I have been busily introducing and modeling various reading strategies and before I begin another I like to to double check with the class on strategies they are currently using. I allow students to share which strategies they have been practicing, using, and which they might want to practice in the future.
I always ask them to explain to me the why and the what. What is the strategy and why are they using it. I also want them to reflect quickly on how often they are using it, when did they use it last, and how did it go when they tried. This really gets them talking. Most of my class wants some time to share and "brag." This is a great thing to share and get some attention for. I love giving whole class recognition for reading strategies.
To show the new strategy I need to model how I would use it while I read. This "think aloud: is to show how I would use crosschecking if I were stuck on a word. I start by writing the word crosschecking on the board. I ask them to try to guess what crosschecking might be.
I then explain that it is actually three quick steps, similar to dancing. In order to get a dance right you have to know the steps that go with a certain type of music. Crosschecking has steps that we use to figure out certain words while reading. Instead of saying step one, two, and three, I introduce it as three questions. They are: Does it look right? Does it sound right? Does it make sense?
These three questions have a rhythm to it, and like the dance steps, we can use these questions for words. I then waltz like around the front of the room asking the three questions. They love this and I get all of their attention. Then to help me keep dancing the students now need to ask the questions. Once they have chanted the questions about three times, I am ready to model the strategy.
I choose a sentence to write on the board, I like to write one with the word correspondence in it. This word seems to be large enough to get big eyes from the class and takes a bit for your better readers to figure out. This way I have some time to model the strategy and have them pay attention to how I am going to get this word right.
Here is the sentence I wrote: "My grandmother chooses to write letters as her favorite correspondence, over writing emails. " I model how I get stuck on the word and how I am going to try to chunk it into pieces to figure it out. Once I have a good guess, I show how I check it by asking the three questions. If I can answer yes to all three I am ready to read on.
Now it's the class' turn to try it. I ask them to use their "just right" book to practice with. I tell them that I will walk around to each of them and that when I get there to show me with their finger where they are. Then I will choose a word for them to show me crosschecking on. It is important to tell them that even if they know the word, I want them to pretend they don't and show me how to crosscheck.
I do not pair them up, but have them begin to read silently and I walk around to meet with each student to help them practice. As they practice I give quick feedback or model the strategy again for those that need it. I carry a sticky note with me and if there seems to be a student who might need more guided practice, I add their name to the sticky note. I will meet with them in a small group or one on one to practice the strategy some more.