How can you ensure your students understand classroom coursework? Build reading skills. Teachers love to share their favorite stories and the subjects they are passionate about, but helping a child develop the same interest requires foundational reading skills to comprehend and enjoy the curriculum.
Many children see reading as a chore, especially if it’s tied to lesson plans and learning complex information. Teachers, parents and mentors can help ignite a child’s passion to read by incorporating activities focused on building reading skills to improve comprehension and engagement.
Here are some simple and effective ways to help students build reading skills to better understand classroom curriculum.
1. Annotate and highlight text
Teach your students to highlight and underline valuable information as they read. Have students write notes on the pages they are reading to help them stay focused and improve comprehension. Students can also write down questions as they read to receive more explanation on a new concept or to define a new word.
2. Personalize the content
Students can increase their understanding by seeing how the material connects with their life. Have your students make personal connections with the text by writing it down on the page. You can also help students comprehend the text by helping them see an association with current events.
3. Practice problem solving skills
Blend real-world problem solving skills into your curriculum. Have your students write out solutions to the problem and discuss their ideas as a class or in small groups.
4. Incorporate more senses
Add in activities that reinforce learning and comprehension by using more senses as they read. Remind students to read with a pen or pencil to annotate the text. Have your students take turns reading out loud. Use projectors to guide your lesson and write down questions for those who are visual learners.
5. Understand common themes
Ask your students to look for examples of a certain theme throughout the chapter to increase engagement. Have students share their findings with the class to help students learn a specific theme more in-depth.
6. Set reading goals
Have each student set their own reading goals. This can help them take action in building reading skills and students will be more mindful of how they are improving.
7. Read in portions
Long, complex reading can be more digestible by breaking it up into pieces. Shorter segments will help students retain the information as the class discusses the materials. It can also help students build confidence in understanding a complex subject.
8. Let students guide their reading
Your students process reading material and curriculum in very different ways. As you implement reading activities to help your class learn complex materials, you will learn what works best for each student individually.
As teachers implement more reading activities into classroom coursework, students will find improvement in vocabulary, writing skills, problem solving, concentration, and cognitive development to help build a solid foundation for future learning.