Why is a minimum of two hours of reading each week required? It isn’t because your teacher is trying to torture you. Reading regularly is one of the most important and most rewarding gifts you can give yourself. Reading helps expand your knowledge, increase your vocabulary, and spark your imagination. Becoming immersed in a book may allow you to meet new people, travel to captivating places, and to have amazing adventures, all while enhancing your overall learning. That is why you must read at least two hours every week of your sixth grade school year.
Sometimes your weekly reading may be purely for pleasure, while other times you may be reading for a book project. At times during your weekly reading, you should review your own reading process, assessing your thinking strategies as you read. Researchers have been able to identify the specific thinking strategies that are used by all proficient readers when interacting with text and have unlocked the mystery of how we understand what they read. So while you read, incorporate these seven key strategies, listed below, to help strengthen your comprehension. Some of you probably incorporate these strategies naturally without even thinking about it, but some of you may notice that one or two of the strategies are not as automatic and require practice.
Here are the seven strategies used by successful readers:
Create Visual Images: Good readers make movies in their minds as they read, and they can create a wide range of sensory images while they read. Readers who create pictures in their minds are emotionally involved with the story, and may even cry or laugh out loud while reading!
Use Background Knowledge: Good readers activate their schema. Schema is all of the reader’s relevant prior knowledge that helps them relate to the story.
Ask Questions: Proficient readers are always wondering while they read. They wonder what will happen next or why a character acted the way it did. Questioning helps readers focus in on what is important in the text.
Make Inferences: All good readers make predictions while they read. Inferring is how readers go beyond what is on the written page. Readers who infer are able to personalize what they read, “reading between the lines” to build deeper meaning.
Determine Importance: Proficient readers can distinguish between important and unimportant information in the text.
Synthesize: Good readers make sense of what they read with synthesis, summarizing important information and adding their own unique thinking and experiences.
Fix It Up: Good readers know when they do not understand what they read. Proficient readers have a variety of tools to help fix-up their reading when they are struggling.
Click here for a printable weekly reading chart.