Monday, June 27, 2016

Monitoring Your Reading = Passing Level 1 of a Video Game

So I've put in a few years of trial and error into creating this resource, Re-telling and Summarizing Fiction Texts:  Interventions and Strategies.  I can tell you how I've put in my heart and soul into creating these graphic organizers and anchor charts to help my students, and I really think they will help your learners, too.  And eventually, I will get into the details of each strategy and how they address specific student needs and text structures.  But instead, I'm going to begin with the ending because it's my favorite part of this story, really the best part of the story:  winning level one of the video game.

Clip art courtesy of Paula Kim Studio

During my intervention groups, I often have to *encourage* my little friends to practice applying the same strategy multiple times so that eventually they internalize it and it becomes one of their natural reading habits.

So, one of my smart third graders was getting tired of writing the same type of sticky note every 2-3 pages of his reading:

I totally understood his stance and certainly didn't want to kill his interest in the text.  However, after multiple conversations of him not remembering what he read, just moving his eyes back and forth over a sea of words, I needed him to purposely (and purposefully) stop and think about what he read so he could actually dive into the text.  Ergo, the stopping and thinking every couple of pages.

Unfortunately, he still needed convincing that this strategy was a tool that he wanted in his toolkit.

Fair enough.  So I told him that this was level 1 of his favorite video game.  His head tilted slightly, and his eyes said, "Go on."

From my distant memories of playing Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo, I knew that I had to pass level 1 (the turtle, getting power, going down the sewer...good times) in order to get closer to the prize.  My little friend plays a lot of video games, so he definitely knows about level 1.

I continued, "Level 1 in reading is understanding what you're reading, being able to say who is in that part and what is happening with that character.  You can't do level 2 sticky notes (predictions, character feelings, questioning, etc.) unless you can do level 1 well.

Boom.  That was the clincher.  That was all the rationale he needed.  Level 1 sticky notes.  Let's master this type of thinking, this tool in our toolbox, and then we can move on to higher-level strategies.  Let's learn to re-tell and summarize well...

 Re-telling and Summarizing Fiction

To be continued...

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