Showing posts with label Reading Strategies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading Strategies. Show all posts

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reading Strategies, Making Predictions

Effective readers use pictures, titles, headings, and text—as well as personal experiences—to make predictions before they begin to read and as they are reading. They think ahead while reading and anticipate what will happen in the text. 

After making predictions, they read the text, decide if they were right or not, and make new predictions.  The process of reading should be a continual and repeated process of predict and confirm.

Making predictions often is based on asking questions. Students must wonder, examine, doubt, and inquire as they read.

Examples of starts of predictions might include:

This problem . . .
In the end, she will. . .
I wonder what will happen when . . .
He has to . . .
That character will . . .
She will solve the problem by . . .
They are going to . . .
I think __________ will be the one to . . . 
Surely they are going to . . .
Next, the author will . . .
If I was there I wonder what . . .

Students, as you listened to the start of Watchers Rewind today during read aloud, what predictions did you have?  What will happen to Lianna, Ripley, and Adam?  What part in the story will the Watchers play?

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Why This Inner Voice Thing is So Important

We just discussed the Queen of Fake Reading, and no one wants to be her.  In fact, everyone knows that I am talking about someone else.  Surely no one can be like that, can they?  Does anyone really do that?  YES, a lot of students (and teachers) fake read.

Fake reading usually takes place when the inner voice volume button is on mute.  In other words, the reader is not listening to his inner voice.  Usually the reader just skims the page, not focusing on the ideas, or trying to relate to them.  There are no connections to prior knowledge, people, problems, or places.

The inner voice is what gives words their meaning.  Knowing the definition of words doesn't mean the reader understands the text.   Meaning comes from the relationship between the words on the page and the reader.  The inner voice controls and drives that relationship.

To better use your inner voice, and understand what you read you can:
1.  Stop reading and think
2.  Pause at the end of the page
3.  Question what might happen next
4.  Compare what the character does, to what you would do
5.  Slow down
6.  Compare the setting to some place you know
7.  Reread if you suddenly realize you don't know what you just read
8.  Make a prediction
9.  Read slower 
10.If some of this list sounds like it is repeated, thank your inner voice for paying attention.

Students, what advise do you have to help readers hear their inner voice?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reading Rambunctiously

Put some life into your reading.  Make the words and the voices scream out.  Don't just read it, live it.  If the beautiful princess and the ugly frog have the same voice, you are not getting it.

When you sing a song, you listen to the music and your brain automatically tells you when and what to sing.  Reading should be similar.  As you read the words, your brain should be seeing a picture, hearing the sounds, making connections to what you already know, and comparing the story to them.

All of this starts with hearing the characters' voices.  So practice reading rambunctiously.  Read as if giving a performance.  Be a beautiful princess (good luck boys) and then switch to an ugly, little frog.

Rambunctious--energetic, boisterous, lively

The Frog Prince
Edith H. Tarcov version

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. She had a golden ball, and it was her favorite plaything. She took it wherever she went. One day the princess was playing in the woods, near a well. She thew her ball high into the air. It fell-splash-into the well. The princess watched her golden ball sink deep into the water of the well, and she began to cry. She cried harder and harder.

Suddenly someone said, ''What is the matter, princess? Why are you making so much noise?" The princess looked around. She looked into the well.

An ugly little frog was looking up at her. The frog asked again, "what is the matter, princess?"

"Oh, it's you old water splasher," the princess said. "My golden ball had fallen into the well. That is why I am crying."
You can read more on The Reading Workshop wiki at The Frog Prince.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why You Need to Live the Book

Good readers are one with the book.  They know the characters, strive to understand them and relate to them.  They picture the setting, comparing it to places they know.  They smell the aromas, living them like passing a bakery in the early morning.  They hear sounds, from the softest whispers to the loudest screeches.  

Thinking, wondering, questioning, disbelieving, and doubting occur continually as good readers go page to page.  Why did that happen?  What is coming next? Question after question drives an interaction that controls comprehension.  Connections with the story build with the plot.  Interest in the story grows with each question, both the answered and the unanswered.

The bottom line--get your brain involved.  Think about what you are reading.  Get your senses involved.  See, hear, and smell.  Live the book and get all you can get out it, and it will give you back a great story.

So Reading Workshop students, as you read today, were you involved?

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Word Attack Strategies

What strategies help you when you don't know a word?  Do you always use the same one?  Here are ways you can figure out the meaning of words you don't get.

1.  Do a Skip Test
Read the sentence without the word.
Ask yourself, do you need that word?
If not, answer the question without the word.

If you need to know the word, try another strategy.

2.  Can you figure out using context clues?
Read past the unfamiliar word and look for clues. If the word is repeated, compare the second sentence to the first. What word might make sense in both?

3.  Is there a word you can substitute?
Think about what word might make sense in the sentence. Try the word and see if the sentence makes sense.

4. Use Prior Knowledge
Think about what you know about the subject of the essay or passage. Do you know anything that might help you make sense of the sentence? Read the sentence with the word to see if it makes sense.

5. Sound out the word
Break the word into parts.  Look for the root word.  Divide the word into syllables.  Look for familiar beginnings (prefixes) and endings (suffixes).  Read each chunk by itself. Then blend the chunks together and sound out the word. Does that word make sense in the sentence?

6. Connect to a Word You Know
Think of a word that looks like the unfamiliar word. Compare the familiar word to the unfamiliar word. Decide if the familiar word is a chunk or form of the unfamiliar word. Use the known word in the sentence to see if it makes sense. If so, the meanings of the two words are probably close enough for understanding the new word.

7.  Visualize
Picture the passage.  Think about how the question relates to the passage.  Get a picture of what the question is asking.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Word Attack Strategies Survey

See the results here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reading Strategies, Using Prior Knowledge Part 2

Yesterday's class focused on Using Prior Knowledge to help students read and understand their SSR book.  Today in Reading Workshop, we will look at how this skill appears when reading nonfiction.

Good readers constantly try to make sense out of what they read by seeing how it fits with what they already know. As you are reading, think of connections to the text from your experiences and background knowledge.

This article is from MSNBC/Washington Post.

This winter's extreme weather — with heavy snowfall in some places and unusually low temperatures — is in fact a sign of how climate change disrupts long-standing patterns, according to a new report by the National Wildlife Federation.

Read the entire article here.

As you are reading, list facts/information that you know that enables you to comprehend this article.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reading Strategies, Using Prior Knowledge

Imagine picking up a book written in French.  How much would you understand?  How about the same book in English?  Even if there are parts you don't understand, you could get the gist.  This is because you know enough of the words to help you comprehend.

What you know is a key to understanding as you read.  Using background knowledge, or your experiences, help make connections to the text, and then comprehension increases. Good readers constantly try to make sense out of what they read by seeing how it fits with what they already know.

As you are reading, think of connections from your experience to the text. This is the foundation, that will help you understand new facts, ideas, settings, and characters. As good readers read, they think about what they are reading and consider how it fits with what they already know.

New facts or information only makes sense when we connect it to what we already know. Using prior knowledge helps make sense of the text.

As you read today in Reading Workshop, consider what you already know that helps you understand your book.  What facts and information (prior knowledge) are you using to understand the text?
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reading Strategies, Connect with Your Book

Good readers constantly make connections. As they read each paragraph, each page, each chapter, they relate it to their life.

Making connections to things the reader already knows helps understand what they are reading and relate to the characters and events more deeply. The purpose of connecting with text is to help use what the reader already knows to understand new information.

Here are the start to connections.

This is similar to my life . . .
This is different from my life . . .
Something like this happened to me when . . .
This reminds me of . . .
This relates to me . . .
When I read this I felt . . .

This reminds me of another book I’ve read . . .
This is similar to another thing I read . . .
This different from another book I read . . .
This character is similar/different to  another character  . . .
This setting is similar/different to an other setting . . .
This problem is similar/different to the problem in  . . .

This reminds me of the real world . . .
This book is similar to things that happen in the real world  . . .
This book is different from things that happen in the real world . . .

Students, as you read today, what connections did you have?

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Reading Strategies, Ask Questions for Comprehension

Good readers must get inside the book.  For comprehension to occur, several reading strategies must take place simultaneously.  Students must connect with the book--the characters and the setting.

The reader must visualize, picturing events as they happen.  Predictions must be made, evaluated, revised, and then renewed.  Prior knowledge must be related and compared.  Students must constantly question the story, the characters, and the events.  When all of this happens at once, usually without the reader consciously thinking about it, comprehension happens.

One skill that is particularly important is asking questions.  Students must wonder, examine, doubt, and inquire as they read.

Examples of starts of questions might include:

How will the problem . . .
Why did she . . .
I wonder what will happen when . . .
Does this look like  . . .
Why did that character  . . .
How will she solve  . . .
Where are they going to  . . .
Who will be the one to  . . .
Why did the author . . .
Why didn't he  . . .
If I was there I wonder  . . .

Students, as you read today, what questions did you have?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Poetry, Just Dig In

Poems are built on ideas, experiences or emotions in a condensed form that makes the reader search for understanding.  The reader should slow down, think about each line and the words in it, and then reread and reconsider.

However, to understand poetry the reader must not go gently, but should attack.  As we begin to spend time in Reading Workshop with poetry/word study, students must overcome their fears and dive into the language of poetry.  Whether it be as a reader, analyzing the work of others, or when revising their own work, students must go full speed ahead.  They need to take the advise given by Eve Merriam.

How to Eat a Poem

Don't be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice
that may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
or skin
to throw away.

What is Merriam's point?  What about the poem makes you think that?  What thoughts do you have when tearing into her poem?

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