Monday, August 12, 2013

Basic strategies for active reading

by Derek Spencer

The Common Core State Standards emphasize nonfiction texts more heavily than many past standards, and many of the exemplar texts are complex and challenging. So complex and challenging, in fact, that students may need to do more than merely read these texts to truly understand them.

One of the best techniques students can use to understand a text on a deeper level — and retain what they've read — is active reading. Active reading is a reading strategy in which the student writes while they read, notes questions the text raises as well as main ideas and purposes of paragraphs/sections, and explains a text in one's own words.

It's a great strategy for students who notice they tend to read texts without actually absorbing the material.

Here's a link to some basic active reading techniques:

And here's another link that explains the "SQ3R" technique: Survey, Question, Read, Recall, Review:

These strategies can provide a substantial boost to reading comprehension. Share these links with your students; if they make a good-faith effort to implement these techniques, they'll likely benefit.

Do you have any reading techniques you share with your students? We'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Derek Spencer is a Marketing Communications Associate at Prestwick House.

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