The Texture Of Things

Good Readers,

January 4th, 2008

I need your help. I am preparing my course stuffs for the impending semester, and this time I’m teaching a developmental reading and writing course. I haven’t taught this kind of course since I was pregnant, and all of my memories of teaching during that time have evaporated into swiss cheese.

Nice mixed metaphor, eh?

I know that to figure out what reading strategies to teach, I must first identify the reading behaviors I want my students to cultivate. To do that, I thought about myself as a reader, I watched the tot reading (I’m not kidding), and I recalled things I have taught to all of my students about improving reading comprehension. I’ve come up with a rough list that I’d like to post here. If you think of something I’m missing, please share it with the class. I ‘pperciate it.

Good Readers:
read and re-read
read aloud
make notes
summarize important points
anticipate what’s coming
check to see if that guess was right

Good Readers:
don’t always understand everything
ask questions about the text
read with a purpose (e.g., gather info for a paper)
guess at a word’s meaning based on context
look words up

Good Readers:
make connections between the text and existing knowledge
make connections between the text and other books, movies, essays, etc.
read titles, headings, footnotes (not necessarily every footnote)
think or talk about what they’ve read

6 Comments »

  1. KLee says

    I think you’re right on the money here. These are all salient points, and I think you’ve thought it all through carefully.

    One thing that I do with my kids whenever we read: I ask them to anticipate or predict the outcome. Even if their answers are not what happens in the end, I ask them to imagine what would happen if their answer WAS correct. Often, we will have them draw a picture to illustrate key points in the story, or their imagined outcome.

    January 4th, 2008 | #

  2. Andrea says

    I think those are all great.

    Except, shouldn’t there be something too about loving to read? Or am I being too mushy?

    January 4th, 2008 | #

  3. Steph says

    I think good readers also

    disagree with what they read (or play the doubting game, or talk back to the text);
    understand how best they read (computer screen vs. paper, loud room vs. total silence); and
    give themselves enough time to read and reread.

    January 4th, 2008 | #

  4. admin says

    Andrea:
    No, you are not being too mushy at all. But, I’ll be facing a room full of students who either do not like reading or who have struggled with it or who are generally underprepared for reading at the college level or all of the above. Maybe I need to change my language from “good readers” to “successful readers”?

    Steph:
    I can’t believe I missed disagreeing. Also, we’re covering MAPS on day two, so we’ll hit the where/how/when they read best there, I think.

    Thanks for the good ideas! Keep ’em coming!

    January 4th, 2008 | #

  5. H.G. says

    Steph:
    I disagree with you. Therefore, I agree with you.
    But I’m going to keep it to myself.
    ๐Ÿ˜†

    January 4th, 2008 | #

  6. coffeypot says

    Give them comic books, or something with pictures in it. Seriously, is this a required class or an elective? I think that would make a difference in how you present the subject. If itโ€™s an elective you will have students wanting to learn or at least have an interest vs. those who are there because they have to be. Or am I missing the point here?

    January 6th, 2008 | #

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