Part Two focuses on the support of strategic reading. Tovani begins by writing about purpose with reading, “Having a purpose helps readers determine what is important...A Reader’s purpose affects everything about reading. It determines what’s important in the text, what is remembered, and what comprehension strategy a reader uses to enhance meaning.” Teacher must establish purpose behind reading assignments so kids have a focus and know what to look for.
Tovani explores various access tools to help students identify purpose in their reading:
1. Thinking Aloud: this mental modeling shows students how an expert reader makes sense of a text. “When teachers makes invisible mental processes visible, they arm young readers with powerful weapons. Good readers engage in mental processes before, during, and after they read in order to comprehend text”
- Select a show piece of text
- Foresee difficulty: notice where students are going to struggle and be prepared with comprehension strategies to implement
- Read the text out loud and stop often to share your thinking
- Point out words in the text that trigger your thinking
- “Students who were encouraged to think aloud about what was happening in their head as they read were better able to summarize information.
2. Marking Text: similar to coding the text. Can use highlighters and sticky notes
- Assign codes to thinking (be careful not to give too many codes at once)
- I= inference
- BK= background knowledge
- ?= questions
- model the process by showing your thinking outloud
- give students texts they can mark on
- use highlighters
- use yellow to highlight things they don’t understand or ideas that need clarification
- use pink highlighters for what they understand
3. Double Entry Diaries: divide page in half with questions and main ideas on one side, specific information on left
- Some thinking options:
- This reminds me...
- I wonder...
- I infer...
- This is important...
- I am confused because...
- I will help myself by ...
- The picture in my head looks like...
- I think this means...
4. Use comprehension constructors: readers need to use two or more thinking strategies. Like a worksheet, it helps guide students through challenging texts. Teachers need to be concerned about thinking processes rather than right answers.
With all the access tools that Tovani illustrates, she emphasizes the importance of modeling all the processes with your students. Also, make sure that the texts a teacher chooses to use start of easier and build with difficulty over time.
Tovani moves into chapter 4 discussing how to handle students who struggle with confusion while they are reading. She asks her students two important questions:
- How do you know when you are confused?
- What do you do when you are confused?
Students who struggle with confusion also struggle with feeling as though it is their teacher’s job to help them comprehend. This is not the case- it is the students’ job. Tovani points out that helping kids realize the real-world connections behind critical thinking and comprehension can serve them in all facets of their lives. Student who continue to make the same mistakes time and again with reading aren't growing as learners. Students need to realize when they are stuck and learn how to “help get themselves unstuck” by using their reading strategies.
So how do students know when they are stuck? Tovani offers these 6 signs:
- Voice inside the readers’ head isn’t interacting with the text.
- Camera inside the reader’s head shuts off-good readers get visual images.
- Reader’s mind begins to wander.
- Reader can’t remember what they have read. There is no retelling.
- Clarifying questions asked by the reader aren’t being answered.
- Reader re-encounters a character and can’t remember where they first read about him/her.
Tovani offers a highlighting tip to help stuck readers become unstuck, “I passed out a pink and yellow highlighter to each students, along with two pages of text...as they read, to highlight every word, either in pink or yellow. If they understood what they read well enough to help someone in the class who didn't understand it, they should highlight that portion in pink. If they read a portion that they didn't understand, they should highlight it in yellow”. This is a concrete way to help students take responsibility over their comprehension.
Tovani also explains that good readers have voice in their heads that talk to them about what they are reading:
- Reciting voice- sounds like reading- no meaning being drawn from the text
- Conversation voice- interacts with the material being read. This is where the reader is thinking about the text.
- Interacting voice: voice in the reader’s head that asks questions, makes connections, identifies confusion, agrees and disagrees with the text
- Distracting voice: voice that pulls the reader away from the text
How do we help our students listen to the right voices? We can use a comprehension constructor called Inner Voice that gives time for the student to record his thinking at the end of each page.