Over the last few weeks I have been teaching my class how "good readers" are constantly interacting with the text. Whenever I read-aloud a story to the class, I display it on the SMART Board and have students sit on the floor with their writing notebook. Then they create a Double Entry Journal in which they record what they are thinking about while reading. I have thinking clouds that I use when I am reading aloud to illustrate the thoughts that I have as a reader. Since young students do not automatically have metacognition, I explicitly teach it.
When my students first used a DEJ, I had students record what the different thinking clouds I used said on the top of their Double Entry Journal. Then I asked students to try and pay attention to which of these thinking clouds they use on their own while reading. I decided to create a sheet that students could use when they are reading that already has some of the thinking clouds on it. This sheet is perfect to send home so parents know what types of things the reader should be paying attention to when reading.
At first students connections did not really add meaning to the text, but after using a DEJ multiple times their connections became more meaningful. Students also begin to pay closer attention to the questions they have while reading. This is important because they are interacting on a deeper level. If you would like a free copy of the DEJ forms I use in my classroom click on the picture below.