If you don't understand what you read, you're not really reading. If you don't unlock meaning as you read, the words are boring babble and you can’t enjoy reading.
What good readers do: Create mental images Use background knowledge Ask questions Make inferences Determine themes Synthesize information Use fix-up strategies »Zimmermann & Hutchins, 2003 7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It!
Sounding Out Sounding out or decoding words is part of the reading puzzle but falls short of real reading.
In the 1980's, a breakthrough occurred: Researchers identified thinking strategies used by good readers
They found that good readers talk with and about the book.
This talk helps kids to understand and think about what they read.
What good readers do: Create mental images Use background knowledge Ask questions Make inferences Determine importance Synthesize information Use fix-up strategies Metacognition
Create Mental Images Use Your Senses: Imagine what it – Looks like... – Smells like... – Sounds like... – Tastes like... – Feels like... When readers use their senses they get deeper into the text.
Use Background Knowledge Use What You Know: Connect to – Your own life... – The world... – Other books... – Author’s craft... – Author... When readers use what they know or have experienced they get deeper into the text.
Ask Questions Before Reading: What do think will happen? During Reading: What do you think about... I wonder why... How come... After Reading: What would have happened if... Why did the author... Where could we find out more... It is also important for readers to understand that some questions aren’t answered in the story!
Make Inferences Read Between the Lines Question the “why” of the story – Character actions... – Character feelings... – Author choices... When readers make inferences they do more than predict they process a logical conclusion from a premises known or assumed to be true they get deeper into the text.
Determine Importance Prioritizing Information: What is essential to know? What is interesting, but not important? Identifying Themes: What is the main idea? What message is the author sending? Impact on Plot: How does this affect the course of events or the nature of things? This is a essential skill for students to use with textbooks and nonfiction!
Synthesize Information Making It Your Own Thinking grows during reading Get the overall meaning Retell the story When readers synthesis information they do more than connect they combine several things to form something new, bigger and better they go beyond the text.
Use Fix-Up Strategies Good readers are aware of when they understand and when they don't. Problem-solving strategies: – Reread – Skip a word – Ask questions – Use a dictionary – Read the passage aloud Good readers talk with the text.
Metacognition Share your thinking as you read! Talk About It: “When I read this part, I was thinking...” “Isn’t this a great part... I thought...” Sharing your thinking as you read makes you feel smart! Try it!
There is nothing fancy about these strategies! But to read well, you must use them.