expectation while they were reading, so they don’t think this is a one and down strategy.
While discussing the book, I also have my students practice demonstrating their thinking with partners. If the students struggle, I remind them to use the sentence stem provided on the anchor chart.
After partner discussions, I have individual students share their thoughts with the class. Then they code their thinking by putting a tally mark on the correct post-it on our class chart.
Sometimes, I would prompt the students to use specific reading strategies and sometimes I simply ask for thoughts on a particular page, and have the students help me code the thoughts correctly.
Continued Practice (Including Independent Reading)
Next Steps for the Reading Strategies
After a few days or weeks (it depends on the needs of the particular students) of coding our thinking and getting comfortable using the reading strategies regularly (and varying them depending on the context of the book being read), we are ready to being writing our thoughts and sharing them.
We do this during guided reading using simple reading strategy organizers like the ones shared on this post. We also begin sharing our specific thoughts in reader’s response letters.
Since the students have been used to regularly sharing their thoughts using complete sentences, this is a natural transition for them and simply another way for them to share their reading thoughts with others.
More Advanced Reading Strategies
After the students are comfortable and confident with the particular reading strategies shared on this post, they are ready to tackle more advanced thinking skills. Read more about some of those more advanced reading strategies on this post.
More Blog Posts and Resources to Support Your Readers
Click on the links below to read more blog posts or see recommended resources to support your readers (especially struggling readers) further.