THE SEVEN HABITS OF AN EFFECTIVE READER
Forming mental images or pictures about what they are reading, such as characters, settings, or events, in a text helps students connect new information to previous experiences. Visualizing turns words into pictures in the readers’ minds as they access texts to aid in comprehension.
Using think-aloud to help visualize what they read allows students to make connections.
Formulating questions about the text gives readers a purpose for reading, re-reading, reading further, or devising an experiment to test their ideas. Readers may ask questions about characters, motivation, captions, headings, reactions, settings, events, or topics in the text. Questions that are explicitly found in the text may influence students to make inferences and form predictions, determine importance, and synthesize ideas.
Making connections helps readers activate prior knowledge to make reading meaningful. There are three types of connections that readers make to previous experiences as they encounter text.
1. Text-to-Text Connections occur when readers are reminded of something they have seen, read, or heard.
2. Text-to-Self Connections occur when readers are reminded of something they have experienced in their own lives.
3. Text-to-World Connections occur when readers are reminded of something they have noticed or experienced in the world such as events or settings.
Readers frequently use clues or information in a text along with their own experiences in order to make predictions. Predictions create anticipation and give readers a purpose for further reading in order to determine if their predictions are supported in the text or not.
Readers often use clues from the text and their own experiences to make inferences and draw conclusions about the text. These inferences may or may not be stated in the text but can be supported with specific evidence from the text. Inferring helps readers interact with the text, thereby creating meaning from evidence in the text and their own experiences.
Readers must decide which terms, topics, ideas, elements, or concepts are important to the overall text. This process helps readers understand the content of the text and which parts require the most attention. Often texts indicate importance by using italics, highlights, or bold-faced terms. During a read-aloud, a teacher may stop and think-aloud about the significance of a bold term; repetition enhances awareness about clues that texts often use to signify importance.
Synthesizing or creating new information is the key to learning the content presented in the text. When readers successfully make sense of the meaning of the text and can gain new perspectives based on their reading, they are able to communicate their comprehension of the text. When students bring together parts of knowledge to form a whole and build relationships to address new situations, they show mastery at the synthesis/creating level, the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Students internalizing and applying the seven habits of effective readers increase comprehension skills, which is the primary goal of any reading strategy. Traditionally, to increase students’ comprehension, teachers provided questions about the text and students responded. This strategy continues to be ineffective in developing the students’ skills in learning and comprehending course specific content. Reading across the curriculum and utilizing effective reading strategies will increase students’ literacy skills and aid Georgia students’ mastery of Georgia’s Performance Standards in all content areas.
From the Georgia Performance Standards website.