Home » Reading comprehension » Reading is thinking (hopefully)

Reading is thinking (hopefully)

I believe we should teach this from day 1. READING IS THINKING. Reading comprehension at the 6th grade level is supposed to be so much higher level than the previous years. It’s not just about retelling the story or remembering what  the story was about. It’s thinking while you read. It’s predicting before you read and while you read. It’s making connections between what you are reading and yourself, or the world, or another text. It’s being able to visualize what’s going on in the text so that you feel like you are a part of it! It’s wondering about things as you read, asking questions of your character’s feelings, thoughts, and actions. It’s inferring what the author meant even though the author didn’t SAY it. It’s using your schema before you read and while you read to understand the literal meanings of the text as well as the underlying meanings. It’s synthesizing while you read-understanding when you need to change your thinking about the text. It’s ALL those things and more. Can I just say that these are hard things to accomplish? 🙂

SO-the only homework that I assign my kids each night is to read for at least 15 minutes (the book of their choice) and to complete 1 box of our comprehension thinking sheet. Here is the actual sheet that they will have totally completed(in a perfect world-sigh) by Friday each week.

Comprehension Thinking Sheet

They get to choose which box they want to complete each night. For the past several weeks I had them all use and write about the same comprehension strategy-so 1 week they had to write about making connections in both comprehension boxes, the next week they had to write about visualizing, and so forth. Beginning this week, they can write about any comprehension strategy that they actually used while reading.

This past Friday I gave them a blank comprehension thinking sheet, and they had to complete it for a reading assessment grade. I took last week to go over it AGAIN with them to make sure that they understood what I was expecting of them-lots of deep thinking, reflecting, and writing.

Here is a picture of one of my student’s sheets from Friday about the book Love, Aubrey.

 There are 2 boxes to write about comprehension strategies they used while reading, 1 box to write their thoughts and reflections about their book, and 1 box to write about a literary element(plot, setting, character, etc).

 Here is a closeup of a strategy box.

I’m hoping that the more we read and the more we write about what we read and the more we read….. the better thinkers we will become! 🙂

So, just in case you can’t read what this one student wrote I am going to type it below for you! PLEASE let me know what you think about this overall process/assignment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Book-Love, Aubrey

Box 1-Comprehension Strategy

“In this book, Love, Aubure, Aubrey is a main character and the part that I am reading is where Bridgette jumps on top of Aubrey and Aubrey yelling “Stop”. I can see Bridgette looking with a weird expression on her face and then start laughing with Aubrey laughing with her.”

Box 2-Comprehension Strategy

“In this book, Bridgette, Aubrey, and Grams are the main characters who live close by each other and are very good friends. Bridgette moved by Grams during the winter and Aubrey moved in with Grams not too long ago. When Aubrey moved in it was almost time to go to school. The question that I am asking myself is does she like school?”

Box 3-Reflections/Thoughts

“I love this book  Love, Aubrey because it is very exciting but sad. It is exciting because you never know what’s going to happen next. This book is sad because Aubrey lost her sister and father in a car wreck and her mother has just abandoned her.”

Box 4-Literary Elements/Devices

” My main character is Aubrey. Aubrey has a lot going on in her life and school makes it harder. But three things that keeps her going is Grams, Bridgette, and Sammy her pet fish. Gram keeps her safe with a house and food. Bridgette makes her feel like she can do anything. And Sammy gave her company.”

What do you think? Are we on our way to becoming critical readers and thinkers? My 6th graders are NOT used to writing about their reading before they get to 6th grade (according to them).

4 thoughts on “Reading is thinking (hopefully)

  1. Thank you for the detailed explanation. Your students example is excellent…congrats! I agree with you that this skill set must be taught from day 1-beginning from kinder. I am teaching my student to read with purpose, to gain knowledge and experience…it takes alot of hardwork and dedication so the more they practice it will become natural.

  2. I agree with you. It’s important that children learn to find meaning in what they read. Writing encourages them to think about what they’ve read and to use their own words to explain it. I only assign reading for homework.

  3. I so agree with you about them not being taught to think about what they are reading. I am having that trouble with my class this year and that is why I am back in the basal instead of reading a novel with them as is my usual course of action. They just need help with all the basic skills. I love this sheet and printed and copied it to use with my class. Thanks so much for the example. I thought it was great!

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