Teaching Tip of the Month
This month's Teaching Tip comes from Daily Warm-Ups: Nonfiction Reading Grade 4.
Self-Monitoring Reading Strategies
Use these steps with your students so they can monitor their own reading comprehension. Be sure to go over each step with the class. Distribute a copy to each student or enlarge to make a class poster.
- Step 1: Do I Understand?
Read a paragraph. Then ask, "Do I totally understand everything in this paragraph?" Use a pencil to mark a light X next to each paragraph that you comprehend and a light question mark next to each paragraph that contains anything you do not understand.
- Step 2: What Have I Just Read?
At the end of each paragraph, stop and summarize silently to yourself, in your own words, what you have read. You may look back at the text during this activity.
- Step 3: Does It Make Sense Now?
Finish reading the passage. Return to each paragraph that has a penciled question mark next to it and reread it. Does it make sense now? If so, great! If not, move on to step 4.
- Step 4: Why Am I Having This Trouble?
Pinpoint the problem. Is the difficulty to do with unfamiliar words or concepts? Is the sentence structure too complex? Is it because you know little background information about the topic? It's important that you identify the specific stumbling block(s) before you move on to step 5.
- Step 5: Where Can I Get Help?
Try a variety of aids to help you understand the text: Internet, glossary, appendix, dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, chapter summary, etc. Depending on what you are reading, use the resource(s) that will help you the most. If confusion remains after going through these five steps, ask a classmate or teacher for assistance.
As students become more comfortable with this strategy, you may want to make a rule that the students cannot ask for help from you unless they can do the following:
- identify the exact source of their confusion
- describe the steps they've already taken on their own to resolve the problem
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