READING STRATEGIES

The research into reading strategies has redefined the way reading is taught in our classrooms. Children are becoming active and enthusiastic readers as they interact with texts. There are a number of reasons for these changes. Students are encouraged to read texts that are part of their world such as graphic texts, information-based texts, and media texts along with the more traditional literary texts. They have more opportunities for purposeful talk with peers about the texts they are reading. And they are learning strategies that proficient readers use to make sense of what they are reading.

Proficient readers:

  • Activate and connect to background knowledge

  • Use fix-up strategies when meaning is lost

  • Question the text

  • Visualize

  • Summarize and synthesize information

  • Draw inferences

  • Determine importance

Reading strategies refer to both meaning-making processes and to the reader’s knowledge about the purpose and function of the structures, features, codes and conventions of different texts read in different contexts. Readers call on their reading profile, which includes familiar texts drawn from their reading experience, as well as the reading strategies that they have developed and rely upon. Students expand their reading profile and improve reading fluency by spending time reading a variety of texts and are encouraged to discover and extend the pleasures of the reading experience. In addition, it is the ability to connect the reader’s stance, the relationship to the text being read, to the reading context and textual details that allows the reader to build and sustain meaning.

Teachers can model the way they construct meaning through a guided exploration of a variety of texts. These strategies may be revisited frequently.

TEACHING READING STRATEGIES

Reading strategies can be taught explicitly while students are engaged in reading any text type or genre. Students of all ages need to be able to read a variety of different genres and text types in order to make sense of the texts that are part of their world. Each text type requires readers to call on the best strategies for getting meaning from the text type they are reading.

Watch a class as they make making meaning in this video Responding to Texts: Deepening Understanding Through Talk.

READ ALOUDS

A read-aloud is a deliberate part of teaching and is an effective way to deliver sophisticated literacy experiences to students.

During the read-aloud the teacher can:

  • model flluent reading

  • provide an enjoyable shared reading experience

  • introduce a broad range of authors and genres

  • demonstrates strategies used by competent readers.

The read-aloud should be relatively brief and done on a regular basis. One approach is to do a read-aloud that gives students a taste of narrative voice, writer’s craft or organization of information using a short text such as an illustrated picture book, poem, short story, graphic novel or novel excerpt.


Download the infographic Essential Reading Strategies.

RESPONSES AND ANNOTATIONS

PERSONAL RESPONSE

Students pause during and/or after reading and write their thinking in response to the text. Readers might discuss:

  • how their response to a text changes as they read on

  • things that puzzle them

  • connections to personal experiences, other texts or events in the world

  • references to the text, the author's craft, etc.

  • things that catch their attention

  • why they liked, or disliked a text

  • thoughts about the topic or message in the text

DOUBLE-ENTRY REPSONSE

Double-entry responses help students interact with the text they are reading. It is a way of getting beyond the initial surface level to a deeper understanding of the text.

Divide the page in half to create two columns. On the left-hand side students record a quote, fact, key event or concept from the text that evokes a reaction or response. On the right-hand side, students write their reactions to the selected extract, e.g. connections, opinions, questions, or inferences.

In the text


"Where he found his supper waiting for him. And it was still hot."

What I think


I think this is the author's way of telling us that Max really did not go anywhere. He fell asleep and had a dream. It only seemed like a long time.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Learn about using Visual Thinking Strategies in the classroom by reading "On Using Museum Methods in the Classroom: A Case Study With VTS" published by Rutgers University.

Reading the Visual by Frank Serafini is a comprehensive guide to working with visual texts.

Seven Strategies to Teach Students Text Comprehension by C. R Adler

What Are the Seven Reading Comprehension Strategies? by Brenda Power provides a clear and concise explanation of the most effective research-based reading strategies.

11 Alternatives to Round Robin Reading that are student-centered in their approach

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