7 Reading Comprehension Tools

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7 Reading Comprehension Tools
"I can read it, but I don't get it - I just don't understand what the author is trying to say." Does this sound like you? Well, it's your lucky day. These seven reading comprehension tools help readers that can read (decode), but need help understanding (comprehending).

Tool #1: Making Connections:
To make a connection use your prior knowledge (called schema) to preview the reading material, predict what might happen, and find purpose in the reading. Our three classifications of connections are:
-text to self
-text to text
-text to world
Tool #2: Questioning:
When you use questioning you set a purpose and clarify your understanding of the reading. Keep in mind that "thin questions" are easy to find in the reading, while "thick questions" are deeper and are contained in the clues.

Tool #3: Visualizing:
When you visualize you create mental images of your reading. As you create these images your reading becomes a "movie in your head."

Tool #4: Inferring:
Inferring is reading "between the lines." By using clues and making predictions you can often discover what the author is really saying in your reading, or your may even figure out what will happen next. You can confirm, revise, or reject your predictions as you gain more information.

Tool #5: Determining Importance:
When you determine importance you look at the purpose, text structure, text features, organizational patterns, and important themes or ideas of your reading to determine how important it really is.

Tool #6: Synthesizing:
Synthesizing is mixing together all of these reading comprehension tools with your own thoughts and words in order to find new (and deeper) meaning in your reading.

Tool #7: Monitoring and Repairing Comprehension:
When you monitor and repair your reading comprehension you know when you "get" the reading, you know when you don't "get" the reading, and you know what to do if you don't "get" the reading.

Adapted from Stephanie Harvey's Strategies That Work