Teaching Students to Self-Reflect

 How well do your students self-reflect and monitor their understanding of a text? After inquiring into my practice and my learners reading habits, I noted that many of them were not noticing when they stopped understanding something. We had a lot of discussion and discovered that we might lose focus of a text for a number of reasons, sometimes our eyes are walking over the words, but our minds are dreaming of something else. 

After consulting research literature, my class data, analysing my own practice and conversing with other teachers on this matter, I designed an intervention. In its current iteration, we are reading a short chunk of text (about a paragraph) and rating our understanding on a 5 point scale. We co-constructed this 5 point scale together and use it often to ensure the students clearly understand each level clearly.

We then discuss any causes for confusion and the strategies that might support this. We apply these and re-read to get a better handle of what we are reading. We then complete a more traditional guided reading lesson (where there is a specificfocus on a skill or strategy) or a reciprocal reading lesson. I am purposely selecting texts with elements that my students have found challenging in the past.

Check out what one of these lessons looks like above.

However, one current limitation that I have is my classroom setting. As we are at level 2.5, all of my desks are 1m apart in rows, with little other space in the room. I can just about fit a group sitting in a line at the front (as seen in the video), but more commonly I am facilitating discussion from up the front as my students are in a row with their group. This isn't great for discussion (we can't see the people sitting behind us) but we are still attempting short guided reading lessons.

Ideally, I would like to do a monitoring reading lesson once a week, with seperate reciprocal or guided reading lessons. This is my plan for level 1 or next term, when I am able to gather my groups more easily and spend more time with each group.

I also note that other elements of my practice have changed, I am including a lot more discussion about grammar and text conventions. I need to bear these changes in mind when I examine my data, so I have been noting these in my lesson reflections.


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