Teaching Reading: 3-Minute Pause & Think-Alouds

Instructor: Sharon Linde
The three minute pause and think-alouds are reading strategies that help students become better readers. This lesson outlines what they are, how they work and how to use these techniques in classrooms.

Understanding Reading

Betsy is a student teacher learning a lot about how a classroom really works. She knows that teachers have a big job to do when teaching students how to understand what they read or comprehend. Teachers use a variety of strategies to do this. Betsy's cooperating teacher uses think-alouds and the three-minute pause, which have become Betsy's favorite strategies.

Let's take a closer look at these two strategies and learn what they are and how they are used.


Betsy knows all about think-alouds, a strategy used by teachers to show students what is going on inside their heads as they read.

During a reading of Charlotte's Web, the teacher came to the part where Fern is asking her father to let her keep the runt pig for a pet. The teacher pauses and says, 'Hmmmm. I wonder why Fern wants a pig for a pet. Let me read on and see if I can figure this out.' She reads further and continues to think out loud, showing students that by noticing questions our brains ask during reading, we then become aware as readers.

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