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Keene and Zimmerman place the activation of schema, also called simply prior knowledge or experience, as the first step in teaching reading. Studies have repeatedly confirmed that we learn best--with the best comprehension and long-term effect--when the new learning relates to prior learning. Keene and Zimmerman suggest three levels on which schema may be activated: text to self prior knowledge (how the reading relates to oneself); text to world experience (how the reading relates to experiences one has had); text to text prior knowledge (how the reading relates to another text one has read). Keene and Zimmerman assert that these strategies are what good readers do essentially unconsciously.
Depending upon what grade level, there are different strategies for teaching reading. I teach reading at the high school level. For low level readers, I use lessons in phonics. Teaching students to sound out the words is a strategy. Also, I use context clues. I teach students to determine meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary by finding clues in the surrounding text.
Teaching figurative language helps students with unfamiliar literary terms. I teach the metaphor, simile, personification, etc. Students must become knowledgeable in figures of speech to truly interpret the text, especially imaginative poetry.
Of course, there are strategies that involve predicting and inferring. Students enjoy predicting the outcome. Also, inferring is necessary when the text is not explicit. Reading between the lines is a necessary strategy. Drawing conclusions is a reading strategy.
Another effective reading strategy is to retell and summarize what is being read. This is a great reading check for comprehension.
Relating or making the reading material relevant is necessary. Begin by checking prior knowledge. Asking questions in relation to the text will help teachers check prior knowledge. Connecting the text to life experiences helps the reader see the relevance for reading.
There are specific reading strategies that help teach reading. One popular strategy is the SQR3 strategy. Students survey the chapter. Then they question the text. The next step is to read the text, recite the text, and review the text.
These are just few strategies that help to teach reading. The following links offer great reading strategies.
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