Thursday, July 31

How I Work With Students to Self-Monitor While Reading

Teaching children to read takes a LOT of work. Important work. Powerful work. Work by students, work by us. There are SO many layers in learning to read, that it can very difficult AND very rewarding!

Don't we all have those students who sound beautiful when they read, yet have difficulty comprehending?

Or students who miscue while they read...a miscue that changes the meaning of the text and they just keep reading on?

And students who omit, insert or substitute words that makes their reading way off grammatically, yet they continue on and on?

Me, too.

These are students that have not quite developed strong, integrated Self-Monitoring behaviors.
Self-Monitoring for Meaning Syntax and Visual
We all teach students that do this and sometimes we go a little gray in the hair department or have an extra dose of coffee while we try to figure out how to reach them the best.
Teaching Readers to Self-Monitor

In the past I’ve tried a variety of techniques and strategies…with varying degrees of success…depending on the reader (of course).

1) Trying to “catch” them self-monitoring and praising their work like crazy saying things like,

“You just caught yourself!!! You worked it out and now you’ll understand!!”

“That sounded goofy/wonky/like gobbledy-gook and you stopped to figure it out! Whoop Whoop!”

“Did you just notice your amaaaaaaaaazing reading work? You didn’t just keep reading to get to the end, you were determined to make it look right, sound right AND make sense!”

2) Sent congratulatory notes home…so that kids are proud of their hard work and race to their parents to share their love note and then the parents know what to congratulate and notice while their sweethearts read to them.

3) Tally marks next to goals on goal-setting pages from Building STAR Readers. That pack is all about building STAR habits while reading. (S=Study T=Think A=Ask R=Respond) 

4) Have them use sticky notes to mark spots in their books to encourage them to slow down and be more aware of their thinking. (This image is found at Julie Ballew's site.) I pinned it to my School Stuff Board so I always have it handy.

Anchor Chart for sticky notes


5) While reading aloud, make intentional mistakes and stop to demonstrate self-monitoring and then identify the cueing system(s) where the mistake was made. 

For example, read, "The elephant's claw is very large." Students can help you identify that it does NOT make sense. You can show them the text and have them help you figure out what it really says or you can have them offer suggestions that DO make sense.

When you miscue for visual/looking right, your miscue impacts syntax and/or meaning to the listeners. 

6) Whole group, small group and partner work to find proof and cite evidence in reading passages such as these from Finding Proof (which has been updated to streamline the look of each page and include additional content). The pictures below have the older, more busy-looking pages. New pics coming soon!



This is all well and good….BUT…I’m not in small group or one-on-one settings every minute with every kid. #notpossible

We have to teach them to TAKE CHARGE of their own reading so that they self-monitor without us - every time, all the time.

I struggled to find resources for exactly what I was looking for, so I made one…


There are a variety of options for students to practice....

Here's where one word does not make sense (and therefore does not sound right) so they have to figure out which word would make more sense....

Here's one where they sort for what does and does not sound right....
first grade

I use the teaching projectables to introduce and practice the concepts and then follow up with having students work on the printables. I also included tracking forms so students can visually see how they are doing in regards to self-monitoring...

This pack is available as part of my Reading Workshop Bundle.


I've also added a Self-Monitoring Mega Bundle which contains some extra printables for practice looking closely across a whole word from beginning to end.
Thanks for sticking with me! I have a freebie for you to use with your class on which question word would make the most sense....Click the pic to download.


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