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Reading Strategies That Work
Transcript of Reading Strategies That Work
You can learn it
There are a few problems
Earn $280, 000
in 4 years of high school
That's $70,000 each year!
is what a high school graduate
than a non high school graduate!
Earn about $400
to attend each class
(Gallagher, 2003, pg 29 )
We remember 10%
of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we talk about
(Gallagher, K. 17)
The point is:
you can't just read, you have to understand and be able to decipher what You are reading!
Lets look at some ways to better understand what we are reading.
The ladder to
-First draft reading
Simply read the passage, gain a basic understanding of what is being presented. Don't wallow in the details that get us bogged down. This serves as a warm up for what is to come. This can be accomplished by scanning or reading the first sentence of the paragraphs in longer readings. Noting any visuals is also helpful.
-Second draft reading
Now that you have a good understanding and a basic idea of what you are reading, it is easier to go back and read for details. Think of the questions you need to answer and look for evidence within the reading to support your thoughts.
(Gallagher, K. 2004. 23)
Have mission or a goal while you are reading. Search for foreshadowing, hints, mysteries, other questions, character connections, time, place, theme or other information that may help you reach a better understanding. (Gallagher, 2004, 27)
Prepare for the reading
This is a great way to prepare for reading, read with a vision and reflect on what you have read. Simply fill in a chart with the following KWLR information. Answer #1 and #2 before reading and #3 and #4 after reading
1. I already KNOW...
2. I WANT to know...
3. I LEARNED...
4. I want to RESEARCH... (unanswered/new want to knows, #2)
-Turn headings/titles into questions prior to reading. The goal is to be able to answer them when you finish reading
-Twenty questions – after reading a section, create twenty questions you have, to be answered in group discussion.
-Daily focus question - Make a focus question that you can discuss as a review from previous readings. For example, if you are reading Catcher in the Rye, you could make a focus question on the travels portrayed in the book. The class would then discuss these travels as a review tool.
(Gallagher, K. 2004. 44-57)
Keep small slips of paper to write down any question you may have, this is a great idea so you can get help from another person at a later time. Doing this helps you keep your questions fresh in your head and keeps you actively reading.
A great way to help understand where you may be confused prior to or during a discussion is by using sentence starters. These will help you discover where your questions are and guide you to where you should focus your questions. These could also be the form of notes in a notebook or in the margins of your reading, post-its also work great for this. View the example (Gallagher, K. 2004. 70)
If your comprehension is not comprehending, attack!
-Word attack, search the prefixes/suffixes/roots of words to try gaining a partial meaning
-Find sound a likes at word level.
-Use the whole word or parts of the word to help identify
-dictionary and thesaurus are also helpful when all all else fails
Re reading for understanding
look for clues
(Gallagher, 2004. 71)
1) What does it say,
2) What does it mean,
3) What does it matter
– charts especially
Time line with questions
Time line with questions and predictions
Positive Negative Chart
Double entry journal PLUS
These are a great way to get different classes on the same page. These logs (journals) travel from one person in one class to one person in the other classes. For instance, the student sitting in desk 4C during 2nd hour would keep a log of any sort at the storage space in their desk. In 4th hour, the student sitting in that same desk would pick up the log, read the last entry, answer the questions written and pose new questions. Through this process, students can help each other out and classes would have a connection between hours. These questions could also be posed the class or different groups if desired. (Gallagher, K. 2004.)
A casting call can be a great way for students to use creativity, artistry, and investigation skills. You will create baseball cards of the different people in the reading, choose someone you know to play that person. The stats of the card will be descriptive notes, birth place, date, age, current residence, career, hobbies, habits, favorite items, etc. Also to be introduced will be what qualifications they have, parallels, metaphors within the story or with other characters etc.
A variation on is to make baseball cards for historical figures by drawing their pictures and listing their information on the other side. A good way to do this is having biographical stats on front by the picture followed by a summary of importance on the back. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 163)
Teachers, ask yourselves these 3 simple questions:
1) Without a teachers help, what is the student expected to learn from or learn to do from this reading.
2) With the teachers help, what additional material could a student learn or be able to do after the reading.
3) What would be the best way to bridge the gap between point 1 and 2.
First and Second Draft Reading
What's your Mission?
“Cold reading is often a bad idea." What we know tends to filter the things we find relevant and discard those things we don’t find relevant. So, “when we read something new we are much more likely to understand it if we see connections that make it relevant.” Stimulate the background knowledge and overview the reading before taking it on to increase knowledge. This is similar to first draft reading as discussed earlier however it is more along the lines of trying to make connections by doing a short discussion or brainstorm on the topic. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 26)
“If we expect students to find meaning , we need to be certain that today’s curriculum contains connections to their past experiences, not just ours” (Gallagher, 2004. 27)
“How a person feels about a learning situation determines the amount of attention devoted to it.”
(Gallagher, 2004, 29)
When Comprehension Starts To Fail
-What does it say is a literal interpretation of the text/visual. You must understand this to move on to determining what the information means.
-What it means is the next step of taking a deeper look into the information and finding out what the inner meaning is. This meaning may be hidden by metaphors, similes, numbers, politics, references, etc.
-What does it matter is a place for you to spring off into an analysis, when looking at a chart, visual aid or literature. This is the time to use abstract thought and discover connections and increase comprehension. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 86)
I am familiar with and use the KWL charts. This is different in that it adds a research component. This will help students digest and remember what they read. It will also add a personalized aspect of the reading as they will research what THEY want to learn more about. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 44)
Have students do a little research on the topic. For instance, do a web search on a topic before reading your book. Then, list three specific genres that discuss this topic. A topic may be Civil Rights. Students could then list songs, books, magazines, music, poetry, art, speeches, political cartoons, comics, letters, etc. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 38)
This is a great activity. This gives you an opportunity to visually lay out the events of your reading in a logical order and make predictions and question things that are difficult to understand within the activity. This is a simple run off of a classic timeline with additional material to increase comprehension. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 94)
After reading a text, chart excerpt, etc. get into a group. Open with a reflection on the reading then write down one question you have on a small sheet of paper. Pass the sheet around the group and take turns answering other peoples questions. If the person with the question doesn't know the answer it presents a great opportunity for that person to learn something as well as the author of the question. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 114)
This is a great spin on the classic double entry journal. In the classic sense, Notes would be taken on the left side of the notebook, pictures or a written reflection would be discussed on the right side. The "Plus" is the process of saving some space at the bottom for discussion notes. For example, after a discussion on the reading you have questions answered or learn something new, you would take those notes at the bottom. This is also a great place to summarize or re-state important information. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 117)
Conversation Log Exchanges
Deeper Reading Lessons
This is something that was geared for the the teacher, however, I think it could be useful for a student to take a short time to answer these questions as well. This way the students and the teacher could be on the same page and expectations on both ends could be cleared up. It would also be great having students look at different reading strategies and choose which one they may wish to use for learning the content, after a discussion of what to expect and maybe some first draft reading. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 198)
The Brain Storm chart goes with the Three Questions; "What does it say, What Does it mean, What does it matter." Simply make a t chart with the questions "what does it say" (the literal definition) on the left side and "what does it matter" (what we can infer) on the right side. Fill out the t chart as a brainstorming technique, utilizing the information to determine the "what does it matter" portion of the exercise. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 93)
What does it say
What does it mean
What does it matter
View an example of a time line with questions and predictions from Act 1 Scene 1 of Hamlet
A positive negative chart is a great way to compare and contrast the good and bad. For instance, one could design chart with a neutral or zero line horizontally across the middle, with positive and negative valued lines evenly spaced above and below respectively. To fill out the chart on say WWII, one would write the good things that came from the war on the positive side giving a higher value to those items of greater importance and place negative items on the bottom half of the chart with a lower value given to those items with a greater importance. Ex: Many people died would be a very low number, a high number may be the amount of technology gained. Included is a positive negative chart from The Bean Tree.
This is also a great way to incorporate math by use of graphs and numbers. It would even be easy to incorporate a timeline at the bottom of this chart. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 99)
Horizontal spider webbing by listing the character or events major characteristics, then branch off into greater detail/examples.
Character Mapping (Fisher & Frey, 2007, pg 10)
This is another way for students to gain a visual with difficult readings. I have included an example of Bart Simpson
- grade school
- wears pajamas to bed
- watches cartoons
- 2 sisters
- mom and dad
- skate boarding
- playing pranks
- hanging out with Milhouse
All categories can be branched out as much as you wish!
Conceptual mapping (Fisher & Frey, 2007, pg13)
The conceptual map is a very detailed and descriptive character map or spiderweb. The conceptual map will show the order of events and give a description of these events while showing how they relate to each other. A Map of how to play badminton has been attached.
Conceptual mapping is a great way to show higher level thinking in a technical way. You can easily show chain of events, relationships, cause and effect, etc.
How is _____ similar to / different from _____?
What are the Characteristics/parts of _____?
In what other way might we show/illustrate _____?
What is the big idea/key concept in _____?
How does _____ relate to _____?
What ideas/details can you add to _____?
Give an example of _____?
What is wrong with _____?
What might you infer from _____?
What are you assuming about _____?
What conclusions can we draw?
What problems are we trying to solve?
What alternatives should be considered?
Question stems (Fisher & Frey, 2007, pg46)
Question stems are a great way to get your mind thinking about a reading. You can use question stems to prepare for your reading and get your head in the right place. You can use question stems to think about what is happening in the reading and question stems can be a great tool to show what you learned from the reading. Some good, general question stems are shown. Question stems can also be customized to any given reading or event.
RAFT is a strategy that has you look at the Role, Audience, Format, and Topic of a reading. This is a good exercise to get you looking into the different aspects of the writing beyond the characters. An example or RAFT is provided
-What is the ROLE of the writer, from what point of view is the story being told, who is the narrator?
-To whom is the writer writing, AUDIENCE
-What is the FORMAT of the writing?
-What is the TOPIC, focus of the writing, zoom out, broad idea or theme?
(Fisher & Frey, 2007, pg 67)
Based on a reading of Butterfly's in a scientific journal
F: Journal entry
In social studies class a RAFT could include the following
Follow the Drinking Gourd
A: Slave, passenger
T: The way to freedom
The Underground Railroad
R: Dred Scott
A: Chief Justice Roger Taney
F: Court case
T: Slave trying to gain freedom
The teacher then can create a writing exercise that incorporates the RAFT as a writing prompt. For instance for the Drinking Gourd song, the teacher could have students write a letter to people they would like to join them on their path, following the drinking gourd.
1) What does it say,
This chart discusses online sales over Thanksgiving day.
2) What does it mean,
This means the higher the bar, the more that people spent on purchases thanksgiving day
3) What does it matter,
It matters simply because it illustrates how much people spend on Thanksgiving day purchases from year to year, it illustrates that people have spent more money from year to year. It could mean that the internet is becoming more popular for purchases, or that items are becoming more expensive, among many other possibilities.
Before a reading on Civil Rights
1) Brainstorm what you know about civil rights using a spiderweb, or other brainstorming idea you like. Include a web with questions you may have
2) Answer the following:
-What do you expect to read about and for what reasons
-What do you expect to read about after doing a little research
3) scan your reading to catch main points, titles, chapters and incorporate those thoughts into your brainstorming.
1) Brainstorm what you know about civil rights using a spiderweb, or other brainstorming idea you like. Include a web with questions you may have
2) Answer the following by researching on the internet
-What do you expect to read about
-Research what time period did the Civil Rights movement take place
-Research what brought about the Civil Rights movement
-Research what groups of people were involved in the movements and for what reasons
-What do you expect to read about now after doing a little research
3) Scan your reading to catch main points, titles, chapters, etc.
4) Find 2 different genres that relate or describe part of this topic. Examples include; songs, tv shows, movies, poems, plays, skits, etc. Explain how these items relate
Prior to a reading on Civil Rights
K W L R
Draw a chart like this in your notebook and fill it out with what you KNOW, WANT to know, have LEARNED, Will need to RESEARCH
Designing a Character Chart is a great way to sort out and really get to know the main characters in a reading. This can be done with any readings, from fiction to non-fiction. Simply list all the characters at the top of the matrix, and answer the questions on the left hand side. I find this to be a great solution to sorting out characters that can be confusing. If you have a hard time visualizing who is who, relationship, strengths, and weaknesses, this strategy is a must try. View the example given.
A simple modification to this is simply taking notes in the margin or on a separate sheet of paper depicting the characteristics of each character in the reading (Gallagher, K. 2004. 61)
This is a great strategy to use on copies, or "throwaway" readings, along with personal books. Similar to highlighting but a little more in depth. Color every word in the text you know one color and every word (sentence, paragraph, thought, concept…) your are confused with, another color. This helps you focus, slow down and become an active reader in texts that are more technical or difficult to read.
An easy modification to this is to highlight different character parts in different colors, simply highlighting important information or highlighting things you want to come back to and re-read. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 61)
This can also be modified as taking notes on book markers or post-its and placing them in the text where you have a question. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 69)
Shift charts are great when reading items such as a historical writing when you can expect changes. You list original observations from the reading and follow up with post observations. Following the reading there is space provided to note what may have caused the shifts. View the example given.
An example of using this is noting previous observations of the Civil War, such as slavery, oppression, little infrastructure, etc. After the reading a student would notice the abolition of slavery, many lives lost, the difference in infrastructure, etc. The reader will then go back and note what may have caused the changes. (Gallagher, K. 2004. 62)
-Gallagher, K. (2004). Deeper reading, comprehending challenging texts, 4-12. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Pub.
-Gallagher, Kelly. Reading Reasons, Motivational Mini-lessons For Middle And High School. 1st ed. Stenhouse Pub, 2003. Print.
-Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2007). Checking for understanding, formative assessment techniques for your classroom. ASCD.
-Elliot, J., and M. Dupuis. Young adult literature in the classroom. Newark: International Reading Association, 2002. Print.
-Tovani, Cris. I Read it, but I Don't Get it. 1st. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse, 2000. Print.