When you read, are you just passing over the words or are you absorbing the content? What is the point of reading? We read to communicate, to entertain, to feel, to induce thought, to share and to understand ideas. When children learn to actively read, they access diverse and flexible thinking skills.
People often think of reading as phonetics and the ability to read fluently; but this is only a small part of the function of reading. We want our children to be meaning-makers when they read. This is where the thinking part of reading comes into play.
Here are a few active reading strategies you can use with children of all ages. It can be as simple as an open discussion between you and your child as you read – actively asking for their input. Or you can have fun with post-its – making notes in the books as you read along. Modeling your own thinking process is always the most helpful to giving your child insight on how to use these reading strategies.
Connect (TS, TW, TT): Find ways to relate to the text by asking your child to make connections to their self (Text-to-Self), to make connections to their world or the world at large (Text-to-World), and lastly, to make connections to other books (Text-to-Text).
Predict (P): Use the text clues, such as title, illustrations and the story line, to predict what you think might happen next.
Question (Q): Take note whenever the book makes you question or wonder about something.
Summarize (S): Take the time to recall and synthesize the entire text. Can you summarize the whole book in one sentence?
Evaluate (E): Form an opinion about the text you have just read. Give evidence to back up your opinion.
Tani Toprakci provides education consulting, parental support, and tutoring services in all subjects. For more information, visit www.tanitutors.com or contact her at 310-922-3389.