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Teachers need to show beginning readers how to monitor their own reading. The reader needs to cross-check predictions to ensure that they make sense and fit with other information already processed. When children detect or suspect an error, they need to have strategies to fix it. For example, a beginning reader may notice that there is a mismatch between what they have read and what is in the picture or in the print. Noticing the problem is the first step; knowing what to do to fix it is the next. Readers cross-check by drawing on their prior knowledge and on the syntactic, semantic, and visual and grapho-phonic information in the text. Cross-checking often involves turning a partially correct response into a correct one.
For beginning readers, cross-checking usually involves checking that their prediction of an individual word fits and makes sense. Their checking and confirming often take time and are quite deliberate.
For fluent readers, cross-checking usually involves further searching for information to confirm their initial understanding. In skilled reading, predictions are usually checked swiftly and automatically.
As readers progress, they learn that cross-checking, confirming, and self-correcting are among the habits of a good reader and take responsibility for using these strategies. Cross-checking, confirming, and self-correcting may involve the learner in doing some or all of the following.
This example features The Hole in the King’s Sock by Dot Meharry, illustrated by Philip Webb, Ready to Read series, Learning Media, 2001.