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Jerod Moore


Teaching Reading: Mini Lesson Format (Calkins, 2001)

Targeted Literacy Strategy or Skill: Monitoring comprehension
Grade level: 3rd
Objective: The reader will be able to monitor their own comprehension while reading through the use of
coded sticky notes if confused, or after finding the answers to questions they may have in the text.
Common Core State Standard/ PASS Standard: CCSS RL.3.1, Ask and answer questions to
demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Prior knowledge: (What students already know)
Readers know how to monitor their comprehension by listening to their inner conversation while reading,
and to construct meaning and understanding by connecting their thinking with the text.
Observations/Rationale: (Before Lesson) What did you notice in your students work that let you
know this lesson was necessary? (This will be an approximation this semester.)
I noticed that some readers show signs of confusion while reading certain books in class where the details
are not explicitly revealed within the text until later in the book. This caused some readers to be unable to
connect their thinking to the text, and construct meaning from the text.
Materials Needed
Lesson from (Name your source including page number): Strategies that work, p. 81
Mentor Text: Toys go out, by Emily Jenkins, chapter 1
Materials: Sticky notes, copies of chapter 1 from Toys go out, by Emily Jenkins
Student Groups (whole/small group/partners):
Readers will read the chapter individually, and then discuss their findings together in groups at their
tables, and then come together as a whole class to discuss their coded sticky notes and how they
monitored their understanding and new comprehension within this lesson.
Mini Lesson Format:
Connect (AKA~ Anticipatory Set, Engagement/Pre-reading):
Sometimes readers may become confused by their reading, and show confused or questioning looks that
show that they may not comprehend what they are reading. Last Monday we discussed how we as readers
can monitor our comprehension by listening to our inner conversation while reading. At times a reader
may overlook this idea and become distracted. Maybe readers are busy thinking about other things like
recess, or a new toy at home. So I am wanting to show you a way that you can monitor your own
comprehension while reading, and make a note of where you may be stuck in your reading, as well as
where you may find the answer youre looking for in the reading. By doing this you can see where you
were confused, and where you found clarification in the text in order to see your comprehension visually!
By doing this you will connect your thinking with the text, and monitor your understanding of the text as

Teach (Model/Explain)
Last Monday we talked about how its important to listen to our inner conversation as a way of monitoring
our comprehension while reading. We discussed how we can construct meaning and understanding by
connecting our thinking with the text by asking questions, like we did when we read Gleam and Glow by
Eve Bunting. But as readers, we will take this a step further and think about the times when we read a
book and found ourselves stopping in the middle of the reading to ask Huh? Maybe we didnt
understand all that was being said in the text due to distraction or confusion. But this is what happens
when we lose track of our inner conversation while reading, and we begin to lose our grip on reading
Active Engagement (AKA~ Check for Understanding: students try it out, teacher observes):
So now I am going to give you a copy of the first chapter of the book Toys go out, by Emily Jenkins, and a
sticky note. (Give handouts and sticky notes to readers.) I want you to read the chapter individually and
listen to your inner conversation. See if you come to a point in your reading where you stop and say
Huh? either due to confusion, or even if youre distracted. On your sticky note write out Huh? on the top
half of the note and post it in the part of the text where youre confused and need more clarification. But
keep reading and see if you can find the answer to your confusion! Once youve found the answer take
your sticky note and draw a light bulb on the bottom half of the note, or write the answer to your question,
and post it where you found the answer. By doing this type of coding technique youll be able to track
your understanding and monitor your inner conversation. After we are finished reading lets come
together as a group of readers and discuss what questions we came up with while reading, and find out
where and how we found the answers!
Link (AKA~ Closing the Lesson [with accountability for the skill/process])
Today we learned how to monitor our thinking while reading, and to stop and make a note of where we
encounter confusion in our reading. By making a note of our confusion and asking questions through our
inner conversation and searching for answers within the text, we are actively engaging with the reading
and staying focused. At times the author may not be explicit in what they say, and answers may be hidden
in later passages or chapters. But by being diligent and careful readers we can discover the answers to our
confusion and find new clarification by continuing our reading and making note of where we are stumped,
and then where we find the answers. As readers this is a fun activity to practice while reading, and it will
help us to stay on track, as well as monitor our own comprehension and inner conversation. I encourage
everyone to practice using this technique so that you can construct a better understanding of what you