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COMMON MISCONCEPTION: Textbooks are often read in the same way that we read pleasure books. This creates a lack of understanding and limits retention of information.
First things First- Getting to Know Your Textbook
- Examine the Table of Contents:
- What does the table of contents tell?
- How is the textbook organized? What main divisions does it have?
- Examine study questions, guides, and other helps:
- Does the text provide study aids to help in understanding the text?
- Are the study aids in the form of questions, exercises, or activities?
- If questions are used, do they simply require finding the answers or must you do some critical problem-type thinking to arrive at answers?
- Are there study aids both preceding and following a chapter? Which types of aids help you most?
- Does the text provide suggestions for other readings or materials designed to help you understand a chapter?
- Examine chapter headings, sectional headings, and margin guides:
- Look at the chapter heading and then the section headings that follow. Write them down and see if this gives an overview of the chapter.
- How do headings help in skimming a chapter for specific information?
- Do you find different kinds of type in your chapter? Does this help you understand the organization of your textbook better? How?
- Does the text provide help in identifying material to be found within each paragraph? Is the topic sentence indicated?
- Does the book use summaries? How do these help? What is the difference between giving the gist of a chapter and summarizing its contents?
- Examine maps, pictures, charts, diagrams, and tables:
- Which of these visual aids is used? Do you understand them?
15 Top Reading Suggestions
Handout with top reading suggestions.
Reading Assignments in Science
Learn the most effective way to read your science text.
Reading PRO Process
Prepare, Read&Reflect, Organize
Tool to help you take notes from reading material.
SQ3R is a reading strategy formed from its letters: Survey! Question! Read! Recite! Review! SQ3R will help you build a framework to understand your reading assignment.
Text coding is a strategy used to help students keep track of thinking while they are reading. Students use a simple coding system to mark the text and record what they are thinking either in the margins or on post-it notes. As students make connections, self-question, and respond to what they reading, they are self-monitoring their comprehension and enhancing long term understanding. The codes help students name and remember a particular thinking strategy and track the thinking throughout the text. Following are options for students to use while coding text.
THEIVES: A Strategy for Previewing textbooks
This activity will help students with comprehension by allowing them to preview the text structure in an organized manner. This pre-reading strategy will allow students to “steal” information before they actually begin reading the chapter.
THIEVES: Strategy for Reading Nonfiction
Based on the technique lauded at readwritethink.org, this slideshow introduces students to the strategies for nonfiction reading comprehension.
How We Learn.....
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we discuss with others
80% of what we experience personally
95% of what we teach to someone else