How to Effectively Teach Strategic Reading

Strategic Readers

To be strategic means to use a careful plan of action intended to accomplish a specific target goal or outcome (Company, 2002). Ultimately our goal in reading is to gain knowledge and understanding through comprehension of text we present ourselves with for lifelong learning and enjoyment. To be a strategic reader means the use of a variety of intentional cognitive skills and strategies to read for a purpose. Strategic readers have the ability to adjust their reading for different purposes and reading tasks, understanding when it is necessary to tend to every detail and when it is appropriate to read quickly for enjoyment (Tovani, 2000). Becoming a strategic reader involves two main aspects, first the reader must become more automatic in using strategies as well as come to be more deliberate and aware. These aspects can be taught through direct explanation and modeling (Guthrie & Alvermann, 1999).

Skills of Strategic Readers

Using reading strategies successfully is important in constructing meaning from text. Good readers employ many strategic reading skills automatically throughout the reading process, before, during and after. Some of these skills are cognitive which involves cognition or thinking, while others are metacognitive involving reflection or thinking about thinking. Strategic readers employ both cognitive and metacognitive skills, including but not limited to, previewing text, understanding text structures, activating prior knowledge, making connections, making predictions, drawing inferences, summarizing, and monitoring comprehension (Tompkins, 2011).

One of the first things strategic readers do before they begin reading is to preview the text. Previewing helps students to learn better by ...

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...skills automatically throughout the reading process, as described above. Through direct explanation and modeling using these tools teachers can successfully aid students in the process of become a strategic reader.

Works Cited

Company, H. M. (2002). The american heritage college dictionary. (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Guthrie, J.T., & Alvermann, D.E. (1999). Engaged reading, processes, practices, and policy implications. New York, NY: Teacher College Pr.

Tompkins, G.E. (2011). Literacy in the early grades, a successful start for prek-4 readers and writers. (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon

Tovani, C. (2000). I read it, but i don’t get it, comprehension strategies for adolescent readers. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Pub.

Wilhelm, J. D. (2001). Improving comprehension with think-aloud strategies. New York, NY: Teaching Resources.

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