& Define Your Purpose For Reading
Ask yourself why you are reading. What are you trying to get out of it? Is it for entertainment? Is it to give you information? Is it to persuade you to do or feel something? Reading to learn or pass a test requires more concentration than reading for enjoyment.
& Read the Author’s Note
Sometimes the author will present background information as an author’s note. By reading this section, you will be preparing your brain to take in new information and connect it to what you have already learned.
It is OK to reread text that you’ve already read. Maybe you misread a word or left out a word that holds the meaning to the text.
& Look At The Pictures, Illustrations, Charts, and Graphs
These are used by the author to help you understand what you are reading. Pictures and illustrations help you visualize what you are reading. Charts and graphs are used to present the information in a more visual manner. By closely examining these, you can deepen your level of understanding.
& Figure Out the Unknown Words
You may use context clues, identify roots and affixes, or use a dictionary to determine the meaning. Do not just skip the word altogether.
& Make a Mental Image
Take time to make a movie in your head. As you read the descriptions of characters or settings, paint a picture. This strategy will help you visualize and comprehend better.
& Make Connections to What You Already Know
As you read you should be thinking about how the information fits with what you know about yourself, what you’ve read in other texts, and how things operate in the real world. This will help you remember what you read.
& Stop To Think
Every so often as you read, you should stop and think about what you have read. If you don’t remember anything you have read, why continue? Pause and summarize in your head.
& Read Ahead
You might want to continue reading for a couple of sentences if you are confused. If the confusion does not clear after a couple of sentences, try another strategy.
& Look at Sentence Structure
Sometimes an author’s style of writing may contain awkward sentence structure. Try moving the words around in your head until they make better sense.
& Ask Questions
If you ask questions as you read, you will be more actively engaged with the text. You will be looking for answers to your questions, and will remember what you read.
& Make Predictions
As you read, think about what might happen next. You will be making inferences and drawing conclusions about the characters and plot.
& Ask For Help
When you are not understanding what you are reading, and you do not know which fix-up strategy to use, ask someone. You might ask a friend or you might need help from a teacher or parent.
* Remember that you should not continue to read if you are not able to summarize what you have read so far. If you do, you are just wasting time “saying words” and aren’t learning or understanding anything from the text.