Reading Strategies

What do "good readers" do?
Predict/Infer
Phonics/Decoding
Monitor/Clarify
Question
Evaluate
Summarize
Additional Strategies in Reading
What can parents do to help their children with these strategies?

 

What do "good readers" do?

Predict/Infer--Good readers find out what is going to happen next.  They figure out things that aren't there.  Use this strategy before and during reading to help make predictions about what happens next or what you are going to learn. 

* Here's how to use the Predict/Infer Strategy:
1. Think about the title, the illustrations, and what you have read so far.
2. Tell what you think will happen next-or what you think you will learn. Thinking about what you already know about the subject may help.
3. Try to figure out things the author does not say directly.

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Phonics/Decoding:  Good readers sound out words.  They cover part of the word to help them see the base word.  They look for words that belong to families they already know.  They have memorized a lot of easy words--they don't have to sound those ones out any longer.  Use this strategy during reading when you come across a word you don't know. 

* Here's how to use the Phonics/Decoding Strategy:
1. Look carefully at the word.
2. Look for word parts that you know and think about the sounds for the letters.
3. Blend the sound to read the word.
4. Ask yourself: Is this a word you know?
5. If not, ask yourself. What else can I try?

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Monitor/Clarify-Good readers reread a sentence when they don't understand it. Use this strategy during reading whenever you are confused about what you are reading. 

* Here's how to use the Monitor/Clarify Strategy:
1. Ask yourself if what you are reading makes sense--or if you are learning what you need to learn.
2. If you don't understand something, reread, look at the illustrations, or read ahead.

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Question-Good readers read and think on every page.  They are always asking questions. Use this strategy during and after reading to ask questions about important ideas in the story.

* Here's how to use the Question Strategy:
1. Ask yourself questions about important ideas in the story.
2. Ask yourself if you can answer these questions.
3. If you can't answer these questions, reread and look for answers in the text. Thinking about what you already know and what you've read in the story may help you.

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Evaluate- Good readers think about what they like and don't like about what they read. Use this strategy during and after reading to help you form an opinion about what you read.

* Here's how to use the Evaluate Strategy:
1. Think about how the author makes the story come alive and makes you want to read it.
2. Think about what was entertaining, informative, or useful about the selection.
3. Think about how well you understood the selection and whether you enjoyed reading it.

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Summarize-Good readers think about what they have read in their own words. Use this strategy after reading to summarize what you read.

* Here's how to use the Summarize Strategy:
1. Think about the characters.
2. Think about where the story takes place.
3. Think about the problem in the story and how the characters solve it.
4. Think about what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
5. Tell in your own words the important things you have read.

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Additional Strategies/

Parent's Help

Making Connections
Questioning
Visualizing
Inferring
Determining Importance
Synthesizing

Strategy: Making Connections

Students connect their background knowledge (schema) to the text they are reading. They may have a text to text, text to self, or text to world connection.

Purpose of the strategy:

*  Readers comprehend better when they actively think about and apply their knowledge of the book's topic, their own experiences, and the world around them. 

How to help your child use this strategy: 

To help your child make connections while they are reading, ask him/her the following questions.

    *  What does the book remind you of?
    *  What do you know about the book's topic?
    *  Does this book remind you of another book?

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Strategy: Questioning

Through the use of questioning, students understand the text on a deeper level because questions clarify confusion and stimulate further interest in a topic.

Purpose of the strategy:

Through questioning, students are able to wonder about content and concepts before, during, and after reading by:

    *  constructing meaning
    *  enhancing meaning
    *  finding answers
    *  solving problems
    *  finding specific information
    *  acquiring a body of information
    *  discovering new information
    *  propelling research efforts
    *  clarifying confusion
    (  Strategies That Work, 2000, p. 22)

How to help your child use this strategy: 

*  Model questioning in your own rereading
*  Ask I wonder...questions (open-ended
*  Ask your child to come up with questions before reading
*  Keep track of questions
*  Stop and predict what will happen next
*  Discuss what questions you still have after reading

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Strategy: Visualizing

Students create mind pictures and visualizations when they read.

Purpose of the strategy:

The reader uses the text material and their own prior knowledge to create their own mind pictures of what is happening in the text.

How to help your child use this strategy: 

To help your child visualize while reading, try the following:
* Share wordless picture books with your child-have your child tell the story
* Make frequent stops while reading aloud to describe the pictures in your mind
* After reading time at home, have your child draw what they see in their mind.

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Strategy: Inferring

Students make inferences about text they are reading to interpret meaning and develop a deeper understanding.

Purpose of the strategy:

Readers comprehend better when they make connections and construct their own knowledge (using prior experiences, visualizing, predicting and synthesizing) to interpret the "big idea." It is like a mental dialogue between the author and the student.

How to help your child use this strategy: 

Ask them:

    * How did you know that?
    * Why did you think that would happen?
    * Look at the cover and pictures and then make a prediction.
    * Discuss the plot and theme. What do you think this story is about?
    * How do you think the character feels? Does it remind you of anything?
    * These ideas are really a discussion to have with your child emphasizing one or two of the above ideas.

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Strategy: Determining Importance

When students are reading non-fiction, they have to decide and remember what is important from the material they read.

Purpose of the strategy:

To teach students to discriminate the "must know" information from the less important details in a text.

How to help your child use this strategy: 

* Initiate discussion before reading by asking what your child knows about the topic and what they would like to learn.
* After reading, discuss what important information they have learned.
* While reading, help your child look for clues in the text to determine importance.  Pay attention to:
    * first and last lines of paragraphs
    * titles/headings/captions
    * framed text/fonts/illustrations
    * italics/bold faced print

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Strategy: Synthesizing

Students weave together what they read and their own ideas into new, complete thoughts.

Purpose of the strategy:

Readers comprehend better when they sift through information to make sense of it and act upon it, such as judging or evaluating the author's purpose to form a new idea, opinion, or perspective.  This is the highest and most complex forms of comprehension.

How to help your child use this strategy: 

* Use questioning strategies such as, "How has your thinking changed from reading that piece?
* Discuss current events with an emphasis on judgments and opinions.
* Ask questions with no clear answers.
 

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