We began by creating an anchor chart together. (The students even wrote on the chart for this one!) In this lesson, we focused on what to do when we do not understand specific words and when we do not understand what is happening in the story. Students did not really have trouble identifying when they did not understand a word, but they had a hard time realizing where meaning broke down in the story/article. To help correct this, we practiced self-monitoring with several texts.
First, we read shorter articles and gradually moved to longer texts, finishing with a chapter book. With each article, the students read the article independently first. As they were reading, they filled out a self-monitoring graphic organizer. If you would like your own graphic organizer, click on the image below!
Then, we read through the article together and went over the words and parts of the story/article that the students struggled with. Together we problem-solved and figured out what the challenging word or part of the story meant. We recorded what fix-up strategy(ies) we used on our graphic organizer.
Identifying exactly at what point meaning breaks down is a challenging concept for my students. With repeated practice with a variety of texts, my students showed great improvement. Near the end, students were problem-solving some on their own. We will continue to work on this skill.
How do you teach your students to self-monitor when they are reading?