What do Good Readers do?

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Many struggling students believe that one is either born a good reader or not and there is little one can do to become a more effective reader.  This is a "fixed" mindset myth (Carol Dweck) that educators must debunk immediately as it is detrimental to student competence and confidence. 

The truth is that being a "good" reader requires work; skilled comprehenders often utilize an arsenal of  "soft" skills when they encounter difficulty with comprehension. These strategies don't require a fancy hard-copy graphic organizer, thus the "soft" skills reference. 

Here are 10 of the most effective strategies that proficient readers use to boost comprehension: 

*re-read

*read slower

*pre-read & predict

*connect to prior knowledge

*guess and check

*visualize

*question the text/author (what does the author mean when he says this?)

*evaluate (What did I learn? What do I still need to know? What is most important?)

*retell (first, then, finally)

*summarize (who, what, when, where, why, how). 

Explicitly modeling these methods will greatly improve reading comprehension and communicate to students that good readers "work" at being good readers and we can all become more effective readers when we use these strategies.   Julie Adams, Adams Educational Consulting, www.effectiveteachingpd.com