Metacognition: Thinking About How You Think Before you can truly improve your reading skills, you need to understand what happens in good readers’ minds while they read. You may even do these things already. You just don’t know it…yet.
More About Metacognition Good readers have developed good habits when they read. We call these habits strategies. Strategies help readers understand, connect to, and determine the importance of what they are reading. They also visualize, ask questions about, and read between the lines of what they read.
Why Use Strategies? Strategies create a plan of attack. Then you can solve any reading problems yourself. Strategies help you learn HOW to understand. If you know HOW to understand, then you are more likely TO understand. Strategies help you realize HOW you are thinking so that you can think more deeply and more consciously.
Fix-Up Strategies Make sure you are understanding what you are reading by using clarification strategies to help you figure out what you don’t understand.
Signs that you are not comprehending the text The pictures inside your mind stop forming or moving. Your questions and inferences are not getting answered. Your mind wanders from the text; you read it but are thinking about something else. The current page has nothing to do with what you thought the big picture or author’s purpose was for the text. You cannot summarize the last few paragraphs or pages. Characters appear and you cannot remember who they are.
Two Fix-up Strategies Areas Word Attack strategies:Word Attack strategies: These strategies help students read unknown words. Comprehension Fix-up strategies: Comprehension Fix-up strategies: These strategies help students read and understand the meaning of unknown phrases and text.
Word Attack Fix-Up Strategies ☻Look at the pictures - use the pictures to get information that may help you figure out the word ☻Sound blending (look at the beginning letters, look at the ending letters, chunking) ☻Use a Dictionary ☻Read Aloud ☻Ask for Help
Comprehension Fix-Up Strategies Make a Connection Make a Connection Make a Prediction Make a Prediction Stop and Think about what you have already read Stop and Think about what you have already read Ask a Question Ask a Question Reflect in Writing Reflect in Writing Visualize Visualize Use Print Conventions Use Print Conventions Retell what you’ve read Retell what you’ve read Reread Reread Notice Patterns in Text Structure Notice Patterns in Text Structure Adjust Your Reading Rate Adjust Your Reading Rate
Comprehension Fix-Up Strategies Make a Connection Make a Connection As you read you should be thinking about how the information fits with what you know about yourself, what you’ve read in other texts, and how things operate in the real world. This will help you remember what you read. As you read you should be thinking about how the information fits with what you know about yourself, what you’ve read in other texts, and how things operate in the real world. This will help you remember what you read.
Comprehension Fix-Up Strategies Make a Prediction Make a Prediction As you read, think about what might happen next. You will be making inferences and drawing conclusions about the characters and plot. As you read, think about what might happen next. You will be making inferences and drawing conclusions about the characters and plot. When an event doesn’t match a prediction, readers rethink and revise their thinking. Predicting keeps readers on track. It keeps them involved so they aren’t surprised by incorrect conclusions.
Comprehension Fix-Up Strategies Stop and Think About What You Have Already Read Stop and Think About What You Have Already Read Every so often as you read, you should stop and think about what you have read. If you don’t remember anything you have read, why continue? Pause and summarize in your head. Every so often as you read, you should stop and think about what you have read. If you don’t remember anything you have read, why continue? Pause and summarize in your head. Stopping and thinking gives readers time to synthesize new information. It allows them to ask questions, visualize, and determine what is important in the text.
Comprehension Fix-Up Strategies Ask a Question Ask a Question If you ask questions as you read, you will be more actively engaged with the text. You will be looking for answers to your questions, and will remember what you read. If you ask questions as you read, you will be more actively engaged with the text. You will be looking for answers to your questions, and will remember what you read. Readers who ask questions and know where the answers to their questions are to be found are more likely to have a richer read, to infer, to draw conclusions, and regain control of their reading.
Comprehension Fix-Up Strategies Reflect in Writing Reflect in Writing Writing down what they think about what they’ve read allows readers to clarify their thinking. It is an opportunity to reflect. Readers better understand their reading when they have written about it. The writing may be a summary or a response. Sometimes just jotting down a few notes will clarify meaning.
Comprehension Fix-Up Strategies Visualize Visualize When meaning breaks down, good readers consciously create images in their head to help them make sense of what the words are saying. They use movies, television, and life to help them picture what is happening. When a reader can visualize what is happening, comprehension improves. Encourage your students to make a mind movie in their head. If they can “see it”, they often understand it.
Use Print Conventions Key words, bold print, italicized words, capital letters, and punctuation are all used to enhance understanding. Conventions of print help the author convey intent. They help the reader determine what is important and what the author values. Conventions of print give the reader insight into voice inflections and how the author wants the piece to sound. Pointing out conventions will not only improve reading comprehension but also help students use these same conventions to convey meaning when they write. For expository text, the reader also needs to be aware of pictures, illustrations, charts and graphs.
Retell Taking a moment to retell what has been read helps the reader reflect. It activates background knowledge and also provides a check on whether the reader is understanding. When readers can’t retell what they read, it is an indication that their mind has wandered and confusion has set in.
Reread It is OK to reread text that you’ve already read. It is OK to reread text that you’ve already read. An important aspect to remember is that a student doesn’t have to reread everything for the strategy to be helpful. Sometimes rereading a portion of the text – a sentence, or even just a word – can enhance comprehension. Struggling readers tend to think that rereading means they have to reread everything.
Notice Patterns in Text Structure Narrative and expository texts have specific organizational patterns. Recognizing how a piece is organized helps readers locate information more quickly. It helps them determine what is important. When meaning breaks down, readers can stop and think how the text is organized and see whether there is something in the organizational pattern that will help them understand the piece.
Adjust Your Reading Rate Good readers adjust their rate to meet the demands of the task. Good readers slow down when something is difficult or unfamiliar. They realize that in order to construct meaning, their rate must decrease. They also know that it’s okay to read faster when something is familiar. Good readers select a rate based on the difficulty of the material, their purpose in reading it, and their familiarity with the topic.
Ask for Help When you are not understanding what you are reading, and you do not know which fix-up strategy to use, ask someone. You might ask a friend or you might need help from a teacher or parent.
How do you teach it? http://www.u- 46.org/roadmap/video/?vid=Fix- it_Tools_1.wmv http://www.u- 46.org/roadmap/video/?vid=Fix- it_Tools_1.wmv http://www.u- 46.org/roadmap/video/?vid=Fix- it_Tools_1.wmv http://www.u- 46.org/roadmap/video/?vid=Fix- it_Tools_1.wmv
REMEMBER: You may be using some or all of these strategies already. You just may not know it. However, as you learn to read more complicated materials, you WILL NEED to use these strategies purposefully. SO PRACTICE!
“In Vygotskian terms, the internalization of comprehension strategies involves long-term practice with the strategies, including opportunities to reflect on strategies used with others.” ~ Farstrup and Samuels