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Reading Strategies

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Curriculum is determined by the knowledge and skills that students need. What knowledge and skills do students need? One approach is that students need the knowledge and skills to apply strategies used by independent readers as they become increasingly proficient. This section outlines these reading strategies used by students.
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Strategies for comprehension

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  • question to identify a purpose for reading
  • predict/verify: form a tentative hypothesis and read on to see if you are correct  DRTA is a sample instructional technique.
  • question to monitor ongoing understanding or confusions
  • question to extend thinking - to wonder
  • question to clarify
  • question as a basis for making inferences
Make connections
  • to real life experiences. Make personal connections; get into the story emotionally.
  • to prior knowledge. The Pre-Reading Plan (PReP: Langer, 1981) is a technique to help teachers assess student prior knowledge. PDF file requires Acrobat.
  • to the big picture; generalization; concept
  • to other texts and themes in other texts
Maintain a mindset to read for meaning
  • (when you don’t understand something) ignore that part of text and read on
  • use picture cues
  • reread sentence, paragraph, section
  • adjust way of reading to type of text & purpose for reading
  • use story structure or textbook organizational aids
  • suspend judgment and look ahead for clarification
  • monitor; metacognition (think aloud while reading)
  • infer through preview of all types of available clues for the text
  • infer feelings of characters & people
  • infer big ideas, theme (differentiate between plot and theme)
  • infer from visualization
  • infer from questioning
Teachers are invited to join a reading comprehension strategies listserv at the Mosaic Listserv Web Site. The site also links to a collection of comprehension tools.
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page last updated: 5/15/06
© 2003-2005, Mary Berry. All rights reserved.