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  • Post published:Jun 16, 2021
  • Post last modified:Jul 30, 2021

How to help students preview reading assignments

It is the job of every teacher in day and boarding schools to imbibe in students the skills to be successful leaders. Previewing reading assignments is one skill in which students find time-saving and more comprehending what they are reading and can be taught easily. The step-by-step instructions about students how to teach students to adequately preview reading assignments are given below. Three to five minutes are taken by students for the entire process. This is just a guide with approximate times. 

1. Title

The title of the reading assignment sets the stage for what comes ahead, so students should spend a few seconds thinking about it.

 Approximate Time: 5 Seconds

2. Introduction skimming

Generally, there are one or two introductory paragraphs in the chapter which give students an overview of what is to be learned in the reading.  After a quick scan of the introduction, there will be a discussion in the reading for which students should have understood two to three key points.
Approximate Time: 30 seconds – 1 minute

3. Read the Headings and Subheadings

 All of the headings and subheadings should be read by the students carefully while going through each page of the chapter. They should think about how tile and introduction which they have previously skimmed relates to each heading. This will give them an understanding of how information is organized by the author.

For example, a chapter titled “Thermodynamics” might have headings like “Thermal equilibrium” and “Heat Engines” will provide advanced organizational knowledge to students which will help them when they begin to read the text.
Approximate Time: 30 seconds

4. Focus on the Visuals

Each visual should be looked upon by the students while going through the chapter again. Students should try to relate the captions to the headings and subheadings by spending a few extra seconds reading. Thus, as you read the chapter, this step will help them have a deeper understanding of the chapter. 

Approximate Time: 1 minute

5. Look for Bold or Italicized Words

Students should start at the beginning of the reading with a quick search through bold or italicized terms. You could even make students write the list of these terms as these are the important vocabulary words. Listing the terms makes the future studying organized effectively. Further, as the students go through the reading, they should write the definition of these terms to understand them concerning the information learned.

Approximate Time: 1 minute or more if students make the list of terms

6. Scan the Chapter’s Summary or Final Paragraphs

Generally, the information in the chapter is neatly summed up in two to three paragraphs. Thus, to reinforce the basic information that students will be learning in the chapter, the summary should be scanned.
Approximate Time: 30 seconds

7. Read Through the Chapter Questions

By reading the chapter questions beforehand, students from the beginning can focus on the key points of the reading. This will help them know about the types of things they need to learn in the chapter.

Approximate time: 1 minute

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