Misunderstood – Scanning your text before reading

Workshops and discussions of study skills and learning strategies is one area of my practice as a Retention Coordinator. Reading at the college level, particularly reading textbooks comes up in discussions with students often. Many students do not understand how to read a textbook effectively. I like to introduce a simple three-step strategy of scan, read with a purpose and review.

textbookscanScanning your textbook refers to swiftly reviewing the chapter by skimming the introduction, flipping through the pages to see the headings and layout of the chapter, paying attention to the main ideas and key terms, and skimming the conclusion or chapter summary. The goal is to gain a better idea of the purpose of the chapter and highlights of the material contained therein.

I compare this to a mystery novel. Reading your textbook is NOT like reading a mystery novel. You really do want to know who the murder is before you begin reading the book. So you scan the chapter and the chapter summary to know what is coming.

This post is in response to the Misunderstood Extend Activity in the Teacher for Learning Module of OntarioExtend.

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