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Responding to Reading: Responding to Questions *Freebie!

One question teachers frequently ask is, “How can I monitor my students’ understanding during a read aloud or shared reading?” Sometimes, it’s enough just to see what kinds of thoughts students are having as they read. Sometimes, though, I need to see a specific response to a purpose question. After playing with a few ideas, I tried out this reader’s notebook strategy for having students respond in a focused way to our read aloud or shared reading. The strategy is: question strips!

Before we read a section of text in class, I would read it myself and write a question or two that I thought might help students evaluate their thinking. I used question stems from our state assessment and other rigorous sources, in order to build students’ familiarity to the questions’ syntax.

I typed these questions up, and copied them until I had a series of them running down the page. I can usually fit 12 or so on one page. I printed them out (it often only took two sheets to get enough for each student in my class to have one) and then I cut them into strips.

After our shared reading or read aloud (in this case, Esperanza Rising was our shared reading, so everyone had a copy – great for citing evidence from the text), I handed out one question strip to each student. They took a glue stick and quickly zipped it across the page, and then stuck the strip on.


I modeled, modeled, modeled how to write a simple but complete response to the question. After modeling for oh, about forever, my students were able to write coherent and accurate responses to the questions. I wrote questions about characterization, inferences, and personal connections for students to respond to. It was great insight into my students’ understanding!

Check out these posts about other ways to use Reader’s Notebooks to respond to reading!
Monitoring comprehension
Writing book letters
Double-entry journals
Writing about characters
Responding to questions
And for more ideas, check out “Responding to Reading,” a freebie on TPT!

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