When good readers read, their thinking grows as they progress through the text.  They might initially think one thing as they begin reading and their initial thoughts are sometimes challenged or added to later in the text.  Debbie Miller likens it to throwing a rock into a pond: “first there’s the splash, and then the water ripples out, making little waves that get bigger and bigger…as you read, your thinking evolves and the meaning gets bigger and bigger…” (Reading With Meaning, pg. 159)

The way that good readers predict works much this way.  A child may predict something based off the title or the picture on the front cover, but as the story unfolds, her prediciton is revealed to be off-base.  If she’s a good reader, she will recognize this and change her prediction to one that makes more sense with the new information she has read.  If she tries to hold on to her original prediction, even when faced with new information, the text will probably become difficult for her to comprehend.

I think what little Cory says in D. Miller’s book wraps up synthesizing rather well.  “Synthesizing is like putting a puzzle together.  You have to sort out your thinking and put it in the right place.” (pg. 168)


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