COMPREHENSION matters in every academic area. It opens the gateway to making sense of new information and growing students' ability to do something with it. When students don't read they don't learn to comprehend. Putting TEXT on the TABLE changes that and supports active and engaged learning.
★ ACTIVE Preparation
PREDICTION is a powerful preparation tool.
Showing a picture or other visual that connects with the content of the reading. Ask students to make predictions before they read based on titles, pictures, captions or other background information.
What other information might compliment the text that might activate thinking about the purpose of what they are going to read?
★ ACTIVE Processing
To develop deeper understandings about what they read, students need to go back and review text once they’ve read it. Good reading questions require students to even re-read the text.
By journaling or saving work for later reflection, students process their own understanding in a more significant way. This helps students be metacognitive and helps you better look at growth over time.
For example, keeping a Main Idea Journal reminds students the importance of the main idea anytime they read.
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Sample Text Selection
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★ ACTIVE Reading
For students, reading is generally a passive activity. To more fully engage students, make reading more active. Active Readers use certain tools.
Index Cards are great for quick checks for understanding or summaries that can be easily collected and kept.
Post-it Notes are great for both quick checks and marking passages or sections according to the purpose you set for the reading.
Highlighters give students a chance to mark specifics within a text, helping them read for detail.
★ Comprehension CUES
Students need direct verbal cues from you to focus them on the skill and concept.
Choose a Reading
It does not need to be long or thick - it just needs to be relevant.
Format the selection into paragraphs or sections. This helps students see where to stop, think, or otherwise process.
BEFORE handing out the reading, what can you do to prepare students to be active readers? Ask them to make predictions based on cues you provide.
Once they have the reading, what will they do while reading? Read with something in their hand to mark it up? Partner read? Stop and summarize? Read once silently then process as a group?
Once students finish, how will they process what they learned - not just what they read. Can they journal or otherwise express what they now know?