An Anticipation Guide is a strategy that is used before reading to activate students' prior knowledge and build curiosity about a new topic. Before reading a selection, students respond to several statements that challenge or support their preconceived ideas about key concepts in the text. Using this strategy stimulates students' interest in a topic and sets a purpose for reading. Anticipation guides can be revisited after reading to evaluate how well students understood the material and to correct any misconceptions.
Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) is a technique that teaches students to work cooperatively on a reading assignment to promote better comprehension. CSR learning logs are used to help students keep track of learning during the collaboration process. Students think about what they are reading and write down questions/reflections about their learning. The completed logs then provide a guide for follow-up activities and evaluation methods.
A concept map help students visualize various connections between words or phrases and a main idea. There are several types of concept maps; some are hierarchical, while others connect information without categorizing ideas. Most are comprised of words or phrases surrounded by a circle or square that connect to one another and ultimately back to the main idea through graphic lines. These lines help students to "negotiate meaning" as they read and make the meaning connections between the main idea and other information.
A concept sort is a strategy used to introduce students to the vocabulary of a new topic or book. Teachers provide students with a list of terms or concepts from reading material. Students place words into different categories based on each word's meaning. Categories can be defined by the teacher or by the students. When used before reading, concept sorts provide an opportunity for a teacher to see what his or her students already know about the given content. When used after reading, teachers can assess their students' understanding of the concepts presented.
Double-Entry Journaling improves students' comprehension, vocabulary, and content retention. This interactive strategy activates prior knowledge and present feelings, and promotes collaborative learning. It fosters the connection between reading and writing as students are able to "reply" to the author or speaker as they write their responses. The technique offers flexibility in that teachers can use any form of written text, read alouds, or listenings that are assigned in class.
The Exit-Slip strategy requires students to write responses to questions you pose at the end of class. Exit Slips help students reflect on what they have learned and express what or how they are thinking about the new information. Exit Slips easily incorporate writing into your content area classroom and require students to think critically.
The Frayer Model is a strategy that uses a graphic organizer for vocabulary building. This technique requires students to (1) define the target vocabulary words or concepts, and (2) apply this information by generating examples and non-examples. This information is placed on a chart that is divided into four sections to provide a visual representation for students.
The Inquiry Chart (I-Chart) is a strategy that enables students to generate meaningful questions about a topic and organize their writing. Students integrate prior knowledge or thoughts about the topic with additional information found in several sources. The I-Chart procedure is organized into three phases: (1) Planning, (2) Interacting, and (3) Integrating/Evaluating. Each phase consists of activities designed to engage students in evaluating a topic.
Jigsaw is a strategy that emphasizes cooperative learning by providing students an opportunity to actively help each other build comprehension. Use this technique to assign students to reading groups composed of varying skill levels. Each group member is responsible for becoming an "expert" on one section of the assigned material and then "teaching" it to the other members of the team.
The Paragraph Shrinking strategy allows each student to take turns reading, pausing, and summarizing the main points of each paragraph. Students provide each other with feedback as a way to monitor comprehension.
Possible Sentences is a pre-reading vocabulary strategy that activates students' prior knowledge about content area vocabulary and concepts. Before reading, students are provided a short list of vocabulary words from their reading, which they group and eventually use to create meaningful sentences. After reading, students check to see if their "possible sentences" were accurate or need revising.
Power Notes is a strategy that teaches students an efficient form of organizing information from assigned text. This technique provides students a systematic way to look for relationships within material they are reading. Power Notes help visually display the differences between main ideas and supportive information in outline form. Main ideas or categories are assigned a power 1 rating. Details and examples are assigned power 2s, 3s, or 4s.
Question-Answer relationship (QAR) is a strategy to be used after students have read. QAR teaches students how to decipher what types of questions they are being asked and where to find the answers to them. Four types of questions are examined in the QAR.
RAFT is a writing strategy that helps students understand their role as a writer, the audience they will address, the varied formats for writing, and the topic they'll be writing about. By using this strategy, teachers encourage students to write creatively, to consider a topic from a different perspective, and to gain practice writing for different audiences. Students learn to respond to a writing prompt that requires them to think about various perspectives.
Reading Guides help students navigate reading material, especially difficult textbook chapters or technical reading. Students respond to a teacher-created written guide of prompts as they read an assigned text. Reading Guides help students to comprehend the main points of the reading and understand the organizational structure of a text.
SQ3R is a comprehension strategy that helps students think about the text they are reading while they're reading. Often categorized as a study strategy, SQ3R helps students "get it" the first time they read a text by teaching students how to read and think like an effective reader.
A Seed Discussion is a two-part strategy used to teach students how to engage in discussions about assigned readings. In the first part, students read selected text and identify "seeds" or key concepts of a passage which may need additional explanation. In the second part, students work in small groups to present their "seeds" to one another. Each "seed" should be thoroughly discussed before moving on to the next.
Selective Highlighting/Underlining is used to help students organize what they have read by selecting what is important. This strategy teaches students to highlight/underline ONLY the key words, phrases, vocabulary, and ideas that are central to understanding the reading.
The Semantic Feature Analysis strategy engages students in reading assignments by asking them to relate selected vocabulary to key features of the text. This technique uses a matrix to help students discover how one set of things is related to one another. Use this strategy to help students: understand the meaning of selected vocabulary words; group vocabulary words into logical categories; analyze the completed matrix.
Story Maps are used for teaching students to work with story structure for better comprehension. This technique uses visual representations to help students organize important elements of a story. Students learn to summarize the main ideas, characters, setting, and plot of an assigned reading.