to understand the material
 to get a good grade in the class
 to pass the test
 to get information for my research paper
 for pleasure
 because I’m bored
 to understand tomorrow’s lecture
 to get ready for tomorrow’s lab
 to prepare my presentation
 because my professor requires me to
 to fall asleep
 to understand the topic better
Source: Kristina Blasen, Image from http://moonstarsandpaper.blogspot.com/
This is a 6 minute lecture on active reading with tips on how to be an active reader vs. a passive reader.
Source: Kristina Blasen
Reading is not just reading the words on the page. When you read, it is important to first know why you are reading – to have a purpose. Without a purpose, students reading for an assignment tend to go on auto-pilot, skimming the pages with no recall of the information.
Pleasure reading is not the same as reading for an assignment. When you read for pleasure you read for the main ideas and for the storyline. You remember only what interests you. When you read for an assignment you are reading to absorb information, this type of reading requires a higher level of focus and takes more time. In essence, active reading is LEARNING the material and not just reading the assigned pages!
A passive reading approach would be sitting down after dinner and starting on the first page of an assigned chapter and reading straight through to the end. Lots of students do this with highlighter in hand, but then the page ends up almost completely highlighted and the reader doesn’t know what is important!
“Active” readers approach reading assignments with a purpose and develop a plan for assignments that increases comprehension and retention while reducing their time and effort to complete the assignment (Slattery, 2005).
Source: Kristina Blasen, University of Minnesota Student Academic Success Services (SASS), Scott Slattery (2005)
Active Reading PowerPoint slide show.
Source: Kristina Blasen, University of Minnesota Student Academic Success Center (SASS)
What article or book is the quote from Slattery taken from?
I have used three-column notes.
Column one: Restate all of the headings in the chapter into questions.
Column two: Describe all of the pictures, illustrations, diagrams, or charts in the chapter.
Column three: Answer all the questions from column one.
I am curious whether you use individual note cards; mine would be scattered all over the place, or there would be piles of cards in various locations. Another thought that came to mind is regarding note taking. Some material is so tedious that writing notes helps to keep me engaged. Other sources say that it is better to read first, take notes later. What are your thoughts? Heidi
Hi Heidi, I'm like that! I use these neat ring binder notecards that come in different colors in the same pack so I might do all the terms and definitions on yellow ones and in the same notecard binder all the blue ones are reading notes and questions and the orange ones are for lecture notes, stuff like that...then I can write on the cards in class, while reading, when studying and just stick the notecards that are all bound together in my bag or in my binder. I keep one for each class and you can glue a different picture to the front of each one if you're visual and want to be able to tell them apart quickly. I usually use these for subjects where it is harder for me to focus and absorb a lot of information like research class!
As for the read first/ then take notes question, I use the scan method, scan, look at graphs and pull outs, read the intro and conclusions to get a feel before actually reading anything- as for notes, I prefer to annotate (write comments and questions and thoughts and reactions right in the book in the margins) when reading and use a form of Cornell notetaking or Concept mapping in class and for readings depending on the subject.
I think that a simplified version of this would be really helpful for someone with ADHD. In my experience, when a person with attention issues is reading, they lose focus while reading and are the ultimate "passive" readers, having absolutely no idea what they just read. If they took notes, or drew pictures, or engaged with the reading in some other way, they might take it in better. I think it is also key for them to read in shorter time segments than the average learner, so that they can stay focused.
There is another learning packet about active reading that talks more about visualizing what you are reading. http://www.sophia.org/packets/active-reading
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