Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hannah's Reading Importance

As I read I am constantly trying to make sure everything is making sense to me. Many times I have to reread for a better understanding. I can remember in third grade my teacher, Miss McClary, taught my class a strategy for reading comprehension. She told us after every paragraph you should ask yourself a series of questions. Who was involved here? What did they do? Was there a problem? How did they or will they fix it? She then told us if we still weren’t sure of one of the answer or we caught ourselves thinking about things other than the readings we should go back and reread. Obviously, now being a junior in college I do not ask my self these questions after every paragraph I read. However, I do have to think about all of those as I am continuously reading.
As a college student my volume of required reading sometimes stretches beyond what I am actually able to read. I constantly find myself wanting to speed read or skim the material because I have procrastinated and don’t have enough time to think about all of them in as much depth as hoped. During these sessions of speed reading I always look at the title so I know the topic that is being discussed. Then I read the first and last sentence of the paragraphs because a lot of the important information is outlined here. Then if there is any bolded or italicized words I read the sentences they are in. If I am not rushing through my readings I have found it to be beneficial to do the above steps anyways and then go through and read it. If you know what you are going to be reading about it is a lot easier to make connections and remember what was stated within the paragraph.
In one of the articles the author talked about another way to sift through all of the material to find the important information is to ask yourself what you think the author wants you to know. I haven’t personally tried this strategy yet but I feel it would be quite beneficial. I frequently forget the purpose of the reading and if you can keep that in mind it can help make connections to your background knowledge.

Jess' Reading Text

When I look back and think about what strategies I use when I read I find it important to think about the kind of text I am reading. The kind of text matters about how I go about reading beacause each type of text produces different ways of thinking in my mind. Specifically in all instances of reading I usually look through the book and see what each chapter contains or section. By doing this with informational texts and articles you are able to get an idea of where the text is heading toward. This is useful for me because as I read I already know the overall purpose I am suppose to get out of reading. By knowing the purpose I find it easier to locate key phrases and words that may be imporant for after reading. In regards to non-fiction texts I usually do not look through the chapters, because sometimes the chapter titles give away information, which is exactly opposite from fiction texts. However I think the most enjoying thing about reading non-fiction texts is that the internal thinking in my mind always concerns what might happen next, or I bet this happens, or I wonder if that is important to know for the future. In comparison to how I read fiction text my internal thinking usually revolves around what information I need to come back to or remember. Reading a non-fiction text is more like watching a movie you want to know what comes next or what might be important because your anxious to know what will be next. But in fiction text the internal thinking is usually for me only about how I can remember what I have already read.
The important information in both instances is usally apparent while reading. Its either in bold or talked about in detail. I find it easy to pick point important information from a chapter but sometimes i have to read it a few times in order to remember it or get a firm grasp on the idea.

Reading texts

While pondering the notion of how I read texts, I came across some interesting things that I often do. Throughout my schooling, I have had countless numbers of assigned reading to do. Many of the text books I read were very dry and slightly boring (not all, but some). I somehow taught myself to look at the end of each chapter before I start reading and look at what the questions were asking about the text. I would then go read the chapter as a whole, but make sure I kept my eyes open for the main points and would highlight them.

When I read, I like to picture what is going on in the text. When it's a literature book, I pretty much have a movie playing in my head on what I think is happening. It's hard for me to get a movie picture in my head with text books which may be a reason why I have a harder time consentrating on that kind of homework. I understand the importance of reading and comprehending what is read. I do for the most part comprehend what I read (usually the first time) but sometimes am not sure if I truly understand what the text is saying (usually happened in geometry and physics).

I usually know what's important by thinking about what the chapter is supposed to cover. I look at the title of the chapter and read the intro. By reading the intro, I get a good grasp on what the author is attempting to explain in his writing.

Kristen W.'s importance in reading

When I am reading something I first assess what the point of the reading assignment is. If there is a key concept in the class that we are focusing on, I know that I should be looking for information that will help add to my knowledge of that concept. As I read I do have an internal conversation. I read something and go over what I just read and then decide if it’s important or rather decide if this helps to elaborate on the key concept. If it is a broad chapter of information I often look for any bullets, separate boxes containing information, or bold or italicized words that could all indicate important information.
When reading books for enjoyment it is a little harder to distinguish important points of what I am reading. I often remember or pay attention to main points such as characters and setting. It is more difficult to tell important parts of a book, because in a novel you often don’t know what will happen or what is important to pay attention to that will help in analyzing a situation later in the book. Oftentimes I will need to go back to the beginning to recap on specific details that will help to understand the passage later in the book that I have reached.
I think it really depends on what you are reading and why you are reading it to determine what is important in the text. Many school texts have a plain reason why we are reading it and so we know what kind of information is important for us to know in order to succeed in class, on a project, or on a test. When reading for pleasure something in the book may seem less important than others. For instance, something romantic happening in a story could be important to one person, but insignificant to the overall plot to another person reading the same book. Subjectivity comes into play when finding important features in a text because everyone comes from different backgrounds, has gained different background knowledge, and sees things differently. Because of this, everyone sees novels or class texts differently and may interpret some things more important than others. It is mainly important as a teacher to make clear to students the goal of what they should get out of the text and the purpose for reading the text for them to find the importance and meaning behind what they are reading.
When I begin reading passages from a book or story I first look at any pictures that are on the page. For a couple of reasons one to give me an idea of what this section might be about or two because I like pictures . If there are no pictures on the page I start reading the section. I then read one paragraph of information at a time if the story is not in paragraphs then I stop at a section where I think the information is telling me new ideas. After I have read the one paragraph I go back and think about what the paragraph was about. Is there anything in particular that is important to me? Do I understand everything in this section? If I don’t I go back and make sure I read over everything again that has to do with this topic to see if I missed something. Then I continue to read on doing the same thing every time. After each chapter or when I am done reading I think to myself what was the main purpose of this section. Do I have any questions? If so, what are they? Then I try and go back and see if I missed something on the information that I don’t understand. If I can’t find anything then I will write it down so I can find out the answer to it. I have a lot of internal conversation with myself when I read, not only to help me understand what I am reading but also to help me stay focused on the task at hand. Usually the text that is important for the students to know is what the main ideas where in the section that they read. That’s why I try and find the importance of each paragraph so I can come to a better conclusion of what information is the most important to me as a reader.

Importance in Reading

When reading it is important to think about why you are reading first before you think about what is important within the reading. If I am reading a text book for class then I pick out the important details that have to do with class, the chapter, or what a test might be over. When reading for class, I think about what we have been discussing in class and how the reading might be relevant to our discussions. Also I read the chapter title and ask myself as I read what is important in this text that relates to the title of the chapter. I like to highlight the important stuff so I can easily scan later when studying for a test. I am always asking myself questions as I read. Sometimes I ask myself if I have prior knowledge about a certain subject or term, or whether I understand something. When there are things that I do not understand then I write it out on a post it note so I can look it up later. Then when I reread for test or papers then I know what that concept, or whatever, means.
If I am reading for pleasure then I pick out main characters and what each person does in the story. I am always thinking in my head as I read for pleasure. Some of the books that I read have complicated plots and characters, so I have to think about which character feels or does certain things. My favorite author uses characters across his books even though they are completely different stories and I often have to think back about what important details were in the other stories that are significant in my new story.
I think it is really important to have an inner dialogue because if you are just reading then you may not be taking in all the information the way you should. If you do not question yourself about what you are reading it is almost like you did not even read. If you consciously ask yourself questions about what you just read then you have a deeper meaning associated with what you are reading. It will be easier to recall information later on if you put meaning to it. Otherwise when you are in class and the teacher ask what you thought about a certain term, you may remember the term but may not have anything attached to it for it to be meaningful.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Do You Know What Is Important In Text? By: Kate Neal

Thinking back on how I have always read passages, I do have an internal conversation with myself. After each paragraph (or sentence if the material is difficult) I ask myself, “What did I just read?” If something in the reading catches my attention (makes me laugh, reminisce, question etc.) I will become sidetracked (asking myself how that statement familiar to me, think about a time when something similar happened to me, etc.). Overall, I can not think of a time when I have read and not had an internal conversation with myself and/or imagined a picture in my head about what was going on in the reading.
Most of the readings I do now are for school assignments. Being that the readings are vital to my education, I make sure I fully understand before I move on in the book. For this type of reading I highlight information that I believe to be important or write notes on the side of the pages/ or my notebook so I can have the idea in my own words. Highlighting and taking notes make it easier for me to study for the exam over the readings. For readings that are for personal pleasure I highlight some funny, sad, thrilling, etc. times in the book, but rarely need to take notes because the reading is always interesting to me otherwise I would not be reading it.
How do I decide what information is important when I am reading? I normally ask what the story, chapter, or passage is about. From there I begin to think about what is in the reading that answers or really goes into detail about what the reading is about. Sometimes I will consider the highlighted words to be important, the title of a paragraph to be important, steps or stages of something to be important, or how something is used to be important. It does, however, depend solely on the reader and his or her own views and/or interests. What I may consider to be important could not be what some one else may consider to be important.