Tools for your Toolbox

10 minutes
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Hello, and welcome back to my class. uncomprehending comprehending nonfiction text better. In this section, I'm going to be giving you a toolbox full of tools that you can pull out and use a point. When you become confused while you read nonfiction text. Remember I told you in the introduction that everyone struggles, this isn't new or uncommon. I specialize in reading and yet, I struggle at times.

And I'm so glad that I do because now I'm able to give tools to readers of every age in any genre and say, This is what works for me. And you try it, see if it works for you. I'll give you another one that I want you to try. See if this one works. But what my goal is, is to help you overcome that struggle. The first thing that I want you to think about is why you're reading it.

Knowing your purpose is what will keep you motivated when you become frustrated and need to apply anyone that the tools to your struggle. Remember, again that everyone struggles. But what I'm giving you Here are the tools to aid you in your confusion as you overcome it. And this is the first one. Knowing your purpose, like I said is it's going to keep you motivated. And I'll give you an example for that in my graduate course, called diagnosing and correcting a struggling reader.

I was assigned a 400 page textbook, all about how to assess a reader. It was daunting, and it was terrifying because we had to apply what we learned in that textbook with a real life student. I wasn't just playing with this some I'm not just playing some game. It I'm Officially diving in and trying to diagnose the struggling reader and correct it and provide her a individualized plan to go forward, and I can either be a major help, or a major stumbling block. And that in and of itself was this huge motivator for me to finish the textbook and to overcome my struggle in reading it. So know your purpose, why are you reading it?

And that will keep you going. Next, ask questions. This is one of the most important pieces to learning. Anytime that we have a problem or struggle. We ask questions, thumb through the text first, and ask yourself questions about it. And with things that automatically pop out of you.

And the reason why this is so important. One of the greatest teachers of all time, Milton Vincent Gregory wrote this old book called The seven laws of learning and in a time about this particular skill, and he says that any learning experience or any object or any event that excites no question will provoke no thought. So the first thing that I want you to do is to ask questions about the text, what is it that you're trying to learn? And then you're going to try to answer those questions. And I'll be diving more into these specifically, as we go. The next one, which is the one that's most helpful for me, is finding visuals of the concept that they that you're trying to learn.

I use YouTube and Google Images quite frequently, because I'm a visual learner. So in the first PowerPoint presentation, we talked about what type of learner Are you if you're a visual, if you're an audio, if you're a kinesthetic, if you're a visual, I hope suggests this tool. I'll give you an example. My sister was recently diagnosed as having an mthfr genetic mutation. I knew nothing about it. Since we're related.

I knew that since some of the symptoms that we were experiencing were similar. I needed to look and find a doctor who was able to put it in terms that I could understand. So that I could go and then read the text and the research in the documents that I was struggling to understand. Thankfully, I did find a doctor who explained it really well. So that I was able to understand it simply. Einstein said if you don't understand something simply you don't understand it at all.

And then when I was able to do that, then I was able to go and read the research and the documents and talk to a doctor intelligently. This one is vitally important. You need to know how the text is structured. So before you even begin your reading, I encourage you to thumb through the text from beginning to end. And what I want you to pay attention to are all these features, what's in the table of contents, what is in the glossary, the index, pay attention, especially to your titles and your headings, because those are your main ideas. We take this grand idea and we put it in just a short snippet, to give you an idea of what that entire section is going to be about.

Pay attention different print. If an author emphasizes something, then they'll bolded or underlined it or italicize it. If it's different. That means that they want it to stand out, so pay attention to those things. And next, especially if you're a visual visual learner, pay attention to your maps, your graphics, your pictures and captions, any sidebars or side notes, those things will add additional and information or help you understand what's on that page. And also, and most importantly, never, ever skip an author's introduction or an author's conclusion.

That's where they sum up the ideas that they're trying to give you. In the introduction. They say, here's what I'm about to give you. In the conclusion, they say, Here's everything that I've given you. And it's these short snippets to help you understand the whole. These pieces are so important to understanding nonfiction texts, because every nonfiction text is organized and structured in a way to help you understand the concept better.

And these are the pieces that you need to jot down and pay attention to because they will also excite questions. Another tool that I really want you to hone in on is to recognize that there are going to be words that you don't know. But then use your tools to define them. I use dictionary calm the app on my phone. It's probably actually, I'll be honest, it's probably my most used app. And a paperback version is great.

In fact, I teach my first grader to use both because I want her to know, see the guide words, and I want her to recognize how to use both of them. The reason why I like the dictionary calm app so much is because it has all these features like the dictionary thesaurus and it has this learner piece that is really cool and dives into the word further to help you understand it more. But don't be afraid to just stop and say I don't know how I don't know this word. And there's been many times where I've come across a word that I've seen many times that I thought I knew. And it was used in a different way that I've still had to look up. Don't be afraid to do this.

This one is most helpful when I find myself getting sidetracked. So in this diagnosing, and correcting struggling readers assessment, I would record myself reading certain chunks of it. And then while I was doing the dishes, I would listen to it or I was folding laundry. That way I was hearing it in multiple places. And this is especially important if you're an audio learner. record yourself reading the text and have yourself listen to it multiple times.

That does wonder in eating and comprehension Because the more you read it, the more you understand it. Reading and rereading and rereading is an important aspect. In comprehension. There's a reciprocal relationship between reading and writing, because you can't have one without the other. In order to read better, you must write better in order to write better, you must read better. And in the next video, what I'll give you are all the tools, so many tools out there that exist, to read and write, to help you comprehend better.

And I want to end with that because I've found that if you want to be a better writer, you have to read more. If you want to be a better reader, you need to be writing and the two correlate, you can't. I can't be a reading teacher without being a writing teacher and I can't be a writing teacher without being a reader. Teacher it's impossible to separate the two

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