Reading College Textbooks


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Reading (College) Textbooks
(Dr. Helen Woodman and Kristen Motz)

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Reading College Textbooks

  1. 1. Introduction to<br />R-E-A-D-I-N-G<br />(COLLEGE)<br />T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S<br /><br />May 2010<br />
  2. 2. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:READ for structure and purpose<br /><ul><li>Textbooks have a specific structure; they are created to present information clearly with the most simple word choice possible.</li></ul><br />
  3. 3. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Make Educated Guesses<br />All textbooks have an organizational pattern; learn what it is and use it to guide you in making educated guesses about the text material. <br /><br />
  4. 4. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Acknowledge Authors(1)<br />Some textbooks – one author<br />Most textbooks – two<br />or more authors<br /> Each chapter – could<br />be different author<br />Chapter author – usually topic “expert”<br /><br />
  5. 5. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Acknowledge Authors(2)<br />The more authors within a textbook – the more samples are necessary to calculate book’s overall readability scores. <br />Unless explained, students often struggle figuring out how to access chapter material.<br /><br />
  6. 6. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Discipline Specific Definitions(1)<br />R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />To save time, when defining a word, students often “go with” the definition they are familiar with, or “guess at” what the word might mean. <br />Sometimes students “Google” the word, or if they do look the word up in a dictionary, they often “go with” the first entry in the dictionary – even if it makes no sense.<br /><br />
  7. 7. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Discipline Specific Definitions(2)<br />Point out to students – your discipline has specific definitions of words. <br />Explain how words in your discipline are used.<br /><br />
  8. 8. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Discipline Specific Definitions(3)<br />Point out the word is usually defined in the text or in the glossary. <br />Some students have never used a textbook glossary; give them hands-on experience.<br /><br />
  9. 9. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Discipline Specific Definitions(4)<br />Some faculty have created a glossary in FerrisConnect.<br />I have my students create a “Class Glossary” where each student contributes to our Community of Scholars. <br /><br />
  10. 10. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Discipline Specific Definitions(5)<br />Students do not realize that READING IS MAKING MEANING!<br /><br /><br />
  11. 11. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Identify what is important<br />Not everything in a textbook is important. Important information is often set off from the rest of the text by formatting: <br />bold, boxes, bullets, color, etc. <br /><br />
  12. 12. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Note-taking – Annotate to remember<br /><br />/<br />
  13. 13. If a reader does not “make the material her/his own,” then she/he will be repeating the course. Initially, note-taking may seem to take a long time, but with practice, it becomes second nature to the reader. When you annotate, you mark important material summarizing key points in the margins. It is important to paraphrase – to put the information into your own word –so that you take “ownership” of the material and move it from short-term memory to long-term memory. Always read “with the intent to remember.”<br />
  14. 14. R-E-A-D-I-N-G:<br />Go for it!<br />Reading is active – not passive. The more you read, the better you read. Try some strategies, and choose the ones that work best for you: K-W-L, SWEAT Pages, SEEI, etc.<br /><br />
  15. 15. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Talk with the author/s<br />Again, reading is active – not passive. When you read you create a “dialogue” with the author/s. You agree/disagree, add to or take away, ask questions or answer them. Remember, in a conversation, both parties participate.<br /><br />
  16. 16. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Extract Information<br />Read not just the text – <br />the words on the page –<br />but use the tables, graphs, diagrams, charts, study questions, study guides. Often a chart or graph – a visual – sums up an entire page or chapter. <br /><br />
  17. 17. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />eXamples are important<br />After presenting the major concept, textbook authors give examples and analogies to illustrate the point they are making. Many readers “skip” these examples. This is “ok” if you are very experienced in the field, or you have much experience in the area. If you read a statement and can create your own example, then look at one or two examples, and skip the rest. If the area is new to you, the example will help you understand the concept, apply it in another area, and remember it for a test or for later application in your life. <br /><br />
  18. 18. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Time your reading<br />When you preview a chapter or reading, you need to identify the difficulty of the text, and the “familiarity” of the material to decide how much time you will need to complete the reading assignment. Chunk reading into 20 minute pieces. Summarize what you have read and review the important pieces. <br /><br />
  19. 19. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Bring Prior Knowledge<br />One way to “get involved,” (and not be bored when you read), is to access Prior Knowledge. What do you already know about the subject? What do you want to know about the subject? What information do you anticipate the author providing? Write down some things you already know and some things you want to know – before you read. After you read, ask yourself what information is missing or what questions are left unanswered. You may want to find additional sources to “fill in the gaps”.<br /><br />
  20. 20. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Overview is important<br />When you are reading, look for the large idea, the thesis statement, and the major concept/s in the chapter or reading. <br />Then, use the examples to “anchor” your understanding of the material.<br /><br />
  21. 21. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Open mind is needed<br />When you read, you often encounter new ideas, or ideas that may seem strange or “weird” to you. Don’t reject these ideas; try them out and see if they offer a new way to see the world. Remember, “We live in our minds.” An open mind is key to becoming a critical thinker.<br /><br />
  22. 22. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Know how to read and study(1)<br />Explore various reading strategies.<br /> Try one you think you may not like. <br />Remember, you need to try the strategy more than once.<br />Share what you have done with a friend or your instructor.<br /><br />
  23. 23. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Know how to read and study(2)<br /><ul><li>Keep trying until you find a “good fit.”
  24. 24. Then, use this strategy in other academic areas.
  25. 25. Remember – you should spend three hours outside of class for every hour you spend in class. </li></ul><br />
  26. 26. T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:<br />Stress important stuff<br />T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S:Stress Important Stuff<br /><ul><li>Remember, not everything is important.
  27. 27. Important information is </li></ul> usually in the first sentence of the paragraph. <br /><ul><li>Use questions at end of chapter to find important stuff – look for the answers.</li></ul><br />
  28. 28. R-E-A-D-I-N-G<br />(COLLEGE)<br />T-E-X-T-B-O-O-K-S<br />Remember, this is just a starting point for your textbook reading.<br />Ask yourself:<br />“Why will I need this?”<br />“How long will I need it?”<br /><br />