Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Teaching Tip: A Guide to Critical Reading

By Guest Blogger, Tammy Root

Are you looking for ways to help your students get more out of assigned readings? Here are five easy reading strategies that can be used in a variety of disciplines. 

1. Turn and Teach: This strategy can be used in two different ways. A). Give students a topic and have them turn and talk about it; this is a great way to activate prior knowledge. B). Have students read an article, or chapter, and have them turn to each other and teach one another what they just learned. How simple is this strategy? 

2. Reading with a Question in Mind: Have students turn the title, and each subtitle, of a chapter into a question (using who, what, when, why, or how). The students will then read the text and answer their questions. This strategy allows students to become “detectives” while reading and stay focused! 

3. Sketching Through the Text: Not every student learns through reading and writing, some students are more visual. This strategy allows those visual students a chance to put words into their own language through pictures! Have students read a section of a chapter or article then have them draw what they just read. This strategy can be used in place of summaries. This is also a great way to review material when studying for a test. 

4. Quote Mingle: Take a copied version of a chapter or article and cut out different quotes. Have the students read the quotes and come up with a title for the chapter or article. After students read the text, see how close their title was to the actual title. This gives students a focus while reading. 

5. Text Coding: Text coding is a short-hand version of text annotating. Below is a link with examples of codes for students to use while taking notes as they read. I also encourage students to make up their own codes. 

If you would like to know more reading strategies I use in my classes, please email me at; I will send you an example! 

Daniels, Harvey, and Nancy Steineke. Texts and Lessons for Content-area Reading. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2011. Print.