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Students will do much better on the OSSLT if you guide them through the reading selections. Here’s how:
Before you ask students to read a selection, talk to them about
· the topic.
For example, ask, “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say ‘recycling’.” Encourage students to free associate — to say whatever comes to mind (you can record your students’ words and thoughts on a whiteboard or a smartboard, if you like). This exercise enables students to learn from others and to acquire some background knowledge of the topic if none exists. The result: better comprehension.
· how to read the text.
Explain to students that each kind of text is read in a specific way. Discuss howto read the selection you have chosen by referring to the Scan, Focus, Review, Retell, and Reflect steps, below. (More about this in next week’s post.)
· word meanings.
Select two or three important words that students might have difficulty with and discuss their meanings. Ask students to search for each word in the text and then read the sentence containing the word. Encourage them to read the sentence before and after and then guess the word’s meaning based on the context of theses sentences. Clear up any misconceptions.
Read next week’s post for tips on how to guide students while they read.
*Reading tips and selections are taken from Don’t Panic: More Practice for the OSSLT, 2nd Edition, published by Wintertickle Press. Read more about this and other Don’t Panic publications at the Don’t Panic Books website.