Summer Book Study: Goal 13

*This post contains affiliate links.

It's hard to believe that we're done with our book study!  I hope you have enjoyed reading and discussing The Reading Strategies Book this summer and that you've picked up a new idea or two!

Last summer, I also wrote up some thoughts on Goal 13 and I'm going to re-share many of the same thoughts today.  I also have a few freebies over on Dropbox that work with the strategies!

"Teaching children to write well about their reading is about teaching them that their thinking about books matters.  It matters enough to take the time to write it down." 
- Jennifer Serravallo, The Reading Strategies Book

Serravallo points out that many of the strategies she discusses are aimed at upper elementary-aged readers and beyond.  It's more important for younger readers (especially in kindergarten and first grade) to read often and practice "print work, fluency, and comprehension" (pg. 351).

Strategy 13.1 - Sketch a Memory

This strategy would be perfect for the beginning of the year!  With this strategy, students are asked to recall a positive reading memory.  Then, they will draw a sketch showing details of the memory and tell what made the experience so positive.  Finally, they will write a plan for how they can have more positive reading memories.

I love this strategy because it helps students think about reading in a new way.  We think about what we read and we do comprehension activities, but how often to we think about how reading makes us feel, or replay a positive reading memory in our minds?  I love this strategy so much!

You could have students complete this strategy in a notebook or just on a piece of paper.  I also created a free and simple template for using this strategy.  I also included a half-sheet template for conferencing.  If you use this strategy, you'll want to take time to meet with each of your students so they can share their positive memory and so you can help them make their plan.  Click here to download the template!

Strategy 13.2 - Quick Stops Using Symbols

I love this strategy for so many reasons, and it uses sticky notes, which we all love!  With this strategy, readers make quick stops while reading and jot down a symbol to represent their thinking.  For example, if a student thinks a certain part is funny, they write "LOL" on a sticky note and then continue reading.

When introducing this strategy, you could focus on one symbol at a time.  You could also prepare the sticky notes with symbols ahead of time for students to use.

It's important to make sure you and your readers revisit their quick stops after reading.  Serravallo includes some great prompts you can use with your students while they read and while you are revisiting their stops.  

I made a free bookmark that can help your students remember which symbols they might want to use when they make a quick stop.  Click here to download it!

Strategy 13.6 - What Can I Do With a Sticky Note?

Here's another great strategy that uses sticky notes!  Sticky notes can be used as a tool to help us think as we read, like with the quick stops strategy.  They can help us remember what we've read, and they can help us write about what we've read after we are finished reading.  

Serravallo points out that this strategy is great for readers who are overusing sticky notes, or for a reader who is struggling to begin using sticky notes.  This strategy helps readers understand their purpose for writing on a sticky note.

To teach this strategy, you can teach a lesson about things you can do with a sticky note.  Serravallo includes a great visual on page 361 that you could use to make an anchor chart or provide as another visual tool.  For example, we can use sticky notes to write what we're thinking about as we read, or write about something we would like to talk about.  We can also draw quick pictures on sticky notes.  

This strategy goes hand-in-hand with the next strategy in the book, which is for helping students decide which of their sticky notes are worth keeping.  

I love the way you can empower your students with these strategies!  Children can really take reading into their own hands.  When readers learn the purpose for incorporating writing into the reading process, they learn that their thoughts and opinions on what they read really matter.  

I've only scratched the surface on strategies for teaching our students how to write about their reading!  I highly encourage you to read Jennifer's book for yourself and see how it can truly strengthen your reading instruction!  

I hope you've enjoyed reading about this strategy and all of the other reading strategies in this book! Be sure to check out the other bloggers who linked up with Teaching Little Miracles!  You can find the links below.


  1. Thanks so much, Katie, for allowing me to be a part of this book study with you this summer. I do feel that I have gained some good knowledge for helping my 3rd graders become better readers through reading yours and others' blogs. I'm planning to use 13.1 and 13.11 this week with my new students in setting up a positive reading year. God bless you!

  2. Hi Katie! I'm so sorry that I am getting around to reading your post late. Back-to-school happened in a big, crazy way around here. Ha! I love your thoughts about how sketching a reading memory would help kids think about reading in a new way. I hadn't really considered that, but you are right! Also, thank you for the great freebies!

    I'm so glad you linked up this summer. Thanks for participating!



Back to Top