Effective Reading

Meghan Will. Section C. 09/10/92.

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Modeling, modeling, modeling...that is the ket concept in teaching effective reading strategies. In this article, Effective Reading and Writing Instruction: A Focus on Modeling, the authors put a strong emphasis on the importance of modeling effective reading and writing strategies to students in order for them to be successful. In order to model successfully, teachers need to use the think-aloud method. To do this, the teacher says everything they would think or ask themselves in their head while reading a text. By doing this, the students are directly told what a good cognitive thought process is while reading. This article goes on to say that modeling includes three key aspects, which are be specific, be explicit and be flexible.

Be Specific

  • The teacher needs to state when the strategy should be used and what type of text it is most effective for.
  • The teacher needs to state the WHY of the strategy and its purpose.
  • Think-Aloud is done at this step

Be Explicit

  • The teacher needs to model exactly what the students should be thinking silently, aloud to the class.
  • The teacher needs to give the students an example of exactly what the strategy looks like and the thought process.
  • Direct teaching
  • The teacher starts the students off with writing their thought on paper to practice what will come naturally while they read.
  • By having the students write their thoughts on paper while using the strategy, the teacher can see if their thought process is correct or they need more modeling.

Be Flexible

  • The teacher needs to model how to continually change thoughts, comments or opinions about a text while delving further into. For example, at first a reader may think a certain way about a story character, but after reading more, details may prove those thoughts to be inaccurate.
  • The teacher needs to state when the reading strategy would not be effective.
  • The teacher also needs to MODEL by using think-aloud the though process of deciding why, summarization for example, would not be an effective reading strategy for a particular text.


This article made me realize how important direct instruction is for teaching certain concepts. I like that teaching effective reading was broken down into the three stages, be specific, be explicit and be flexible. I agree that students need to be shown, through modeling, what a strategy for reading or writing looks like, in order for them to know how they should be thinking while doing the strategy. This article will change my teaching, by making me aware that I need to model what I expect my students to do or know all the time. The "Be Explicit" stage can be implemented into any area of teaching. Teachers need to give examples and show what their expectations are. I believe students will appreciate the think-aloud method because they are specifically told/shown what they should be thinking while reading or writing to improve their skills. Modeling is extremely important at all grade levels!


  1. How would you use modeling for students who English isn't their first language and have trouble following along with the class?
  2. What other subjects can the think-aloud method be used in other than reading and writing?
  3. How would you model to your future class? Large group? Small groups? And do you think one way would be more effective?


Regan, K., & Berkeley, S. (2011). Effective Reading and Writing Instruction: A Focus on Modeling. Intervention in School and Clinic, 276-282.