Active Reading in the Classroom
The ability to effectively read is critical to the success of a student in any subject area. Yet many students experience difficulty in mastering this skill. Engaging students in active reading practices can help them become more involved in their reading, thus aiding comprehension and retention. This week, we focus on specific active reading strategies you can use with your students today.
This Week's Tips
Structured Approaches to Active Reading (Monday)
Experiment with the K-W-L (What I Know, What I Want to Know, What I've Learned) method in your classroom. Before reading, have students brainstorm everything they know about a topic. Then have them list questions they have about the topic (what they want to know). After reading, check what students have learned-see if they can answer the questions they generated, and have them identify new areas for exploration. This method could work as an entire class, small group, or individual exercise.
Response Activities Encourage Active Reading (Tuesday)
Compile a list of open-ended, controversial questions or statements for students to explore both before and after they read. The statements should focus on opinions or misconceptions about the topic. If students answered the questions individually, consider engaging in at least a brief class discussion to examine how the reading affected students' responses.
Visually Organize Concepts for Active Reading (Wednesday)
Implement the use of graphic organizers into student reading.These tools can help students to visually organize what they are reading and extract the main ideas. Graphic organizers are especially useful after a reading, as a reviewing tool.
Active Reading Incorporates Preview Strategies (Thursday)
Have students preview reading selections to improve comprehension and retention. Before students begin reading, they should read any introductions or previews and write down all headings and subheadings in the reading, organizing them in an outline form and leaving spaces for additional notes. They should also examine all graphics, noticing the titles and captions; look at all boldface words in the reading; and survey the questions and exercises at the end of the reading.
Prediction Helps Develop Active Reading (Friday)
Teach students reading prediction strategies. As students are reading, have them predict the outcomes or consequences of the actions described. Ask them to make educated guesses. This will help them to develop thinking skills and become active rather than passive readers.