There are many parts to reading. Pronouncing words is only one part, reading requires understanding what was read. Below are some strategies that good/experienced readers use. These strategies have to be taught to new readers.
Making predictions encourages readers to be actively interested in what they are reading. The predictions do not have to be correct. However, if the prediction is incorrect, it should be adjusted to prevent misunderstanding the passage being read. Some instructions for making predictions include:
* Look at the pictures, table of contents, chapter headings, maps, and diagrams. Pay attention to the subject of the book.
* Writing down predictions can be helpful to students who have trouble with comprehension. During the reading students should look for and write down words or phrases that go with their predictions.
Students who are visual learners do very well with this strategy. They think of the information using shapes, spatial relationships, movement, and colors. They benefit from this strategy greatly. Students who are not strong with visualization have to be coached in how it works. A good way to explain how to visualize is to ask them to make a movie in their imagination while they are reading.
* When you visualize your movie in your head, make a picture of what your characters look like and what the setting looks like. Do not forget to think in terms of time (time of day, season, etc.)
* Use nouns, verbs and adjectives to help you build pictures, diagrams and other images.
* Use graphic organizers to help organize information. You can even draw out pictures or diagrams on scratch paper.
Ask and Answer Questions
One of the best ways to clarify misunderstanding while reading, is to ask questions. Questioning also encourages active learning, keeping the student involved with the text. Sticky notes make a great tool for this strategy.
* Questioning begins BEFORE students read. They should think about the subject of the text by reading the title, chapter headings, and looking at pictures. Make a note of any question.
* While students read, they should write down any questions they have about the text. If students are confused about the text they should be sure to write down questions about what has caused the confusion.
* Students should look for the answers to their questions while reading. Students should write down the answers they find with the question.
*Students need to learn that they may have to consult an outside source to find answers.
Retell and Summarize
This is one of the most important steps toward comprehension of information. In order to be able to retell the information, the student needs to be able to remember information from the text. Summarization helps students to understand which elements are main ideas and which are minor details.
* While students are reading they should make note of major ideas or events in the text. Again, sticky notes are a great tool.
* Good places to pause and retell either out loud or to self are at the end of a page or the end of a chapter. The less experience a student has with this strategy, the smaller the chunks of text they should retell.
* When students summarize the text, they should focus on the important points of the text and support those points with details.
* When retelling, referencing the book helps the student to check their retell or summarization for accuracy.
Text to Self Connection
This is the most personal strategy for comprehension. Students should use their personal experiences, prior knowledge, and previously read texts to help them to personalize the new information they are reading. This is an important step toward personalizing the information.
* Students need to look for similarities in the text to text they have read previously, character similarities, concepts they have learned at school or at home.
*Students should look for similarities to TV shows, movies, and plays they have watched.
*Students should write down (stickey notes) these similarities
Word Attack Strategies
When teachers talk about word-attack, they are talking about strategies children can use to figure out unfamiliar words in text. No one strategy will work for every word, every time, so it is important for students to learn how the strategies work and when to use them. Word-attack includes decoding (sounding out), pronunciation, and understanding unfamiliar words.
Use Picture Clues
Sound Out Word
Look for Chunks in the Word
Connect to a Word You Know
Reread the Sentence