When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they use and solidify their understanding. Think-alouds, or self-explanations, require students to reflect on the details of text, the strategies needed to understand or write it, and the reasons behind those decisions. They can also be used as formative assessment to monitor students' understanding and address any misconceptions. Research cautions that this strategy is most effective when students are prompted with specific protocols or questions, and that prompts should be carefully aligned with target learning outcomes so students avoid reinforcing incorrect approaches or choices.
Watch how this teacher uses a think-aloud to review and model reading strategies, such as activating Background Knowledge and using Genre Knowledge to anticipate what the text will be about, as well as guide students in applying the strategies. While this teacher is working with older students, her model can be applied to students of any age.
Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.
Starting at 1:26, learn how digital portfolios like Seesaw allow students to take photos of their work and voice record their thinking.