Throughout the year students will be learning and practicing reading strategies. Our main goal this year is to be sure we are really thinking about what we read and understanding the text. The best thing you can do for your child in the area of reading is to READ with them, to them, and beside them! There are so many great books to read, and this is the year many students make the switch from short books to chapter books.
Strategies to help us understand what we read:
Making connections with the text:
*What do I know about in the story?
*Text to Text
*Text to Self
*Text to World
Think of prior knowledge as being organized into file folders of information. Some files will have lots of information in them. Many students may have a full file when reading about soccer or sports but an empty file when reading about planets. We read to fill up these files in our heads.
A good reader is like a detective. We are always thinking while we read so we can uncover the author's meaning behind a story.
3. Determining Importance
Think of a sponge vs. a sieve. Not everything we read has the same importance. We need our brains to be like a sieve and sort through what is the most important.
4. Sensory Image
Our brains are like cameras while we read...but even better! Our "camera" brain is able to feel, smell, taste, and feel while we are reading.
Think about opening a gift. Before we untie it, we are asking ourselves all sorts of questions about the gift. What could it be? Will I like it? Is it what I wanted? This is exactly what good readers do while we read: ask ourselves questions about what we are reading. Some questions will be answered while others will just leave us thinking and imagining.
In the Book, or Literal Questions - These questions are answered right in the story. We can "put our finger" on the answers.
Author and Me, or Inferential Questions - These questions use what the author told us in the story and our own thinking. We can find clues in the writing to help us answer these questions.
Synthesis is putting all of our thinking together. Think of a growing seed. All thinking starts with a seed. We feed the seed, just as we feed ourselves with the knowledge of words. At some point we bloom! When we "get it", synthesis has occurred.
7. Monitoring and Fixing Up
Use the symbol of a toolbox. When a builder constructs something, he needs his toolbox to fix things that may go wrong. Good readers also knows when we make a mistake and go back to fix it up!