Reading is not just pronouncing wordsit requires understanding. Most experienced readers use a variety of strategies to understand text. Research has shown that teachers can, and should, teach these strategies to beginning readers. The following strategies can help students understand any text in any subject.
Ask and Answer Questions
Retell and Summarize
Connect the Text to Life Experiences, Other Texts, or Prior Knowledge
Predictions encourage active reading and keep students interested, whether or not the predictions are correct. Incorrect predictions can signal a misunderstanding that needs to be revisited. Instruct students:
Many students think visually, using shapes, spatial relationships, movement, and colors, and can benefit greatly from this strategy. Instruct students:
Having students form their own questions helps them recognize confusion and encourages active learning. Instruct students:
Relating the text in students' own words clears up language issues. Retelling challenges them to aim for complete retention. Summarization allows students to discriminate between main ideas and minor details. Instruct students:
Connecting a text to students' experiences and knowledge helps students personalize the information. It also helps students remember information when they link it to their lives. Instruct students:
Word-attack strategies help students decode, pronounce, and understand unfamiliar words. They help students attack words piece by piece or from a different angle. Model and instruct students:
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