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How to Become a Better Reader. Five Strategies To Succeed in the Classroom!. Getting Started…. All too often, students have trouble under- standing what they read. A familiar complaint is “I read it, but I don’t get it.”

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how to become a better reader

How to Become a Better Reader

Five Strategies To Succeed in the Classroom!

getting started
Getting Started…
  • All too often, students have trouble under- standing what they read. A familiar complaint is “I read it, but I don’t get it.”
  • This ppt will share five strategies (Voices and Values, p. 4-9) that will help enhance the comprehension skills you need to become a better reader.
  • These strategies are not just for ENGLISH class – they will help you in ALL academic courses!
  • After being introduced to each strategy, we will, as a class, have the opportunity to implement each one through the reading of a chosen excerpt in your book.
read actively
  • You may hear this referred to by many names – close reading, annotation, marking the text, talking with the text, etc. …
  • In the end, the elements present are the same no matter the name!
  • The KEY STEPS involved in making this approach work are: Preview the selection, read once for pleasure, read again to mark and understand.
read actively1
  • Preview the text:

Look over what you are about to read –

1. Work the title into a question to ponder what the selection will be about

2. Read any previews of intros that may be provided

3. Read the first few paragraphs and the last few to gather the main idea

4. Look over the first sentence of several paragraphs to generalize the organization of the piece

read actively2
  • Read the selection through for pleasure:

1. Don’t get bogged down with vocab, hidden meanings, conflict, etc…

2. Read in an attempt to understand as much as you can without getting lost in the details


read actively3
  • Revisit the Special Features:

1. In this book – Preview, Words to Watch, First Impressions (after the story)

2. Look for these features in order to understand the author’s purpose and begin to realize there is a deeper meaning to the text

3. You’ll be surprised at how many ideas you will generate regarding the meaning of a piece!

read actively4
  • Reread the selection and mark the text:

(For discussion purposes, it may help to # the paragraphs)

Using a highlighter or other tool (you can create your own “system” – symbols, circles, underlining – use what works for YOU!), mark places that stand out and write in the margins what comes to mind in terms of your understanding

ex. ideas that seem important or just interesting to you, examples the author uses, questions you don’t understand, new vocabulary, summary statements, etc…

time to practice
Time to Practice
  • Turn to page 110 in V&V, “He Was First”
  • Preview the text – look at title and formulate a question, read preview, read first few paragraphs, last few paragraphs, and some sentences in between
  • Read the selection just to read it
  • Re-read and mark the text (MUST use highlighters and a pen here) with ideas, questions, concerns, vocabulary, etc. …
    • As a rule, you should have something written for every paragraph to be sure you are covering the entire text
vocabulary in context
Vocabulary in Context
  • This strategy we will use ALL THE TIME - and it is one you have been using since forever. Therefore, we will not be using a separate piece to enhance this skill rather we will use this with every piece…
  • You can and will use the active reading to accompany this strategy by marking the text with any unfamiliar words you do not know.
point and support
Point and Support
  • There are two main aspects of this strategy that can be found in nearly all well-written pieces:
  • Recognizing the central point and main ideas:

The central point refers to the point of an entire selection (essay, story, article, etc.) – also known as THESIS; main ideas refer to the points of individual paragraphs – also known as TOPIC SENTENCES.

2. Identifying Key Supporting Details:

The support for central points and main ideas may be in the form of reasons, examples, details, facts, quotes, etc. Denoting these details will more thoroughly allow you to determine the author's point in a selection.

  • As part of the process unit, students will read “7 Ways to Keep the Peace at Home”
  • In small groups, students will identify the point and support of each section as it is assigned
  • See Process Writing ppt for further details
make inferences
Make Inferences
  • Inferences are the reasonable guesses we make based on the facts presented.
  • Examples – People leave a movie theater smiling… did they like the movie? You see newspapers piling up on your neighbors porch… what do you think? Suddenly, everyone on the highway slows down and honors the speed limit… what is ahead?
  • You draw conclusions about reading in the same way!
be aware of the writer s craft
Be Aware of the Writer’s Craft
  • “Writer’s Craft” refers to the techniques an author uses to communicate ideas.

To uncover the craft, pay special attention to:

  • Introductions and Conclusions: intros should include an element that keep you interested in reading more ; conclusions include a summary and a final thought (or two)
  • Type of Support: reasons, examples, details, facts, quotes, personal experience – what does the author use?
  • Patterns of Organization: arrangement of supporting details – time order (first, then, after); listing order (in addition, also); comparison/contrast (just as, similarly, however, on the other hand); cause/effect (because, therefore, consequently)
  • Tone: communicates feeling about how an author feels towards subject
  • Purpose: persuade, inform, entertain (PIE)
  • Audience: for whom was the selection written? A general reader or a specific group/person?
  • Titles: read for meaning – could be a short summary or main topic
p ractice
  • Read “Winners, Loser, or Just Kids” in VV (143)
  • Preview the text first and record these vocab words and their definitions in your ISN:

coyly, flaunted, swank, metamorphoses, morose, fare, endeared, sheepish, presumptuous, regressed

  • After reading, free-write in response to one of the First Impressions prompt in your ISN.
  • Record the Inference questions and the Writer’s Craft questions in your ISN and provide an answer to each one (yes, write letter and answer out in its entirety).