Monday, January 7, 2013

Reading is Thinking: Using Thinkmarks

 Happy Monday! Today was my first day back to school. The kids come back Wednesday so today was all about PD. I wanted to write a quick blog post to expand on my previous posts about teaching the kids to "work" the text.

The first strategies that I introduced to my students this year was how to mark their thinking use think marks. 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).  I told them the whole spill about how good readers think while they are reading and we were going to practice that today using these stems and marking our thinking on a post-it note on the correct code.


 

Then, I read this book to the kids.




This book is not really grade level, but I teach inner city and the 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. I would have each student use a complete sentence and if they struggled with this, they used the sentence stem. As the students shared their thoughts, 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. While the students were independently reading, they had to mark their thinking. After reading time, we shared several different types of thoughts. The students simply wrote the letters on their paper and used tally marks. Here is an example:

  

Then, I used 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 is routine and automatic to them! I simply have the student use a piece of paper or any other handout they may be working on. However, I made a quick handout if you would like to try it out and want a specific handout to use! Just click on the link to go to google docs.

 


I would love to hear how you guys get your students to "think" while they are reading!



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13 comments:

  1. Hi Jennifer, thanks for the freebie. We are working on building theories about characters in our classroom. We are using sticky notes to mark what we notice about our character's actions. Our sticky notes say "I noticed _(character)__ did_(action)_ and this shows me that he/she is __(character trait)__." Noticing our thinking while we read (metacognition) is definitely a hard concept to teach. I love your tally mark idea.

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    1. Hey Melissa,
      I love that sentence frame. I am all about giving the students a frame to get their thoughts down. In guided reading, we do more writing and not tally marks. I am going to try your idea next time I am teaching characters! Thanks!

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    2. I love the format of your sticky. Stealing it!
      Brandi
      My Teacher Friend

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  2. Hey Jennifer,

    Great blog and content! I teach second grade and I use thinking marks as well. We usually use some sort of visual cue, along with a letter like you've suggested, to prompt their coding. For instance, a little picture of a chain link for connections or a question mark for questions. Have you seen Linda Hoyt's coding lessons? She has some great resources for literacy, both fiction and informational text. Her coding lesson for informational text is amazing!

    Your newest follower,

    ❀ Kate
    Purely Paperless

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    1. Kate, thanks for the resource. I will have to check that out!

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  3. What a great blog post, Jennifer! Just today I did a lesson on inferencing and drawing conclusions for my 4th graders-reiterating the good skills that readers use during reading. I need a way to bring all these skills together and your thinking marks seem like a great way to do so. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  4. OK, Jennifer, it's me again. Looking at your anchor chart/poster I started visualizing how I can modify it to go with what my students and I have already discussed/learned in class. I have a lot of trouble conveying the difference between predicting and making inferences. Do you have any suggestions,a better explanation, that may help clear things up for my students. I've been doing some reading trying to give my class better clarification: "When students make a prediction, they are making an educated guess on what will happen next in a story based on what has happened in the text, their knowledge about the author and their own personal schemata. While very similar to a prediction, an inference is something different. Inferences are made after reading all of the clues given in a text and then making an educated guess. Furthermore, predictions are made predominantly from facts that have been given by the author and the characters within the story. Inferences are based more on applying prior knowledge and going beyond the stated information. This is also referred to as reading between the lines." Am I on the right track? Am I doing my students a grievous disservice?!

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    1. Nita, I completely understand what you are saying! When the students predict, they have to use inferences to be able to predict. I would simplify it by saying predicting is all about what happens next...what the character will do next, say next, etc. inferring is using clues to figure out something that is going on, but the author hasn't stated. Inferring is not about what will happen next. It is what is going on in the story that the author hasn't stated. Does this help?

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  5. Hi Jennifer! I am obsessed with stickies! Now, I have another way to use them. Wanna know another thing I am obsessed with?? All Things Upper Elementary. Great idea lady!Keep those good ideas coming.

    Brandi
    My Teacher Friend


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  6. Brandi, I am glad you found our other blog! We love it, too! Heading to your blog now!

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  7. Hi Jennifer! We also code the text and my students wanted to add to the list...IDK for something they didn't know, a heart for something they loved reading about or their favorite part, and LOL when the author made them laugh. I'm your newest follower! I hope you stop by sometime!
    Joanne
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

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  8. Thank you for breaking down this strategy. This is great!!!!! Also, that book looks so cute. I'm glad your students liked it.

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