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The Power of Pre-Reading
  • Calendar Apr 05, 2018
  • User Jared Wells
  • Category In Uncategorized
  • Comments 0 Comments
When I ask our students when they read the chapter to prepare for a test, the most common answers are “the night before” and “I don’t read it”. It’s no surprise then that they struggle understanding lectures, struggle with homework, and struggle with quizzes is it? Reading the chapter is an easy thing to procrastinate on...you don’t HAVE to do it until the test, so other, more urgent assignments take precedence. But the 1-2 weeks of classtime and homework can be immeasurably improved by pre-reading. This is how it works: find out what will be covered in the lecture each day, and the night before, do the reading in the textbook covering those topics/sections. Here are three ways this can have a HUGE impact for your son or daughter. 1) Actually understanding and being engaged in the lecture! It can be challenging for students to keep up, both in their note-taking and in their understanding the material. Having already done the reading, the student will at the very least have a broad idea of the overall shape of the chapter, which means instead of hearing brand new facts for the first time, they’ll be able to fit the facts into the mental structure of the chapter they’ve already (even if roughly) constructed. Makes understanding the teacher much easier, which means better engagement and less frustration. 2) Natural pacing of the reading. Students know that, in an ideal world, they would be spacing their reading out and not reading it all in one go. Planning reading along with the lectures gives the student a natural reading pace and is a kind of built in daily reading assignment which helps make sure they don’t fall behind. Sometimes all you need is a bit of structure, and tying reading to lectures is a simple way to do it. Scheduling is doing as I always say! 3) Cornell note taking. I know students generally hate this, but it’s because they see it as this annoying thing teachers make them do, so they do it in a perfunctory, get-it-done-to-get-it-done way. What Cornell notetaking can do is make pre-reading be a great time for students to write down questions that occur to them as they read (which keeps them engaged and documents their questions without getting bogged down) and then during lecture they can listen for (or ask when appropriate) the answers, again keeping them more engaged in lecture. This is my guarantee; your son or daughter will notice an immense change in how they learn during lecture once they start pre-reading. They’ll find lectures easier to follow, and (dare I say?) more interesting. These things create a feedback loop for greater success! Finals are coming up soon for La Jolla High and Muirlands Middle...is your son or daughter ready? Call or email to schedule some time for class support or organizational/planning support today!
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