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As we've talked about, good readers are doing a LOT of thinking when they are reading! BUT, now it's time to focus on your thoughts that are about something important. You have a help sheet in your reading binder that helps you figure out if something is important.
You might have a great idea. For example, when you read about Captain Orlov arriving on the island, you might have thought that he was a jerk. You were so right! However, if you just wrote "Captain Orlov is a jerk!" you started with a great idea. But, you have to write more to really show your deep thinking. Instead, add more like this:
The author doesn't always come right out and explain everything to the reader. So we learn how to use clues to figure something out. You might actually have an "aha" moment!
As you read, are you feeling something? Like you want to jump in and warn the character not to do something? Are you overwhelmed with worry? Do you rejoice when something good happens? These are important things to write about. However, don't just say your feeling. You need to say why it matters.
We've talked about how readers have lots of questions when they read. It's okay to write a question on a post-it. BUT it needs to be about something important. Also, you MUST answer it in a meaningful way.
When you read a fictional book, do you imagine what is happening in your head? Good readers almost feel like they are watching a movie. They can imagine what the characters look like and basically "see" the action that is happening.
We all have experienced a lot in our real life. For example, you might have played basketball, gone to a birthday party, or felt sad if a good friend moved far away. These experiences are call schema.
All of your real life experiences actually help you understand what the characters in the book are feeling. For example, if the book character is feeling lonely, you can understand because you might have felt lonely before too. Or if the book character is worried about playing in a basketball tournament, you can understand if you also had a similar experience.
All of our schema helps us to really relate to what the book character is going through. It helps the action feel more real.
So...if you are visualizing and using your schema to understand what characters are feeling, you actually can get so absorbed into a book that you feel like you "jump into the book."
You can tell that this is happening if, when you read, you almost forget the real world. Maybe your mom calls you to dinner and you don't even hear her voice! LOL!
The bottom line is, you start to feel like the characters in the book are REAL people! That means you react to what is happening to them like they are friends or people you care about.
You can tell this is happening when you feel excited when they are excited. You feel relieved when they escape danger. You gasp when something terrible happens. You cry when they experience something sad like if their pet died.
What does infer mean? It means you use clues to figure out something. Authors don't always tell you everything.
For example, the author might write:
Suzie Q skipped down the stairs, jumping the last two. She scurried into the kitchen and grabbed her lunch and gave her mom a hug. Then she raced out the door, heading to school for her first day of fourth grade.
You probably figured out:
Suzie Q is excited that the first day of school has arrived. She is probably feeling confident.
The author COULD have just said she felt excited and confident about the first day of school. But, that is the boring way to do it.
Good readers can use the clues to figure it all out without the author telling you everything.
As you read, do you ever make guesses about what might happen next? That's called making a prediction.
Sometimes a chapter will leave you in suspense. Right? And usually in that moment you are already predicting what is going to happen.
For example, the character turns the corner heading to his house. Then he suddenly hears a siren getting louder and louder! Then the chapter ends!
A good reader tends to make some predictions. Maybe a car accident happened! Maybe his mom is in danger! Oh no!
As you read, do you ever find yourself asking questions?
You might be asking yourself why that character did what she did. You might be asking yourself if the new kid at school will be nice or not. You might ask yourself why did the character trust someone.
Basically your mind is bubbling with questions the whole time you're reading.
I know this sounds weird. Metacognition might be a word you have never even heard about. It basically means to be aware of what you are thinking. So, the bottom line is that good readers are thinking about their thinking! Does that make sense?
For example, while you read, you realize something isn't making sense. Or while you read, you notice how you are reacting to what is happening. Or while you read, you understand that you were inferring to figure out what the character was feeling. Or while you read, you realize that you are forming a strong opinion about what the character decided to do.
Think of your favorite book. There are probably lots of reasons why you love it. Maybe it's funny. Maybe you really relate to the characters. Maybe the author is really good at building suspense.
All of that is awesome. BUT, there is a big difference between thinking something is funny or interesting and realizing that something super important just happened in the story.
For example, a character might be having fun at a birthday party and someone throws a water balloon at his head. That is hilarious! You might have even experienced that yourself! But, that doesn't mean it is important.
Ask yourself, "If that scene got left out of the book, does it change the plot?" Or another way to think about it if that scene disappeared does it actually crash the story?
So, in our example, what if during the birthday party the character's best friend broke up with him. Now THAT could end up changing the story completely. So that counts as something important.
When you read, you will write some notes about your thinking.
You will write these on a Reading Log.
DON'T WORRY: you will mostly be doing a lot of thinking and you WON'T need to do a lot of writing! Whew!
The log has a box for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
When you read, you will write some notes about your thinking.
You will try to notice when you are doing what good readers do.
Aware of Your Thinking (Metacognition)
Feeling Like You Jumped into the Story
Figuring Out What is Important
You don't have to think about all of those areas every day when you read.
Just focus on one or two areas each day.
Then, write a quick #label.
Then, decide which area you were focusing on.
Then, write a short sentence to explain your thinking.
You will show this log to the teacher every Friday.
We will meet and talk about what you read and what you wrote.
Also, YOU MUST GET A PARENT SIGNATURE ON YOUR READING LOG
ON THURSDAY NIGHT!
The best way to figure out how to do this is to look at an example.
Check out the example posted below.
As you read, you will do lots of thinking. But, it is easy to read a whole chapter and then not remember all those amazing thoughts and feelings you had!
So...we will be learning how to "capture" those thoughts and write them on a post-it.
This does not mean you have to write a LOT. After all, a post-it is small.
In class I will be modeling how to write a good post-it. And, how to NOT to write one. LOL!
More information to follow. Stay tuned...