This month, I am going to explore the topic of self-monitoring. I recently started tutoring a beginning reader. You can follow Collin's progress on the Pioneer Valley Books' news page
When I first started working with Collin, he was quick to invent text. Now, he is starting to notice when something is not quite right. I know I need to encourage this tentative behavior. At the recent National Reading Recovery Conference I had the opportunity to hear Georgia State University RR trainer, Sue Duncan, present on the topic: You Could Be Right, You Could Be Wrong, But You Have Got to Know for Yourself! This long title says a lot and speaks to the heart of self-monitoring.
As teachers we often jump to helping children to correct, but if the student doesn't know that they have made a mistake, they will not try to self-correct! It is important early on to reinforce when a student notices an error and be less concerned with a child's ability to correct the error. Duncan suggests watching the students for these indications of self monitoring:
Duncan suggests we ask ourselves these questions:
Keep up the good work you are doing. Keep thinking: How can I make reading easy for my students to learn?
Asking yourself these questions as you work with a beginning reader can be very helpful.
Michèle Dufresne is author of many Pioneer Valley Books early readers (including the Bella and Rosie series), Word Solvers (Heinemann), and an early literacy and literacy intervention consultant.
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