Over the past several years, I have found it harder and harder to convince my students to read text carefully. In fact, I have found it harder to convince them to read at all. While earning a specialist degree, I came across a research study that suggested students who are asked to read silently while completing an assessment component make gains in reading achievement three times higher than that of students who are not required to do so. Based on that research, I created these assignments for my students. During the first semester I used them, my students made four times the gain on our state assessment than those who did not.
These reading guides were created to outline what a strong reader takes note of while he or she is reading the text. I require my students to read silently and independently while completing the reading guides, and they grow more interested in the text as they do. They also make strong gains in reading achievement.
I use these as independent reading quizzes and allow students to read and respond in class. After they complete this assignment, we discuss comparison/contrast structure, stated and implied theme, and genre. All are identified in this author's note. After students have read, they can better understand and identify these concepts.