Anyway, one day I drove to Starbucks with my daughter, and I'm placing our order, but the barista loses her train of thought and forgets to give me change. She's so embarassed, that I say, "No problem, I do things like that all the time. It's like when you drive somewhere, but you don't remember doing it or how you got there." She and the other people nearby laugh and agree that this was something that happens to them too. I call it Driving on Automatic.
This "Driving on Automatic" phrase got me thinking about my students and their reading. Many of my first graders are becoming really good readers. This year, they have been learning and applying various reading strategies. Our goal is to be able to articulate the strategies that we have been learning. With this in mind, more and more students are not just learning to read, but they are reading to learn. I love when my students make that transition, the one from learning to read, to reading to learn. When this happens, I know they are "Driving on Automatic" or reading on automatic. They know various strategies and when to use them. For instance, they might visualize the story by making a mental picture. Often times, they don't even realize that they did, because they are "Driving on Automatic". We'll continue to learn and practice different reading strategies, apply them in our independent reading time, articulate them during reading conferences, and we'll continue to, "