Reading Process

We devoted an entire 100 minute class to practicing this process (it’s on three chart papers on the wall now).  It was myself, a student teacher and a literacy coach in a class of 32 students.  We chose a problem in a future section, and told students to base their reading off solving this problem.
We gave all of the students 3 minutes of private quiet think time to read the problem and assess their level of understanding.  They held up fingers (1-4) and we grouped the students by their level of understanding.  I re-explained the rest of the process and how they should expect to repeat it multiple times.
I sat down and worked with the small group of 1’s to get them started on understanding the question.  I pretty much kept repeating the two questions:  “What do you understand?”  “What information are you looking for?”  Even the IDKers could say what information they were looking for.  If it was from before the section, I directed them to the index after they couldn’t find it in the index.
  1. Read the problem (or example)
  2. Assess your level of understanding (this is on a second poster)
    1. I don’t understand the question –> I’m reading to understand the question (you may need help from a classmate or teacher)
    2. I kind of understand the question, but can’t start the problem -> I’m reading to find an example
    3. I understand the question, but I need an example –> I’m reading to see possible solutions
    4. I understand the question and know what to do –> Go for it!
  3. Prepare to read (this is on a third poster)
    1. What information do you know?
    2. What information do you need? (just one thing at a time)
    3. Run your eyes over the section of the textbook and find several places where that might be located
    4. Choose one location
  4. Read
  5. Did that answer your question?  Yes – solve the problem.  No – repeat!

We (the student teacher and I) need to devote another 40-50 minutes in a month or so to reinforce this process.  But already we’ve learned a lot about where students get stuck reading and locating information.  Just breaking down the “prepare to read” was a huge eye opening experience for me.


2 thoughts on “Reading Process

  1. Hi, love your blog. Love your reading process too. About 6 months ago I discovered that I needed to teach reading, and flailed about trying to figure out what to do about that. This week I finally began to understand what they don’t know (I’ve been reading Cris Tovani’s _I Read It But I Don’t Get It_). Eye-opening — you’re not kidding! I didn’t know they didn’t know, and I’m slowly (with horror) finding out how ignorant I was/am. Looking forward to more news of your results.

  2. Pingback: I Need to Teach Reading Comprehension « shifting phases

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