In February, I saw Debbie Miller and Lucy Calkins and they discussed the importance of going deeper in reading. It isn't just teaching reading strategy. It is about applying the strategy and using it on the age appropriate level or standard of the classroom. My students have loved theAmong the Hiddenseries. We've read the first two books and I knew that I wanted to really teach going deeper in reading responses the last 5 weeks of school. So I decided to use the third book in the series. We began the book last week and I had the kids write a response with no extra instruction. Then today I used their responses to show exemplary work at what making good connections should look like and sound like, what a good question should look like, and what an meaningful inference looks like and sounds like. Then we read three more chapters of the book and wrote responses again. During their silent reading time I graded their responses. The difference was AMAZING!! As I was reading them I began to star the pieces that were exemplary and we had a sharing circle. As they shared our question to the circle was, "Explain how this response is well thought out." The answer: It makes me think more about the text!
We really truly have thinkers in our classrooms, however, it is up to us to raise the standard and expectation.