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English Language Arts

"Wait, What Did I Just Read?" Reading Comprehension Strategies That Work

I can't count how many students claim to dislike reading because they either don't remember what they read or fail to engage with the text meaningfully. Although not every student's encounter is going to be interesting, text selections are rarely without purpose, and engaging with the text drastically improves recall, understanding, and overall effectiveness. Here are some of the tips and tricks I've found actually help my students feel more comfortable with academic and professional readings.
A Collection By Margaret Frederick
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
"Wait, What Did I Just Read?" Reading Comprehension Strategies That Work
  • thereligionteacher.com
    thereligionteacher.com

    7 Pre-reading Strategies That Will Increase Comprehension

    5 minute read
    Margaret Frederick says:
    Prereading is important, especially to students who struggle with comprehension. There is no "magic bullet" strategy, but a lot of these strategies are adaptable based on learning styles and the text. Although this site specifically mentions learning scriptures in a religious setting, I found their explanations of these methods to be as good, if not better, than I've seen on other sites or in textbooks.
  • Margaret Frederick says:
    This book is worth every penny. It has annotations that help students, strategies laid out for you to choose and use based on overall reading and close reading techniques, and firm reasonings in the text for why these strategies work. I've taught from it with great success, and usually after my first "use a strategy from this chapter" homework assignment, students start reporting that they feel more comfortable with their texts.
  • apcentral.collegeboard.com
    apcentral.collegeboard.com

    How and Why to Annotate a Book

    5 minute read
    Margaret Frederick says:
    This is a strategy that I make mandatory, especially at the start of class (though it continues and evolves throughout my courses). Annotations don’t have to be massive or specific to any strategy (in fact, I encourage students to do things like mix annotations and strategies like SQ3R), but they definitely give readers a leg-up if they have to revisit a text and a memory boost for facts from the first reading.
  • nwfsc.edu
    nwfsc.edu

    Triple Highlighting Strategy

    Article
    Margaret Frederick says:
    This is a great strategy with a few caveats. It expands the idea of highlighting into something that has meaning, but it also makes a few assumptions about the text. Triple highlighting works best on texts which are actively covered in class with built-in questions in the book. If this matches the description of a text you want to use in your class, go for it. It makes sure that information that is important to the student, the author, and the instructor are all noted.
  • Margaret Frederick says:
    When in doubt, it's great to have resources. If your students need modeling for any reading strategies, comprehension practice or practice with finding information a question wants in the text, working on worksheets like these can help model what good readers do and use grade-appropriate texts to do so.
  • Margaret Frederick says:
    If you're working with literature or texts with a less academic format, reader's responses are a good way to capture a reader's reactions, connections, and information and create stronger pathways for recall. I have also skipped the journals for older grades and used such responses and reactions in class discussions and warm-ups. The important thing is to know which questions to ask of the students, whether or not they're answering it on paper.
  • Margaret Frederick says:
    Although a lot of these strategies should be covered in the strategies from the rest of this collection, they bear repeating, especially around test times. These strategies are simple and things like annotations and notes help the process, but they are effective, especially when students have a large volume to review at once.
  • Margaret Frederick says:
    Aside from previewing, these strategies outline the kinds of questions, reactions, and interactions readers should have as they read. These are especially important for academic reading, which can sometimes be a bit dull, as they force students to read, ask questions, and engage when they otherwise might just skim. I often make students do these strategies on post-its as annotations in their books.