More active reading-IGCSE Texts

Having just finished ‘Understanding and Teaching Reading Comprehension, A handbook’ by Jane Oakhill, Kate Cain and Carston Elbro at Easter and with the IGCSE fast approaching, I wanted to ensure students were engaging with the texts as deeply and as dynamically as they could. In order to widen their repertoire of the reading strategies that are explored in the book, I put together this reflection resource after getting them to read a typical IGCSE text. Prior to responding to the question, students were asked to scale their understanding of the text. I then invited students to read, think and be honest with the questions and quietly, they did this. The pupils were then asked to read the text this time employing the strategies that they had identified as not part of their habitual reading behaviour. Immediately, it was visible that more students were using highlighters and pencils as they read: there was much more activity in the process. Again, the class was asked to scale their understanding. Most students had jumped in their own personal scale between 2 and 4 points. With one student , who had initially scaled an 8, moving to a 9. While rereading itself will improve comprehension, the more active process appeared to have an impact. In the lessons that followed, we have revisited the list with lots of modelling on the board.

 

Successful Reading Habits

When you are reading, do you… Always Sometimes Never
Read the title and/or information at the top of the page and underline key words?
Read the title and/or information at the top of the page and predict in your head what kind of  things will be in the text?
Draw a quick sketch/picture to represent each paragraph?
Reread parts of the text that are unclear?
Look at the whole sentence to try and work out a word that you are unsure about?
Look inside the word to see if there are parts that you recognise and will help you work out the meaning?
Read around the word, including the whole paragraph, to try and work out the meaning?
Make pictures in your head about what you are reading (like a film, documentary or a cartoon)?
Think about the kind of questions that you might be asked about the text as you read?
Act like a detective by piecing together clues that the writer has given you?
Highlight connectives to help you follow the direction of the text?
Reflect on how well you have understood a paragraph or parts of a text? (e.g. ‘Not too sure about that, need to look again at the information at the top to make sense)
Show resilience by thinking again about words and sentences?

 

To improve my reading skills,  I need to practise doing more of the following as I read:

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