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Ideas to Get Students Thinking About Their Thinking

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Oct. 11, 2019, 11:08 a.m.

By Randi Anderson


As an educator, one of our universal goals is to teach our students to have metacognitive strategies. Here are some ideas to get kids thinking about their thinking.


Interactive Read Alouds

Interactive read alouds are a great opportunity to read and think through a text orally for your students to see. It's important to note that thinking aloud provides a great model for what is going on in a proficient reader's brain while they are reading. Be sure to only stop every few pages of a book to think aloud. Stopping on every page of a book can interfere with student's being able to comprehend the meaning if the stopping is too frequent. Also, read aloud books that you love as often as you can. Students see that and your passion is contagious!


RAN Chart

RAN stands for Read and Analyze Nonfiction. A RAN chart can be used for students to show what they think they know before reading. Then, student will generate questions (wonderings) about what they want to know more about and then confirm their predictors or clarify their misconceptions about their thinking. The RAN chart also asks students to record their new learning, too. This is a great tool for students to see their thinking and the progression of thinking that goes into learning something new. Start by talking through each piece of the RAN chart, then have students record their thinking in each section. Download a RAN Chart.


Reader's Theater

Research shows us that doing reader's theater for just 10 minutes everyday for 6 weeks improves students fluency and comprehension by having a 1 year gain size. Have students do reader's theater daily as a warm up or center and see how their understanding of texts deepens. Do you love the Texas Bluebonnet Award Books? You can now download Bluebonnet books as Readers Theater Scripts for free!




Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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