If you missed yesterday's post, I am sharing a chapter at a time of Tanny McGregor's book, Comprehension Connections.
Chapter two is on a word I love- Metacognition. I love it because it means “thinking about thinking”. It’s a pretty cool concept, no matter what you’re thinking about. Our students need to know that this is a thing. They need to be aware and have a name for it. Don’t shy away from using this term either, students love using multisyllabic words correctly. I taught my first graders schema and stamina and they used them at every opportunity!
Each chapter/reading skill lesson starts with a Launch. The launch here is defining the term metacognition and talking about what it could mean as a reader.
The second step is introducing a Concrete experience. The concrete in this chapter is The Reading Salad. McGregor begins with a narrative of how she did this activity with a group of students. She demonstrated how she can sound like a good reader, but admitted that she was fake reading, because she was not thinking about the text as she read. After a discussion on real verses fake reading, she introduces bowls labeled text, thinking, and real reading salad. The discussion continues with a conversation on how a tossed salad is a mixture of lettuce and tomatoes, real reading is a mixture of text and thinking. The text bowl holds red cards labeled text and the thinking bowl hold green cards labeled thinking. McGregor then conducts a think aloud using a different passage. Students drop in red and green cards as she alternates reading and thinking aloud. These students will always be able to connect a salad with thinking about their reading! I LOVE THIS!
I created a set of text and thinking cards, but I swapped the colors. While I was researching metacognition (on Pinterest, of course), I found an anchor chart created by First Year Teaching Tales where she linked thinking to the tomatoes, because we have juicy thoughts. This stuck with me and I couldn’t think of a reason why they couldn’t be swapped, so I did.
This is my friend Tonia and I at a state training where we shared this idea.
You can download the resource, which includes a brief explanation, by clicking the picture below.
The Sensory activity is a graphic organizer of metacognition, specifically thinking about reading. A 2’ wide thought bubble with a hole in the middle for your student’s head is also an idea presented in the book. I love that idea too!
We are now ready to move to the Wordless Picture Book portion of the lesson. Wordless books DEMAND thinking about thinking, because there are no words to get in the way! The Red Book by Barbara Lehman (2004) is suggested, but I am unfamiliar with this book. Do you know it? It’s on my to-order-list.
Sentence stems are great to use at this point. You can download a ton for free on Teacher’s Pay Teachers, just look for some you like!
The last step in the sequence is Time for Text and McGregor refers to several professional resources for lesson ideas.
Some of my favorite quotes from this chapter are:
A library is thought in cold storage. –Herbert Samuel, politician
A moment’s thinking is an hour in words. –Thomas Hood, poet
Here is a look at some of the other pages in my free download above.
I would love to hear your thoughts on metacognition and teaching real vs. fake reading!