Teaching Students to Read Metacognitively

Metacognitive reading tactics are all about taking control of your reading and keeping track of your understanding as you read. Students, who use metacognition when reading frequently question themselves, “Do I comprehend what I just read?” or “What is the major idea here?” It necessitates persistent focus and a critical perspective.

Sometimes a student’s mistake alters the meaning of the text, and sometimes it does not. However, it is true that the fewer errors a youngster makes, the higher his or her comprehension.

When students actively assess their learning, they catch themselves when they make a mistake and use a technique to get back on track. Monitoring comprehension is an important ability for children who are still learning to decode as well as those who have mastered decoding but are not yet actively generating meaning from what they are reading.

Of course, the whole goal of reading is to understand what you’re reading. When skilled readers read, they make sense of what they’re reading, gain new knowledge, create connections with characters, and appreciate the author’s skill. However, when students go from cracking the sound-symbol code to active meaning producers, they do not always assess their comprehension of the text as they read or detect when they make mistakes.

There are various types of reading faults that pupils commonly make. They may misplace words, substitute words as they read (this is more common with smaller sight words—reading the as a), make phonetic mistakes, or altogether miss words. They may also make errors linked to fluency, such as failing to pay attention to punctuation, which can lead to misunderstanding regarding whose character is speaking.

Teaching Monitoring With Metacognition

We talk about the voice in our heads that communicates back to us when we ponder and dream when I explain the idea of metacognition to young children. We discuss how this voice responds to the tale as we read it. Thoughts pop into our heads when we read, and it’s crucial to pay attention to them. We discuss how our thoughts feel wonderful when we’re reading and understanding a narrative. When we don’t comprehend a tale, our thoughts experience a whole other sensation.

Students that employ metacognition ponder their thoughts while reading. This capacity to think about their thinking is crucial for monitoring understanding and repairing it when it fails.

Monitoring Mini-Lesson

I conduct a mini-lesson that has helped my third-grade pupils comprehend what it’s like to assess their knowledge. I use Valerie Worth’s poem “Safety Pin,” which depicts this familiar thing without identifying it by comparing it to a fish and a shrimp—and I don’t tell the pupils the title until later. (The poem “I like to see it lap the Miles” by Emily Dickinson can be utilized with middle and high school students.) “What do you think this is about?” I ask after we finish reading the poem. What lines in the poem cause you to believe that? “As you read that, what do you picture?” Students frequently remark it’s about a fish or other aquatic animal, and I attempt to guide them away from that interpretation by pointing out sections in the poem that contradict that picture.

After I’ve gathered their thoughts, I go a bit deeper into my inquiries, and we talk about how they felt when they first heard the poetry. The majority of them express dissatisfaction with their inability to completely comprehend poetry. I explain to them that when we read and make mistakes, or when we read something too tough for us to completely comprehend, our minds just don’t feel good.

The poem’s title is then revealed, safety pins are distributed, and we reread the poem together. Many kids found the disclosure to be amusing. We talk about how our minds feel after understanding the poem’s content. I highlight the need of paying attention to how our brains feel as readers to ensure that we genuinely grasp what we’re reading.

Recording It

Following this mini-lesson, I show my pupils an anchor chart I created based on concepts from Kathy Collins’ book Growing Readers. Students should ask themselves the following questions as they read: Does it seem and sound correct? Is it possible for me to imagine the story? Is it okay if I repeat the tale? Is my mind in a good place?

If the response to any of these questions is no, the bottom of the chart details what students may do: Slow down, read it again, hear it out, and continue reading.

With their reading books and a stack of sticky notes, I have students practice monitoring. If anything doesn’t make sense after they’ve tried re-reading it, they scribble a remark on a sticky note and discuss it with their partners or me later. I’ve discovered that by talking with students about their solo reading and providing them with assistance and criticism during small group sessions, I can help them improve their monitoring abilities. For some kids, monitoring understanding is a difficult task that takes a lot of effort and instructor modeling. However, the work is worthwhile.

About the article

Metacognitive reading tactics are all about taking control of your reading and keeping track of your understanding as you read. Students, who use metacognition when reading frequently question themselves, “Do I comprehend what I just read?” or “What is the major idea here?” It necessitates persistent focus and a critical perspective. In this article, we discussed the ways and benefits of teaching students to read metacognitively.

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