The Select Two And Reflect Strategy

Select Two and Reflect (STAR) is another classroom favorite for this schoolmarm. I first read about it in Strategies for Content Area Learning by Jerry L. Johns and Robert L. Berglund. I immediately gave it a try with my kids and was impressed with the results. Now, it is something I use quite often because both the kids and I love it! 

Why I love it!
  • Requires students to analyze which words are important
  • Helps students make personal connections to the words and text
  • Increases comprehension
  • Encourages diverse thinking (there is no "right" answer!)

How I use this strategy for content-area reading: 
  1. During guided instruction after reading a given text, ask students to identify two interesting and/or important words. Do not apply any criteria to selecting those words. As long as they are able to explain it, it is correct!
  2. Ask for volunteers to share the words they selected and why they selected them. Use this opportunity to discuss that some words were selected because they were important to understanding the text, some words were selected because they sounded interesting, and some words were selected because the students made a personal connection to the words. 
  3. Model how to complete the STAR response sheet by selecting two words and writing a few sentences to explain how they are connected to one another and the text. 
  4. Let students complete the STAR response sheet on their own. Be sure to give them adequate time to make connections between the two words and the text. 
  5. If time allows, have students work in partners or small groups to compare and contrast the words they each chose and why they chose them.

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