Reading

Introduce the Reading Voice & Thinking Voice

Posted on April 18, 2017

Introduce the Reading Voice & Thinking Voice

Posted on April 18, 2017

Introduce the Reading Voice & Thinking Voice

We’ve got to look for ways to make reading concrete and visible for our students. To accomplish this, we first need to introduce students to the idea that they have two voices in their heads—a “Reading Voice” and a “Thinking Voice.”

The Reading Voice serves just one purpose: to read the words on the page. The problem is, when you’re reading, if you only listen to your Reading Voice, when you get to the bottom of the page, this voice is not going to tell you what all those words meant.

That’s the job of the Thinking Voice, the voice of comprehension. This is the voice a lot of kids don’t know to even listen to—because it whispers. It’s a quiet voice. It works like this: you read a little bit, and then you have a thought; you read a little bit, and then you have a thought.

This idea of read a little and then have a thought is something that we need to model for our students.

How do you model it? Well you show them the Reading Voice in action. Read aloud so that they hear you read it. But then after reading a little bit, come back to your Thinking Voice and whisper.

Whisper different predictions. Come back, read a little bit more, and whisper different visualizations that you’re seeing. You read a little bit more, and it’s your Thinking Voice that does all of the inferencing. Kids need to see these two voices in action.

And when you’re done reading, kids need to know that the Reading Voice’s job is over. Now it’s time for the Thinking Voice to kick into high gear. This is the voice that allows you to summarize the text and determine the main idea of the passage.

Remember, readers are thinkers. And kids need to understand that if they’re not thinking, they’re not really reading.

Smekens Education Reading Voice & Thinking VoiceSmekens Education Reading Voice & Thinking VoiceSmekens Education Reading Voice & Thinking Voice headphones

Article originally posted September 18, 2014.

Comments

I have attended your workshops several times and our corporation had Kristi in to demonstrate and consult, but at the time I was teaching 4th grade. This year I am teaching 2nd grade for the first time and I would love to get information or videos on the best ways to implement instruction in the primary grades. Thank you!

Posted by Julie Blubaum on August 6, 2017 @ 9:24 pm