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Quick Fact Sheet: Teacher Think Aloud Strategy

What is the teacher think aloud strategy? The think out loud strategy is a teacher modeling what he/she is thinking and verbalizing his/her thoughts out loud to students. It is a strategy for a teacher to demonstrate practical ways of approaching difficult problems while focusing on the complex thinking processes that underlie reading comprehension, mathematical problem solving, and other cognitively demanding tasks. Why is it important for a teacher to use the think aloud strategy? Verbalizing inner speech (silent dialogue) models how expert thinkers think their way through a problem. As a teacher orally reflects on his/her learning process, he/she shows" students the problems learners face and how learners solve them, making his/her thinking transparent and visible. Students hear teachers thinking processes, and as they begin to think aloud with teachers and with one another, they gradually internalize the dialogue; it becomes their inner speech, the means by which they direct their own behaviors and problem-solving processes (Tinzmann et
al. 1990).

As students begin to think out loud they learn how to learn.

What are some ways a teacher can use the think aloud strategy? Reading: Think alouds are used to model comprehension processes such as making predictions, creating images, linking information in text with prior knowledge, monitoring comprehension, and overcoming problems with word recognition or comprehension (Gunning, 1996). When reading aloud a teacher can stop from time to time and orally complete the following sentence starters by thinking aloud: So far Ive learned. . . . This made me think of . . . . That didnt make sense, maybe I should . . . Mathematics: The teacher when beginning a lesson may say, The strategy I am going to use today is estimation .. . we use estimation to . . .it is useful because . . .. .when we estimate we . .. Im going to think aloud as I estimate the number of girls who attend our school, I want you to listen and write down my ideas and actions

Writing: Thinking aloud can be used to model all phase of the writing process. During the pre-writing process a teacher can think aloud to model the strategies writers use to get the process started by brainstorming ideas During the drafting process, a teacher can think aloud to model how to create sloppy copies During the revision process, a teacher can think aloud to model how to ask questions and think about readers needs During the editing process, a teacher can think aloud to model how to use conventions to help readers understand the message

Sources: Gunning, 1996, Creating Reading Instruction for All Children Tinzmann et al, 1990 Think Aloud Strategy Teaching Method for Reading for Grades K-12