Tackling textbook reading assignments

January 31, 2012 | Posted in: Early Learners, Elementary, High School, Middle Years | with 0 Comments

Strong reading comprehension skills will help students successfully navigate their school years. However, if your child has trouble concentrating when it comes to reading a textbook, how can you help?

There are a number of tried-and-true methods available to help develop better reading comprehension, but one that’s been around for decades is the SQ3R method. The basic idea (using a chapter of a textbook as an example) is to:

  • Survey: Skim the contents of the chapter, looking at section headings, graphs, charts and captions to determine what a chapter is going to cover.
  • Question: Create a question about each section of a chapter. For example, if a chemistry book’s section header says, “Properties of metals,” the question becomes, “What are the properties of metals?” Write that down!
  • Read: Concentrate and actively read, searching for the answer to the questions you have posed.
  • Recite/write: Review what you read – either say it aloud or write down a key phrase that sums up the section and answers your question. It will be easier to remember concepts if you use your own words rather than simply copying the text.
  • Review: If you’ve written a key phrase for each section of the chapter, you have basically created an outline. Look at your questions, answers, notes and the textbook to see how well you recalled information. If you can’t recall one of your key phrases, reread the section.

Here are some other explanations of the method: www.collegeboard.com www.arc.sbc.edu

Create a SQ3R chart here: www.teach-nology.com

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