When I start the year, I put a strong emphasis on reading instruction. I literally teach reading throughout the entire day. I make sure to integrate reading comprehension strategies across the content areas. In math I teach students how to identify questions and necessary information. We learn the different prefixes used in math and how they can be used in other content areas. In science/social studies we learn how to read for information using nonfiction text features, summarize important information using the main idea, and outline non-fiction text. Most importantly I teach them that reading is an interactive sport. I teach them strategies that promote active thinking. I encourage them to ask questions while they read and to monitor their understanding. By doing this students develop critical thinking/problem skills as well as strengthen their metacognition skills. One strategy I use to promote active thinking is to have my students use a reading bookmark buddy while they read. This is great for having a designated task during independent reading, homework, and workshop/center time. I want to share you with you my variation of a bookmark buddy. You may want to create your own based on the needs of your students. And, you may want to change these bookmarks throughout the year. I have posted the bookmark buddy that I use at the start of the year. It changes a few times before the end of the school but I first focus on concrete skills that I want them to master. This bookmark buddy provides tasks for the student to complete before, while and after they read. Feel free to download this bookmark buddy and use it with your students or, get ideas for how you would like to design yours.
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