I’m guessing that those two are planning a surprise. . . . The author keeps mentioning the storm because she wants us to think that the character’s upset. . . . Wait—yikes, I gotta go back and reread because I’m not getting this part. . . .
These are the flickering thoughts of a strategic reader. If only we could bottle all these mental moves and pour them into the minds of our students, then readers’ achievement would grow exponentially. In Think Big With Think Alouds, Molly Ness delivers a process that comes close to bottling that magic.
Molly spent a year researching teachers’ think alouds, and she uses these findings to help you know just what to do. The big time-saver? You focus on just these five strategies: asking questions, making inferences, synthesizing, understanding the author’s purpose, and monitoring and clarifying. Select the one or two strategies that align to your text, and get ready with a stack of sticky notes! Grab a pencil, and you are on your way to dynamic lessons using Molly’s three-step planning process:
Read Once: Go wild, putting a flurry of sticky notes on spots that strike you
Read Twice: Whittle your notes down to the juiciest stopping points
Read Three Times: Jot down what you will say so there’s no need to wing it in front of the kids
Other practical tools include
- More than 20 ready-made think aloud scripts for favorite texts by Sandra Cisneros, Seymour Simon, Shel Silverstein, and many others, to use for think alouds for fiction, informational text, and poetry.
- Fun small group and partner activities to gradually transfer comprehension strategies to your students.
- Downloads on the companion website, including spinner and dice templates, planning forms, and think aloud scripts
Molly Ness is an associate professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University and earned her PhD in reading education from the University of Virginia. A former Teach For America corps member, she is an experienced classroom teacher and reading clinician. Her numerous books and articles focus on reading comprehension, the instructional decisions of teachers, and the assessment and diagnosis of struggling readers. Contact Molly Ness at http://www.drmollyness.com.