There are a couple of different opportunities for a retell. I used to think that it was something that only occurred during the story. This is incomplete.Another important place for retells is at the beginning of class; if you are continuing with a story from the day before.
The first two periods today, I was really sucking wind. My students were lost and I knew it. It is important to catch the signs of students who are slowly drifting away. Then the class becomes flat and nobody wants that.
Well, I realized that the students needed more of a retell in the beginning and not just circling questions about the story. This helped to slowly bring the story afloat and the students were more prepared to take on the voyage of the day.
I have to be careful how I bring students back to the story. It must be done in a safe way that slowly illuminates the path, rather than just turn on the flood lights. This gives the students the opportunity to respond positively, rather than retreat.