Make and Confirm Predictions

Predictions are the connecting links between prior knowledge and new information in the book. It is the interaction of these two processes that allow the reader to retrieve previously learned information from long term memory and set up expectations of what might happen or what information the text will contain. Predictions provide motivation to site evidence to support, confirm, or contradict the prediction.

  • Help set a purpose for reading
  • Connect prior knowledge and new information
  • Focus on what will happen in the story
  • Are proven by the end of the text
  • Hold the readerís attention by adjusting predictions as needed

Make Connections.

Comprehension increases when students make a connection to the text. Good readers retrieve background knowledge and experiences from their long term memory to help them understand what they are reading. Sharing connections with each other helps build schema and enhance engagement. Students build, change and revise their schema as they read and think about the new facts ideas, and concepts. It is important that readers understand how their connections are contributing to their understanding of the text. Connections help students consider how this new knowledge in short term memory can be stored in long term memory for future use.

Three different kinds of connections good readers use are text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world.

  • Text-to-self connections connect readers with the text via their own personal experiences.
  • Text-to-text connections connect readers with the text in relation to another text.
  • Text-to-world connections connect readers to the text in relation to the world.

Create Mental Images.

Visualization is the ability to build mental pictures or make movies in our minds while reading. When we read a text, the writer relies upon us to create pictures in our minds. These pictures, along with our other senses and emotions, help us to understand what we are reading. Taking the words of the text and combining them with the readerís background knowledge allows readers to create meaningful images that enhance understanding and make the story come alive. Mental images allow the reader to feel as though they are right there in the story.

  • Build upon from (schema) prior knowledge and textual skills
  • May include visual, auditory and other sensory as well as emotional connections
  • Gives depth and dimension to the reading
  • Engages the reader to make the text more memorable

Self Questioning.

Self Questioning is the active communication between the author and the reader. Self questioning improves attention, provides a purpose for reading and helps the reader interact with the author. This process of inquiry promotes active thinking and helps readers make connections between what they are reading and what they already know. Good readers generate their own questions, versus teachers providing the questions. Readers ask questions that relate to their own background knowledge and interests. Their level of engagement increases and they feel successful when they find the answer.   Self Questioning should help the reader to:

  • Clarify and review what has happened so far
  • Clarify confusion when comprehension breaks down
  • Clarify new vocabulary words
  • Understand character traits and feelings
  • Formulate ďI wonderĒ questions and search for answers

Determine Importance.

Determine Importance is a strategy used to distinguish important information from unimportant information at the word, sentence and text level. Decisions about importance are based on the readerís purpose, the readerís prior knowledge, and the readerís beliefs and opinions about the topic. Readers use their knowledge of important and relevant information from their long term memory to connect and prioritize the new information. Text structure and text features in non-fiction text help readers to organize their thinking and identify key ideas or themes. As readers sift and sort information, they make decisions about what to remember and what to disregard.

  • Set a purpose for reading to provide readers with a guideline for selecting important information.
  • Connect new information with prior knowledge.
  • Reader should be familiar with words and concepts or everything will be important.
  • To keep students engaged, begin with key words and phrases for important information.
  • Use graphic organizers for compare/contrast, fact/opinion, problem/solution, cause/effect.

Author’s Message.

Authorís Message strategy is the key to unlocking the authorís intent and combining it with the readerís own background knowledge. Good readers hear the authorís voice speaking through the story. The message weaves through the plot, setting, and characters and triggers and emotional response from the reader. The message may be about life, society or human nature. The readerís own experience or values help clarify the Authorís Message. Authors also write for purpose, which is different from the message. Authors write to inform, entertain, persuade and explain or instruct. It is important to understand that Authorís Message and Authorís Purpose are two different, but meaningful, strategies.

  • Universal statement or ďfeelĒ when you read the text.
  • Triggers an emotional response from the reader.
  • Common theme throughout the text.
  • Meaningfulness of authorís message is connected to readerís background knowledge and values.