Teaching With Intention ch. 5 - Understanding and Engagement

It's time for Chapter 5 in the Teaching With Intention book study! This week's chapter is hosted by Mr. Kindergarten himself, Greg over at Kindergarten Smorgasboard and another kindergarten blogger, From Kindergarten With Love.

This week's chapter is all about the thinking behind the thinking! I LOVED this chapter, as it gave me a real "behind the scenes" look at the thinking that goes into our interaction with text.  Teaching students about schema is important.  It helps them to understand that everyone comes to the table with their own information about what is being read.  It's how we connect what we read to what we know, that helps us become better readers - and it's important to make this thinking visible to kids. Can I have an "Amen?!"

I used to use KWL charts as my go to way of starting off a topic.  Admit it, you probably did, too. Those charts had the right idea, but they weren't making good use of the actual thinking that was going on. Then I started using schema charts - charts that showed connected what we already new with new learning, misconceptions and more.  I couldn't find any pictures of my charts, but Greg has some great ones in his blog post HERE.

I also helped my students "see" their thinking by using coding sheets. (You can read the original post {HERE}).

In a nutshell, coding gives students a chance to think about what they are reading and ask themselves how it fits in their schema.

Is it something I already know?
Is it something amazing or interesting?
Is it something new that I didn't know before?
Is it something that makes me ask a question, or that I'm not sure I understand?

You can download my coding sheet here by clicking the image to take you back to my original post.  Then scroll to the bottom and you can download it from there.

Both schema charts and coding "make the comprehension process visible" to students - and that's half the battle! We want students to SEE how good readers think, for them to be able to apply those strategies themselves.  Happy thinking!

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