I’ve noticed over the years that my students are great summarizers, but not so great at connecting with, talking about, and thinking through their reading. Their discussions are mostly limited to summaries and retellings. Focused lessons on thinking deeply about reading help push us to the next level.
When we’re ready to move to written responses in our reader’s notebook, I have my students underline their responses using colored pencils. We use red for statements that are just within the book and green for statements that are thoughts extending the book. The goal is to include just enough red statements to provide a basic understanding of the book.
Over time, my students have learned to be great thinkers and use more green than red in their responses. I love that! You can download our Reading is Thinking chart for FREE in my store, so click on over to get one for your classroom. =)