Good readers are active readers...They monitor their thinking while they read, and comprehension levels are much higher. You can teach better reading comprehension skills by using Post-it notes!
As an adult, you probably monitor your thinking while reading automatically, without even realizing it! When students read, they should be questioning, wondering, and really thinking about what is happening in the story, not just reading words. There are always those students who can read very fluently, but cannot remember what they read about. This activity is especially helpful for those students, but will benefit the entire class by improving comprehension.
This activity is an excellent one to teach at the beginning of the school year, and is something you can require students to use throughout the year. It works very well for students in Kindergarten through 8th grades. Add Post-it Notes to students' supply lists so that you can have an adequate amount for the year. They can get expensive, but there are other brands that are cheaper.
Introduce the activity by constructing an Anchor Chart during a whole group lesson. Do this by constructing a chart that uses the following symbols:
- ! Surprising Part
- LOL Funny Part
- * Important Part
- heart for a Favorite Part
- ? I Have a Question
- Thought Cloud for I Wonder... or This Makes Me Predict...
After modeling how to use the sticky notes, allow students to select a book and a partner, and practice by using one of each type of thinking note. Be sure to model by doing "think-alouds" during whole group several times before expecting younger students to use them the right way. You can also allow students to pick one sticky note to share with the class and have a whole group share time.
Students can use this activity throughout the year. It makes a great center activity, and can also be used during silent reading times. It lets you know that your students really are reading, and that they are reading actively and monitoring their thinking. Enjoy, and watch as your students' reading levels soar!